I have been thinking for a while about whether with our growing secular world whether the lack of ritual that is such a part of a religious way of life is something that our mind/body/spirit is missing. An article in Scientifiic American points to the fact that we do. However, it doesn’t have to be a religion – it is anything that is done in a sacred or serious way regularly. This can be meditiation, concentration on breath (which is part of yoga as well as a form of meditation), mantras, prayers, etc. The most important part of this is REGULARLY and SERIOUSLY! This is because this is a kind of anaerobic workout for self control and the more we practice self control the better we get at it – to a point. Overdo it and our self control will become depleted so it is important to pace yourself.
So the authors say: select your sacred task, monitor and pace your progress toward that goal, eat and sleep regularly (lack of both diminishes willpower), sit and stand straight, be organised and well groomed (apparently Stanley shaved every day when he was in the jungle!) and surround yourself with a supportive social network that reinforces your efforts.
Great advice. Off to perform my morning ritual of a 2 mile walk/nature meditation – and the sun has just come out! Lovely.