First of all, ask yourself, what is spirituality? I know that is not the answer you were looking for when you searched for an answer. However, many questions surround the idea of spirituality. The problem is that depending on who you ask, you will get different answers. Throughout this article, we will try to answer as many of those questions as possible in different ways. That way, by the end of the article, you will understand what it means to you.
Everyone is on a spiritual path, even if they do not know it. We believe that the whole reason for existence is to find that path and travel it as far as you can for the good of everyone involved. Of course, each track is different for each person, and the encounters along the way will differ.
What is Spirituality?
Spirituality is a concept that can be extremely difficult to understand. As we have already said, the reason for that is because everyone’s perception of it is different. However, the basic concept behind it is a deep sense of connection to something bigger and more powerful than anything we can see. When you have that feeling, it usually creates further motivation to find the meaning of life.
How people accomplish that is different, and it includes many various aspects of life. For example, some people include religion into spirituality; others completely stay away from the religious perspective. There is no right or wrong way to look at spirituality, only a personal view of it.
What is the Difference Between Religion and Spirituality?
While I have already been saying that perception is individual, there are some set ways in which spirituality and religion differ. Those differences are:
- Organization. No matter which you choose, religion has a set of beliefs and practices that you follow. Those practices and ideas are shared throughout a community. The size of those communities determines the size of the religion. While this article is not about religion, per se, you can see the top 5 religions by practitioners, here as an example:
- Christianity. – 2.1 billion
- Islam. – 1.3 billion
- Hinduism. – 900 million
- Chinese traditional religion. – 394 million
- Buddhism. – 376 million
- Free-form. – People who are not religious, but are spiritual, often fall under this category. They do and how they see life more about their own beliefs and thoughts instead of a set of “rules” that they need to follow. Free spiritualists then also fall under various categories.
- Spiritualist mediums. – spiritualist mediums believe that they can communicate with spirits through the use of a medium. While the term “spiritualist medium” seems like we are only talking about the people who actually can communicate with spirits, it is a broad term for all people who believe you can. More often than not, the people who say that others can communicate with spirits have some sort of desire to do it themselves. However, the difference is that you may not want to have the same level of involvement as some psychic mediums or people who can see spirit.
- Karma Spiritualists. – The other type of spiritualist believes that you can not communicate with spirits, but there is something bigger than ourselves. I call them karma spiritualists because they usually live by the premise that “what goes around, comes around,” or words to that effect.
I have seen the differences expressed: In spirituality, the questions are; where do I find myself, connection, and meaning. However, in religion, the question is what is true and right. I think that is an excellent way to differentiate the two.
Unfortunately, religion is a massive reason for conflict, as according to the Encyclopedia of Wars, 6.98% of all recorded wars are caused by religion. Therefore, we will not be going into personal opinions of which is best or right. The notion is that you pick the one that suits you and your beliefs the best. Alternatively, you can choose to stay away from it completely.
Paths and Types Of Spirituality
As you have found out, there are many different spiritual paths, and choosing one is not necessary. However, there are still various forms of free-form spirituality that you may find yourself more attracted to than others. The reason for that is simple; people still have beliefs, questions, and thoughts. They sometimes fit very well with other types of spirituality that you may want to learn more about.
We would like to say that if you read about one of the models, and think it may be a good fit, try. You can always move on to a different form if you find it is not as good a fit as you first thought. That is the beauty of free-form spirituality – you can pick and choose which parts you like and don’t. Do not set your mind on something unless you feel it fits you completely. You can take a bit from each path and make your own journey to ascension. In the next sections, we will have a brief look through some of the paths. However, we will create new articles on each of the parts in the future.
Mind spirituality is possibly the most common that you see everywhere. In essence, you use your own mind to gain clarity or answers to things that may otherwise puzzle you. Here we will briefly look at some of the main types of mind spirituality that you can look into.
- Law of Attraction. – The law of attraction is an entirely conscious and mindful thought process. The basic concept is that you think about what you desire the most and adapt a positive mind (like attracts like). If you do it correctly, you will get what you want from the universe.
