post-religious practices

Here is a list of my current post-religious practices (ie rationalized forms of religious rituals that work just as well, if not better, than the originals):

  1. (Yoga) breathing exercises every morning and sometimes during the day or at night. This clears the head, allows the brain to work its way through what it thinks is important and then realise it isn’t that important after all. The exercises, by forcing you to concentrate upon one single, simple thing (breathing), help you to slowly extricate your consciousness from direct involvement in your thought processes and rise above the tumult of your jumbled thoughts. This brings on the realization that none of it matters so much that you can’t calmly deal with it: it calms both body and mind. Related Religious Practice: prayer. In prayer, you also work through your current worries, commit them to God and trust that he will take care of things, leaving you with a sense of peace.
  2. Taking a bath early every morning without fail. (Here in india ‘bath’ means scooping water out of a large orange bucket with a smallish measuring cup and pouring it onto your head.) This is, for the most part, a necessary attendant practice to (1.) as you must be well awake for the early morning meditation, lest you fall back asleep… Related Religious Practice: ablutions. They are a ritual that provides structure to one’s life as well as preventing olfactory sins against one’s (close) neighbors.
  3. Blogging (about religion and ethics). It keeps me thinking, writing and accountable. Moreover, i gain a teeny tiny feeling of community. Related Religious Practice: bible study.
  4. Keeping the sabbath, on sundays. This requires a lot of discipline and careful a priori definitions of what you want to consider work. But when enforced, it becomes a powerful encouragement to work hard during the week and force your way through all manner of difficulties because you know for certain that you will be able to rest and forget it all on sunday. Related Religious Practice: Keeping the sabbath, on sundays.

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