“There is no question that the objects that surround us impact our experience of the world.”
The Wikipedia definition of a spiritual exercise is “any practice that is dedicated towards increasing one’s personal spiritual capacity.”
In Christian Spirituality, spiritual exercises are so much part of spiritual traditions, teachings, and practices. Spiritual exercises are meant to cultivate our interior life and to have a closer relationship with our Creator GOD.
For example, the Spiritual Exercises are a compilation of meditations, prayers, and contemplative practices developed by St. Ignatius Loyola to help people deepen their relationship with God.
Different religions have their own beliefs in a Divine or Higher Being or Power; each one has their own rituals, traditions, and practices. But what is common is the acknowledgment that we are not only physical beings. We are spiritual beings, too. And so it is innate in us to seek communion with the Divine Spirit, with GOD.
One way of being in communion with GOD is to find beauty in our surroundings, wherever we are. Especially for us Christians, we believe God is Beauty. So whether in natural environment, such as nature, or in the countryside, or right in the city, we can find God by seeing beauty in our surroundings.
I remember the first time I moved into this place. When I looked out the window, my sight was met with what seemed to be a hodgepodge of tall buildings, rooftops, and some greenery here and there.
But as days went by until today, the scenery before me is no longer an eyesore. To my eyes and heart, it is now a beautiful blend of nature and cityscape! Just gazing in silence at the outside view fills my heart with wonder and awe, more so as I can see some mountains in the distance providing a stunning backdrop for the urbanscape.
Thus, it has been almost a daily ritual to also watch the sunrise and the sunset, the changing colors of the vast sky as well as the stirring dance of the dramatic cloud formation up there. I find doing this helps me better to commune with God, whether in my prayer time or in silence. At night before I retire, I love gazing at the evening lights and at how the city view looks more sharp and striking — as a photograph — perhaps due to months of having curfew in the metropolis due to the pandemic.
Finding beauty in our surroundings can be as simple as admiring some fading flower petals…or a broken glass.
Sometimes, you just have to create the beauty you want to see.
I believe that there is beauty in the simplest of things if we only search for it. Danielle Wagasky, Living a Beautiful Life on Less