I have been doing a lot of study on the concept of spiritual practices. I think we tend to think of spiritual practices in terms of Bible study, prayer, and fasting. If you were to ask most church-goers to talk about spiritual practices, you probably wouldn't get much more than this. But there is so much more to be considered.
Taking a Sabbath is a spiritual practice.
Listening to music or a sermon can be spiritual practices.
Reading a book can be a spiritual practice.
Spending time alone in silence can be a spiritual practice.
Eating can be a spiritual practice.
Breathing can be a spiritual practice.
My Sunday night small group is going to spend this semester considering what it means to engage in spiritual practices, so I've wanted to get through as much research as I could. One of the best books that I've found that speaks to this is Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton.
I'm curious about something. If you're reading this, what are your thoughts? What are some things that you have learned to engage in a spiritual way that you never would have previously categorized as "spiritual" before? How big does this category of spiritual practices get?
*EDIT: Just after I posted this, I read this quote from Henri Nouwen: "Precisely because our secular milieu offers us so few spiritual dsciplines, we have to develop our own. We have, indeed, to fashion our own desert where we can withdraw every day, shake off compulsions, and dwell in the gentle healing presence of our Lord. Without such a desert we will lose our own soul while preaching the gospel to others. But with such a spiritual abode, we will become increasingly conformed to him in whose Name we minister." (this is from The Way of the Heart)
Once again, Nouwen brings the thunder.