Sometimes, it isn’t necessary to travel to a far-off location or famed mystical site in order to experience a touch of the spiritual. Think about the great stories of the miraculous in the scripture of the world’s religions. Many of the sites now considered holy were common, run-of-the-mill locations at the time. The tomb that housed Jesus’ body was simply another tomb before it became the site of the Resurrection. Mecca was a commonly traversed locale before it became the Holy City of Islam with the birth of Muhammad.
Likewise, we can end up having great spiritual experiences of major life significance if we’re open to them. I once spoke to a man who told me that several of his acquaintances has experienced immense spiritual awakenings while using his bathroom. It must have been a very comfortable lavatory!
In all seriousness, though, there are many people who come upon spiritual discoveries at home, in the garden, in a hospital, at work, on the train, driving on the road. Many of these experiences seemingly come on their own. They appear to be out of our control. But it is possible to open yourself up to spiritual insight–and the likelihood of receiving powerful experiences–through actions and habits that incline you in that direction.
Fasting is when you voluntarily give up eating and drinking for a certain period of time. In even our earliest spiritual records, we find accounts of wise men using fasting to attain a higher level of enlightenment. Everyone from Buddha to Moses to Gandhi has done it.
By denying your bodily needs, you nourish your spiritual element. The carnal part of you diminishes, leaving you more susceptible to important spiritual communication.
How often and for how long you fast is up to you. Many people fast every week, and they usually do it for a period of 24 hours.
Consult with your healthcare provider before fasting to make sure you’re not putting your health at risk.
Meditation is an effective method for calming the mind and body. Its purpose is to remove external distractions from your conscious mind, thereby allowing you to experience greater self-awareness. There are lots of types of meditation, from sitting meditation to walking meditation and transcendental meditation. All of them can help you out. It’s really about what you’re most comfortable with.
Music is a powerful medium that reaches us in a way the spoken word can’t. Listening to spiritual music of your choice, be it Gregorian chanting or Hindu sacred music, makes you more sensitive to the spiritual.
It’s even better if you sing or play the music yourself. Singing and chanting are ways of communicating directly with the divine, of expressing your desire for a connection.
Martial arts, especially internal martial arts like Tai Chi, help you develop mental discipline and close your mind off to worldly distractions. The repetitive movements reduce conscious thought, making you more open to the spiritual.
Spiritual experiences are waiting all around you. By using methods like those above to fine-tune your mind, spirit, and body, you’ll be more prepared for them.