- Meditation. – Probably the most significant aspect of all spiritualism is meditation. There are still numerous uses for meditation, such as spiritual meditation and personal awareness. However, the practice often remains similar. The overall goal of meditation is to increase awareness of yourself, your emotions, and your thoughts. You do that by creating a calm and clear state of mind.
- Mindfulness. – Mindfulness is a process of bringing your attention to experiences, past or present, without judgment or personal emotion. This method is hugely useful for people facing a difficult time in life and wish to seek clarity in the situation. Mindfulness often gives you a different perspective of events, which creates a simple, more defined way of approaching them.
- Nondualism. – Nondualism is a state of the mind that people will often work toward for a large proportion of their lives. It is transcendent of Buddhist tradition meaning transcended, or centerless. The nondualism state of consciousness may appear to hit people spontaneously. However, it usually follows a large amount of preparation through meditative and inward-looking practices.
- Self-hypnosis. – People use self-hypnosis to be the “suggester” and “suggestee” to attempt to make yourself believe something that otherwise you would not believe. For example, “I do not need my addiction,” or “I will be nicer to people.” They are two extensive examples, and you can use self-hypnosis for anything you can think of.
- Trance. – Spiritual trance is a different state of consciousness, where you become unaware and unresponsive to the outside world. Although you have complete control of your aims and realizations during trance, the goal is to gain the state of mind where you may encounter such things as spirit guides or passed loved ones or your own mind for clarity. Trance also falls under metaphysical spirituality too. The reason for that is because, if you practice at it, you can use it to allow spirits to enter your body to get messages.
Body spirituality is the use of your own body to gain a higher perspective of life. Again, there are no right or wrong ways to follow body spirituality. However, people use some popular styles and techniques to develop a “body spiritual” lifestyle.
- Breathwork. – Breathwork is a technique used to influence a person’s mental, emotional, and physical state.
- Chanting or mantras. – Mantras are a group of words or sounds spoken in Sanskrit to invoke an uplifting feeling to your emotional state.
- Dancing. – Everything has a vibration because everything is energy. You can uplift your personal frequency through dancing to specific frequency music.
- Tai Chi. – Tai Chi is a martial art that provides you with an awareness of yourself and the universe you are in. It can help you gain a better perspective of spirituality and what life means to you.
- Tantra. – Although believed to be connected to sex, the idea is that you use negative experiences in your life to carry you to new spiritual heights.
- Yoga. – Yoga is broader than the western world has described it. However, the basis is that you use yoga as an exercise of postures to gain a higher perspective of the spiritual realm and self-discipline.
Metaphysical spirituality is the second most common paths. However, it is still a massive path that a lot of people follow. The difference is that there are many different offshoots of metaphysical spirituality, and we will take a quick look into them here.
- Astral projection. – Astral projection, or astral travel, is a term to describe an intentional out of body experience.
- Astrology. – Astrology is one of the oldest forms of metaphysical spirituality paths. Dated back to at least the second Millenium BC, celestial objects are signs of communication and horoscopes.
- Channeling. – Channeling is a form of spirituality that allows people to connect with the spiritual realm.
- Divination. – Divination still has many types of practices that you can follow. However, some of the most common are pendulums and tarot.
- Energy healing. – Energy healing is an alternative medicine that has various modalities. Reiki in different forms, spiritual healing, angel healing, crystal healing, dimensional healing, sound, color, and many others.
- Mysticism. – Mysticism is basically a practice that you use to attempt to gain union with the divine.
Heart spirituality is following your thoughts and feelings that come from the heart.
- Compassion. – Spiritual compassion is an act that is only concerned with human and animal spirits, not material possessions.
- Devotion. – Devotion is as it sounds – devoting your being to the way of your beliefs. That can be spiritual or religious practices.
- Gratitude. – Spiritual gratitude is the whole feeling and showing complete appreciation for people, circumstances, and possessions in our lives, no matter what they are. That allows us to see past the need for items and material things, searching for a higher state of being.
