SPIRITUALITY


In modern Western society it is commonplace for many people to describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” This suggests an acknowledgement or recognition that there is something beyond our ordinary day-to-day understanding of reality, but that that “something” is difficult to define or put into words. Also implicit in that statement is often a rejection of contemporary religious organizations, or a least a recognition that their structure has failed to satisfy the desire for meaningful spiritual understanding and experience. Those that consider themselves spiritual have likely known, intuited, or remembered, that there is something potentially greater available to their experience. It is not unusual to identify with the statement “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” What we commonly consider to be spiritual can be found at the depth of most religions. 

A.H. Almaas wrote: “The Buddha observed and studied his own mind, and developed methods of meditation that enabled others to do the same. Almost all of Indian philosophy and spirituality begins, and ends, with the study of the self, the atman. The Delphic injunction, “Know thyself,” became through Socrates and Plato the primary foundational principle of the Western wisdom tradition, which in turn became central for Neoplatonism: “To find ourselves is to know our source.” (Plotinus, Enneads, p. 544.) Christian spirituality, as seen through the teachings of the desert fathers, begins with the knowing of the soul and the purification of the soul that is needed for it to mirror or be receptive to divine inspiration. The cornerstone of Islamic spirituality and philosophy is the saying attributed to God: “Whoso knoweth himself knoweth his lord.”

Now, the question remains “What is spirituality?” You will notice in the following quotes that there is no consensus about a definition, but much food for thought.

 

QUOTES


 

 

You have to be in the world to understand what the spiritual is about, and you have to be spiritual in order to truly be able to accept what the world is about. 
~ Mary Oliver

The spiritual path - is simply the journey of living our lives. Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don't know it. 
~ Marianne Williamson

 

Spirituality is rebellion; religiousness is orthodoxy. Spirituality is individuality; religiousness is just remaining part of the crowd psychology. Religiousness keeps you a sheep, and spirituality is a lion’s roar.

~ Osho

That is the real spiritual awakening, when something emerges from within you that is deeper than who you thought you were. So, the person is still there, but one could almost say that something more powerful shines through the person. 
~ Eckhart Tolle

Spirituality means waking up.  Most people, even though they don't know it, are asleep.  They're born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up.  They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence.
~ Anthony De Mello

 

Spirituality is meant to take us beyond our tribal identity into a domain of awareness that is more universal.

~ Deepak Chopra

Many people think that it is the function of a spiritual teaching to provide answers to life's biggest questions, but actually the opposite is true. The primary task of any good spiritual teaching is not to answer your questions, but to question your answers. For it is your conscious and unconscious assumptions and beliefs that distort your perception and cause you to see separation and division where there is actually only unity and completeness. 

~ Adyashanti

An authentic spiritual path takes us beyond our ordinary sense of separation and helps us deal with the challenges of being human – inherently perfect at the core and yet also works in progress. We come home to ourselves. We remember we are inherently connected to everyone and everything. This liberates us from the self-centeredness that is the cause of so much suffering. We become kinder, more forgiving, more generous, fleshed out human beings. The more each one of us is committed to living with awareness, our lives become a blessing and of benefit to our world.

~ Miranda Macpherson

True spirituality is not a comfort – it is a furnace, burning up your cherished homes and dreams, your outdated beliefs about life, the universe and everything.

~ Jeff Foster


There is no such thing as spirituality; 
whatever is, is only this worldly life, in the five-elemental play. 
You are nothing better than vegetation. 
Just as grass is growing, human beings are growing. 
Will anybody accept this?
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj 

Remember that the first step in spirituality is not to speak ill of others. All human beings have weaknesses and faults. Yet they are all God in their being. Until they become Realized, they have their imperfections. Therefore, before trying to find faults in others and speaking ill of them, try to find your own weaknesses, and correct those
~ Meher Baba

Spirituality is the science of the soul.
~ Swami Vivekananda

Spirituality is natural goodness. God is not a person; God is a presence personified in us. Spirituality is not a thing; it is the atmosphere of God’s Presence, goodness, truth and beauty.
~ Ernest Holmes

Spirituality is not religion. It is a path for us to generate happiness, understanding, and love, so we can live deeply each moment of our life. Having a spiritual dimension in our lives does not mean escaping life or dwelling in a place of bliss outside this world but discovering ways to handle life’s difficulties and generate peace, joy, and happiness right where we are, on this beautiful planet.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

The new spirituality is that it will produce an experience in human encounters in which we become a living demonstration of the basic spiritual teaching 'We are all one.' 

