How to Have a Spiritual Experience Today
I examine and scrape my tongue every morning, and I consider it a spiritual practice as much as a healthy body habit. Yes! Tongue scraping is a spiritual practice. This and other seemingly mundane daily routines can be elevated to the spiritual level, bringing a new dimension to your daily routines. Come along and let’s see how this is so.
The Spiritual Practice of Scraping Your Tongue
Regularly cleansing the tongue by gently scraping it with a metal tongue cleaner is an Ayurvedic practice that supports healthy digestion and removal of toxins from the body. Scraping the tongue enhances the sense of taste, which in effect wakes up and ignites the digestive system and process. Ayurvedic wisdom teaches that the major organs of the body are mapped to different areas of the tongue — lungs, heart, stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, and kidneys. Scraping removes toxins on the tongue and stimulates the corresponding organs to support their healthy function.
The practice of tongue scraping is an easy habit gives me information about the condition of my whole self — body and spirit. I take a look at the color, shape, and coating, and compare to recent days. I see what my tongue can tell me about my well-being, and I see if I can connect the dots between the condition of my tongue, my actions and habits, and what it all means.
If my looking and scraping shows that my tongue is:
- “Better” today than yesterday, I acknowledge myself for doing things that support healthy digestion and good self-care. I use this moment to set my intention to make today another day of wise choices and healthy living.
- The same, or a little gunkier than yesterday, I take a moment to give myself some kindness. I acknowledge that my well-being is a lifelong pursuit. I use this moment of attention to allow my imperfection to be my teacher. I reset my intention to keep orienting toward becoming my best self.
This simple and quick action is more than a habit. It’s a ritual for me. It has meaning beyond the act itself. It involves curiosity and inquiry, and it provides me a minute of present moment awareness at the very start of my day.
Bringing Spirit to Mundane Habits and Routines
Transforming habits and everyday activities into spiritual practices brings more depth and meaning to your whole life. From this place of intention and care, your daily activities become sensuous and nourishing, relationships can become more juicy, and your life will be full of wonder and delight.
This spiritual approach to habits requires attention, inquiry, and ritual. With a little practice and creativity, you can have spiritual experiences all day long.
Paying attention can take many forms, but the point of doing it is the same: to be awake and present to your life. You may practice this by sitting in silence, moving your body, or by simply observing small details around you at home, in your loved ones’ eyes, or in nature.
Where to start: Give yourself three minutes to tune in to your sense of hearing. Set a timer, close your eyes, and listen intently to every sound you hear. Allow yourself to hear what’s really there, not just what you expect to hear. You will probably notice sounds that are so subtle they usually go unnoticed. When the timer is up, take a moment to notice and reflect. You may be surprised at how rich and sensitive your sense of hearing is when you give it your undivided attention. You may be surprised to find yourself feeling refreshed or more calm after taking that brief time for yourself.
Curiosity makes life interesting. Curious people have interesting conversations, attract interesting people, and create exciting opportunities for a rich and full life. Mindless and repetitive tasks can dull curiosity and cause burn out. If you feel like life is a grind, you may have forgotten how it feels to learn and discover new things. Being curious is a portal to wonder and delight.
Where to start: Read a book. Reading is the cornerstone of learning, and the most successful people in the world are readers. Who has time to read a book? With curiosity and creativity, everyone can make time to read a book. Here’s a tip: You have permission to skim, or just read one chapter. Use what you read to spark a conversation with your spouse, friend, or your child. Make this a relationship-nourishing experience by listening more than talking. Ask your partner questions to learn their perspective on the topic, and see what more you can learn by seeing through the eyes of another person.
- Habits are the regular activities you do with little thought or planning.
- Routines are a string of habits done with efficiency and order.
- Rituals are like habits and routines, but are done for their meaning rather than for speed or efficiency.
You can bring more meaning into your everyday life by elevating some of your most boring or mundane habits into rituals. Performing a habit with reverence and attention makes the task bigger than itself and connects puts the habit or routine into service for your life purpose.
Where to start: Pick one of your most unremarkable daily habits. If you do it every day, it must have some value and purpose in your life. Take a moment to consider the benefit you get from it. When you do that habit each day, do it with a greater awareness of the doing, and also why you do it. When you finish your habit, feel a sense of gratitude for the time you have to care for yourself and for the goodness it brings to your life. That’s it. You’ve just elevated a mindless habit into a ritual — a moment of reverence and meaning.
Spiritual Experience Is Easy
The reason for creating more spiritual experiences in your daily life? Make life mean more. Bring a sense of magic and sparkle to your life. Feel a deeper connection to your spirit. Make a deeper connection to the people who mean most to you.
None of this works if it feels hard or burdensome. It’s important to keep it light, and make it easy and fun. Don’t overthink it, and don’t make “being spiritual” an item on your to-do list. This is why we are using mundane habits that you’re going to do anyway.
You don’t have to make every habit a ritual. Experiment and start small.
Stick out your tongue, give it a good look, and then give thanks for your sense of taste and your ability to take in nourishment. And then smile, you’ve just given yourself a moment of attention and care. You’re moving into a deeper integrity with your body and soul.
What habit can you transform into a spiritual experience?