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What does spirituality look like?
What is its purpose?
There are many differing views on what spirituality is, what it means, and what it can do. A simple and hopefully universal way to put it: Spirituality is the development of personal growth and transformation through various processes. Including but are not limited to meditation, prayer, sorcery and witchcraft, the use of hallucinogenic drugs, and even depression and moments of crisis. I have found that whenever things don’t feel right or seem cloudy, I can sit down and use some of these processes as a way to reflect and then attract good feelings and things into my life. This article will explore a few processes that may aid an individual or group to become more spiritual.
How does one explore their spirit?
Meditate – Clear your mind, breathe, dust off your white slate, and find your higher self.
People tend to practice the art of meditation to calm and lighten their spirits. Meditation will relax you, keep you healthy, and bring you the things you want into fruition. There are so many different variations of meditation; you just have to try them all. Here are a select few:
Gong Meditation: What at first seemed strange turned into a beautiful and relaxing state of bliss. As the yoga-therapist rang different sounds of an actual gong, I experienced complete serenity and forgiveness just by listening and lying on my right side in a dark room.
Hypnosis: For a free trial with a licensed and well-trained hypnotist, I experienced the immense and powerful joy of walking down imaginary steps and onto a beach. The sensation was so powerful that I cried enough to soak my t-shirt. It felt like lucid dreaming; it felt real.
Tandem Reiki: Tandem Reiki is another form of Traditional Reiki where instead, two practitioners are playing with your chakras, at either end of your body. After exploring both traditional and tandem Reiki, I was able to reflect on my Experiences. I felt I had been up in the clouds of my mind and could barely come down, even when I opened my eyes. I felt pulses in parts of my body, and was told one of my chakras needed healing. I experienced visions of horizons and stars. The pleasure of being quiet and still while acquiring new awareness is inexplicable. I highly recommend t this to anyone.
Pray – Live a life of gratitude and better your attitude.
Individuals all around the world use prayer and the act of giving thanks to feel more spiritually connected in life. Prayer can change everything, as it’s a lot like the Law of Attraction. In the film, ‘The Secret’, a story is told about Gratitude Rocks. A man came across some small rocks and put one in his pocket. He decided that every time he took the rock out of his pocket or put it away, he would say ten things that he was grateful for. He showed the gratitude rock to a friend living in South Africa. A few months later, the man got an email from his friend in South Africa with a request for gratitude rocks to be sent. The South African man’s son was dying from an unknown disease and the family needed all the prayers they could get. The man was thinking to himself, “These are just any old rocks”. But he went down to the lake and picked a couple of really nice rocks. He sent prayers along with the rocks. Three months later, the South African man called his friend and said, “Thank you for sending the Gratitude Rocks. My son is healthy today. Now my family and I sell Gratitude Rocks of our own and use the money for our charity”.
Prayer brings many miracles, and it also makes you feel good. Just sending a prayer in the morning, afternoon, or night can make you feel good, even safe. You are essentially connecting with someone on a mental and spiritual level. Our thoughts and our neighbor’s thoughts can change anyone’s lives. It’s pretty awesome to experience prayer; by yourself or with a group. It can be for an individual, a group, a country; for water, resources, shelter, warmth; for serenity, peace, balance, more faith. Prayer and our thoughts can change everything!
An unexpected example: This Thanksgiving, my Dad was voted to say prayer in front of all of our family. My Dad is usually a quiet and reserved man; he’d rather hear the prayer. But because of his recent scare in a near death experience, we all wanted to hear from him. As we all held hands and listened to my father speak of how grateful he was to be alive and with the family, tears started to form across the room. There was a bright beam of imaginary light that streamed through our hands and into our bodies. Each one of us felt a part of the same spirit. We all felt thankful. We all felt God.
Try Yoga – The wonders of bending your knees enough so that you may turn into a tree.
Yoga has been around for thousands and thousands of years. Its original purpose was to transform your life, your mind, your body, and your spirit while also aiding in your physical health. In the recent decades, yoga has become very popular in the Western world. In fact, yoga practice has become so popular in the United States that it is now a “6.9 billion industry”. It has become somewhat of a workout craze… But, remember. The original practice and purpose of yoga is to transform more than just muscles and your physical health! So, instead of heading to the gymnasium-like-yoga studio, try practicing yoga alone in your room for once; become one with your spirit. If you lend your respects to Hindi history and beliefs, other spiritual transformations can take place.
So, you’re tired of doing yoga alone in your room and you want to try something new, but can’t make it to India? Try Hot Yoga. The current city I reside in is home to over 10 different yoga studios; each studio practices various yoga techniques. Because I enjoy yoga and love saunas, I started taking Hot Yoga classes. On average, these classrooms are set to 104 degrees. The heat promotes good blood circulation and helps your body to detox. The classes were always challenging and unique. One time while attending a Hot Yoga class, I experienced what could perhaps best be described as a spiritual orgasm. Seriously, though. As my head and shoulders went backward far enough to almost touch my yoga mat, I felt this extraordinary ray of sunshine jolt through my throat and sternum and out through my back. I had swallowed and ingested spiritual light! I was shocked, relaxed, could barely get enough air. I felt as though I was being reborn, I felt as though I was finally alive… So, Hot Yoga. Try it out.
