Although daily spiritual practices do have an effect on one's state of mind during the day, most of us have been conditioned to "default" to the old ways of separation and competitiveness, which is further strengthened by people around us, the media, etc. With busy lives, lots of "to dos" and deadlines, etc., we often go on "automatic pilot" and return to old habits in the "heat of the moment".
Below are some very simple practices to do during the course of the day- simple, and short, for ease of remembering and doing during a busy day. They are designed to bring us back to consciousness of Spirit within, which automatically also makes us conscious of Spirit in others and in every thing!
Chanted Mantra - "Loving Spirit"
This mantra is to be sung silently to oneself throughout the day- before each situation and whenever it feels right- but especially when negative thoughts are noticed. After awhile, it becomes a habit, and, in fact, negative thoughts begin to trigger it! Using this simple chant brings the mind back from negative thinking, to awareness of Spirit and openness to Its love and guidance.
I've found that, after doing this awhile, I've become more able to interact with people and situations with much more compassion, energy, and focus!
"Loving Spirit" clip:
Meditation in action involves two things: returning to the breath, and returning to the present action. Briefly coming back to focus on the breath, as in formal meditation, is a great tool, especially when the mind is very active "chattering away" or one is in a stressful, emotionally-charged situation.
In the Zen tradition, there is a saying: "Eating time, only eat; working time, only work." This means, come back from thinking about the past or future: return to what you are doing in the present moment, whatever it is!
During a hectic day, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed, and unable to choose a course of action. At times like these, asking Spirit for guidance, just like during daily practice ("What is the highest vision for _______ ?") can provide us with the answers we need. The key is to stop frantically "trying to figure things out", and, after asking for guidance, wait awhile- the perfect answer is sure to appear!!
During formal practice, we send intentions for peace, prosperity, knowing Spirit, etc., for ourselves and the world. In daily life, we can quickly send positive intentions when entering into various situations. An intention practice I've found very valuable and transformative is - when entering a situation that has often evoked negative reactions, such as driving or checking out in a crowded store, or when interacting with people that sometimes "push my buttons" - to bless them! E.g, "God bless all the people on this freeway", or simply, "God bless you" to an individual. Follow it up with the "Loving Spirit" chant.
This is another simple practice that can bring us back to our awareness of Spirit, which leads to awareness of our unity with others, and to more compassionate ways of dealing with people and situations!