“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” -Dr.Seuss
The mind is a powerful thing. We can convince ourselves of many things, but sometimes, we allow our mind to take us to a place of darkness, anxieties, even fear. We owe it to ourselves to care for our minds, our bodies, as well as our spiritual paths.
According to Wikipedia, sādhanā is literally "a means of accomplishing something", is a generic term coming from the yogic tradition and it refers to any spiritual exercise that is aimed at progressing the sādhaka (someone who follows a particular sādhanā, or a way of life designed to realize the goal of one's ultimate ideal) towards the very ultimate expression of his or her life in this reality.
As westerners, we are not as familiar with the committed practice of confining oneself to an Ashram for the sake of sādhanā. There is a misplaced idea that to achieve a spiritual practice, you have to remove yourself from the world as we know it. For most people, it is an impossible idea to commit days, weeks, or even years to a place of solitude to study. Remember, as human beings we are also spiritual beings. To deny that somehow our human experience have no bearing on our spiritual existence is not logical. Instead of beating yourself up as you journey through this life for not giving yourself time, the key is to make our human, worldly experience an essential part of your spiritual growth.
We all have time, sometimes we don’t like to admit it. We squander time for the sake of social media, games on our phone, the snooze button, drugs, alcohol, or things other people tell us are important, but do nothing to improve our own existence. The list of what detaches us from our purpose in life is long, but are any of the distractions worth it?
Sādhanā is your daily spiritual practice. You may start by just setting aside some time each day to practice techniques and activities such as meditation, yoga, and/or reading sacred literature (this can be any teachings relevant to your faith or purpose). However, it is believed that if you are sincere in your spiritual journey, your whole life will eventually reflect your sādhanā.
Just as I invite the yoga students in the studio to set their intention before each practice, I invite you to set your intention for your sādhanā. How will you pursue the practice? How will you honor the divine that resides within you?