In a broad sense, spirituality is the path by which we attain awareness of something greater than ourselves. This “something” has been called innumerable things including God, the soul, a higher-self, universal truth, higher being, the great unknown and so on…
Regardless of your belief system, it is widely accepted that human sensory features (at least those which are widely recognized like sight and smell) provide a limited interpretation of what’s really going on in the universe, and spiritual practice can be a gateway for experiencing a wider view of
the world you are living.
Learning how to focus 100% of your attention in one area, whether it’s the God you believe in, a candle, your breath, the feeling of love or any other object you may choose can expand your consciousness and give you a wonderful sense of perspective. When looked at this way, why wouldn’t you want to integrate a little mysticism?
Here are 5 terrific practices that can help you become more spiritual. Try a few of these out over the next few weeks, and see if you notice a difference in the way you feel:
1. Closely Examine the Stars
OK, I know you have heard this one before, but this time I want you to stare at them with purpose! Spend an hour on a clear night and really try and get your mind around how far away these little balls of fire are. Some of them are millions of light years away, meaning if you traveled at the speed of light towards them you may arrive by the year 2,002,007.
Furthermore, contemplate that what you are really staring at is the past; meaning the star you are observing is really a sparkle from a distant age (given it takes millions of light years to get here)! When you are done getting lost in the stars, bring yourself back to earth, where you are, your situation, and your life. I guarantee you will feel different. This is a great start to a spiritual path…
2. Look at Images from Hubble
Recently a good friend sent me the latest photos from the Hubble space station, and they are absolutely incredible (click here for the link)! Although this is the same point as #1, staring at the stars, these images will give you a whole new perspective about the universe and the utter vastness we are entrenched. As you look at them, try and bring your mind back to how tiny our little sun is, and how seemingly insignificant the little blue marble we call home is. This type of perspective can most assuredly get you going on a spiritual path.
3. Light a Candle and Stare at it
Almost the complete opposite as the last two recommendations, lighting a candle and staring at is a wonderful practice for becoming spiritual. As you try this, commit yourself to focusing ALL of your attention on the flickering beauty. After some practice you may experience moments of crisp awareness and heightened clarity. When this happens, try and stay right there.
When you are done, think about the images from Hubble you saw or the stars you stared at, and realize that this little candle is comprised of the very same materials and is literally “star stuff”! Cultivating the ability to just be there with the candle in the present moment is also a great way to introduce the practice of meditation.
4. Try Meditation
Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area, and is the personified practice of becoming spiritual. In a few weeks, the wonderful website Zen Habits is publishing an article I wrote that covers 20 practices for quieting the mind, and the practice of meditation is an essential part of becoming more spiritual.
For a terrific article on it, read How to Meditate from another of my favorite websites, Pick the Brain!
5. Read Books Written by Folks like The Dalai Lama and Deepak Chopra
If you are reading this article and enjoying the We The Change blog, I thank you so much for your support. However when it comes to writing about spirituality and greater theories concerning the universe I can not even stand in the same room as men like The Dalai Lama and Deepak Chopra.
These two fantastic authors have a wonderful and simplistic way of explaining some of the most complicated (and daunting) topics which broach the ultimate questions and “the true nature of things”.
The books I most highly recommend are How to See Yourself as You Really Are by the Dalai Lama and The Book of Secrets by Deepak. Reading them will help you deepen your understanding of what spirituality is and how you can integrate it into your life!
Spirituality is a path we are all on, and it is up to you to decide how much you want to live in recognition and awareness of it. I hope the advice in this article is helpful in providing some ways to get on the path, and (as always) I invite you to share your advice and comments in the field below!
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