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Author Topic: Finding Time for Religion?  (Read 6611 times)
Neriandal Freit
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« Topic Start: November 02, 2007, 08:23:32 pm »

So, here I am in front of the computer. I'm nearly 20, wanting to venture into my religion more and more each day but not having the time to do so. I should, but I don't.

Why? I work like the rest of the (American) world, 45 hours a week. On top of that, I watch my close friends daughter quiet often as we live together. If I do have any time, my body is often going "DO NOTHING! REST!" at me, which I have to comply (Cheesy).

But, how did you as a young (or even later in life) find time in your hectic life to truly figure out your religion, to read and to actually do things such as your first casting?
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« Reply #1: November 02, 2007, 08:49:23 pm »


But, how did you as a young (or even later in life) find time in your hectic life to truly figure out your religion, to read and to actually do things such as your first casting?

With great difficulty! I am about the same age as you, and I completely understand where you are coming from. A few years ago when my interest in Paganism and Wicca was expanding, I was studying for my GCSE's (a whole host of exams that are done at 16 years old in the UK). Therefore I found it very difficult to dedicate time to research and meditation.
So all i did was get myself into a bit of a routine. I bought books which give you a daily snatch of information regarding Paganism (for instance '365 Goddess' by Patricha Telesco, which gives information about a different Goddess each day from different countries, or 'The Pagan Book of Days' by Nigel Pennick, which has the same kind of format but has all sorts of information such as the phases of the moon and the Celtic tree calander). And i just read the appropriate page depending on the date each morning, or sometimes each night before bed. Quite often I found myself reading it in the morning and then actually coming back to it that night, because i had been thinking about it all day. I find it nice to begin and end my day with a thought about my religion.

Anyway, hope this idea helps and i hope that you find the time you're searching for!
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« Reply #2: November 02, 2007, 09:24:16 pm »


But, how did you as a young (or even later in life) find time in your hectic life to truly figure out your religion, to read and to actually do things such as your first casting?

That is a really good, practical question.  Juniper's suggestion of routine and use of a daily book was what worked for me too.  I'm not sure when I got Pennick's book but I also recommend it as a simple introduction across various path lines.

I think the suggestion of routine is important to the development of a meaningful spirituality.   If a practice is going to be important to you, you won't be successful at it by fitting it in when possible.   I learned at your age (long prior to my pantheistic beliefs) to set aside some time each day on a regular basis.  And later, when I had 3 children all going off to school (2 in  high school) I actually changed my routine and got up 30 minutes earlier to have my quiet time.    Yours might start at 5 minutes.  But finding a quiet space where no one and nothing intrudes in order to read or pray or meditate, works to develop a pattern of attention to your spirituality/path/religion/whatever.  Even if you don't have a path today, you can use the time to learn a little or just pay attention to it.  Your knowledge and eventual belief will grow and develop.  And as that pattern of regular, routine daily practice grows, it will support you through a lot of life's ups and downs. 

You will find your path as long as you keep looking. 
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« Reply #3: November 03, 2007, 12:01:04 am »

So, here I am in front of the computer. I'm nearly 20, wanting to venture into my religion more and more each day but not having the time to do so. I should, but I don't.

Why? I work like the rest of the (American) world, 45 hours a week. On top of that, I watch my close friends daughter quiet often as we live together. If I do have any time, my body is often going "DO NOTHING! REST!" at me, which I have to comply (Cheesy).

But, how did you as a young (or even later in life) find time in your hectic life to truly figure out your religion, to read and to actually do things such as your first casting?

Lots of routine, and starting small. If you make too many changes at once, it's really difficult to keep up with. Once you get one thing under your belt, add another. At least, that's what's worked for me. Smiley
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« Reply #4: November 03, 2007, 02:48:09 am »

So, here I am in front of the computer. I'm nearly 20, wanting to venture into my religion more and more each day but not having the time to do so. I should, but I don't.

Why? I work like the rest of the (American) world, 45 hours a week. On top of that, I watch my close friends daughter quiet often as we live together. If I do have any time, my body is often going "DO NOTHING! REST!" at me, which I have to comply (Cheesy).

But, how did you as a young (or even later in life) find time in your hectic life to truly figure out your religion, to read and to actually do things such as your first casting?

Basically, if it's that important to you, you'll figure out a way to get it in there. My work week runs Monday at 8pm-Thursday at 11pm. I cram 40 hours of work into three days plus three hours. I sleep during the day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Evening devotionals are out. Morning devotionals are out. The only way I can have a "set" time is to do somethign when I wake up or just before I go to sleep....I have a tendency to sleep til roughly 10 minutes before I have to leave on work days, so I do devotional work just before I sleep, be it in the mornign half the week, or at night half the week. On Saturday nights, I do a slightly longer ritual. I spend most of the day Sunday with my grove.

When to learn, when to learn...I read on my commute to and from work. Thankfully, I'm basically a tech support "babysitter", and I probably do maybe six hours of "actual work" each week, the rest of the time, I'm there "just in case" and I use a lot of that to do research and work on my religious pursuits (I wouldn't recommend doing this sort of thing at work on most places, I happen to work in an extremely liberal office where they don't give a rip what I do in my idle time as long as it's not porn, illegal, in competition with the company, or violating my non-disclosure agreement.)