- Heartfulness. – Heartfulness allows people to live according to what they feel in their heart is right. We can refine those feelings through various other spiritual practices. However, they all have the same goal in mind, to live how your heart feels best.
- Intuition. – Spiritual intuition is the feeling of knowing and following those feelings. They are not logical knowing, but a deep-rooted sense of belief that your thoughts and feelings are correct without putting too much thought into the answer.
- Letting go. – See your thoughts as passing clouds in your mind. See them, acknowledge them, and let them go. Do not over complicate things that do not need it.
- Life purpose. – Finding your life purpose is one thing that everyone would like to know. Some people dedicate themselves to find out what their purpose is. However, they do that through various methods that you have seen so far and will see soon.
- Philanthropy. – Giving to others is a great way to raise your personal vibration. When you know that people do not have the same as you, you get a higher sense of being by helping them out.
- Prayer. – Some people do not have the time to practice all they would like within spirituality, so they use a simple prayer to be thankful for what is going on or ask for divine guidance. However, others prefer to dedicate their time to prayer to show their dedication.
- Relationships. – Spiritual relationships such as twin flames, soul mates, soul family, etc. are all versions of spiritual connections.
- Unconditional love. – Working towards unconditional love, no matter who and why it can be one of the hardest yet most gratifying spiritual paths there are to take.
Connection to the earth may be one of the longest-standing paths of spirituality. Some of the topics that it includes are:
- Crystals. – Crystals, like all things, have their own vibrational frequency. People use those frequencies for various things, such as healing, protection, spiritual traveling, and many more.
- Herbs. – Herbs and herbal medicine have been used throughout history for as long as records go back. Their uses include; assisting with ailments, increasing the likelihood of astral projection, and other reasons.
- Nature. – For some, nature is an insight into the source or creator of everything. Those people aim to learn everything they can about the universe through various natural means.
- Neo-Paganism. – Neo-paganism practitioners aim to revive ancient religions of the Middle-East and Europe through ritual magic and witchcraft.
- Plants. – Plants of varying types are used in the same way as herbs. However, some people prefer to use one over the other.
- Ritual. – Spiritual rituals are much like the rituals we use in everyday life. For example, before getting out of bed, you may want to repeat some positive affirmations or complete a yoga session, or meditate, etc. The list of things that you can do as a spiritual ritual is endless.
- Shamanism. – Shamanism is a practice that involves you reaching an altered state of consciousness through different means. Those people often try to interact with the spiritual realm by using items such as drums and chants.
- Witch Craft. Witchcraft uses mother nature to bring about a change in your life and energy—a blend of all of the above practices.
- Wicca. Wicca is an earth-based religion that focuses on following the season’s change, honoring mother nature, and generally observing nature.
As you can see, there are a lot of different types of spirituality. However, not many people fit rigorously into one of those categories. The majority combine elements of each into their daily lives because of how they view the world. That is completely fine and often encouraged, as spirituality is a free practice.
Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and practice do not always have to go together. You can be a highly spiritual person but not practice your beliefs. However, The more you practice the views that you old, no matter what they are, the more you will feel a connection to them. The basis of spirituality and practice is; the more you put in, the more you get out. Furthermore, when you become active with a spiritual path, it becomes a hobby.
There are many people we know that follow different practices and different paths purely because they love the lifestyle that it brings. For example, if you enjoy crystals and finding out how they can help you in everyday life, you become intrigued to find out more, get more crystals, meditate with them to see if there is a difference in frequency, etc. The same goes for all aspects of spirituality, religion included.
How do you find spirituality? That is one of the harder questions to answer. The reason for the difficulty is that people find their spiritual paths in so many ways. For example, some people experience trauma that instantly changes their way of thinking, while others make a conscious effort to improve. Of course, the best way of the two is to make a decision. So, how do you find spirituality once you have set the intention to do so?
Well, you have already taken the first step. The intention of spirituality is everything.
