Spirituality – the essence of all religions in the world – is about recognizing and, thereafter, uniting with the higher being or true self. The ‘spirit’ in the phrase “mind, body and spirit”, is not easily known to us as we constantly identify ourselves with the mind and body. We concentrate on our thoughts, for example, without investigating their origin and get carried away – more than a hundred times every day. Spirituality, in the simplest words, is about making sense of one’s own self and the world at large so as to live truly, and deeply. Listed below are the top 10 ways to explore spirituality.
10. Focus on your emotions:
To feel good is the first step to be spiritual. Emotions form the core of your being. If you feel gratitude for a minute or two, you’re likely to have positive thoughts during that time span. You can start analyzing the kind of emotions you often have. If you’ve been feeling bored or frustrated lately, you can make a list of all good things that you’ve experienced till now. You can also recall incidents that made you feel really good.
9. Study scriptures:
Intellectuals often argue that the religion and spirituality are two opposite ends. However, the fact is that religion is the outer crux of spirituality. For example, in Hinduism and Islam, spiritualists are known as Vendantis and Sufis, respectively. Studying scriptures, with an open mind, is a good way to get started as most of them have easy-to-understand stories. Focus on the symbolism, hidden lessons and avoid over-analyzing rituals or superstitious beliefs that prevail in the society. In a nutshell, start at the circumference and slowly move to the center.
No matter the sort of opinions you have always had about yoga sessions, kirtans, spiritual discourses and dharma talks, you need to be open enough to do some experimentation yourself. You can, for example, take part in a Catholic prayer program, join a Qawwali singing session or go for a Vedic dharma talk in your locality. Expose yourself to these experiments like a newborn child, ready to learn, inquire and ask. Do not experiment with a closed mind, unwilling to accept anything without first diving in.
7. Love unconditionally:
Even if you meditate daily or read tomes on spirituality every month, it is still important for you to experience unconditional love to really grow and connect with the higher beings. When you decide to love ‘unconditionally,’ it becomes easy to forgive; it becomes easy to focus on the positives in the world which otherwise appears all messed up right after scanning the morning newspaper. Unconditional love is the biggest and most powerful companion you can have on your spiritual journey.
6. Ask for guidance:
A traveler reaches the destination in shortest possible time only when he knows the path. A guide is one who can tell you that path. Even if you’ve not found your true spiritual master, you can still check online spiritual discourses by noted masters according to your faith. If you’ve been a religious person till now, it is a good idea to choose someone according to your faith. As you progress and become more spiritual, you’ll understand that all saints, masters and siddhas have been saying the same thing, in different words and flavors.
5. Meditate daily:
Meditation is one of the simplest ways to explore spirituality. At first, it is the art of shutting down sense engines in order to perceive what is other imperceptible – your real nature. You do not need any formal training to be able to meditate at home or anywhere else. However, watching a couple of videos online can be of great help. Eliminate all thoughts one by one and experience yourself as a ‘witness.’ Overcoming the illusion of doer-ship is hard but if you’re consistent in your efforts, you’ll for sure experience your true spiritual nature.
4. Ponder on extraordinarily ordinary questions:
Who am I? Why does the grass grow on its own? How did we develop such a complex system of linguistic communications? Why do natural patterns in leaves, plants etc. have golden ratios? When a question becomes important to you, the answer is bound to come. These questions are so simple and obvious that we’ve never cared to ponder over them. Ponder on these questions to know that you did not really know. That’s the beginning of experiencing true ‘knowingness.’
3. Be more aware of what your body is experiencing:
Whether you’re eating, bathing or browsing through Facebook news feeds, you can try to be more aware of everything you touch and feel. It appears very difficult at first; however, as you practice, you can begin to feel droplets of water falling on your body from the shower nozzle or every spice that moves around in your mouth when you eat. As you begin to notice slight sensations, you may also find yourself becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings.
2. Have a ‘doing nothing’ session every day:
Every day, we spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, Google and online newspapers. With job, school, college or dozens of day-to-day chores, we find our point of concentration moving from one object to the other. Make it a point to spend at least 10-20 minutes doing absolutely nothing every day. Go to a quiet place and sit down. If thoughts of work, family and other so-called important issues begin to emerge, let them come and disappear. Slowly, with each passing day, you’d be able to perceive something beyond the mind and body.
1. Be inquisitive:
We search for miracles all our lives and fail to observe how miraculous every little thing in the world around really is. Your body, for example, is 99.9 percent empty space. It has millions of cells that work perfectly well in harmony with each other and each cell has a mind of its own. You’ve got to be really inquisitive in order to unravel spiritual secrets.