I used to have a 2-3 hours each way commute. I read several books a week just getting there and back. I downloaded podcasts and listened to them and learned a lot that way.

So...can you wake up ten or fifteen minutes early? Or go to bed ten or fifteen minutes later? Is there time spent doing thigns like playing video games or watching TV that you could cut into for some quality religious time? You can meditate on the earth which provides your food and water while cooking dinner. When you take the trash out, take a minute to look up at the sky. Maybe keep a book on you to read a bit of when you're waiting in line at the grocery store/bank/whatever. When you're sitting in traffic, take a minute to greet the gods. On your lunch break, go outside, offer some water to a tree or plant or pour it as a libation to the gods of your choice. You say that when you have free time, your body screams for rest...have you tried meditation at this time instead of just plonking down and going to sleep?

There are lots of little ways to sneak in religious practice. You just need to find them.

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« Reply #5: November 03, 2007, 10:39:44 am »

So...can you wake up ten or fifteen minutes early? Or go to bed ten or fifteen minutes later? Is there time spent doing thigns like playing video games or watching TV that you could cut into for some quality religious time? You can meditate on the earth which provides your food and water while cooking dinner. When you take the trash out, take a minute to look up at the sky. Maybe keep a book on you to read a bit of when you're waiting in line at the grocery store/bank/whatever. When you're sitting in traffic, take a minute to greet the gods. On your lunch break, go outside, offer some water to a tree or plant or pour it as a libation to the gods of your choice. You say that when you have free time, your body screams for rest...have you tried meditation at this time instead of just plonking down and going to sleep?

There are lots of little ways to sneak in religious practice. You just need to find them.



I totally agree with this. I found my time to study my religion while going on the bus to the university. If you need it, you can make some sort of "daily organizer", taking a few minutes every day to do your meditation, reading or whatever you want to do.
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« Reply #6: November 03, 2007, 10:50:22 am »

But, how did you as a young (or even later in life) find time in your hectic life to truly figure out your religion, to read and to actually do things such as your first casting?

Many excellent suggestions in this thread!

When I first started investigating trance work etc I got a tape (now it would be a cd  Wink ) by Shakti Gawain reading her guided meditations. I'd  set the alarm for 10 minutes early and stick on the headphones and do one visualization. Later I recorded my own or ones out of books I'd read. I still try and spend at least 15 minutes a day doing this, usually during a break in the afternoon. As I run my own company, it's easy now to take a break whenever, even in my 12- 14 hour workdays.

I also found eating very useful. I mean, one has to eat no matter what how busy you are. I always had three books going, perhaps one on history/archeology, one on natural sciences and one on the religion I was learning about th the time, a book on witchcraft or Zen or whatever. While having a meal I would usually get a chapter or so read and I could mull it over while going back to work.
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« Reply #7: November 03, 2007, 11:00:52 am »

So, here I am in front of the computer. I'm nearly 20, wanting to venture into my religion more and more each day but not having the time to do so. I should, but I don't.

Why? I work like the rest of the (American) world, 45 hours a week. On top of that, I watch my close friends daughter quiet often as we live together. If I do have any time, my body is often going "DO NOTHING! REST!" at me, which I have to comply (Cheesy).

But, how did you as a young (or even later in life) find time in your hectic life to truly figure out your religion, to read and to actually do things such as your first casting?

Two biggest things that help me: start small and don't let guilt or fear cause you to do nothing.  A small act like lighting a candle or incense for a moment and saying a prayer is better than avoiding ritual altogether because it can't be the 30-60 minute event that you think it should be.  

Start to work the little things into your daily routine- I've often found that I can find little nooks of time in the mornings and evenings.  For bigger stuff that you just can't fit into the work week, how about carving out a chunk of time on days (or parts of days) off?  It's definitely hard, but doable.  

- OpenHands
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« Reply #8: November 03, 2007, 11:05:09 am »

don't let guilt or fear cause you to do nothing.

I think this bit in particular is vital. Because sometimes you will forget; it's human nature. But letting the fact that you forgot keep you from doing it again the next day isn't helpful to your or your spirituality. Accept that you forgot, and that whatever gods you work with (or spirits, or whatever) will most likely understand, and keep at it. I have had a lot of trouble with this particular bit myself; it can be very difficult to overcome.
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« Reply #9: November 03, 2007, 11:35:14 am »

So, here I am in front of the computer. I'm nearly 20, wanting to venture into my religion more and more each day but not having the time to do so. I should, but I don't.

Why? I work like the rest of the (American) world, 45 hours a week. On top of that, I watch my close friends daughter quiet often as we live together. If I do have any time, my body is often going "DO NOTHING! REST!" at me, which I have to comply (Cheesy).

