The Process of the Spirit

St. Louis

To me, one of the truly exciting aspects of spirituality is this – I don’t think I practice a better brand of spirituality today than in the past.  Rather, the spiritual practices of today are what’s in front of me, the next steps on the path in the opportunities of grace.  For me, key to that understanding is the conventional wisdom that I am not a recovered alcoholic but rather a recovering alcoholic.  I view my relationship with my higher power or spiritual growth in the same way.  I do not see salvation and redemption as static events to be achieved, rather, I see them more as verbs or dynamic processes.  What is so humbling about that recovery process is that I could never have predicted or dreamt up the blessings of this relationship.  It is humbling because I know it is not me but being open to that image of God or the spirit in which we are all created.  Regular spiritual practice is an important part of that process.  Practices of piety are necessary to sustain and move forward in recovery.

Here is one of my favorite practices of piety.  Before I walk into a classroom, I stop and think for a moment, and remember this teaching gig is for the students and not for my ego.  Inevitably, if I have that mindful 30 seconds of thought before a teaching session, the class will go well.  If I am rushed, running late, and breeze into the classroom trying to get things in order without that bit of mindfulness and intentional understanding of my role, things do not go so well.  On occasion, when I get off to a bad start, I will stop, excuse myself saying I forgot something in my office, and in that 90-second interval where I go back and forth between my office and pick up a book or piece of paper, I mindfully center on the role of my true self, and resurrect the classroom experience.  The mindfulness does not give me better recall or insights into the seminar readings.  Rather, the act of piety before entering the classroom makes me mindful of my role and responsibility in the process.  Quite a wonderful and productive process.

And here is link on substance abuse and mindfulness

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