~ Neale Donald Walsch


Essence of spirituality is that we are constantly aware of the oneness of who we are, at the same time we celebrate the uniqueness of the individual.
~ Sadhguru

Spirituality is about being ready. All the spiritual disciplines of your life - prayer, study, meditation or ritual, religious vows - are all there so that you can break through to the eternal. Spirituality is about awakening the eyes, the ears, the heart so you can see what is already happening right in front of you.
~ Fr. Richard Rohr

 

The real spiritual progress of the aspirant is measured by the extent to which he achieves inner tranquility. 

~ Swami Sivananda

 

The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge spiritual progress. 

~ Ramana Maharshi


Serving the Truth becomes our life instead of just an isolated event. It takes the abstractness out of spirituality. That’s the opportunity of real spirituality: to be in service to the silence of the heart."
~ Adyashanti

This is the nexus of the spiritual path: liberating our blocks to the awareness of love’s presence. Peeling back the veils of hurt that have caused us to close down, play safe and hide out in habits of protection. For any of us this is no small task. Identifying, forgiving and surrendering the hurts and the conclusions we have arrived at that concretize our fear is daily work. But nothing is ever more pressing than uprooting whatever blocks the nectars of our heart to flow freely. . . .
Being the Presence of love - That is really what all spiritual practice is for in the end.
~ Miranda Macpherson

The spiritual journey is not about acquiring something outside yourself. Rather, you are penetrating the layers and veils to return to the deepest truth of your own being.
~ Ram Dass

Spirituality, at least in the Diamond Approach, means recognizing the true condition of reality and understanding through experience that it is much more mysterious than we think. 
~ A.H. Almaas

All spiritual progress is a return, simply, to one's original state, which forever was, and forever will be, for through all eternity it is that which simply IS.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda

 

Essence of spirituality is that we are constantly aware of the oneness of who we are, at the same time we celebrate the uniqueness of the individual.

~ Sadhguru

 

Spiritual evolution occurs as the result of removing obstacles and not actually acquiring anything new. Devotion enables surrender of the mind’s vanities and cherished illusions so that it progressively becomes more free and more open to the light of Truth.

~ David R. Hawkins

 

When you look at the world of all the people you will see that there are many different levels of spiritual evolution. They are merely stages of development. Be careful not to impose values of better or worse. It is no better to be an adolescent than to be a child. It is no better to be an old person than middle age. These are just different stages of development.

~ Ram Dass

 

The purpose of all spiritual disciplines - which are not the same as religions - is to relate us to the spiritual (which is to say supra material and supramental) dimensions. This tuning in to the subtler dimensions is possible only by cleansing our ordinary perceptions and by quieting the mind.

~ Ravi Ravindra

 

Your true nature is that of infinite spirit.

The feeling of limitation is the work of the mind.

~ Ramana Maharshi

 

The spiritual journey is not about acquiring something outside yourself. Rather, you are penetrating the layers and veils to return to the deepest truth of your own being.

~ Ram Dass

 

Before spiritual or not spiritual or any of the opposites, is an Elemental, Unshakable, Unmoving, Power and Presence. And it knows the way.

~ Pamela Wilson

 

No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain.

~  Chögyam Trungpa

 

If I call you a spiritual seeker, are you offended? If so, no point in reading further, you are unlikely to benefit from any of the simple stuff I have to offer.

If you ARE a spiritual seeker then chances are very good that you have read numerous spiritual books by numerous spiritual teachers. You have probably attended Talks, satsangs, retreats, conferences and meetings of various kinds. If you have a computer you will have undoubtedly surfed to websites, YouTube videos and webcasts. The result of all this is a dizzying cacophony of conflicting claims, concepts and ideologies. There are literally thousands of teachers, some living, others long dead. One tells you it is all a dream, another assures you it is the only reality. One says you don't exist, another says you absolutely do. One tells you you can do nothing, another insists you create everything and yet another slides in between to confidently explain you can only do one thing...wake up. Some take spiritual sounding names while others keep the names they were born with. Some dress in flowing, spiritual garb and others dress like ordinary people. Some are charismatic and charming, others are surly and unexceptional. Some insist that you must use your heart while others exhort you to use your mind. Some come from long established lineages, others assert that Enlightenment is a con. Nearly all warn about the dangers of the others.

Of course, as a spiritual seeker, you have already seen all this. You don't need me to tell you it is a jungle out there. You have likely wrestled with the questions of who is telling the truth and who isn't? Who is a genuine teacher and who is a poser? In the hope that you may derive the same benefit I received, I offer you the words of my guru, Ramesh S. Balsekar. He said, "the false guru and the genuine guru arise from the same Source." For me, it was a potent pointer to the underlying perfection of it All.

~ Wayne Liquorman

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