Dear Beloved Friends,


We have all been, to different degrees, contained and sequestered in the last 12 months in a response to a pandemic. As our concerns may be waning with the slowdown of the spread of the virus, let us take this time to turn our thoughts towards releasing feelings of isolation and separation and embracing our spiritual magnificence. As we prepare to open to a more interactive life, I view it as an emergence from a metaphorical cocoon. Like the butterfly we can transform into something greater and more powerful than we were before. This 40 Days of Spiritual Practices has been created for you to begin on Tuesday, February 23rd and end the day before Easter to invite all of us to consciously and intentionally be ready to ‘Emerge Stronger, Brighter and Wiser.’


40 days is often used in sacred texts as time of prayer and meditation. Moses spent 40 days on the Mountain, Jesus prayed for 40 days in the wilderness, Buddha meditated more than 40 days under the Tree of Enlightenment and in Hinduism 40 days of fasting is recommended.


This 40 Days of Spiritual Practices will guide you in establishing sacred patterns of openness and serenity in your life.


These 40 days shall begin on Tuesday, February 23rd and conclude on Saturday, April 3rd, the day before Easter. Easter Service at the Napa Valley Center for Spiritual Living will be a day of celebration of our Emergence. We will celebrate with special music, inspirational readings and messages. You are prayerfully invited to join our community spiritually and collectively for these 40 Days of Spiritual Practices as well as virtually for Easter Morning Service on Sunday, April 4th.

With Love and Blessings, Rev. Jay

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Section 1| Preparing the Way

Day 1 | Dedicating A Space To Practice


“Each place is the right place--the place where I now am can be a sacred space.”
– Ravi Ravindra

The sacred is simply recognizing the Divine Intelligence right where we are. To develop a habit of letting go and allowing, it is recommended to establish a particular place and particular time to practice. From there, we invite Spirit to join us in this place. Spirit is everywhere and when we ask for Spirit to be with us, we are inviting it into our awareness and our heart.

Practice: Find a small table or area in your home where you can add spiritually inspired items to create an altar. Plan on spending at least 20 to 30 minutes in this space each day for the 40 Days of Spiritual Practices. For now, just sit and recognize a power greater than you in this moment. Then you can say, “I know Spirit is all there is and I am one with Spirit. I invite the awareness of Spirit to be here right now with me.” You can also invite Spirit in a question, “Spirit, will your presence be with me now?” and then be in silence and breathe quietly.

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Day 2 | Finding The Breath

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”
– Amit Ray

There is nothing more centering and calming than to stop and take a few deep breaths. The breath reminds us to let go and find perspective on any concerns we might have.

Practice: Take your seat in your sacred place. Set a timer for at least 10 minutes. Use the practice from Day 1 and then breathe deeply in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Focus only on the breath. Let thoughts that come, go. Don’t follow them. Just let them go and focus on the breath.

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Day 3 | Let Yourself BE


“Everything is a part everything anyway. You can have it all, if let yourself be.”

– Donovan

Is it that simple? Contentment and peace by just allowing ourselves to be? Yet, maybe we resist because it is the unknown.

Practice: Find a sacred place and quiet your thoughts with your breath for 10-15 minutes. Breathe deeply and slowly 6-8 times. With each out-breath, relax your body and let go completely. Return to a natural breath. As you have thoughts, let them go like a cloud drifting away.


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Day 4 | Take A Seat

“As we take the one seat and develop a meditative attention, the heart presents itself naturally for healing. The grief we have carried for so long, from pains and dashed expectations and hopes, arises. We grieve for our past traumas and present fears, for all of the feelings we never dared experience consciously. Whatever shame or unworthiness we have within us arises.”
– Jack Kornfield

The Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield, refers to a sacred spot that we choose to meditate as the ‘one seat.’ When we are willing to sit down in this seat, we may be distracted by our thoughts or feelings. To develop our practice of allowing emergence, it is essential to stay in this seat and be with our feelings, to let them arise, and be with them. As Jack Kornfield suggests, there is a natural healing happening when we are willing to take the ‘one seat.’ We do not have to ‘do’ anything.

Practice: Take a seat in your sacred place. Breathe deeply and slowly. Allow feelings and thoughts just to be.

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Day 5 | Being Centered


“Breathing in, I calm my body and mind. Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Centering ourselves whether sitting, standing, or walking is a mindful process to be present and aware of the moment. Centeredness can always be found in each moment.

Practice: Sit in a sacred place. Begin by breathing deeply and relaxing. Slowly and quietly say in your mind the quote by the Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, with your breath: (in) Breathing in, I calm my body and mind. (out) Breathing out, I smile. (in) Dwelling in the present moment, (out) I know this is the only moment. Continue repeating with your breath 10 times and then sit in your centeredness for at least 10 more minutes. If you find yourself distracted, you can go back to mindful breathing.


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Day 6 | Grounding Your Spirituality


“It is only by grounding our awareness in the living sensation of our bodies
that the ‘I Am,’ our real presence, can awaken.”
– G.I. Gurdjieff


Grounding is the act of balancing your spiritual and physical energy by connecting yourself with the earth. Scientific studies are proving that grounding allows a positive flow of electrons from the earth, which reduces inflammation, improves sleep, reduces stress….and more.


Practice: Stand outside on the earth. Imagine your feet having roots that go into the soil. Be aware of the center of your body near your navel. While maintaining this grounded-ness, stretch, do yoga postures, breathe the fresh air, sit in the sun or maybe even hug a tree. Stay connected to Mother Earth for as long as you desire.


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Day 7 | Body Awareness


"Embrace and love your body. It's the most amazing thing you'll ever own."
– Anonymous


Take some time today to become aware of all that your body does for you. This is the vehicle through which you move and interact with the world, and it is constantly working for your highest good. Appreciate all of the systems, organs, and cells that are working in Divine Harmony for you today!

Practice: In your sitting time, breathe in, as you allow yourself to feel energy moving up through your body, up your spine and then breathe out as you imagine the energy moving out through your arms and the top of your head. Do this 5-6 times and then sit in your energetic body affirming health and vitality and being grateful for all that is does for you.


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Day 8 | Energizing The Body And Mind

"Every moment is a choice. What we think, say and do is up to us.
Our choices create our reality. Choose wisely.”
– Rev. Jane Beach


We can energize our body and mind in many ways. We can choose to feed ourselves nutritious foods. We can energize them by choosing to exercise them with physical activities and learning new things. We can also energize them by simply relaxing and just being in the moment. Let your body guide you in practices that energize it.


Practice: In your sitting time, reflect on things that deplete your energy and the things that energize you. Make a practice today of lessening one thing that depletes and expanding or lengthening one thing that energizes you.