Devotions, or spiritual practices, play a big part in many people's spiritual path. There are a variety of ways to go about it, each with a different emphasis and therefore, obviously, different results.
Spiritual Encyclopedia covers those that are generally the most popular as well as lesser-known techniques that I have found to be very effective.
One thing that all devotions undoubtedly have in common is their aim of bringing the individual closer to God. If you're seeking a stronger connection with the divine, this page is a great place to start for inspiration.
Meditation usually brings images of Buddhist monks or hippies to mind, but it's really gaining in popularity in all sectors of society, east and west, with even some executives taking a moment during their lunch break to still the mind (and if you're in such a position, I would definitely recommend meditation for you).
Spiritual meditation includes a large range of meditation techniques, but typically involves the mind - deep concentration on one thing, or a complete emptying of the mind (which, yes, is as hard as it sounds!). Peace, self-mastery and connection with your divine source are the general aims. Find some tools and ideas for spiritual meditation here.
Prayer is universal. If you have even a vague understanding of Christianity, you'll probably be familiar with this prominent part of the religion. For Christians, prayer is the primary way to make contact with God and draw closer to the divine source.
It can be effective, especially if your aim is to create an intimate personal relationship with God. You simply talk to God, saying whatever is on your mind, asking for help and forgiveness.
When I was very little and attending a Christian Sunday School, I remember that they taught me a formula for knowing what to include in my prayers and the best order for them - 1. Praise 2. Sorry 3. Thank you 4. Others 5. Me - counting them off on the fingers of one hand. I still think of this occasionally when I'm praying and perhaps it will help you too. Click here for more on spiritual prayers.
Affirmations tend to be thought of as a New Age idea but when you read about them you'll realize that people have been giving affirmations since the beginning of time, though not always aware of it.
My favorite use for spiritual affirmations is in personal development - overcoming stumbling blocks in my own psychology with God's help. There's nothing like the sense of joyful victory you can experience when you've reached your goal. Discover how to create your own simple spiritual affirmations.
Mantras can release great spiritual power that is often felt by those giving these devotions. Not everyone can feel it physically, or at least feel it right away. Sometimes it takes a bit of practice and building up a momentum (like a snowball rolling down a hill). Find out about mantra chanting here.
As with all spiritual practices, it's about the sincerity of the heart, not just a straight formula. The amount of love, devotion, and energy that you put into the mantra (or prayer, meditation, decree) directly impacts how much light (spiritual energy) will be released.
'Decree?' you're probably thinking. 'Huh?'
Decrees are dynamic, rhythmic prayers, spoken aloud as specific word formulas to increase your connection to God and draw down light from the heaven-world. Decrees actually follow an instruction from the Bible:
"Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him [the Almighty], and he shall hear thee... Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee." (Job 22:27-28)
It's a very powerful form of prayer and well worth trying out for yourself. I'll admit my bias at this point to say that decrees are my favorite way of giving devotions. Noticeable differences in my physical body, mental state and emotional balance every time, and that's only the beginning... how could it not be my favorite? Learn how to give decrees here.
It's so beneficial to get into a regular pattern of giving devotions - daily if you can. Experiment until you're happy. And incidently, if it's happiness you're looking for (aren't we all?), giving daily devotions is a surefire route to happiness of the pure, enduring kind. All in all, not a bad way to start a day really. ;-)
Not sure who to pray to? Read about Spiritual Guides
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