The Dichotomy of a Spiritual Goal
During a conversation with Rabbi Byron Sherwin (of blessed memory), I stated that I set spiritual goals. He correctly observed that one can’t attain spiritual goals, one can only hope to perceive them.
I can, however, develop spiritual exercises that are attainable, and hope that these positive actions will create positive outcomes. So let’s develop some spiritual routines and set some intentions for these routines.
How about a prayer routine made up of two prayers?
Here is my intention:
Upon awakening I’ll practice this routine. (Insert prayers here) I’ll do this every day.
How about another routine? Another prayer routine, this one made up of one prayer to be used when I begin to think of someone I despise, or when I feel jealousy or anger toward another human being. Make it a simple one something that’ll stop the negativity in its tracks. My early mentor said that I could use this: “God bless the SOB.”
Or something a little more eloquent like “God bless Joe.” The intention, of course is to use the prayer to abate negative emotion toward another.
How about a routine made up of a positive affirmation? “I feel healthy, I feel happy, I feel great!” The intention being to stop fears of failing health.
And one more: this routine is simple. Comprised of one word: “No!”
The Intention Is to force your mind to stop spinning into a future full of negative results. When a worrisome thought begins, we identify it, then stop it by saying the word no every time it begins again. “What’s going to happen when-” “No!” “What’s going to happen if-” “No!” Worrisome thoughts? First I see them, then I stop them.
And ultimately – as my spirit becomes stronger, my ego becomes small.