Last time we looked at the relationship between the home and cultural life. Today we will see how the homemaker can set out on a path of self-development.
In fostering the home as a locus for cultural renewal, the homemaker must work to strengthen his or her inner life in order to work toward the ideals of this renewal. It may seem like we have no time for such an undertaking, but even in very short bits of time we can do significant work.
The path described here has two parts: meditation and exercises.
For the meditative work we can find a sentence that holds meaning for us that we can ponder. Rudolf Steiner gave us many such sentences, or one could find rich sources in the Bible or other spiritual books. Focusing on a meditative sentence each day for even a short time will strengthen one’s heart forces. To balance these forces, we also must develop our will forces.
Rudolf Steiner described what are often called the “six supplemental exercises,” about which I have written in more detail in relation to parenting here. In brief, the exercises are:
concentration, in which we focus our attention on a common, otherwise uninteresting object for five minutes each day,
initiative, in which we do an otherwise unnecessary action each day at a predetermined time,
equanimity, in which we hold back the expression of our feelings (though not suppressing the feelings themselves) for a short time at an appropriate moment,
positivity, in which we try to find something positive in every situation or thing,
open-heartedness, in which we attempt to look at every new thing without prejudice,
and persistence, in which we create harmony by willfully repeating the previous five exercises.
Next time: The Sacrament of the Home
Manfred Schmidt-Brabant, The Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker, Temple Lodge, 1996.