|10-02-2012, 04:42 PM||#1|
Joined: May 2011
Devotions and putting God first.
This may be a daft request, but I seek input or encouragement concerning my devotional practice.
I find that when I wake in the mornings, I always feel weary, (as I do have some illness) and feel that I can't concentrate well enough on doing my devotions until I eat breakfast.
So, I eat breakfast but invariably check my internet first and eat while doing that, often but not always spending a good hour online before I really start my day.
So, without saying, "just do it", I wonder if anyone would have any helpful suggestions. I do have confidence that by doing my devotions before other activities could only help my spiritual life. I am wanting to know if anyone else has had problems with distracting themselves in this way, and/or if they have helpful suggestions in stopping it. (Thanks).
|10-02-2012, 05:03 PM||#2|
Joined: Jun 2006
Thanks for your post ... I enjoy reading your posts and wanted to say how much I like reading them..
Anyway I hope what I'm going to say may be helpful to you...
Some years ago I attended a Jain retreat and while there observed that Jains who are serious about their meditation life do not multi-task.. They deliberately do one thing at a time and practise being focused. You know what happens when people text and drive of course.. but what this means to me is that we live in a culture that encourages us to multi-task. We eat while we watch TV and while we are checking the internet...and mind the children. So our attention is divided and not focused.
There is a discipline in this but I am confident you will definitely see a difference if after you rise from sleep and bathe... when your mind is fresh and not exposed to the news and/or all the work it has to do in a given day...set aside that time for your prayers.
As you know Baha'u'llah suggests setting aside a time in the morning and evening to recite prayers...
If you are more restful and calm during another time of day choose that.. being retired I often find after an afternoon nap that I am more ready to recite the prayers.... so it works for me then... My wife chooses to pray inthe morning.
Here are some readings:
Recite ye the verses of God every morn and
eventide. Whoso faileth to recite them hath not been
faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament,
and whoso turneth away from these holy verses in this
Day is of those who throughout eternity have turned
away from God.
(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 73)
The eye of My loving-kindness weepeth sore over
you, inasmuch as ye have failed to recognize the One
upon Whom ye have been calling in the daytime and in
the night season, at even and at morn.
(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 56)
I have wakened every morning to the light of Thy praise and Thy remembrance, and reached every evening inhaling the fragrances of Thy mercy.
(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 103)
|10-02-2012, 06:19 PM||#3|
Joined: May 2011
Thank you Arthra.
For the sake of clarity I should say, I think I am pretty consistent with doing some devotions. But I do believe it would be much better if I discipline myself to do them before going online, or distracting myself with any similar activity.
Because after doing that I feel I have sometimes wasted time and therefore don't always give as much thought or attention as I should.
It's always nice to see if there's mail for you etc; and along the same lines, I remember calling a friend o/s and kind of confessing that I should be doing my devotions before calling someone, -in this case, him. I asked him why I do this and he said, "It's easier to talk to me (than to God)".
I thought that there was some truth to what he said. God is nearer to us than anyone and yet He is also the Unknowable Essence. We can't see Him, and there is an element of healthy fear (respect and knowing Who's in charge) in our relationship with Him.
I think it has a lot to do with both discipline and detachment, and I hope to do better in this matter, because despite my having distracted myself I do have trust that the more I put God first and my devotions first, things will happen (or not happen) as they should. I mean, I think I will be guided better.
|10-02-2012, 11:41 PM||#5|
Joined: Sep 2012
Oh Rani, I can totally relate! I know, it is extremely hard to focus in the morning, especially if you work full time and you have a busy day ahead of you. For some reason, I always find it much easier to meditate, pray and recite the Most Holy Name in the evening.
My suggestion: keep a prayerbook and some selection of quotation on your bedside table. Maybe that would motivate you better? Also, in order to focus fully and to dedicate the particular time, my trick is to light a scented candle. Works wonders
This is the reason I actually enjoy the time of fasting. Your routine is clear and you simply have got more time.
|10-02-2012, 11:46 PM||#6|
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Tropical North Queensland Australia
I am exactly the opposite. I get up a couple of Hours before I go to work read & pray.
After a days work I fall asleep if I read more than a couple of lines.
It could be an age thingy
|10-03-2012, 02:13 AM||#7|
Joined: Sep 2012
I am simply not a morning person. I am well known for simply rollin' out of bed, taking a shower, grabbin' a quick bite on the go and heading for work. I prefer to sleep in since I read at night The only exception, as mentioned above, is the month of Ala.
I used to work on a highly irregular schedule (customer service) so it's been extremely challenging. It messed up my eating times, my work out routine and socializing time. Luckily, I've been blessed and I quit my job recently. I am taking it easy for a while and then starting my service within the community. It feels good to get back on regular track.
Enjoy your day then!