Study Sorcery and Witchcraft – Is it all really black magic?
What does spirituality look like to a sorcerer? He or she might attempt to communicate with the dead from time to time, or perhaps wish a plague against some enemies.
Papua New Guinea undergoes countless moments of violence and murders all because of the strong beliefs and paranoia revolving around sorcery and witchcraft. Many single mothers are made victims of attacks that form from anger and suspicion. If a flood or natural disaster occurs, people start pointing fingers to so-called sorcerers.
Despite these social stigmas, the danger and magic of spiritual witchcraft and sorcery is exciting. It has been prevalent in countries all over the globe. If you’re looking to tap into some spirituality, I highly suggest watching a video or two on sorcery and witchcraft, things happen, if only in your own mind.
Dream up Hallucinogenic Drugs – You don’t have to be an Amazonian Shaman to tap into the spiritual world.
Many religions have explored the consumption of various intoxicants such as hallucinogenic and psychedelic drugs, plants, and alcohol.
Even your everyday weed has some serious historical and religious uses; For example, “some historians and etymologists have claimed that cannabis was used as a religious sacrament by ancient Jews, early Christians, and Muslims of the Sufi order.” Like we didn’t know that.
A question lingers in my head: Is it better to attend a spiritual journey with or without drugs? Drugs can, believe it or not, really mess you up. Have you ever watched ‘Intervention’? Currently, a new craze for Amazonian hallucinogenic drug DMT is killing individuals, mainly teenage males. Is it worth it? “Hmm, let me figure out my life and become one with spirit, and then… wait, I’m dying”. Was it all worth it? Will we never know from that individual how awesome his or her spiritual journey went? What about long term mental or physical effects? Spiritual effects? Can’t I reach a state of nirvana and become psychic without using drugs?
One argument suggests that in “the belief system of your mind the drug becomes the power necessary to open the door of consciousness. This perspective indirectly creates the belief that you are less powerful. The paradigm results in disempowering your self”. Despite some paranoia, I had to see the good in both spiritual transformations. I chose to listen to some pretty crazy and awesome stories from friends and acquaintances that have tried mind-altering drugs and have become one with their own or another spirit. Friends had felt united, awakened, happy, and in tune. Still, most of the friends that I have who enjoyed drugs are still doing them to achieve higher awareness. Perhaps leaving it all to one person, particularly a Shaman, seems more ideal.
In no way am I promoting the use of drugs, but I would like to say that there is no right or wrong way to achieve spiritual bliss. As long as you are hoping to tap into a happier and more aware life, whatever way you choose, your spiritual path is your personal journey. You just have to find what works for you.
Gain a New Approach – Get lost in the woods.
Can’t seem to find truth in your current religion or anyone else’s for that matter? Then get outside and idealize what you think is truly right. Find what is right for your own spirit. A perfect and personal favorite example: Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalists. Emerson and his friends went against what the church told them and used their soul intuition and nature to shed light on spirituality and many of his writings and beliefs are still followed today.
In fact, people all over the world are finding ways to discuss spirituality over or with religion. Sometimes spirituality and religion go hand in hand, and sometimes not in the least. Pope Francis, the new Pope of Rome, is even changing things up in Italy. His beliefs are more intuitive than material based. Originally from Argentina, Pope Francis has literally thrown out the holy chair, refused to dress like past priests,and prefers wearing silver over gold. Not every Catholic is happy about the radical changes as some believe this new pope is ruining rituals and traditions. There are atheists and people from other religious backgrounds who find this argument almost humorous. But, isn’t this all for a more spiritual awakening among people and the church? Right in the media for everyone to see and comment on, how can the new Pope handle all of this pressure? I believe his doings are awakening our spiritual beliefs and ideas. Either way, finding a new approach is never a bad idea.
Practice the Law of Attraction – not just mental pictures.
We have all of these different processes to explore and may even be struck by spontaneous enlightenment from time to time, but what do all of these spiritual endeavors have in common? I vote for the use of the Law of Attraction. I cannot help but to be completely fascinated with this study as of late. If I want to attract a good meditation into my life, if I want peace, if I want to become more spiritual, then I think about it. I meditate about it, I pray about it, I talk about it, and I practice it.
Communities and tribes from all over the world practice diverse spiritualistic and ritualistic beliefs and traditions, but they all have something in common: the desire to transform one’s soul, reach a higher plane, and connect with all living and even non-living things. Essentially, a spiritual person is someone who lives to grow in the light, and also share the light. Perhaps the most beautiful thing about spirituality is that it grows from within an individual; it is what they find, believe, and choose.
In the end, your spirituality is what you make it. Awaken your soul.
I am a recent graduate from Grand Valley State University where I studied Film/Video and Anthropology. My goal is to serve the world with communication of and about other cultures; the many different practices, alternatives to cooking and medicine, and to enlighten those who may have suffered from xenophobia.
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