Jonathan Ellerby, the spiritual director of Canyon Ranch Resort in Arizona, has written a beautiful book called Return to the Sacred. In it, he identifies 12 time-tested ways to connect spiritually to a greater power or being. These paths are routes that must be followed consistently over time in order to truly benefit and connect with the divine. Ellerby’s insights are valuable as he notes that different individuals will be drawn to different paths.
The body-centered practices are as follows:
1) The path of Ceremony and Ritual
2) The Path of Sacred Movement
3) The Path of Sacred Sound and Music
The Mind-centered practices:
4) The Path of Prayer
5) The Path of Meditation
6) The Path of Sacred Study
The Heart-centered practices
7) The Path of Devotion
8 ) The Path of Sacred Service
9) The Guru-Guided Path: The Master Teacher
The Soul-Centered practices
10) Ascetic practices
11) The Death Practice
12) The Life Path
I will elaborate more on these over time, but they are of great interest to me, so much so that I have started a year-long class where each month we are practicing one of the paths. In August we committed to the path of Ceremony and Ritual, and incorporating ritual into our day-to-day lives has helped each of us make small, valuable changes. The small changes have amplified already to the point where we are being braver in our commitments and decisions – becoming brighter lights in the world around us.
We are currently in our second month (September), and the path of Sacred Movement is a beautiful one! If you are in the Durham, NC, area and you would like to join us, please do! If you live elsewhere and you would like to connect with the group at a distance, that, too, would be wonderful.
Ellerby, Jonathan. Return to the Sacred. CA: Hay House, 2009.