There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you? — Rumi
These beautiful words of Rumi bespeak the importance of spirituality. It is not about any religion nor about hard-to-do meditation but simply a liaison of soul, whose ultimate purpose is our happiness in every aspect, calmness of mind and peaceful heart.
What is the true meaning of spirituality?
People often relate spirituality to religious practices. However, it is a wholly different concept. Spirituality is a quest for knowing your life’s purpose, a path of self-discovery. Yes, it also helps in connecting with almighty as religions suggest but also, it is an experience of association with the cosmos, as science views it.
Spirituality is anything that raises our spirit. Anything, that fills our life with positivity, gives happiness to us, infuse enthusiasm and kindness in our mind, is of spiritual value. It is the connection we make with our soul to know who we really are and what is the purpose of our existence? And most importantly it is the finest path of self-progress.
Spirituality is the key to wellness in every way possible.
Spiritual well-being is absolutely essential if you want to be happy and successful in life. And every field supports this notion-
1. In Science: According to science, spirituality is a psychological method to calm our brain. It is a way by which we see the actual world deeply. While most part of spiritual working is a mystery for scientists but they are relying on quantum physics and the advancement of technology in the future, will be helpful to explain this phenomenon. But undoubtedly, they believe it is necessary for scientific principles too. Famous Austrian physicist Fritjof Capra wrote a book ‘The Tao of Physics’ which is a blend of science and spirituality.
2. In religion: The building of every religion is standing on the pillars of spirituality. While religion only tells us the stories of some great men who united with God and how finding god is the ultimate purpose of life, it basically points in the direction that only spirituality leads to the calmness of mind. And even religion does not say that you have to become a sage or to meditate under the tree to be spiritual. Bhagavad Gita, the essence of all spiritual knowledge says that there is no need to go to extreme levels to attain spirituality. A person who is kind to everyone, performs his duties and is contented with his life is far more spiritual than any being residing in mountains and doing meditation with half-heartedness.
3. For mental wellness: Spirituality plays a very significant role in mental well-being. It helps in curing mental health problems and is beneficial for mental health. It heals our mind during difficult times. Researches show that a spiritual path is one of the best ways to deal with immense loss, very stressful conditions, and depression. Again, the mystery behind its working could not be solved by psychiatrists but it is an integral part of their treatment methods.
4. In personality development: Spirituality increases our level of consciousness. It makes things clear to see, to think deeply and rationally and makes concentration stronger. Also, it teaches us to be compassionate and kind towards every human being. Therefore, spiritual personal development is one of the main areas of personality development.
5. In emotional well-being: There is a very interesting connection between spirituality and our emotions. Both are interdependent in a way. While emotions play a significant role in attaining spirituality. Spirituality, on the other hand, help us in coping with negative emotions such as grief and anxiety. For good emotional health, it is very important that emotions work in accordance with consciousness. Only that can lead to a healthy lifestyle.
How to be spiritual? What are the ways by which I can attain spirituality with continuing my daily activities?
At the starting of a spiritual quest, these questions come in every mind. I faced this dilemma too. When I first tried to meditate I found it very difficult to sit still, to control my mind and hence I gave up, thinking spirituality is not meant for me. But one day when I was reading a self-help book, I came to know that it is possible to be spiritual without sitting in dark and concentrating on the candle. Surely it is the best tried and tested method but there are other forms of meditation too which fulfil the same purpose. There are so many ways by which you could be spiritual like –
Meditation: It is the most effective method of being spiritual. There are seven forms of meditation like mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, zen meditation etc. Most of them follow the following procedure. You sit in a quiet place and concentrate on your breathing, stilling the mind on one particular object. Or you chant the mantra or a sentence, again and again, wishing well for yourself and others. Whatever method is suitable for you, you should opt that.
Religion: Having faith in a higher power is the part of spirituality that connects it to all religions. Following a religious path to attain spirituality is another good option. After all, religion is nothing but lessons and teachings to get us closer to our own divine self. Reading sacred texts, praying, chanting mantra are the religious ways by which one could be spiritual.
Books and Music: Yes, you read it right. Both are very productive methods of spiritual knowledge. Books such as ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle or ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ by Deepak Chopra or ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne are the classical pieces that will be very useful to you.
And when it comes to music, spirituality is already known as the mediator between the spiritual world and materialistic world. Songs, lyrics or musical instruments, stir our soul from time to time. It could a hymn, a devotional song or a simple song with heart touching lyrics. Listen to anything that puts your soul at ease. For me, Islamic Sufi music acts as a medicine in stressful conditions.
Compassion: Feelings like kindness, compassion, gratitude, and love bring positivity and joy to your soul. Practice gratitude towards everything, be kind to everyone and get mind rid of all the negative feelings you have towards other people who might have wronged you. Because holding a grudge against them is not going to help you but cleansing your mind for better thoughts will.
Yoga: Yoga is the way of developing a mindset of seeing integrity everywhere. The word itself means ‘union’ in Sanskrit. Union with the self, others and the soul. It is not just a way to be healthy physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too. It cultivates awareness, emotional control and focus, and hence is a very potent source of spiritual knowledge.
Creativity: A person’s creative side is also called a gift of God. It is because whatever you do, be it painting, writing, dancing, singing, or anything else, it comes from deep within your soul. That is why it makes you so happy. So, whatever your talent is, enhance it more as it will lead to spiritual enhancement too.
These are just a few ways, there are so many more. And once you become aware of your spiritual side, you won’t need any guide. Fate itself will direct you towards what you seek. It is very important to maintain balance in life which is difficult if you are not even aware of yourself. With spiritual awakening, we see everything clearly that will lead to growth from inside. To be whole it is necessary to ensure well-being in every aspect, including spiritual well-being.