But, how did you as a young (or even later in life) find time in your hectic life to truly figure out your religion, to read and to actually do things such as your first casting?
using a day planner can help. mostly though I just seem to  find myself talking to the Lady while going about my routine for the day and its only coordinating things for my coven that is a pain- everyone else has to arrange their schedules to include group rites. it finally got so frustrating we disbanded  temporarily  and I went back to being a solitary. we still get together as a group but there is no regularly scheduled rites now.
the big issue for most people seems the ability to commit to doing it and then hold to that commitment. If your serious about your religion you just make the time and participate in private and group rites because you just couldn't not do it. a lot of covens fall by the wayside because of lack of participation and a lot of solitaries find it hard to keep up thier private rites because life gets busy. Spirit always has time for all time is Now, so stay in spirit and you will find tiome for what you want to do.
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« Reply #10: November 03, 2007, 05:05:50 pm »

But, how did you as a young (or even later in life) find time in your hectic life to truly fiure out your religion, to read and to actually do things such as your first casting?

Priorities, mostly. What matters most to you? [general you, not specific you]. And are there places you can reduce the time you need to do things, or use that time differently?

I just finished a year of working full time, going to grad school part time, finishing my degree and job hunting (that las part's still in progress, but it's a substantial time commitment), plus 3 moves in 18 months, as well as being actively involved in both religious group work, and work within the broader Pagan community (as programming chair for our Pagan Pride event.)

I did actually sleep. (though I had, I think, 5 assignments last year where I was up until 11:30 finishing things for a midnight deadline - which, incidentally, is 5 more than I had previously had in my entire academic career.) But I spent a lot of time doing things other than hanging out with friends. Or watching TV. Or browsing mindlessly online. Or doing many other things. (I did continue to have a social life. I did, however, also have people who were irked at my not having more time.) I had to make my time count, significantly.

Now that my schedule's backed off a little, it's gotten somewhat easier, but I still need to manage my time carefully. (Though, erm, here I am commenting here, rather than working on stuff that needs to be done by tonight and Tuesday.)

Part of it is learning what works for my particular schedule of the moment.

I've discovered, for example, that as much as I hate getting up earlier, it's the only way to make sure I do daily devotional work. I plan 15 minutes for it, but I need to both set a timer (so I stop doing computer stuff on time) and get up for it. That's *really* painful some mornings when I've been out late (I do really badly on lost sleep), but it matters enough to me that I'm making a serious attempt to do it. That means getting up at 5:45 (I leave for work just after 7), but it mostly works. If I leave the devotion for the evening, though, I'm exhausted when I come home, and tend to put it off.

I use stuff that doesn't take time, as well. I set up iTunes playlists related to a particular concept, element, seasonal sabbat, etc. I set a computer desktop image (both home and work) that is a reminder to me. (They're mostly not religiously explicit - but I'm fond of digitalblasphemy.com, which has some stunning nature and planetary computer designed images that make me think.) I spend some of my reading time on things that make my brain tick over. And so on.

I do also schedule longer personal ritual time - usually with a back-up option if I'm exhausted (last night, for example, I put off part of what I had in mind for tonight). And, of course, group time is already scheduled for me. (1-2 group events a week, including teaching classes and initiate discussion groups, most weeks.) 

Practice helps a lot: I've got a much better idea now than I did a few years ago how to roll with my schedule, and which things are worth the time investment, and which things I get less out of, or would be better off waiting until I had energy to devote to them.
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« Reply #11: November 03, 2007, 08:36:28 pm »

I set a computer desktop image (both home and work) that is a reminder to me. (They're mostly not religiously explicit - but I'm fond of digitalblasphemy.com, which has some stunning nature and planetary computer designed images that make me think.)

I've just bookmarked that site for myself - I really like that idea for daily mindfulness, and as something I can do a quick meditation on to calm and centre myself at a very hectic workplace.
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« Reply #12: November 03, 2007, 10:20:02 pm »

I've just bookmarked that site for myself - I really like that idea for daily mindfulness, and as something I can do a quick meditation on to calm and centre myself at a very hectic workplace.

I really like them because they're workplace suitable - there's nothing explicitly religious in them, but the nature scenes and several of the images are very inclined to meditation. (If you get the short-term subscription, you have full download access to all the archives, by the way: it's some of the best $10 or whatever it was when I did it, that I've ever spent, in terms of how much use I get out of it.)
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« Reply #13: November 04, 2007, 12:32:59 am »

I really like them because they're workplace suitable - there's nothing explicitly religious in them, but the nature scenes and several of the images are very inclined to meditation. (If you get the short-term subscription, you have full download access to all the archives, by the way: it's some of the best $10 or whatever it was when I did it, that I've ever spent, in terms of how much use I get out of it.)

That's very true - I work in a sub-branch of government, and it would be fully inappropriate to have any obvious religious symbols or images (of any religion, not just the 'alternative' ones) floating around, particularly since my desk is located in the administration/reception area.

I'll keep the tip on short-term subscriptions in mind... Grin I always was a cheapskate! It's actually inspiring me to jump back into my photo manipulation self and create some themed images for that also...
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« Reply #14: November 04, 2007, 03:13:18 pm »

What a excellent list of suggestions and "How I" descriptions from everyone. It's been very helpful for my self to say the very least!!
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