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The spiritual path

How do you define this? In fact how would you define spirituality in general? What did you do that earmarked the start of your spiritual journey? Was it meditation?

Also what activities other than meditation do you think will enhance your spirituality and further your progress?

Just some random questions floating around in my noggin.

Comments

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited June 2016

    Well, if some Western Buddhists don't consider Buddhism to be a religion, and there's no deity/deities, what exactly about it is "spiritual"? I've never really thought of it as a spiritual path, I don't think. I think of it as part psychology, philosophy, and part just good advice about how to live right: with honesty, kindness and the least stress possible. Is that spiritual, or is that just normal?

    Define "spiritual".

    lobsterFoibleFull
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Well said @Dakini

    Your name is based on a wizard, which some might equate with spiritual/spooky stuff. I would contend that the term 'spiritual' or even the 'mystical' nature of enlightenment that @genkaku mentions is, can be and ultimately has to be part of our experience BUT there is no need to think of it as outside of the mundane ...

    silver
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Dakini said:> Define "spiritual".

    I have no idea what it means.

  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    I've heard people say they are spiritual but not religious. I've yet to hear anyone say that they are religious but not spiritual.

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I don't really know what spirituality is but it seems to be the general antithesis to nihilism.

  • RuddyDuck9RuddyDuck9 MD, USA Veteran

    this is an interesting set of questions OP-- I find myself often asking what's the difference between a spirit and a soul, and are there any sects of B'ism that believe in the human spirit despite the no-soul or no-self idea... or am i just all confused? :confused:

    If we have no "soul" per se, I definitely believe there is a spirit... a spark you might say, to sentience. There's a term for that, no? I began my "spiritual journey" when I was four (or five or seven or something...) and an adult asked me if I loved Jesus.... I very timidly said that I did, even though I had no stinking clue what this meant, only that I was expected to answer in a certain way. Then I tried Bible camp. Then I tried Celtic Polytheism and Wicca... The whole time simply wanting something to make sense, and not particularly loving the idea of nihilism. When I began my college education I began studying everything I could... not just English Lit and Women's Studies, but language, art, dance, theater, world religions, knitting and weaving.... I couldn't get enough knowledge. I still feel that way. Is learning a spiritual experience? I think for me it was. Books are, for lack of a better word, magical to me. When I began meditating, everything started to fall into place. I'm still learning everyday and hope to continue to do so for the rest of my life. It's nice to have a room of one's own inside one's mind.

    silverFosdick
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2016

    I usually use the term spirituality
    to refer to any transcendence of our own ego's inertia over others.
    and
    the term religiousness
    to refer to humanities interests in laying some claims to that transcendence.

    Shoshinlobster
  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    Carl Jung used to dislike the terms 'spiritual', or 'religious'. He always used numinous to indicate something that had that special quality. In a way they are fingers pointing to the moon, those terms, used to describe experiences where the beyond suddenly comes close and we wake up a little bit more.

    For me it was a variety of experiences beyond the ordinary which suddenly invaded my life. You could call it a spiritual crisis, which rekindled my interest and set my feet on the path. It was a really difficult time, trouble at work and at home, re-examining my childhood and the spiritual side of the years I had spent in the Osho communes in the 1980's. It took me some time to process, and then move outwards to study Buddhism.

    RuddyDuck9lobster
  • ShimShim Veteran

    For me the word 'spiritual' is a practical way to refer to phenomena of a certain kind. I can't define the word itself.
    I mostly use it to tell google what kind of answers I want.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Religious = Tax exemption for believing
    Spiritual = No tax exemption for experiencing

    One can't get any deeper than that ^^

  • Gee, a path of self acceptance, self-reliance while allowing interaction and openness with others, allowing the door to be open for others to enter without expecting or demanding entry. Perhaps a path of love for self and others without judgement or bias.

    In the real world, I have seen ordinary people show great spirituality in what would appear very nonspiritual circumstances - work, daily living, war. I have also seen so-called spiritual persons acting in ways utterly devoid of spirituality - such as, but not limited to, priests.

    Spirituality is a frame of mind, a process, a form of being to which you can not attach a collar and say, "I've got it!" It is a part of us and we a part of it. It comes and goes yet never is it far away.

    Sometimes, when we are spiritual, we are very much aware or engaged with the self, (but not selfishly engaged).
    sometimes, when we are spiritual, we are totally unaware of the self.

    It can not be pinned, it is like the mist, like the air. If we do not try to catch it but embrace it, allow it to enfold us, we will know it without thinking of it.

    Dang! Must be the coffee. O.o

    Peace to all

    silverShoshinlobster
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    Sounds like a mighty good cup your having. Save me some of that Buddha brew.

    lobster
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    Two haters passed with tightened jaw. Turned around. Guess what they saw. Their new best friend beheld with awe.

    lobster
  • Everything is spiritual. The mind is just waking and sleep so I do not believe there is a moment where we say I am on a spiritual journey. We are awake one minute and sleeping the next. It is a practice to stay awake enough to see the world is illusion. We think knowledge will liberate us but it is specifically the knowledge of how to end suffering that liberates us and that we can tune out any time we wish. I always talk about ending suffering because what is the point in living if you are suffering? All pain can be tuned out through mastering the mind. To stop attaching to the unattainable is the starting point of a spiritual journey if there is one. As long as we are here in this state of existence where we are challenged by the very REAL illusions we can choose to be awake and release from the suffering it brings. And at this level of awareness is where we also are lucid enough to navigate the astral realms and lower states of consciousness. A human existence is as good as any when we are masters over animal ego mind. This is where we learn what NOT to do. It is where we learn we have a choice to be happy, to be selfless and compassionate. And that none of that matters unless we want it to. This is where we come face to face with a higher state of consciousness that is attainable and where we get to choose how we wish to be in the world regardless of right or wrong or situations or what others do and say. It is a very zen place to be.

