Every Day a Holy Day
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Cada dia un dia sagrado
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Every Day a Holy Day is an excellent manual for the use of serious spiritual seekers who understand the importance of "being there" as a gateway to spiritual maturity and to the integration of spiritual experience in ordinary life.
Rather than add special activities into our life under the banner of spiritual practices, this book demonstrates how to effortlessly fold spirituality into life. It offers 121 exercises that can be done effortlessly and without being noticed anywhere, anytime.
Every Day a Holy Day is not about having a peak experience, although these exercises can be a catalyst for this. Rather, it points us to a way to live our lives, to be one with our environment and the people with whom we relate. The book offers a lifetime of keys in the guise of exercises, experiments and practices to keep unlocking the doors and deepening our relationship to our heart's desire.
I first came across the idea of using exercises or experiments to open new perspectives on myself, the environment and my relationships with others when I encountered E.J. Gold's book Practical Work on Self in 1984. Mr. Gold offers exercises in his book that allowed me to gain a new understanding of myself.
I worked with each of the twenty-four exercises in Practical Work on Self and found the results revealing.
I had a most profound experience while doing the "Popcorn exercise".
I was driving my car -- a stick shift -- and attempting to watch the movements of my body doing its job while keeping an eye on traffic. Suddenly "things" changed. Though traffic continued it felt as if everything had gone into slow motion, I could see around the car in a way that would not normally have been possible -- more like a sensing than a seeing. I drove another five or ten minutes in that state before I arrived home. When I left the car I had a definite feeling of having been cared for ever so gently by the car and I gave it a pat on the trunk in thanks. I walked through the house and finally sat down on the sofa where I enjoyed another half hour of heightened perceptions.
One Wednesday afternoon, about a year ago, as I was preparing dinner I had the thought: how easy it would be to keep the kitchen clean and exercise my attention if I remembered all the things and areas I had touched during meal preparation and made sure to clean them during clean up.
My Wednesday afternoon meal prep inspiration got me to thinking about the various little exercises, experiments and practices I have done over the years and the ones I currently do to strengthen my attention and presence. I decided to gather them together and share them.
At one time or another I have done all the exercises in this book. Some have become a part of my life while others I pick up and put down as the need arises. They have all come from personal experience personally experienced.
The exercises are not in a particular order. I encourage you to use them in whatever way works best for you. Opening the book and letting synchronicity take a hand in choosing which one you will do that day is a great way to approach the exercises. Keeping a journal can help you work with the experiences you have as you do the different exercises.
I hope you will find this book useful and that it will inspire you to find ways to make every day a holy day.
'The Alarm Clock Talk' given by E.J Gold in December, 2002 inspires the student of self-observation and awakening. It points out the ways in which we can use our already existing habits to help us in our work on self.
"The waking state is an acquired skill. When you get into the waking state, it's what you're doing that will make a difference. It's where it catches you that tells the tale, and you can never really know in advance exactly when you're going to slip into the waking state. You can set traps for yourself, Alarm Clocks we call them. Every so often you'll blunder into one of your Alarm Clocks and you'll wake up in spite of yourself." from The Alarm Clock Talk - E.J. Gold - December, 2002
'Every Day a Holy Day' is full of Alarm Clocks - things you do everyday - waiting for you to put them to use in your work to awaken.
Barbara Haynes has written an excellent manual for the use of serious seekers who understand the importance of "being there" as a gateway to spiritual maturity and to the integration of spiritual experience in ordinary life. I only hope that at a time when the world becomes increasingly catastrophic there are still people who are both eager to awaken and appreciative of the simplicity of her proposed excercises.
Claudio Naranjo -- The One Quest: A Map of the Ways of Transformation
This book is not about having a peak experience, although these exercises can be a catalyst for this. Ms. Haynes is pointing us to a way to live our lives, which all authentic teachings are about, to be one with our environment and the people with whom we relate. She gives us a lifetime of keys to keep unlocking the doors and deepening our relationship to our heart's desire.
Purna Steinitz -- Upasritan: Nuts and Bolts
Rather than add special (new and different) activities into our life under the banner of spiritual practices, this book demonstrates how to effortlessly fold spirituality into life, incorporating it into every aspect of our day. Practical, effective, straight to the heart. A good read and an even better operating manual for a spiritualized life.
Claude Needham Ph.D -- Just Because Club: Your Personal Metaphysical Fitness Trainer
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle is an excellent introduction to the exercises, experiments and practices presented in Every Day a Holy Day. The Power of Now entices the reader with descriptions of a life of living in the moment. Every Day a Holy Day gives the reader 121 exercises that can be done without being noticed anytime, anywhere. The Power of Now brought to the very practical thru the use of the exercises in Every Day a Holy Day. Every Day a Holy Day is fully illustrated by the author.
Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Hanson Lasater presents ideas and exercises for taking ones yoga practice into ones daily life. Every Day a Holy Day presents exercises, experiments and practices that point one to a spiritual life through the use of ones attention and presence. Living Your Yoga has commentary and descriptions of exercises and possible benefits. Every Day a Holy Day gives the exercises simply and lets the reader have an experience untainted by explanation.
Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn offers commentary on the various exercises in the book. Every Day a Holy Day does not offer commentary. Wherever You Go is not fully illustrated. Every Day a Holy Day is fully illustrated. Wherever You Are emphasizes the practice of a particular kind of meditation anywhere, anytime. Every Day a Holy Day emphasizes simple presence in the moment as a way to live mindfully.
As you open a locked door, use your keys to remind you that you are passing from one universe to another. Do not assume you know what is on the other side of the door, even if you have been through that door thousands of times.
I like to fold laundry as I do this exercise. In particular I find washcloths and towels to be the best for this practice. However, any action that is repetitive will work. As you do the repetitive action, get the feeling you will be doing this forever. How does that make you feel?
Find an activity in which your hands are fairly active - washing dishes, typing, sewing, needle work or gardening. Watch your hands as they go about their business. Allow yourself to really be aware of how they move and how the things they touch feel.