Spirituality is the process of developing a complete sense of awareness. It is a stage – where an individual’s conscious mind coming into synchrony with his unconscious or the great wisdom of the universe. To be conscious means to’ know with’. For some people, it’s a sense of connection to a greater power. Recommended reading: https://tearingshoes.com/how-to-be-the-best-version-of-yourself/
However, Spiritually awakened people perform everything in their life with a greater sense of responsibility. This sense of awareness starts, as a result, of a greater level of knowledge about our own body and pattern of thinking of our mind. So with dedicated practice, we will slowly develop a completely loving sense of awareness about the world around us and the way we choose to interact with it. The Final stage of spiritual awakening is a complete and continuous sense of connection with the great wisdom of our unconscious mind or the universe. Recommended reading: https://tearingshoes.com/depression-why-depression-is-a-positive-sign/
Definition of Spirituality
In My view, spirituality is the process of developing a sense of inner peace and internal harmony, arises, as a result, of a complete understanding that all the people, places and all our thoughts are the tools or the ways of the universe or our mind to teach us the great lessons of life.
Meaning of Life
Viktor E Frankel in his book – ‘Man’s search for meaning’ defines, the meaning of life as ” Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answers to its problem and fulfil the tasks which it constantly set for each individual. These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us”. Therefore, Spirituality is the result of an individual’s search for the meaning of pain, sufferings, purpose or that of life as a whole. Spiritual awakening happens with a person as a result of his continuous questioning of the established way of life around him and the answers he receives out of it.
This process of the spiritual journey is full of pain, suffering and loneliness. However, some people happily choose this difficult path for themselves. What helps this spiritually motivated people to go through all this suffering and loneliness for the betterment of humanity? The only possible answer to this question is love. That’s what makes spirituality is the extension of love.
Definition of Love
M. Scott Peck defines love in his book ‘The road less travelled’ as ” The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of Nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth”. Love is an act of will and effort. Therefore it always includes pain, discipline and sufferings. It is this same love which empowered Jesus Christ to suffer on the cross. This same love empowered Buddha to let go under the bo tree. Finally, love is not a feeling rather it is actions. The purpose of love is always spiritual growth.
Spirituality and Religions
The word religion means our view of the world. But here I am referring to religion in the context of religious establishments. Most of the religions in the world are based on the results of an individual’s search for meaning. They are the result of one or more individual’s spiritual enlightenment. That’s why, if you have the rationality to Identify and filter those myths out of religious schooling; they still can aid you with your spiritual growth.
Two of th biggest drawbacks of religions now are, non-recognition of individuality and their tendency to avoid questioning. In their quest to present themselves as the source of all knowledge, religions started to demote or eliminate an individual’s rational thinking. It’s high time for these religions to understand, ‘ One size fits all actually fit none’. These so-called ‘global institutions’ are also started to treat questioning by individuals or group of individuals as dangerous or taboo.
Spirituality and Forgiveness
As we become more and more self-aware we will come to know that we are holding a lot of grudges and resentments inside our mind. Psychologist defines forgiveness as ” It is a conscious decision to release feelings of resentment towards a person who has harmed you regardless of whether they actually deserve it”.By holding on to resentment we are dragging the burden of other people’s wrongdoing along with us. You forgive to set yourself free from this burden. Resentments will badly affect our sense of reality and thereby causes mental illness. That’s why Buddha said ” No one can hurt you from outside. They can only poke the wound already alive inside you”.
Grudges and resentments inside you will badly affect our physical health and creative life. That’s why all the spiritual people are big advocates of forgiveness. I got to introduce into the world of forgiveness through Mindvalley and Vishen Lakhiani’s six-phase meditation technique. Read more on forgiveness here
Meditation is a technique to train your mind. It is an ancient practice where individuals use different techniques to attain a higher level of awareness about themselves, the world around them and also about the universe or his unconscious wisdom. There are many methods of meditation in the Buddhist tradition. Meditation practises can be broadly classified into two on the bases of the techniques used. They are concentration meditation and mindfulness meditation.
Concentration meditation is the most traditional form of meditation. It involves focusing on a single point to increase our level of awareness. It is achieved either by focusing on our body, like focusing on a single body part for a certain amount of time, following the breath etc. or through focusing an outside element like chanting of mantras, staring at an object or listening to the sound of a bell etc. In this method, we refocus on the chosen object as our mind start wandering. For a modern anxious mind, it’s not easy to sit down and meditate for a longer time and cope up with the idea of ‘clear your mind’. That’s where mindfulness steps in.
in contrast to traditional techniques mindfulness, meditation encourages the practitioner to simply observe the wondering thoughts of our mind without getting involved or judge them. The purpose here is to become completely aware of each thought pattern of our mind as it slowly arises. With experience, we will start to realise that each thought pattern of our mind is pointing towards a particular direction. They will be either pointing towards a certain wound or worry in our mind or they will point towards a desire of our mind to achieve something or need for growth in life.
The recognition of these patterns of thoughts will provide us with the peace of mind through the healing of our internal wounds. It will also help us to be nonjudgemental. Mindfulness practice along with creative visualization technique will aid us to plan and achieve our every day goals and thereby the best possible future that we could ever imagine.
There is a lot of discussions going on the internet regarding how these highly recommended personal growth techniques won’t work for some people at all. The problem here is the same as that of religions which we already discussed above – the nonrecognition of individuality. We all are different individuals with different goals and problems in life. Our abilities and beliefs are also different. Our culture and dreams are not the same. So in order to increase your growth in the path of spirituality, you have to focus on your goals and issues and create a method which will work for you.
I learned the basics of spirituality and traditional meditation from the Vipassana meditation centre in Kerala years back. Then I focused on creating a personalized meditation practice. It’s at Mindvally – an amazing spiritual community website by Vishen Lakhani, where I learn about mindfulness practice. Ziva meditation techniques of Emily Fletcher helped me understand more about self-love. My reading on spirituality took me to the books of Jack Canfield and Vishen Lakhiani. Those books teach me more about creative visualisation techniques. I follow a meditation technique which completely focused and suite my personality and needs. The learning process is life long. But these practices are changing my level of self-awareness and outlook towards the world. They have made me a more happy person for the least.