Spiritual practice - it is for you and has far less to do with other human beings than you can imagine. All religion is personal and no one has the authority or the right to dictate your spirituality to you. That's all you and God.
Other people come in when we start praying, worshiping and believing in congress. And there is definitely a force that is instantaneously tapped into and felt when folks congregate and share concerted faith. It's one of my favorite things in life.
However, there will be times (more than you can predict) when it's just you and Spirit. And that is abundantly sufficient. Spirit overcomes all challenges and faith in Spirit's power is enough to overcome all things.
Spirit is Infinite Intelligence, Boundless Creativity, Infallible Wisdom --The All. If you don't believe and know this, much love to you. I encourage you to continue to pray. If you don't pray, meditate. If you don't meditate, journal. Because, the reality is there are endless spiritual practices for each individual to engage. Do what feels RIGHT TO YOU!
My personal perspective on the topic of religion and spiritual practices is that God in Her Infinitude knew that we would all be different. We would think differently, operate differently and have a liking for certain things over others. So, if you love nature and ritual - there's something for you. Same if you love prayer and charity - there's something for you. My particular brand of spirituality is a mixture of all the best I have discovered from many different spiritual practitioners. Yours can be whatever you and God make it.
There are two things I keep in place as parameters when it comes to any spiritual path - particularly majik, but again this applies to them all. I resist the urge to dive face-first into negative superstitions. The other is to resist the urge to dabble in advanced techniques.
First, the negative superstition is based squarely in fear and is the result of a negative mental attitude that has not matured to a point of believing in God's absolute power. Most people whether their spiritual path is Witchcraft or Christianity or whatever else are more inclined to believe in a power which is evil-based. Consequently, they end up fearing hell and casting endless protection spells because they believe danger is lurking.
My conviction is that evil is not a power or a force (and if it were God's incredible power would make it moot), but most people allow themselves to be convinced by superstitions. They talk endlessly about the devil character, or the ego, or any number of pet circumstances and details that somehow detract (at least in theory) power from God, which of course, is impossible. If we are talking about the same God, that is.
Different folks have different ideas when it comes to God - when I am using this term (or the term Spirit or Father) I am discussing The One and Only, True and Living, Absolute Most High God- The Kybalion calls this simply, The All. I am talking abut The Source, The One, The Originator, The First Cause, besides which there is none. Many different names and the pantheon of other gods and goddesses are anthropomorphize-d aspects of this same One God. It is just fine with me if you do not agree.
I do not attempt to build a consensus, because I don't feel threatened when someone else believes differently than I do. I feel intrigued, curious and receptive. I want to know what makes people feel inspired, motivated, supported, loved and enchanted in life. I want to know what gives them joy, a feeling of deep connection and immovable inner peace.
When it comes to religion-shaming, or debating over who is right and who is wrong - who's going to be punished by fire, who is evil for worshiping in a particular way - who's book is a watered down sham and who's spiritual leaders are perverts and all of that stuff - I believe we have wandered into the territory of triviality and I'm, personally, not here for it.
Yet, as always, please do what you will.
On the second note, when it comes to not dabbling in advanced techniques, my reasons are clear-cut and simple. The advanced techniques are add-ons to the basics, and are therefore useless if the fundamentals are not mastered. Yet, when the fundamentals are mastered, the other techniques are likely not needed, but may be safely and perhaps beneficially engaged, for further progress.
The basics are prayer (often), focusing on the breath (meditation), sincere gratitude (as an attitude/posture), mindfulness (like, savoring a meal or a shower or the silence), stillness (opting out of emotional agitations like worry, fear, anger, frustration, struggle, suffering etc), self-awareness, truth, contribution (community service and charity), cleanliness, orderliness, letting go, inner peace, making decisions, taking total responsibility, forgiveness and more. See? The basics are more than enough to keep a mature adult occupied with spiritual development.
That's all for now. Please feel free to leave a comment if there's something you'd like me to address, if there's something you don't agree with or if you have a question or suggestion.