In today’s information overload, in our society’s optimization craze, it seems more relevant than ever to develop a healthy approach to one’s own position in the world.
This article is about where spirituality can find its place in our daily lives and how it helps us to live a happy life.
Living in the Here-and-Now
Life itself is nothing more than what we consciously experience in the present moment. Nevertheless, we are often lost in thoughts, worry about the future or hang on past experiences. Forgetting that the only way to form the future and to not repeat the mistakes of the past, is to make a change in the here and now. The ego, one’s own identity or the supposed “I” are in our way.
We make our identities dependent of future dreams and burdens of the past. When one observes one’s “I” and thus one’s own identity long enough the illusion of “I” dissolves by itself. One becomes aware that this “I” is nothing more than an illusion. You can see that you are not the voice in your head but the person who perceives the voice in your head. With this knowledge, you can switch off the voices. Free from ego, free from the past, free from distractions of the mind, only pure consciousness in the now.
The ability to be present can be exercised with meditation. I prefer laying down on the floor doing nothing but observing myself from within. I recommend trying this to anyone!
Of course meditation can be done in other ways. My way is by far not the most common.
The best-known method of meditation is sitting cross-legged on the ground observing ones breathing. There are also more active methods like meditative yoga, where you mainly pay attention to breathing and to the execution of various body positions. These and many other ways (e.g. guided meditation, prayer, …) can be an aid to develop and integrate the ability to live in the here and now.
In our fast-moving times resilience is a virtue, which is more important than ever before. It describes the ability to put a distance between oneself and current circumstances, allowing oneself to carry on despite distressing experiences. Life is an unpredictable adventure, in which unexpected difficulties come up to us and our loved ones. Keeping calm in the face of difficult circumstances, while taking necessary steps, empowers us to meet new challenges in life.
Resilience can also be developed with meditation. We personally use prayers, which give us peace and certainty that we will get through any difficult time in our lives. That’s how we strengthen and develop our resilience.
Our belief in free will and our belief that we are images of God, enables us to see ourselves not only as passive players in the storm of life, but as creators of worlds, designers of our own realities and developers of society.
Our reality is defined by what we focus our attention on. If you want to actively contribute to the world or change your own life, you will begin to see possibilities and potentials just waiting to be unleashed everywhere you look! However if one directs his attention to all the bad in the world, one tends to think life is going downhill. Where we direct our attention makes the difference between happiness and despair.
Making use of this knowledge is not always easy for me, nevertheless my spirituality helps me overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in difficult times.
Taking charge of circumstances means to actively shape, what you want to see in the world and in your own life, and making use of the power, which you no longer leave up to external forces.
Religious texts and thousand year old sciences are full of universal truths, which pervade our world like the laws of nature. Investigating them is one of my passions. A detailed discussion would be beyond the scope of this article. But here are some examples of universal truths, which we find in our everyday lives.
- Good actions are followed by good reactions.
- What we look for and direct our attention to, we find.
- Love is the universal language of the world.
- Fear can be overcome with love.
- I can only be happy if others are happy as well
Rituals are far more than just pointless sequences. They help us to transition to other states of consciousness. I have a clear sequence of activities I follow every morning (on weekdays) consisting of sports, body care, prayer and breakfast. This structured routine facilitates the start of my day. It provides me energy for the whole day and a continuity which persist in times of chaos.
In our relationship we have the ritual of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together whenever possible. Before dinner, we light a candle for someone, read some verses from a spiritual book and pray for us and our loved ones. We also have other rituals, which strengthen our relationship to each other and to ourselves.
Integrating spirituality into your everyday life causes that you start to turn your attention to the essential things in life. You learn to appreciate what you’ve got and find happiness in the moment.
In the process of my spiritual development, I learn more and more to keep to keep true to my individual path and to experience satisfaction and happiness on my journey to the “real life”.
What role does spirituality play in your life?
How do you integrate spirituality in your life?
This article was originally published on the 15th of June 2015.