An Excerpt from The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions by Wayne Teasdale

In this pathbreaking work on religious hospitality, Wayne Teasdale outlines the lineaments of what he calls interspirituality. In this passage, he casts spiritual practice as the key to personal transformation.

"Spiritual practice, the work of our transformation, is the means of inner growth and change toward human maturity glimpsed in the best of religious experience. It is critically important in authentic spirituality, and thus in a multifaith approach to spirituality or interspirituality. Through this disciplined habit of relating to the divine, the living, transformative power of inner reality takes hold. Without a spiritual practice of some kind, spirituality is a hollow affair; it has no substance and is reduced to the formalism of external religiosity.

"Daily spiritual practice is the 'technology' of inner change. Without it, such change is inconceivable. Devotions alone are insufficient; the practice must be contemplative. Only such intense forms of inner discipline lead to the interior breakthroughs that provide real progress in the spiritual life. This insight is found in all the spiritual traditions, and marks the difference between a genuine mystical process and popular religion, or a purely devotional type of spirituality. All spiritual practices are transformative, be they contemplative forms of prayer, meditation, and sacred reading; a restful, active participation and presence in liturgy and ritual; music and chanting; yoga and certain martial arts; hiking and even walking. They change us within and make this inner change consistent with our actions in the world in our daily lives. Seekers and saints of every tradition have cultivated a spiritual practice and have thus cultivated a profound self-knowledge."