Is spirituality religion or something to do with being religious?
The way I see spirituality is that it describes a connection to something bigger than ourselves as individual humans and what we see, hear, taste and touch in our perceived physical world. It describes an inner guidance or knowing, like intuition or a gut feeling. It describes universal principles of truth.
It is certainly what is at the basic root of what I’d call “organised religion” – Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism – however religions tend to have many other rules, traditions and constructs that surround them that have been created and over thousands of years of practice and human influence.
Spirituality is a simple but very powerful connection to Spirit, which everyone has access to, regardless of race or religion. Spirituality can be accessed through religious beliefs and practice and is for many people, and spirituality is an undeniable element of religion in its purer forms, however to be spiritual does not necessarily mean to be religious.
Personally I would still consider myself an Atheist in reference to organised religion and it’s doctrines. However I do interchangeably use the terms Spirit, Source, the Universe, the Divine and sometimes God, though that’s a more personal term for me, to describe what I experience as the “something bigger” that I described in the first paragraph.
Also it should be noted that the pre-eminent metaphysical text of modern times – A Course in Miracles – does use traditional Christian language to explain the principles of spirituality, forgiveness and miracles. The language is used in a metaphorical way and the text does not contain any dogma or doctrine. It is merely a matter of semantics. You do not need to be of the Christian religion to read or understand ACIM. ACIM describes itself as psychological mind training.
Connection to spirit is experienced and expressed differently for everyone. My work personally does not come from a religious angle.
What does “metaphysics or metaphysical” mean?
This is one of those questions that I understand the answer to in my own mind but I’m not sure I can write in down in a concise and eloquent enough way to make this a useful A to your Q, so I’m not ashamed to pull this excerpt from Wikipedia which I feel sums it up pretty nicely:
Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:
is ultimately there?
is it like?
Credit to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics
It’s a school of thought that seeks to explain things that we cannot necessarily see or touch.
What is meditation?
My interpretation of meditation is a time when you consciously quieten your mind of all the chatter and focus on your feeling your connection with Spirit. Meditation, like connection to Spirit is experienced and expressed by everyone differently.
It can be the traditional style of Buddhist meditation that is the popular face of the activity – sitting cross legged on a cushion, palms facing up, but it is certainly not limited to this. Meditation is anything that brings you closer to your own inner guidance. Some people experience it while dancing, or running. Others write letters to Spirit or have conversations with God during a quiet moment.
This is how it works for me: I like to sit or lie quietly in my bed listening to a guided mediation, with my palms facing up, hands open, letting go of thoughts or worries and focussing on my connection to Spirit and the words on the audio. I feel physical sensations in my body when I’m connected and I also feel very present in the moment and very safe and happy. During my meditation I ask for guidance and I receive clairaudient answers.
Marianne Williamson, one of my favourite spiritual teachers says “Prayer is a time for asking, meditation is a time for listening”.
If you’d like to get a guided meditation to try out just hop over to my home page and put your name and email in the box to subscribe for my Get Happy Now! Newsletter. You’ll receive my guided meditation for free just for signing up.
What is A Course in Miracles?
A Course in Miracles is a metaphysical text that teaches principles of universal truth. It is not a religious text but it does use traditional Christian language in a metaphorical sense to explain the ideas discussed. It was written by Helen Schucman, a psychologist, with the help of her colleague William Thetford, also a psychologist. The author’s name is not clearly noted anywhere on the book because she felt that she was merely the scribe of the ideas that were divinely given to her through a voice that she identifies as Jesus. Marianne Williamson is commonly mistaken as the author of the book because she is one of the most famous and prolific teachers of The Course.
It was first published in 1976 and contains three volumes and 2 appendages. The first volume is The Text and lays out the theory of the ideas of universal truth. The second volume is The Workbook for Students which contains 365 lessons, one for each day of the year. The third volume in the Manual for Teachers. The two Supplements are called Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice and The Song of Prayer: Prayer, Forgiveness, Healing
It is often shortened to ACIM and you will find that I do that on this site and in my writing and teachings :)