People are always in the quest of the economic and material pursuits of today’s world. In creating our relation to the divine and cultivating the conviction that there is supreme energy that serves as a regulator in our everyday lives, it is traditions that play a crucial role. The spiritual connection is thus formed by the elements of prayer, chants, hymns, etc.
Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than us, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience—something that touches us all. People may describe a spiritual experience as sacred or transcendent or simply a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness.
Spirituality involves exploring certain universal themes – love, compassion, altruism, life after death, wisdom and truth, with the knowledge that some people such as saints or enlightened individuals have achieved and manifested higher levels of development than the ordinary person. Aspiring to manifest the attributes of such inspirational examples often becomes an important part of the journey through life for spiritually inclined people.
Religion formalises certain aspects of spiritual awareness into a coherent belief system that can be taken on trust, even if the person has no direct experience of the Divine: for instance, a person might believe that Jesus is the son of God because that is what the Bible teaches whereas another person may have had a vision of Jesus in person telling him/her that he is the son of God. Direct experience of truth as opposed to intellectual knowledge is considered key in mystical experience. The belief systems of religion extend beyond the individual’s experience to his/her role in society and morality-based rules are formulated to govern relationships and activities. Usually, religion is manifest as a collective through church, mosque, synagogue or temple, and is involved with community as much as with individuals. This provides a real framework through which the ‘greater than me’ can start to be experienced.
In the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha explains how human nature generates suffering and how to transcend the inevitable misery of unconsciousness and come to a place of wisdom, serenity and acceptance. The Eightfold Path delineates a realistic way to achieve the happiness we all desire through consciously dropping unhelpful patterns of resistance and attachment. Buddhists like to speak about ‘skilful’ actions or behaviours; this leads us to the crux of the spiritual life – there is a drive for self-improvement, to rise up out of unconsciousness and the misery it generates to a state of greater illumination; to think and behave skilfully rather than randomly or immaturely. The means to achieving this come through accepting things as they are instead of being driven to emotions and actions by the forces of attraction, repulsion or indifference. Suffering is defined as the result of not accepting reality as it is.
Some may find that their spiritual life is intricately linked to their association with a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue. Others may pray or find comfort in a personal relationship with God or a higher power. Still others seek meaning through their connections to nature or art. Like your sense of purpose, your personal definition of spirituality may change throughout your life, adapting to your own experiences and relationships.
Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. It has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose and feeling connected to something bigger than ourselves. It typically involves a search for meaning in life. There are plenty of spirituality examples where people experience and express their spirituality for different reasons and in different ways.