Research has shown that striving for affiliation, achievement, and power fail to capture the most valued concerns and goals of most people (Dan Brown, Mastery of the Mind, East and West).
Spiritual strivings are fundamentally concerned with the meaning of life. When folks arrange their lives around spiritual ends, they generally experience their lives as worthwhile, unified, and meaningful.
When we build our practice around a core meaning system that engages our full attention, and that stretches our skill without discouraging our spirit, then temporary flow states are transformed into continuous flow experience; a way of life.
Vital engagement is defined as full presence and full participation in everyday life with high vitality, satisfaction, deep meaningfulness, and thorough enjoyment of whatever life has to offer (Dan Brown, Mastery of the Mind, East and West).
We want our practice to consist of at least three things: our full attention, enough challenge to stretch our level of skill, and contributing to the spiritual meaning of our lives. When our practice is in alignment with these three requisites, vital engagement is the result.
So what? What’s the big deal here? The big deal is that we are more often drawn by the brass ring, than we are by relationships, than we are by our own faith, than we are by a practice that brings harmony rather than victory.
Our culture is obsessed with winning, preoccupied with scoring points, and heedless of the broken souls who are cast aside; even when one of those souls is our own.
But build your practice around what is most important, and your practice will take you beyond brass to a solid spiritual foundation, to deep and meaningful relationships, to work that is satisfying, and to a life that is a blessing rather than a curse to all around you.