1. Intention is Everything
Setting the intent to become more spiritual is the first step. That doesn’t mean that you have to become a full Wiccan, or go out and buy hundreds of crystals, or anything else. It means that you are saying that you want to learn about it and find a path that suits you. You don’t even need to tell anyone else about your new intrigue. However, I have found that having someone to work with always makes the journey much more enjoyable and enlightening.
If you would rather do something more than simply setting an intention, you can do various things to create a more physical intention. For example, you could buy some incense sticks and light one as a mark of the journey’s beginning. The link I have provided is a cheap but beautiful selection of six smells.
The next step is simply learning all that you can about the separate paths. There is no right or wrong path to choose; simply pick something that resonates with you, and learn about it. If it turns out to be something that doesn’t sit with you, move on to something else. You may well go back to the first thing you read about, but you may also incorporate sections of each. The book, Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin Ph.D., is an excellent book to read, and it is free as an audiobook on audible.
If you ever feel lost or confused by anything you read or learn, try to talk to people. Many people all over the world are happy to help. If you do not know anyone or feel uncomfortable asking them, please get in touch with us. We are not “all-knowing,” no one really is. However, asking people is an excellent way to get another perspective on your own views and thoughts.
As you have seen, there are many variations of meditation. Again, choose one that suits you, whether that is a single point, mindfulness, or spiritual. Practicing to make your mind still is one of the best ways to include spirituality into your life. However, it can be challenging to make your mind still at first. Do not let that discourage you, though. Set yourself a time each day to meditate. Start simple with only a couple of minutes. If you plan to do too long, you will most likely fail and then stop altogether. Try to watch your thoughts go by and not interact with them. That is harder than it sounds, but you will get the hang of it.
After a few days or a week of managing to keep your mind still for a few minutes a day, you can increase it a little. Do not rush.
4. Remember Your Body
Spirituality is not just about the mind. Do not neglect your body when you are in search of your path. That doesn’t mean that you have to start training to run a marathon. All it means is to move in with spirituality at heart. That can be a simple thing like dancing, yoga, singing, or anything that gets your body active in a spiritual way.
5. Do Not Take It Too Seriously
While the Buddhist Monks take everything around a spiritual existence seriously, that does not mean that you have to. You need to make it an enjoyable experience for yourself. Laugh at the things that would usually make you mad. Easier said than done, I agree. However, when you get the hang of it, you will see that none of what riles us in our daily lives really matters. (Of course, there are exceptions!)
6. Look For Signs
As you start to get more in tune with your spiritual side, you will begin to see signs. The first sign that I started to notice was a simple recurring number. Every day for weeks, I would look at the clock just at the time 22:22. You may begin to see feathers, clouds in the shapes of things, or other numbers on signs. You may even start to get messages while you are meditating. They are all signs that you are on the right path and that your work is paying off. Take notice of them. One of the best advice that I could give to you is to get a notebook as soon as you start practicing and making notes. Before long, you may begin to see patterns with what you see, feel, or “hear” in meditation.
As I have said throughout this article, you need to experiment with different aspects of spirituality. You will find people dedicated to a single way of life through Wicca, or Astrology or any of the other paths. However, you do not need to start that way. You may fall into a specific group in the end, but the best way to start is to pick the parts you feel drawn to at the time. Try as much as you can and incorporate it into your own journey.
As I said in the learn section, spirituality is not a lone venture. Never feel afraid to ask questions; find someone to join you. However, remember that you are all on your own journeys, so you need to accept that they may feel differently about some things. Go to circles, workshops, classes, retreats, etc. While you can complete all of the things on your own, you always get higher energy while you are around others who are in the same situation and mindset as you.
Spirituality is as individual as you are. Do you remember the question I asked you at the beginning? I asked you to ask yourself what spirituality is. That was for an excellent reason; you need to figure out your spirituality, not anyone else’s. The two take-away points that I want to leave you with here are:
- Experiment with different ideologies. Pick which parts of each path suit you and your beliefs. Make your own path.
- Never be afraid to ask people. While some people think that spirituality is a useless practice, many of us whole-heartedly believe in it. So, the point is, ask like-minded people. Remember, you can always contact us to see our point of view, but in the end, always make your own mind up.
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