Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
I struggle greatly with maintaining my spiritual practice.
After years of searching, I have finally stumbled on a spiritual path that seems promising - perhaps even right for me. (Mainly involving meditation and reducing the role of the ego.)
One problem is that once it gives me a better day or two, I start thinking I don't need it anymore. So I ...[text shortened]... arted.
Would others please share any tips they may have for establishing a spiritual routine?
Your honest and important OP has brought me out of selfimposed exile. We share this "problem", and just maybe my experience may be able to help you.
I started some ten or twelve years ago to do a twenty minute twice a day meditation practice, also called mindfullness. But many times I almost gave up, because it did not "work". I just could not stop my thoughts from wandering all over, and also did not see the expected "benefit" of total inner peace.
Fortunately we (my wife and I) have persisted. Advice we received from various sources, (including my Bhuddist son) is that one should NOT look for short term, or even external evidence of "benefits" (however one would even try to formulate them) but just to persist. If you do it to ATTAIN something, you will miss it.
The "benefits" have been proven over and over by others, so just continue.
Looking back, the changes in our lives and outlook have been significant.
Some succinct advice from anothr source that I could share would be from Jim Finley, who advised seekers after Spirituality to do three things:
1. Find a spiritual practice and stick with it
2. Find your spiritual teacher (or teaching) and follow them
3. Find your community and live in it.
This advice is universal, and even applies to atheists who are denying the need for a spiritual practice or community. Their answers would just be: None, Bertrand Russell (e.g.) and The World.
But for us it has been significant and helpful advice. May it be for you too.