Pick a card. Clear your mind. Open your heart. Ground your body.
Over the past twenty five years, the participants in Second Breath classes and workshops have made the same request of us over and over. Often a bit embarrassed, the person approaches us and says something like this:
“I want to have a spiritual practice but I am not quite sure what to do. How do I even start? And then what do I do? And please do not tell anybody that I asked this question!”
In order to help folks with this need, we created Inward Journey Spiritual Practices—a deck of 52 cards/spiritual practices and accompanying booklet—as a tool to help people establish a commitment to some regular, transformative, spiritual practice with the intention to “live” more fully present to the moment and authentically experience the love and presence of God with and within. We wanted this tool to be inviting and even playful in order to lower anxiety about “doing this right” or “having the perfect time of prayer.”
Using these cards with a small group of friends creates an even more powerful and fun dynamic. We created a Free Digital Facilitator Guide to help encourage and lead folks step by step in using the spiritual practice cards. The season of Advent, a time of preparation and anticipation, is the perfect space to experience these engaging and transformative practices.
This deck of 52 cards along with a book that references each card, walks you through each selected spiritual practice using the following:
- a description of the spiritual practice
- minutes the practice typically takes to do
- preparation for the practice
- the practice sequence
The deck of cards expands our narrow notion of spiritual practice to embrace a wider field of practices that open the body, heart and mind in 52 different ways.
Hear from our community
“Using the cards, I often find that I receive just the right message at just the right time. I actually purchased several other sets to use as gifts for friends.”
“Each practice in its own way helps me past the ‘echo chamber’ of my own head. These spiritual practices have taught me that I can be just as I am, in the moment just as it is.”
How it works
We created these simple practices to help you experience the aliveness and deep wisdom of the present moment.
- Take a full breath before you begin and trust that the card you choose is meant for you in this moment.
- Choose a card from the deck and spend a minute reflecting on the quote on the card.
- Turn to the page in the book that is listed at the bottom of the card and read about the practice, following the instructions.
- Either place the card back in the deck or set it aside so that next time, you will certainly draw a new practice. Some folks have enjoyed carrying their card around with them during the day as a gentle reminder of their inward spiritual journey. Others place the card near their computer or on their refrigerator as reminders of the experience of the spiritual practice.
Spiritual Practice Example: Inner Smile
According to several spiritual traditions, smiling is one pathway to health and serenity. A genuine smile can put us at ease with ourselves and, most obviously, with others. When we feel stuck in the energy of negativity, we may want to pause, relax the face and smile within.
Settle into a comfortable position and close your eyes or look down softly. Bring your awareness to your breath and allow yourself to relax into the present moment. Release any tension in your jaw or in the muscles across your forehead.
Bring your awareness to your heart space, that part of yourself that is most deeply you. Allow your inner being to smile. Not the “smile for others to see,” but a smile that begins behind your eyes deep down and in – as is directed first toward yourself and your life – a smile that says, “Yes,” to life, in spite of the challenges. Allow this smile to be like a comforting hand, a warm blanket, a long-lost friend, a blessing. You may choose to smile outwardly as well. Receive this blessing. Allow your entire being, every cell in your body, to receive the positive, life-giving energy of this blessing – which flows from a simple inner smile.