Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beginning a spiritual practice

This week when I gave divination readings with my Journey Oracle deck at the Friday Market on Cortes Island, and asked my second client for a question to begin the session, she said, “How do I begin a spiritual practice?” We talked about the lines of stress she saw in this card, and the eyes that were watching her from what might be a plant form, and about what the phrase enter at your own risk might mean.

When I returned home I remembered that some years ago I wanted to build a fountain in my garden. I thought lots about this, planning where it might go and how to begin. Nothing really happened until one day I told a friend about my intentions. The very next morning he arrived with a pick ax and said, “Show me where to start.” While I stood there struck dumb, he swung a mighty arc, thudded into soil, and said, “This looks like a good place.” Four years later, filled with many lessons about stones and water, the process of making the fountain arrived at its completion, which became the next beginning: the process of becoming the fountain.

I realized that for me the experience of building the fountain gave good answers to what was seen in the card. The stress felt about being in relationship with spirit is often in our head, dispersed like the sun melting through fog when we take a first action. The sensation that spirit is watching us from within every more-than-human form means that we can make that first gesture of spiritual attention toward anything and everything. The risk is that we do not know where the process will take us, or how we will be transformed by becoming the practice we begin. What I do know is that to begin, we have to act.