I never really prayed much growing up, and the result is that the action used to feel as natural to me as a putting on a tuxedo feels natural to a fish. In more recent months and days, however, I’ve crossed a decent amount of internal distance in regards to my personal practice . Not nearly enough, in my opinion, to see if other people would be interested in hearing about it…but it’s being developed and that is what counts. It’s been tricky for me, as I grew up in a fairly blank theological world. Oh sure, Jesus got mentioned around Christmas. We also had prayers at Thanksgiving. Most years, however, 360 out of 365.25 days occurred without religion having any more impact than I chose for it to have. While this sort of upbringing made it easy for me to understand and consider theological matters objectively, it made it pretty difficult to pursue these subjects personally if that makes any sense. For example, I can analyze why having a negative, hardline stands in regards to Loki worship is pretty weak logic sauce. Actually doing the worship, however, was another thing.
What occurs to me is that I’m probably not alone in my lack of experience in engaging the divine. It’s usually not very useful asking for help here, either; everyone around you is either just as lost as you are, or they have been doing spiritual work for so long that their advice doesn’t really help. If
Before I continue, let me say the follow: I am a novice. I don’t know much. I know, however, that I don’t know much. Many people have forgotten what it’s like to not have an idea of what they’re doing, for one reason or another. I offer my perspective not as an authority on the subject, but as an authority on what it feels like to be overwhelmed, confused, and unsure of how to proceed. The mileage of the reader, of course, may vary.
So, how do you learn to “pick up the phone” and connect with the divine? Honestly, I’m not really certain there is a way to concretely explain it. I know how I started getting on the right track, but that doesn’t mean it’ll do a single snot ball of good for anyone else. I suppose this is the first thing to keep in mind; no method is the “right” method. If someone tells you that all spirituality is achieved through meditation? They’re blowing smoke out of their ass. There is no one path to anything in life, least of all to divinity.
If meditation works for you, use it. If you find it’s a waste of time and you fall asleep, pack that shit in. Find other methods and techniques. I find music works wonders. Not long elaborate pieces of classical music, but mindless dubstep, trance, and remixes. Stuff that is uncanny often works the best, with remixed video game music being the best for me. If I need to refocus myself quickly, I grab some head phones, listen to 2~5 minutes of redundant techno or overplayed Skrillex. Suddenly, my mind is clear in a manner that could not be achieved with ten thousand jewels within ten thousand lotuses*.
Music doesn’t work? Then dance. Or read. Or fuck. Perform martial arts drill, or maybe count coins. Shuffle cards. Find something you can do that doesn’t require thought in that traditional sense. Something that doesn’t need your conscious mind to participate. Drawing, games of chance, games of skill, running, writing. Anything. Find a talent within yourself that you can align with; one where you’re rational thinking mind isn’t needed. Where you can ride your thought, instead of steering them.
Make your spiritual exploration personal, in any way you can. This is not a realm of thought where there is a fundamental understand by which all people succeed. This is not mathematical in nature, and there is no addition you need to master before you can grasp multiplication. Everything is viewed, exclusively, through your own lens.
One last tip; don’t stress things, successful or not. If you can’t manage to reach a meditative state no matter what you do? Keep trying new things, or take a break. People imply that you are some how lesser because of your abilities/methods? Let them go fuck themselves. This is your spiritual practice; not theirs.
*”Om mani padme hum“, translates to “Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus” and is where we get so many people chanting “Om” from.