How does one carve out time for spiritual activities, when working full-time?
This has been a question I’d been grappling with for a while, for my ‘desire’ to become more spiritual.
Since then, it has dawned on me that the question is flawed in the first place. In seeking to carve out time separately for spiritual endeavors, I was inadvertently treating spirituality as a siloed part of life, divorced from other aspects of my day.
That did not sound right.
Looking at spirituality as an ongoing act of compassionate, kind, and mindful behavior that permeates all aspects of the day sat better within me. Viewed from that lens, one can be spiritual without dedicating time towards specific spiritual activities, in the conventional sense.
So if being spiritual is a consistent, ongoing act, where does something like say, meditation fit in?
I might be raw here but one can be spiritual without being an expert meditator, or without even having tried meditation. The converse is also true: meditating regularly does not always guarantee a spiritual outlook towards life.
So, why meditate?
One take towards this is that meditation is like morning exercise or yoga. The act of exercising is independently helpful but what’s better is that a regular exerciser is more likely to make healthier life choices— for instance, eating clean, consuming less caffeine, using a standing/treadmill desk—which creates a positive flywheel effect.
Similarly, meditation trains one to calm their mind—and while that by itself has standalone benefits, a regular meditator is more likely to adopt a certain outlook through the workday— in being compassionate, sincere, kind, and mindful in their actions, which is really consistent with our flow definition of spirituality.
Viewed from this lens, meditation is not an end by itself, but a means towards a set of spiritual choices, which seem more attainable and easier, from the confines of a calm mind and a full heart.
So, in summary, where does this land?
Spirituality is not a one-off 45 minute block during the day, which when checked off, makes one more spiritual. It is a flow state. And yet the odds of getting to that flow state are higher, if one begins their day right, through meditation, chanting, or anything else that sits well within you.