Tag Archives: spiritual growth

Is It Important To Be “Spiritual?”

Before we examine whether someone should strive to be “spiritual” or not, we should try to reach an understanding of what is meant by being spiritual.

Spirituality (being spiritual) implies different things to different people. For some people it may mean becoming more religious (religion generally referring to the worship of “God” and/or the various teachings of their accepted faith). When addressing religion, first it should be understood that performing ceremonies and customs is the ritualistic aspect of the religion and not the spiritualistic part, but some people have an inherent need for ceremony, ritual and dogma in their lives.Religion typically places more emphasis on outer forms and outer rituals. Religion often involves a congregation or community of followers that share common beliefs.

Spirituality is less concerned with outer forms and rituals. It tends to be much more private and personal. In its simplest form, spirituality means to look within. For one who is spiritual even the act of worship (or connecting with the Divine) is actually a form of going within, of connecting with one’s own perception, experience and awareness of the Divine (or God).

We often hear reference to “going within” what is actually meant by going within? Going within is basically establishing some sort of connection with something that provides us with an unending source of energy, irrespective of happenings in the outside world. Going within furthers the realization that there is no separation between you and the Divine/God/Spirit/Creator. And there never has been, ever! No matter what’s going on in your life, no matter what you did or haven’t done. You realize that you don’t have to “go somewhere” to be with God (or whatever you choose to call the Divine, Absolute or Supreme).

So why seek to be spiritual?The beauty of spirituality is that when you commit to it, a world of opportunity and new experiences open up for you. The moment you decide that spirituality is for you, it’s as if the doors of enlightenment begin to open and you finally start to see the light.

The truth is that humans beings; in fact, all sentient beings, are inherently spiritual. They just aren’t aware of it yet. One of the saddest and most persistent beliefs in the modern world is that we are merely flesh and bone and that once we die, we go to heaven, or we go to hell or we become extinct. Well, whether you believe it or not, nothing could be further from the truth from a truly spiritual perspective. By aligning yourself with truth, the meaning of life becomes crystal clear, and that life is all about spiritual maturation.

Embarking on a spiritual journey is not about blindly believing in any dogmatic theories or stories that your own personal experience can’t support. Instead, it’s a process; integrating the practice open-mindedness, testing things for yourself, and aligning yourself with truth as closely as you can, all leading to Self-realization.

Is It Important To Be “Spiritual?”

Spirituality also offers us a way to avoid accumulating stress and emotion (and more karma). Spiritual insights are not dependent on external objects and/or situations. By remaining non-dependent on anything external we prevent any energy dissipation.

When we start being more spiritual, we naturally begin to realize the meaninglessness of most things or issues that we would usually pay undue attention to. We start seeing the impermanence behind superficial material pursuits and their outcomes, and this happens in such a way, that we begin to enjoy the process without building excess mental and emotional baggage.

The impermanence of and meaninglessness behind the search for secular gains becomes a growing realization which, in turn, conserves our finer (subtle) energies that we would otherwise dissipate. The quality of our wants and desires improves from the gross to the subtle level and this establishes a virtuous cycle with every passing day, culminating in an ocean of peace and supreme bliss.

Spirituality offers us the realization that this world and everything in it is constantly changing. This change itself is constant and inevitable, but spirituality provides us with an invisible, yet stable anchor that helps us find our bearings, even during the most challenging times.

This alone, is a sufficient reason to find supreme merit in the spiritual path.The longer you practice spirituality, and the more devoted to it you become, the more it becomes the central part of your life, eventually becoming your very reason for living.

This entry was posted in GENERAL, HEALTH, RAE INDIGO, TEACHER TRAINING, WELLNESS, YOGA and tagged , , , , , , on by .

Measuring Spiritual Growth

Could you be a Saint, a Guru, a Yogi or a Zen Master?  Or maybe you’re just an ordinary decent, moral human being. How would you know for sure? Are there qualifications, or maybe some tests you can take to determine your spiritual growth?  Well, yes there are!  And “Life” is constantly giving you plenty of ways to test your spiritual development and plenty of circumstances to assist you in evaluating yourself, which will help you evolve spiritually.

Human beings are extremely complex, as is life, but with the right spiritual attitude, the right perspective, you can cut deep into your psyche and reveal those conditions under which you are currently operating.  This will help evaluate some aspects of your being that you may not presently be aware of, and that’s where the real test begins; at this point you must be cautious not to judge yourself or the world too harshly. Measuring one’s spiritual nature can be a tricky business. When it comes to internal processes, like accessing the growth of the mind or the spirit for example, there are no fancy growth charts to tack up on the wall.

But, there are also many ways to assess your spiritual maturity proactively. One of these ways is to observe how much time we actually spend serving others in comparison to the time focused on getting results in our own life. You may be seeing the world in an ego-centric way, full of separate people, instead of seeing the world in a non-dual light with all of creation being “one” and having nothing but an interconnected, unified Divine Nature.

Yogi Bhajan once said; “If you don’t see God in all, you don’t see God at all.” So, if we want to grow spiritually, the questions we must ask ourselves are, “Am I serving others?”, and if so, “How am I serving?” Serving begins with ourselves, extends to our immediate surroundings with family and at home and then spreads out to all around us. We realize that we live where we live for a reason and a purpose, to serve others and we need to start serving right there. We then realize just how much we have been blessed, not just for ourselves, but for our opportunity to serve others. When we serve the least, the last, the lost, and everyone in between, we realize that we actually are inherently one with the Divine.

Another way to measure your spiritual maturity is to take some time to determine what you are really passionate about. Are your passions based on the secular/materialistic world or the spiritual world? In today’s “worldly” society there is too much competition for a limited number of rewards, and this competition all too often breeds conflict. But enlightenment has no limits, and just because someone else appears to be enlightened, doesn’t mean you can’t be also.  We all have the innate ability recognize ourselves as enlightened beings and this is one of those things you can realize on your own, without worrying about having to wrestle it away from anyone else. So relax, there’s no need to compete, spiritual enlightenment is an infinite, inexhaustible resource. Beware of getting distracted and running around all over the place chasing useless, stupid things. Redirect yourself and get back to the business of pursuing that which is holds the highest purpose for mankind.

Summary: It’s apparent our world is presently being plagued by a number of problems. These problems are varied and can range personal types, such as drug/alcohol addictions and marital disharmony, to problems that society, countries and even international communities are faced with, such as urban violence, wars and man-made disasters. This reflects a state of the world that is primarily due to the fact that both the people and their leaders are predominantly at a lower spiritual level. It would naturally follow that the current state of the world can only be corrected if the average spiritual level of mankind is elevated, and this can only happen if people begin the process of spiritual assessment and practice on a regular basis.

Without evaluating our progress (or lack of it), and without making periodic and honest assessments of our spiritual progress it is unlikely that any real progress will be made. You will know you are advancing spiritually when you begin to see all others as connected to your own Self, and your sense of identity expands to include everything. This may be the best sign that one is maturing (or evolving) spiritually.

*Rae Indigo is ERYT500