14 Spiritual Practices for a Meaningful Life

Spiritual practices, those seemingly small acts we commit daily, are the threads that tie our life into a meaningful whole. It is no use having a beautiful shell of an outer life if we have not cared for what really matters. Become more intimately aware of the needs of your soul nature. Learn what "feeds your soul," what brings more life to your being. Also learn what depletes your life force, starving the soul and sending it into exile. Joy is not incidental to the spiritual life; it is essential. Nurture the soul and live in joy.

Spiritual Practices to Nurture Your Soul Every Day

Here are some spiritual practices to enhance overall well-being and nurture the soul. Explore silence, vision, art, nature, imagination, play, solitude, community, spirituality with heart, service, attention, truth, balance, and individual expression.

1. The Benefit of Silence

Take time to be still and experience the silence of the soul in meditation. A steady, daily spiritual practice of meditation reduces stress from the body, clarifies and quiets the mental field, and facilitates the experience of abiding in the soul. Meditate each day to simply be quiet and open to the joy of your divine Self.

2. The Importance of Vision

Lift your consciousness above daily concerns and cares, and be open to the vision and higher purpose for your life and work. Be sensitive to and conscious of the deeper patterns in your life. What truly inspires you? What dreams are you moving toward fulfilling each day?

3. The Healing Power of Art

Thomas Moore, author of the book "Care of the Soul" defines art as "whatever invites us to contemplation."  Enjoy the traditional arts, letting artists' creative soul expressions touch your soul. Be willing to be the artist you are. Share and create in a way that invites you and others to contemplation. Directly engaging in or witnessing any of the arts—music, dance, poetry, painting, drawing, or other expressions of creativity—can be spiritual practices that uplift the mind and inspire our thoughts.

4. The Wisdom of Nature

Nature's rhythms, energy, beauty, and power are all mirrors for the soul's process. We are profoundly connected to the earth, and she becomes a wise teacher whenever we bring our questions to her and open our awareness to her response. Go outside whenever you can. Step away from the screen images of nature and experience it directly.

5. The Language of the Soul: Imagination

Imagination is the language of the soul, a way to communicate with our depths. Dreams, visions, and intuitive perception are like well water offered to us from the depths of our soul. We must draw from them and drink in their wisdom regularly, or the well "dries up."  When we let our well go dry, we are susceptible to searching for life-giving water in ways that may further deplete our "water table" or inner resources. Keeping a journal of your dreams, observations, and inspirations is a spiritual practice that can help capture your soul's wisdom.

6. The Joy of Play

Matthew Fox, the author of "The Coming of the Cosmic Christ," wrote: "A mystic is a child at play -- the mystic within us is the child within us."  Play requires letting go, loosening the reigns of the intellect, and allowing free expression of fantasy, freedom, delight, nonsense, and joy. Play is good exercise and facilitates laughter which is a known healing tonic for the body, mind, and relationships. When playing, we lose our self-consciousness—our sense of separation. We feel truly at "home."

7. The Necessity of Solitude

Consider solitude an open expanse of time and space for your soul to "stretch out" in, with no demands and no pressures to contain it. Solitude allows us to be open to whatever inspiration our soul wisdom offers us to assist with self-discovery and knowing ourselves more fully.

8. The Benefits of Community

Being part of a larger pattern assists the soul's unfolding expression. Group participation gives us insights and perspectives that we cannot attain alone. The gifts of love, non-judgmental respect, forgiveness, and spiritual support are received through community connections. Ask your soul to guide you to a community that is healing, nurturing, and awakening for you. Spiritual practices like meditation or chanting with a group cannot replace our solitary practice, but they can support and enhance it.

9. Spirituality with Heart

Pursue spirituality with heart. Spirituality that helps us open to our inner resources can be a source of expansion and renewal for the soul. Risk allowing your heart and the wisdom of your soul to guide you. Look for expansive and open spirituality that lets your soul soar to its highest reaches and descend into its farthest depths. Strive for balance, a welcoming of the masculine and feminine, of the light and the darkness, of silence and songs of praise and words of wisdom. Look for rituals, myths, and prayers that are life-giving. Choose a path that affirms your essential spiritual nature, teaches you how to experience it, and realize it yourself. Trust your experience.

10. The Beauty of Service

Service to other people or beings allows the soul to move beyond the boundaries of the limited ego-based identity and self-serving motives. It can open doors to creative expression and healing. Our service as a spiritual practice can be anything beneficial that we offer with devotion, integrity, and nonattachment to the fruits or outcome. Choose one thing you offer freely with love and care each day while releasing any concern or desire for acknowledgment or return.

11. The Gift of Attention

The soul is always awake and aware, a conscious witness to our thoughts and experiences. When we attempt to deny or put out of our awareness something that demands attention, it takes soul energy and can create an inner burden. It takes a lot of energy to shut down awareness. The soul, body, and mind will keep noticing and try many ways to get our attention, even going so far as illness or accidents. Something as simple as taking a slow, deep breath and observing the body and mind can help us bring our full attention to the moment.

12. The Power of Truth

Truthfulness is the "highway" to manifestation. A willingness to live and speak the truth fills our lives with the natural energy of the soul. Our word manifests when we live and speak the truth, free of any discord between Spirit, soul, mind, and matter. Without inner conflict, the soul's inherent creative and manifesting abilities are abundant.

13. The Importance of Balance

Moderation and balance in our life support the quality of time and attention the soul needs to express. Let love for the soul be a guiding light for your daily choices, such as what to eat, when to rest, and what obligations to accept or decline. Seek inner peace and harmony as your spiritual practice.

14. The Uniqueness of Individual Expression

Each soul must follow the path of its unique expression and unfoldment. The soul thrives on finding its particular talents and expression. Conversely, the soul is impaired if forced to follow the dictates of someone else's path. The process of individuation and making choices that reflect one's true self allow the greater life and energy of the soul to come forth. Be willing to discover what makes your heart sing with joy.


By implementing these practices in your daily life, you can nurture your soul and experience more joy. Add to the list your soul discoveries.


In order to keep our meditation practice steady and strong we need to find ways to fall in love with it over and over again. Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian joins Dr. Laurel Trujillo to discuss the many ways we can stay inspired and devoted.




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