What is Spirituality Anyway?
- Friday, 19 April 2013
Spirituality isn’t a trend.
I’m always baffled by those who coo about how “into” spirituality they are, like it’s a piece of bamboo clothing or some sort of fad diet.
Maybe it’s because I never really thought about spirituality as some kind of commodity that can be neatly packaged and marketed -- although, a quick stroll past a magazine stand or through a bookstore might cause one to question that assumption.
Marketing “spirituality” is indeed something that seems to be increasingly prevalent in our culture, and though it seems odd to me, I have to stop from making any snap judgments and ask myself: is it really such a bad thing that people are embracing spirituality?
Of course not.
If more people are starting to think more about their spirituality, learning to embrace it and hopefully using it to grow, that’s what’s important.
In my work as an intuitive and holistic educator and practitioner, I have an abundance of so-called spiritual people around me and often I hear discussion and even debate about all of this new spiritual stuff. Many of them are wary of what they see as a spirituality trend and who think many people see spirituality as little more than the bandwagon du jour.
But why are we so concerned with how someone begins their journey into all things spiritual?
There is no doubt that in the last decade there has been a shift from things “religious” to things “spiritual”-- a less formalized view and approach to soul evolution--and I think that is a reflection of massive growth (or is that growth of the masses)?
When I was much younger, there came a time when I began to question the limitations of the spiritual dogma that was my family’s religion. It was a challenging time and I am sure scary for my traditional parents.
However, I was in no way disparaging the teachings which had brought me to that point in my life. In fact, I have a lot of respect for many of those lessons, but something was suggesting the possibility that there was more to learn and be open to.
At the end of the day, spirituality is a personal thing. Does it really matter how you explore your own spiritual side? Be it via meditation, yoga, religion, prayer, gardening, cycling, fishing, cooking or heading into the forest?
Anything that allows time for gentle reflection can truly become a spiritual experience. Often, it is in singular moments that we receive threads of insight anyway, so what does it matter how we get there? What we actually do with those threads of insight becomes much more of a reflection of our spirituality than the learned knowledge in and of itself.
Knowledge without action is a little bit like having someone offer to buy you lunch after you’ve just paid the bill. Certainly, there is a time to receive knowledge, but there is also a time to take that insight and its lesson forward into the world so it becomes truly useful.
So how do we do this? Well, if you have already learned something, what was the point of learning it unless you apply it to your life, let it help shape your views or actions, let it touch your relationships and maybe even change the way you see yourself in the community and beyond? Meditating for hours to get insight is great, but if you never take it beyond the cushion then what is the point really?
Tapping into your own spirituality is not simply limited to learning about yourself. Rather, it is just the beginning of a wider view of life, a way of carrying yourself in this world. You do not have to be a monk to live a spiritual life, and in this day and age that is not what most of us are here to do. It is easy to be spiritual living on a mountain top with serenity all around. The challenge of living a truly spiritual life is about bringing that spirituality into your everyday existence, your family, friends, and fellow living beings.
Remember, spirituality is not something you do or practice, rather it is something that you are. Let it become a part of who you are.
We are all spiritual beings here together. No more, no less.
Photo Credit: RelaxingMusic