Last night spiritually curious London met for the first time. The theme for the meeting was the spiritual self. We explored though games how spirituality manifests in who we are as people. Spirituality is so very personal. One thing that stood out for me in the evening is how hard it is to define what it is to be spiritual. So I consulted Wikipedia which said:
“Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual’s inner life; such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; withnature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm. Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life. It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.”
My own sense of spirituality can be broken down and defined into something very simple. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. If every single person did this there would be far less suffering in the world. However this doesn’t mean be a door mate. Last night at 3.25am, outside the window of the place I am staying in Angel a group of women yelled at each other. Telling them to shut up and calm down if what I would hope someone would ‘do unto me’ if I lost control of myself. However as I was staying at a friend’s place I didn’t want to ‘do unto her’ by getting her windows smashed. So I covered the duvet over my head and prayed that someone would ‘do unto me’ by calling the Police!
For me being spiritual is about being your authentic self, it’s about mindfulness, awareness, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Of course it then expands if you choose to put yourself into a level of consciousness where you aspire to put yourself in Gods/loves shoes. It’s a powerful path, it doesn’t always bring joy, and it can be a dramatic inner battle between ego and love.
Spirituality is often imbedded with the teachings of other cultures. ‘Eat Pray love’ is a good example. White girl goes to find herself in another culture’s spirituality. In the western world do we seem to limit spirituality to religion and have to turn to others teachings?
I think we can study teachings or have a guru, but it’s the self and how you embody that knowledge in your practise of life that defines you. Being spiritual is how you think, act and especially how you love. How you make that possible in a difficult world is up to you.
Last night at the meet up group, we shared ourselves, opened up, had a few break through moments, and remembered that is our quest we are not alone.