Practice Every Day

Dec 3, 2009
Thanks to Feith and SpiritsCast 101, I've started to pay a little more attention to what I actually do for my daily practice. I was surprised to find that actually...I do a lot. Somehow, without really meaning to, I've become much more attentive to the world around me, much more joyful in my responses to it, and much more attached to my own spirituality. And yet, I still don't feel that I do enough for my daily practice, and while I was walking home the other day, I realized why.

I've identified for some time now as a Celtic Reconstructionist, not because I want to be pedantic about research (although that is a part of my personality I can't get rid of) but because I love old Irish mythology, I feel a connection to the worldview and the history there, and as difficult as it is, I get a huge spiritual kick out of working in that framework. And yet this hasn't made its way into my daily practice in any substantial way.

The gods I communicate with every day are Irish, but my communication with them isn't. My daily worldview is still largely shaped by Wicca and American cultural and spiritual traditions. There's nothing particularly wrong with this -- it works -- but it isn't quite what I want for myself.

Of course, my life is entirely too modern for an exclusively Celtic daily practice. I'm writing this sitting in a tea shop that originated in Prague, drinking fermented Chinese tea with chrysanthemum blossoms. I could add a Celtic referent there, but it would feel very pasted on.

Sometimes that's valuable, that pasted-on feeling; it gives you a sense of separation from the rest of the world, which is one of the things that "sacred" means. But as a pantheist, an important part of my practice is being in the world, existing wholly present in the moment. Showing up. Separation isn't a goal, for that practice, it's a barrier.

I've always struggled with establishing a daily practice, in part because I've felt I ought to have a liturgy, and I'm not satisfied with anything that exists, but I'm not satisfied with anything I write either. Now that I've been reflecting on what I do use for a daily practice, and have been working on putting more energy and effort into it, and getting so much benefit from it, I'm working on that liturgy again. I feel tremendously happy when I put energy into my daily practice -- it really is one of those things that returns exponentially -- but I don't get that kick out of anything that isn't Irish.

I suppose that's how I know I'm on the right path: that kick I get, the feeling of being plugged in to something so much more expansive than myself, and of feeling that I have a place there where I can do good work. I want to be able to work that feeling in every day, above and beyond the practice that allows me to feel I've done my duty and exercised my skills, as important as those practices are.