Before proceeding, I wish to alert you to my use of pronouns. It is cumbersome to use him/her or his/hers throughout a commentary, without distracting from the message. Since the commonly accepted genderless connotation is almost always the masculine, I will be uncommon and use the feminine version. I trust that I will offend no men reading this, just I have not been offended by the typical use of masculine, gender-neutral language. Some day, someone will create a satisfactory gender-neutral pronoun and make things less complicated!
What is spirituality? Is it a thing, an experience, a way of living, a state of mind? Is it tangible, intangible, a leap of faith? Spirituality is often described as a connection to one’s inner self, to God, to another, or a fleeting experience. Spirituality takes many forms, since it is defined in such a personal way.
Spirituality is often identified with and defined by formalized religion. Practices and observances are followed to bring one closer to her God, or in the case of Eastern religions, to herself. The common theme among religious definitions of spirituality is integration; of one with various aspects of herself or of one with God.
Spirituality is intangible because it is not something you can see, feel, taste, hear, smell or touch. Yet, it is your senses that enable you to feel spiritual. Let’s look at some examples:
As you lift your voice in music, a mood is created that moves you. You may feel God’s presence, or you may feel calmed, energized, joyful, etc. This very tangible “thing” called music, moves you to feel something that can be hard to define. Given the variety of music choices, the mood and degree of spirituality it incites will vary. If you have ever observed a Baptist church congregation in musical prayer, you would see some passionate engagement in a spiritual context.
Other practices such as meditation create quiet places so you can “listen” to your inner voice; commune, if you will, with your subconscious. It is in this quiet that you can really listen to the things that your conscious mind doesn’t allow you to hear.
Spirituality, however sought and attained, is the conduit for self-reflection, connection with a larger reality, and consideration of a universe bigger than oneself. It is often the source of inspiration, the way to find an elusive answer, a path to peace.
Even those who do not follow formal religion can experience spirituality by observing natural and common phenomenon: the colors in a sunset, the air after a spring rain, the steady sound of crickets on a cool evening, the feeling of a baby’s skin, the taste of food. Anyone who had ever moaned in ecstasy after tasting some delectable food knows exactly what I am talking about!
Nature and religious experiences provide ample opportunities to be inspired spiritually. Why don’t you share an experience Describe the situation and what you felt. Be as specific as you can. Try to make us experience what you did, on the occasion.