From M. Catherine Thomas and her book: “Light in the Wilderness”:

Let us think more about a spiritual practice, without which, change is only a fantasy. Something transformative has to develop inside: something that can ultimately take us over. We already know that that which is not continually held in the forefront of our mind will be neglected. No matter how much a particular truth compels us, it must be internalized, it must be continually kneaded into our mind, both in quiet time as well as in active minutes and hours of our day, reviewing, practicing within our daily space with the people coming and going through our life—until the principle becomes permanently ours. “Our circle of friends, family, work associates is our treasure because they provide a container in which we practice virtue.10 But the heart and mind must be softened up first in a spiritual practice.

What are some of the elements of a spiritual practice? Part of such a practice is learning to let one’s mind slow down and experience the richness of the present moment. For many of us, it is so tempting to live in a mind that operates in such high gear that it does not let itself down enough to experience the subtlety of the spiritual activity in and around us. In the high-gear state, we necessarily live superficially, which is not a state conducive to spiritual change. For most of us, if we do not practice letting the mind down peacefully in quiet time, we will not be able to do it amidst the busyness of daily life—which is where we need our spiritual presence most. We have to exercise ourselves in quietness.

We think of the word receive, The Lord says:

For strait is the gate narrow is the way that unto exaltation and the continuation of lives and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world, neither do ye know me.

But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. I am he. Receive me therefore my law. (Doctrine and Covenants 132:22)

Until we receive Him, we’re only dealing in concepts and perfunctory religion. When we’re tired enough of theory, we will receive Him. We will simply do it. This direct contact begins in the inner recesses of the soul. Therefore, in a set-apart quiet time the mind can be stilled, perhaps just breathing for a bit as thoughts settle down, letting the silent, more subtle energies of one’s spirit begin to rise. We invoke a deep calm and look to the Lord. In this practice, we allow ourselves to get down underneath the mental ripples on the surface. As our breathing slows and our thoughts thin out, a phrase can be selected, perhaps a line of scripture, that is full of meaning. We may not even see all the way through it, but we sense that behind the words is a significance that we want to experience. ~ M. Catherine Thomas, Light in the Wilderness—Explorations in the Spiritual Life ~ continued                                         (Copyright © M. Catherine Thomas, Original printing by Amalfi Publishing, 2008 / Reprint by Digital Legend Press, 2010.) p.101-02

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