Spiritual practices #8
Spiritual practice of purification and detachment
The eighth component of spiritual health is freedom from and freedom to and the cardinal sin # 8 is slavery and acedia. The spiritual practice to mitigate slavery and acedia is purification and detachment.
In order to open one’s heart to the world of the soul, a person must detach from the idols of the ego. All the things we are socially conditioned to think will make us happy in the world of the ego is an illusion and impermanent. The Buddhists teach four noble truths which include the idea that suffering is caused by attachment and the end of suffering is facilitated by giving up attachments and practicing detachment.
Throughout religious history there have been many spiritual practices of purification, the primary one being fasting. However, there are many others such as the giving of alms. Making sacrifices and offering our sacrifices up to gain holiness is a primary idea in Christianity. The great Christian prayer which Jesus taught His disciples to pray says in part “...and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil….” Temptation being referred to in this prayer is attaching ourselves to the idols of the ego believing the ego’s promises that they will make us happy.
Freeing ourselves from the shackles of this “veil of tears” liberates us to pursue the holiness, the oneness of the soul, which we yearn for by returning to the Oneness from which we separated ourselves at birth.
Everyday, moment to moment, we ask ourselves, “What would love have me do?” and choose the path of the soul instead of the path of the ego. Practices of purification and detachment help us become aware of our power to choose which is the source of our freedom: the world of the ego or the world of the Spirit..
In principle five of Unitarian Universalism we affirm and promote the “right of conscience” which is our innate compass gulding us from slavery under our ego attachments and towards liberation of the soul into the world of the Spirit.