    All worlds can be experienced from that place without suffering.
    I didn't have to die to learn that. I just had to be awake. My third eye is opened and I have seen many different realities all unfolding in this present moment. Some nice and some really horrible. But I see them from the perspective of the Observer, the EYE that sees all without emotional compromise. Compassion is in heart center of that cosmic being that sees all. That is where we see that being one with all that is feels better than separation and domination. It is never really a matter of what is right or wrong. Just what feels better and what does not. There are those that are only concerned with the external world and their ability to master it. This is a futile battle. We will never dominate or master the external world because it is an illusion. It is a mental construct that is forever falling away. That is something we learn as part of the awakening process. And when we are fully awake we have to struggle to remain in that state if we are playing in the world. The labyrinth is where we become lost and forget. It is a never ending story. We wake and we sleep.

    lobsterShoshin
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2016

    Wow. For a newbie, you sure jump right in! usually we can't get a peep out of some folks for a long while!
    So, where did you pick up all of this? Interesting!

    Once 'Awake' though, there is no going back to sleep. You can't unlearn what you have learnt. If you go back to sleep, after waking, you weren't awake. Metaphorically speaking, of course....

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    And what is your take on dukkha, ignorance and delusion? Or the difference between seeing with the third eye and experiencing psychotic hallucinations? The distinction between the madman and the mystic has always been an interesting one, which requires a lot of discernment to navigate...

  • No one person seems to define it the same. I think this is largely because it means different things to different people. Maybe it is just that the English language is lacking for a better term, but I have never heard someone say I am “Spiritual” without an explanation following shortly after. It is also my observation that there seems to be a great deal of preconceived notions associate with the word “spiritual” (But I guess that is a side point).

    Prior to Buddhism I considered spirituality to be a point of view. For me that view was centered in a firm belief that there was an unseen connectedness among all living things which I was a part of. Although at the time I didn’t quite understand what my role in the grand scheme of things was, I knew I was somehow part of something “bigger”. So I guess you could say that spirituality for me was the feeling of being connected to the world around me.

    I think the defining moment in my journey started when I began my search for ways to deal with my empathic nature. The search lead me to Buddhism, and I immediately felt like the pieces fell into place. I still consider spirituality to be a point of view, but now I have a framework to put it into, and I have a better understanding of where I fit in that view.

    Going forward I think the thing that will enhance my practice and spirituality the most will be finding the right teacher.

    lobster
  • @federica said:
    Wow. For a newbie, you sure jump right in! usually we can't get a peep out of some folks for a long while!
    So, where did you pick up all of this? Interesting!

    Once 'Awake' though, there is no going back to sleep. You can't unlearn what you have learnt. If you go back to sleep, after waking, you weren't awake. Metaphorically speaking, of course....

    Just the way I roll. I don't think my mind is good at living with uncertainty. I can learn a few things and my mind tries to find a pattern and logic then uses it to almost make up the rest. Hard to explain. I just always wanna know everything right away. I guess it comes from growing up in a world where anything you wanna know is only a google search away.

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran
    edited August 2016

    Generally, I have observed that the person who is trying/leaned to find answers of unanswered questions and who looks beyond the material comfort is referred as a spiritual.

    Actual practice of knowledge we get through Dhamma and mediation is need to apply in daily life is a sign of enhancement.

    My spiritual journey was started when I was kid who wanted to find what is beyond the blue sky. And why god is only lives inside temple? If we construct a new temple then another god can be created? Such kind of things were in my mind when I was introduced to worship in a theist religion. And a small marble Buddha statue we respected but did not knew anything how his philosophy is different from another gods but yet he was most pleasant and having magnificent smile.

    lobster
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2016

    @Mingle said:

    @federica said:
    Wow. For a newbie, you sure jump right in! usually we can't get a peep out of some folks for a long while!
    So, where did you pick up all of this? Interesting!

    Once 'Awake' though, there is no going back to sleep. You can't unlearn what you have learnt. If you go back to sleep, after waking, you weren't awake. Metaphorically speaking, of course....

    Just the way I roll. I don't think my mind is good at living with uncertainty. I can learn a few things and my mind tries to find a pattern and logic then uses it to almost make up the rest. Hard to explain. I just always wanna know everything right away. I guess it comes from growing up in a world where anything you wanna know is only a google search away.

    I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to @Phiremonkey.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I guess for me, all of life is spiritual. But I am not always connected to that part of myself to recognize it. Other distractions get in the way sometimes. I have very intense memories as a young child of feeling connected, of feeling overwhelming peace or bliss. To me, that was the start of spirituality, knowing those moments and wanting to have more of them. Interestingly, I grew farther and farther away from it until I got to be around 30. Then I started reeling myself back in.

    When did it start? Around birth, I suspect.

    Kerome
  • @federica said:
    Wow. For a newbie, you sure jump right in! usually we can't get a peep out of some folks for a long while!
    So, where did you pick up all of this? Interesting!

    Once 'Awake' though, there is no going back to sleep. You can't unlearn what you have learnt. If you go back to sleep, after waking, you weren't awake. Metaphorically speaking, of course....

    I picked all of this up from life experience and from Buddhist teachings

    Shoshin
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