I count myself as a spiritual being – or, at least, a woman on the spiritual path. It took me years to really figure out what it meant to be “spiritual.” I got lost in a lot of New Age practices and ideas – all good stuff – and, I learned a lot. But somehow not “it.”
So here’s my attempt at a definition of spirituality: A deep experience of my own spirit.
This experience is beyond our minds, beyond our thoughts. There are some clues that you are living a more spiritual life – that you are getting there. Here are a few: love, joy, creativity, intuition, compassion, gratitude, a more quiet mind, a healthier body, a sincere delight in the success of others, a desire to help and a deep peace inside.
When I talk with other people on the spiritual path, it is such a joy – just the light shining through their eyes tells me that we are swimming in the same energy, even if neither of us can find the words to express the experience.
So, why do so many humans not walk this path. What I’m about to say may be controversial, but it’s my belief, so here goes. It’s work. And, it involves choices. And, we are back to responsibility.
I have had to learn to see myself clearly – the parts I labeled “good” and the parts I labeled “bad”. Accept and celebrate all of who I am – and, live my life. I’ve discovered meditation – again. The difference is now I actually meditate every day, rather than talking about meditating every day!
I expect all of you out there in the world have your own definition of the spiritual path, what it is and how you found it. I, in no way mean to imply my ideas are right for you – many roads home.
I can’t leave the discussion about spirituality without discussing religion. Those two words are so often confused. If my history is correct – all the major religions were founded on the teachings of a person who had a deep spiritual experience and attempted to teach others how to have the same experience. The problem is that many people over time ended up worshiping the teacher – the person who had the spiritual experience – rather than seeking the experience for themselves.
I believe this comes from the Buddhist tradition and it sums the whole thing up for me. “My teaching is like a finger pointing to the moon. Don’t confuse the finger with the moon.” Wouldn’t it be great if that sentence or something like it was printed as a footnote on the bottom of every page of every religious text?
I’ll end with my favorite poet, Rumi: “You’re not just a drop in the ocean, you’re also the mighty ocean in the drop.”