Putting the Practice in Spiritual Practice

Rev. Deanna Vandiver
Apr 27 · 2 min read
Vashon Island UU altar. Photo by D. Vandiver

I found my journal this morning. I did not know that it had been lost. That’s how long it has been since I wrote in it. I have had a spiritual practice of journaling for a couple of decades now…but some months I practice more than others. And I can feel the difference, over time, between the days I write and the days I do not write. I learn again and again that the practice part of spiritual practice is as important as the spiritual part.

One of my teaching ministers once instructed me to ask her if she had been sitting (practicing meditation) whenever I noticed her energy becoming frenetic or disorganized. It was such a powerful teaching moment to me. She showed me that no matter how skillful or wise I might become as a minister, spiritual practice is an on-going commitment. We are not ever finished.

In the last place I worked, co-workers would ask me if I had eaten lately whenever my energy became frenetic or disorganized. I wonder how much more grounded presence is collectively possible if we use the same practice to check in on each other’s spiritual nourishment. What if we normalize asking each other about our spiritual practices — what they are and if we are practicing them?

It was a conversation with a friend on Thursday that prompted me to look for my journal again. And this morning, ink flowed across the pages.

I find that I now have a better sense of an answer to the question that had been throwing me for a loop lately — that ever present and not at all innocuous check in question: “how are you?”

So, dear friends, I will ask. What are your spiritual practices? And are you practicing?

With love and ink stained fingers,

Rev. De

Rev. Deanna Vandiver

Written by

Collective liberationist. Unitarian Universalist from the South (of the USA) who has been singing, reading & writing for almost as long as she can remember.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade