Spiritual practices can “brain wash” us.

I was once warned to be careful, that religion or spiritual people could “brain wash” me.  This proved to be true but in a surprising way. My mind desperately needed cleaning. The filth of misery—resentment, anger, worry, fear, jealousy, envy, low-self-worth, and a myriad of others—stained and soiled most of my thoughts; this mental muck and mire prevented any chance for peace or happiness. My mind had to be cleansed before I had any hope of a better life.

An act of surrender starts this spiritual cleaning cycle: we must fully accept that we have problems that keep us from being the best version of our self and that we cannot solve these without help. Action follows this giving up: We start the day with prayer and meditation as we sit in silence and feel the presence of divinity; we seek guidance, strength, and wisdom and ask to be made aware of any opportunity to serve and help a fellow traveler. Then, we pause for a few minutes throughout the day to stay consciously aware of our divine birthright; we strive to be loving, tolerant, and gentle. We spend a few minutes in quiet review each night to see what we could have done better, to identify areas for improvement and acknowledge the growth and blessing of this day. Since new dirt and muck can stain our lives each day, we must make this a daily practice; we need a continuous cycle of “brain washing.”

Prayer:  My loving spirit, I have allowed my self-driven will to pollute this blessing I call my mind. Please cleanse it; wash away my pride, prejudice, anger, fear, and all misery; purify my thoughts and sanctify my motives.

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