What is spirituality?

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The quest for a deeper meaning. The search for the ultimate truth. The exploration of life’s meaning and purpose. The journey inward to plumb the innermost depths of ourselves.

Spirituality has often been understood as one, a combination of, or all of these. Each one of us has, at some point or the other, asked this question, and once we have asked the question, there is usually no going back. Our lives slowly begin a vortex around this question, the only difference being that the answer, instead of pulling us downward, invariably pushes us ever upwards, reaching more sublime and formidable home truths and realizations.

There are very few of us in this world who, as of today, believe that spirituality is outmoded, has no relevant value for us, or no longer applies in the context of our highly technology-led, logic-based lives. Today, more than ever before, intuition is regarded with a respect bordering on awe, self-containment is a precious quality to possess, and equanimity in the face of ever-changing fortunes is an aspiration for many, if not all.

So, all of us agree that spirituality is alive and thriving, both as an inner hunger to know the answers, and as a movement of diverse people of all ages who explore deeper and further. Where we differ is the place from which we ask our questions, and the actual questions themselves. Some of us ask why, some of us ask what, and still others have no questions – just a vague itch that cannot be scratched. Some of us teeter between earthly wealth and pleasures on one side, and on the other – the tantalizing question of what lies beyond this normal existence of ours.

We no longer need to turn to ancient texts for the answers to our varied questions. Authors and psychologists, spiritual teachers and theorists have arisen in our own times, answering our questions, steering us as we dive deeper in our journeys. Many of them make an important point – the separation of spirituality from religion. For instance, Eckhart Tolle tells us that religions “have become so overlaid with extraneous matter that their spiritual substance has become almost completely obscured”.

Some of these experts tell us how to make sure spiritual aspirations and earthly goals aren’t in conflict with each other. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne heads the list of 10 Most Influential Spiritual books of the last 50 years, and talks about how living a life where spirituality and everyday activity merge and blend is the ultimate truth.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, another spiritual master of our times, has inspired millions to move further away from depression, anxiety, anger and other negative emotions with his unique approach – he blends 2500-year-old Buddhist meditations with modern psychological practices.

Here’s a video to get you started on your own spiritual journey. If you’re already on that path, it will add more fuel to your tank!

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