Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Definition Of Spirituality

1. Spirituality is our conscious aspiration to seek God. Through spirituality we learn God is not a remote figure high in the heavens. By practising spirituality we can begin to feel the presence of God in our own heart.

2. Acceptance of the World. The World has teeming imperfections but spirituality teaches us to neither criticise, nor ignore the world. True spirituality involves accepting the world as it is. Spirituality does not seek to highlight the faults of the world, but to feel a sense of oneness with others.

3. Spirituality believes in tolerance. Real spirituality will never say that there is only one true way to the goal. Spirituality embraces different approaches and traditions; knowing that there are many paths to the goal.

4. Know Thyself. The essence of spirituality as taught by the great Masters and teachers throughout the ages is “know thyself.” It is only by becoming aware of one’s real inner self, that spirituality can become a living reality. Sri Chinmoy suggests:

“A spiritual person is someone who goes to the very root of the Truth, for he knows that if there is no root there cannot be any tree. And the root of the Truth is love.” (1)

5. Live in the Eternal Now. Spirituality does not involve regretting the past and fearing the future. Spirituality is our conscious experience to live in the eternal now.

6. Self Offering. Spirituality encompasses many ideals, but one of the most important is to serve others and ignore the demands of our own ego.

7. Self Improvement. The spiritual approach to changing the world is to first begin by changing ourselves. We cannot influence and inspire others, unless we make improvements in our own life.

When we attain our own inner peace, this peace will automatically spread to others.

8. Spirituality does not try to convert others. In the spiritual life we do not seek to influence others, we are concerned only with our own spiritual progress. We offer our good will to others, but know we are not responsible for their decisions.

9. Spirituality deals with the underlying essence of life. Spirituality does not worry about the praise, criticism and material rewards of the world. Spirituality is only concerned with pleasing our inner pilot, our inner self.

10. Spirituality is Joy. The spiritual life is not a bed of roses, but nor is it a field of thorns. True spirituality believes in awakening the inner joy and happiness within. To be miserable is to miss the point of spirituality. As Sri Chinmoy succinctly suggests:

Real spirituality Can easily be described In one word: Delight. (2)

(1) Talk on Spirituality by Sri Chinmoy
(2) Excerpt from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 72 by Sri Chinmoy.

Ronald is a spiritual seeker and writes about spirituality.

He contributes to a site on Sri Chinmoy

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