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205 Reasons to do Spiritual Practice

Ma Banyan
January 21 2014

Looking for motivation to do spiritual practice? The students in the Jaya Kula monthly Tantrik studies program got together and shared why they keep doin’ it. Here are their words, unedited.

May these thoughts inspire others to practice and to relax about being human.

Why I do spiritual practice. . .

  1. I want out.
  2. I feel like I should – the “ideal me” thing.
  3. I’ve tasted morsels of More, hints that pull at me.
  4. I feel longing to connect with Ma.
  5. I want to be free of my habitual patterns so I can just be natural.
  6. I want to be able to really see people, including myself, & interact intimately, not just with projections.
  7. I want greater ease in life.
  8. I want to be comfortable.
  9. To be seen as someone who does spiritual practice.
  10. Because every now and again something delightful happens
  11. Because it gives me a reason to get out of bed in a prompt way.
  12. To actively engage commitment and discipline.
  13. Because I want to experience death and birth in a different way.
  14. Because a lot of wise beings have endorsed it.
  15. To better entertain the creative life force.
  16. It feels good (sometimes).
  17. I don’t want to be afraid of the openness of life.
  18. It relaxes me.
  19. I feel like doing practice will position me well to get what I think I want.
  20. I don’t know what else to do.
  21. To confront my sense of being “not good enough”.
  22. To understand my fixations and how they put a veil over my everyday experience.
  23. To have or create more space between my thoughts and actions.
  24. To help me hear my own feelings of kheyal and follow them.
  25. To connect with my guru.
  26. To challenge myself and create healthier patterns.
  27. To stop wasting time on things that do not serve me.
  28. Practice is the only way I can make sense out of this life.
  29. Life has this ephemeral quality that leaves something more to be desired.
  30. The taste of practice can be, at times, delicious. So it attracts me to be connected in some way possible (even if its meagre).
  31. At times, I practice because without it, my life is falling apart and I don’t wish my life to be that way.
  32. I practice so that someday I can run into “my” Guru.
  33. I practice so that I can learn more about my physiology. If things happen in my body, I wish to know why – why am I mellow today, why am I excited today.
  34. To try to feel closer to God
  35. To open my heart
  36. To learn about reality
  37. To let go of all my fears
  38. To be healthy
  39. To stop the cycle
  40. To remember the unity
  41. To be in community
  42. Fear of punishment if I don’t
  43. I have no other options (tried them all!)
  44. It works!
  45. Walk my talk
  46. Break my destructive habits
  47. For power
  48. I feel like it is what I am supposed to do.
  49. Gives me hope that I can be ok.
  50. Makes my life easier.
  51. To feel peace
  52. To feel clarity
  53. To feel compassion
  54. For insight
  55. To connect with my teacher
  56. I do spiritual practice so I won’t increase my chances of burning in the fires of hell realm on earth.
  57. I do spiritual practice because of the restoration of peace of mind that comes with it, at times.
  58. I do spiritual practice because my body has always welcomed it.
  59. I do spiritual practice because my momma told me it would be good for me.
  60. I do spiritual practice because prayer and longing for God has always been part of this life.
  61. To feel less angry
  62. To know who I really am
  63. To feel original
  64. Because I keep coming back to it
  65. Because the rest of my day sort of seems to fall in order when I do it
  66. Practice lines me, i.e. restores alignment, stabilizes me for the day and makes me happier on the days I do it.
  67. Enhances my sense of belonging to life, and to my life.
  68. Enhances my ability to be present
  69. Turns up my ability to see myself, which is sometimes painful.
  70. Opens my heart and most often, my tear ducts.
  71. Allows me to be less reactive in the world.
  72. I so much enjoy the candle-lit little circle of quiet and solace and peace around me and the altar.
  73. Singing to my chakras is fun, and makes me laugh.
  74. A really good way to start the day.
  75. Practice calls to me. It is a friend.
  76. To accomplish something
  77. Boredom
  78. It’s better than checking out in other ways
  79. I made a commitment
  80. To feel more at ease in the world
  81. To feel more joy and desire to actually be here
  82. To fulfill my potential and be more fully expressed, less limited, less stifled
  83. To have more clarity and sensitivity to the call and response of self to self
  84. To help others relax and find more peace in themselves
  85. To benefit others, and feel more connection to others
  86. My teacher says I have to
  87. To be more awake
  88. To become aware of my habits
  89. To be part of a larger community of practitioners
  90. To sense more awareness
  91. To build capacity
  92. Sometimes it relaxes me
  93. To please my teacher.
  94. It feels great-gives a legal high
  95. Afraid of facing karma, of learning it and not practicing
  96. To get through Rahu and gain more clarity
  97. So that life is easier to experience
  98. To get ahead in life
  99. To look deeply into myself and learn about myself
  100. Gives me something to hold on to
  101. What else would I be doing? Nothing better to do
  102. To gain more confidence and self love
  103. To measure up with others in the community
  104. It is mysterious and not intellectual and boring.
  105. I can understand and embody more wisdom
  106. To see the shit I don’t wanna look at
  107. To be more honest with myself and life
  108. To step out of fear and be less afraid
  109. To know mySelf
  110. To cultivate real honesty
