I think it was in Peter Ouspensky’s writing that I came across the concept. He argued that having a foundation in an activity that requires patience and long training is essential for anyone hoping to grow in spirituality.
Simply put, practicing an art, a sport, a craft, a trade, or the like provides the stamina for personal religious enhancement. He called it the magnetic center.
It’s not a passive pleasure but rather active, with deferred gratification in terms of results. It requires doing something for its own nature rather than some final event or production, even though such things might provide inspiration. What’s important is the means itself rather than the end.
These other activities aren’t a substitute for spiritual progress, which can come about by undertaking any number of tested traditions, but it does offer a solid starting point.
Maybe there are exceptions, but I still find it an interesting insight.
What do you love to do as a disciplined practice?