Words get used up. Politicans and the world of advertising may be the greatest killers of meaning that a word can have. These sentences are by way of saying that one such word is "spirituality." Most of us use the word freely, and I'm wondering just what we mean by it when we do use it. We speak of spiritual traditions, about spirituality and business, about spirituality and healing, etc. I talk about PW as a secular spiritual practice.
For openers, of what I hope will be an inspiring conversation, whatever we mean by spirituality, we also imply a practice of some sort--prayer, meditation, ritual observances, etc. Why is discipline so central, do you think?
I'm afraid many nowadays use "spiritual" to mean in contrast to religion; thus, "I'm not religious but I am a spiritual person." Sometimes what this means is, "I don't go to church or actually DO anything about spirituality; I just think it's a nice idea and I'm the sort of person who might do something...." Sort of like all those people who claim they could write best-sellers if they only found the time to sit down and put them on paper?
It occurs to me that if humanity were enlightened (using the term loosely for now), discipline would no longer be a necessary element to spirituality. In humanity in its state so far, however, there is so much racket and distraction bearing down on us that maybe only a discipline, a practice, makes the needed space in our minds, in our lives, for something that is so other than the prevailing "bottom line" mentality.
Just got back from spending a week with some nuns in a monastery. They do Buddhist meditation in their chapel as well as the liturgical hours and Mass. They do live it--remarkable.
I realize I've been thinking all day about what Michal said, which was so interesting. I'm not sure the issue is bottom line life (disciplines have been around for longer than the industrial age). The last thought I had was that we need practices and disciplines for self-remembering. Simple living makes us forget who and what we were before all the splits we feel in our bones and psyches. Life seems to me habitual forgetting. Of coure, if we all were enlightened, we would look at teach other out of loving eyes and we wouldn't need any such rituals. I think Michal is right about this.
Just jumping in here--late in March. "Self-remembering" seems a grounding in spirituality, I feel. How many of us know our Self? our Being? -our Essence? Habitual forgetting IS just as far as we have come. I agree with Michal that in using the word "spirituality," many feel they have all their bases covered. Hence, it has a meaningless term. But it does not have to be!
I think self-transformation the work of a truly spiritual person. Religion can lead to this, but also, the rigidity of the institution of religion can lead one away from genuine, spiritual inner-work. It is OUR GIFT TO LIFE, to the earth, to the universe. If it is honest--if it comes from pure intention and union of heart and mind and body--the discipline will come, slowly. Sulena
What Sulena calls self-transformation I think of as self-transcendence, and I think of PW as a secular spiritual practice because it aligns us with our essential nature, to be learning creatures. Harmonious with our nature, we outgrow or transcend our old stories and ways of understanding, wrap them up in or newest takes on the past, and, so doing, transcend the past--and in such a way that compassion or empathy and forgiveness come into play--in what some folks call an act of radical understanding--an understanding that makes a before and after in your life. You have a way of understanding how and why things happened as they did, a new point of view, what Linda calls a larger perceptual base of understanding. You also have a growing imagination. . . .