  111. To be FULLY expressive (to see and know my self-imposed limitations so that I can express mySelf fully and naturally)
  112. To feel more connected/less separate and lonely
  113. Because for some reason I identify myself as a ‘spiritual person’ and that seems like a good thing to be
  114. To be noticed, validated, and impressive
  115. I honestly don’t know what else I would be doing, I think I would go insane and be medicated and/or institutionalized if it were not for teachings
  116. Now that I actually practice it feels harder to answer the question but easier to feel why I practice
  117. Because I want to feel free of tensions.
  118. To feel better
  119. To feel stable
  120. To be able to open to others
  121. To connect with life
  122. To avoid depression
  123. Feels like the only thing that makes sense or the best way to communicate with life
  124. Because I’m supposed to
  125. To get a break from my controlling craziness
  126. To get acquainted with more healthier natural ways of being
  127. Because I know I’m not just my thoughts and feelings
  128. Because this is what Reality is doing with me. It’s what God wants, how God is expressing through my small self.
  129. Because my self longs for Self.
  130. Because there is an exchange happening and I am participating in that.
  131. Devotion. Self offering to Self.
  132. Because I want to be immersed in Presence.
  133. I want to know how Reality works.
  134. I want God’s way to express through me. No more small will, aggressively forging ahead with plans.
  135. Practice is receptivity. I want to pay attention to something other than thoughts and desires.
  136. I don’t want to miss anything.
  137. I know I’m going to die.
  138. I have this human life, this Teacher, this community–so much opportunity. I want to wake up, and I want other people to benefit from my waking up.
  139. To feel better, calmer, less angry
  140. To know myself more
  141. To relate to others more clearly, honestly, and closely
  142. Because I have the urge to
  143. Because I want to
  144. Because I want to be saved from feeling bad about myself
  145. Because it feels good
  146. To feel more alive, to be in that lively presence
  147. To know reality more
  148. To get out of my thinking head
  149. Because I’m curious to know in a way that’s not intellectual knowing
  150. To practice being more honest
  151. To have a sense of pride and accomplishment so I feel better about myself
  152. Because I like the way it makes me feel throughout my day, crisper, more alive, less dull
  153. Because I sometimes get to laugh with more ease
  154. Because I like praying, digging around in my heart and seeing what’s there
  155. Because it’s an adventure and it’s scary and exhilarating
  156. Because I can
  157. To discover more about my capacity as a human
  158. To feel connected
  159. To feel more comfortable with dying
  160. To fill time and feel good about myself
  161. Takes me out of myself and routine
  162. To open in my heart to receive people better
  163. To accept myself
  164. To be more aware
  165. To better maneuver through realm fixations
  166. To feel good/content/happy
  167. I practice because I feel there is more to this life than I can perceive.
  168. I want to live a guided life.
  169. I want to be a part of something.
  170. I made a commitment.
  171. Because my roommate does it, and I like living in a house where we all practice.
  172. Relax
  173. Stress less about situations that make me anxious
  174. Be nicer to the people I love, and to everyone
  175. Stop hurting the people I love
  176. Be happier
  177. Be less attached to outcomes
  178. Sometimes, like recently, I don’t know why I practice.
  179. To feel something real.
  180. Sometimes because I hunger and thirst for it.
  181. Be less nervous, more confident
  182. Be more honest with myself and with others
  183. Feel more OK with everything
  184. Because my teacher requires it.
  185. To change my karmic patterns
  186. To participate more fully
  187. To change my defensiveness
  188. Practice impacts my relationship with my boyfriend.
  189. To be more relaxed
  190. Because I want to know, and really see, what’s happening in this world.
  191. I want not to feel sad, or not to feel loss so much.
  192. I’m increasingly tired of this world.
  193. I want my help to be effective.
  194. I want to be graceful and radiant.
  195. I want not to be afraid of death.
  196. I want to be prepared for after death.
  197. I want to experience that uncontrived playful expressiveness my teacher is always talking about.
  198. It’s one of the only things that makes me feel like I have a purpose. Even if that feeling of purpose sometimes has the taste of superiority deep down there is a feeling of purpose that is being fulfilled despite the various flavors of my karma.
  199. What else is there to do that brings me such fulfillment? I’ve looked for fulfillment in many places and sadhana is the only one that I’ve found that gives me unwavering fulfillment, even when I don’t want to practice or I think “nothing” is happening. I still have a sense of fulfillment somewhere in there.
  200. There is of course a lingering feeling of greatness. It seems to be a Yogi is the greatest thing one can do. Maybe I feel like that because I love it so much, but I have struggled with visions of grandeur for as long as I can remember.
  201. Because I want to express myself without feeling stupid, embarrassed or self-conscious. I want to express myself spontaneously and in all the ways I’ve always wanted to.
  202. To have the fullest life I can. This seems/feels like the path to that.
  203. To see more clearly when I’m not giving a shit about anyone else but myself and to pull out of it and care and love people more.
  204. I want to get back there, to presence.
  205. In the beginning it was for siddhis, now it’s for a heart.