Basic Spirituality


When most people think of a “spiritual person” they usually think of some sort of New Age guru, a hippie, a or a die-hard fundamentalist of one creed or another. Unfortunately this imagery has turned many people off of spirituality, because they don’t want to be thought of as “that person”, or have to answer to a particular religious group or creed. In reality, “spirituality” is not the exclusive realm of any one religion, or any of the aforementioned stereotypical practitioners. There are truly spiritual people who go to church, mosque, synagogue, satsang, etc. at every opportunity, and there are those who never attend any formal religious function.

Oftentimes, so-called spiritual people, also make spirituality seem overly difficult and dogmatic. This is ironic because many self-styled spiritualists began their own personal spiritual path by leaving very rigid and dogmatic religious systems.

Without using any New Age or religious buzzwords, spirituality at its most basic level is about discovering who “you” truly are, which means discovering the divine (created by God) soul that resides in each of us, and bringing your thoughts and actions in-line with your true nature, which is love and joy. This involves stripping away the mental clutter that each of us carries around with us, as well as exploring your motives, feelings, and desires, in order to redirect them in positive ways. For example: instead of being angry, practice compassion and charity, instead of being stressed, laugh and enjoy life, instead of worrying about the past or future, simply live in the now and enjoy the miracle of life. This will allow you to develop the peace and calm that comes with knowing who “you” are. In that peace and calm you will also find God.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…. We need silence to be able to touch souls.” ~Mother Teresa

Finally, spirituality is a journey, not a destination, so if you find meditation, prayer, yoga, reading sacred scripture, sitting with a master/guru, or simply sitting in silence helpful, then follow what feels best for you. If something does not seem right, then simply discontinue that practice and search elsewhere.

Practical Tip: Don’t let yourself be boxed in by what you “should” be doing. Try practices such as meditation, yoga, etc. that you have never tried before. Also, try reading sacred scriptures from another religion, because it will give you another viewpoint on God, you will also be surprised at how similar the various religions really are. Above all else, follow your heart.

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Also, please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

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