What exactly is spirituality? I define spirituality as your relationship with your internal self, that is – your relationship with everything that goes on within you.
Your spiritual practice should overflow into every aspect of your day
Sometimes we can make the mistake of spending 20 minutes in meditation and calling it “spiritual”, and then go about the rest of the day where nothing is spiritual.
We feel that from 9-5 we are trapped in the unspiritual reality of real life and responsibilities. And then when we get home, we may sculpt out 30 minutes of our evening for some attempt at “mindfulness.”
But spirituality is not something you do when you are home from work and then feel like a terror or act like a terror for the rest of your day.
And spirituality is not about just sitting and meditating. It means thinking, touching, eating, drinking, talking, looking spirituality. Your spiritual practice has to leak into all aspects of your day.
There is nothing in your life that is not spiritual.
There is nothing about your day that is not spiritual. And everything in your life can be made into a spiritual process if that is what you desire. Every act, every step you take, every word you speak, every breath you take, can be your practice.
You see, Spirituality is not something you “Do”. It is not an activity you do a few times a week and neither is it a product that be sold to you. What Spirituality is, is a certain atmosphere in life.
This once again emphasizes the point that if you want to make some progress on your spiritual path, you have to be ready to put your entire life on the line. It’s not about “can I commit to 30 minutes a day of meditation?” but “am I ready to completely transform myself and my life into something beautiful?”
If you want to transform you life, you have to keep yourself “On” at all times. But the problem is, we tend to be fickle. We tend to turn on and off, we stop and start, we change direction, try taking short cuts, turn around, come back, go around in circles. We do all kinds of things. When we do this constantly – our spiritual growth will take lifetimes to happen. If you are okay with that, that’s fine fine.
If you are not okay with that, if you want something to happen NOW, in THIS lifetime, then some changes have to be made.
Transform everything as a tool for your enlightenment.
If you consider everything in your life a tool for your enlightenment, and if you transform the mundane into something with magic – then your life will transform in the most wonderful way. You will see that in just a few months, your life will change completely. Your circumstances will change. Your way of being will change. Your relationships will change. The way people treat you will change. The way all living beings respond to you will change.
What we don’t need
The truth is, we don’t really need anything. We only require reminders about our spiritual process that is taking place within us, and our spiritual practice is a way of reminding ourselves daily of who we are and why we are here.
1. You don’t need to change your personality
Your spiritual transformation is not about you developing a certain personality that you think spiritual people have. Our personality is fluid and should change depending on each situation in your life. In this way, you can learn to use your personality, and not have your personality use you.
So changing your personality is not the focus of your practice. Just be yourself. Over time, you may notice some natural changes happening in the way you conduct yourself in society. They will happen on their own.
2. You don’t need to try to talk to “God”
Strengthening your spiritual practice has nothing to do with strengthening your imagination. We are not trying to imagine or hallucinate any kind of situation. We are trying to have a real experience that changes us at the center of our being. So worry not about your discourses with “God”, whether “he” exists, or how he exists, or how you can get in touch with him. This is less about finding God, and more about invoking a certain kind of Godliness within you.
We are mortal beings. We are going to die and we don’t know when. Life is not promised to us – it is a gift, a miracle that we are alive. After studying the human body in so much depth for the last 6 years, I can attest to this. The number of complex and intricate processes that are taking place in our body to keep us alive – it is nothing short of magic.
And there is absolutely no guarantee that we will wake up tomorrow.The problem is, we think we have time. We live with a sense of invincibility, believing that death is something that happens to other people, but not to us.
But death is universal. It doesn’t pick favourites or avoid certain people. It is impartial and we are far from invincible.
Can you know for sure that you will wake up tomorrow? I don’t know that for sure. All I know for sure is that I woke up today. And for that, I am so, so, glad. I’m alive! Can I know for sure that I will be alive at the end of this day? I don’t know that for sure, either. But right now, I am alive, and my goodness, doesn’t that feel great!
Death is not a morbid thing, but talking about it something that makes people greatly uncomfortable for many reasons. I remember talking to my sweet grandmother in India about death when I was much younger, maybe around 11 years old. I remember her feeling quite uncomfortable and saying to me “Stop now, girls shouldn’t talk about death.” and I love her for that. Because, she was scared. We are all scared of dying because we don’t know what it means to die.
But we barely know how to be alive either. And this scares us too, in different ways.
Death is just as beautiful, just as necessary, just as spiritual as birth. And we should talk about death, because it’s important. It’s important to really understand that we could die at any moment and that life isn’t promised to us. Because that will make us want to live.
Right now we live life at 50% and on autopilot. We put important things off for another day because we believe we will have another day. But once the reality of our mortality really dawns on us – we will realize we don’t want to waste our life on things that don’t matter to you. We want to be able to do the best things in life. We want to spend our time doing the things we truly care for. We want to be fully alive, not half alive.
We notice and adore the subtle scent of the breeze and the way rain feels against our skin. We want to feel the earth at our feet, we want to hold our loved ones hands. We want to look into the eyes of another human being and really see them.
We don’t want to waste anymore time. Not a single moment. We don’t want to live the way we have been living, because time is short, and there is a sense of urgency to finally become who we are destined to be.
This is why death is important.
Who are you destined to be?
It’s easy to think that who we are destined to be correlates to our dream job or vocation in life. While that may play a role in it, our profession is not synonymous with our destiny. Jobs, while they do play a fundamental role in society, are a man made creation. The first human beings on earth also had an equal opportunity to fulfill their destiny, and the concept of being wealthy, successful, famous were unknown concepts.
Who we are destined to be means reaching our full expression and growth. It means blossoming like a flower. Our full expression of life energy. A particular level of aliveness, that is what we are destined to be.
If I take a moment to forget that I am Mrs M, a doctor, a writer etc. Just forget all of that. Who am I with this life that runs through my body? It’s a really difficult concept to write about in words. I can only feel this when I meditate.
If a seed is destined to be a flower.
Or a seed is destined to be a tree.
A human life, our destiny is not just to become a doctor, or an engineer, or an accountant. It’s more than that.
What is the ultimate expression of your life energy? Is it to become more alive than we are today? And how can we do that?
Start where you are with what you have. Everything is set up just as it should be for you to begin.
In fact, the process has already begun within you. You just need to speed things up.
- Diet: Enjoy wholesome, vegetarian, high pranic food. If you are not a vegetarian, try it for some time and see how your body feels. At the very least, try to eat a vegetarian diet and abstain from alcohol in the hours before performing your Kriya. All these changes to your diet help to create the optimal environment and lightness in your body for spiritual processes to take place.
- Stop reading, start experiencing: I have said this before – you can read about other people’s spiritual journeys (like reading this blog, for example) but ultimately, you must have your own. There is only so many spiritual books you can read until you’ve had enough. Until its time for you to do something. Unless you do it, what is the point? You can’t read or watch your way to spiritual enlightenment. We can’t intellectualize something that must be felt. You have to experience it for yourself. Sometimes reading on the topic serves as a good reminder to myself of my path, but once I am in my own practice, I rarely read on it. Why? Because I experience the questions and the answers.
- Tools: Use the energy created by Meditation, Kriya, Yoga, Courses to overflow into your day. Don’t let the light go out when you open your eyes. Keep fanning the flame. Using these tools help us create the right internal environment for our relationship with ourselves to happen naturally.
- Make use of high energy days: Full moons, new moons, the hour before the sunrise and the sunset, Ekadashi, Shivarathri, Navrathri, Guru Purnima (19/07/2016- TODAY!).
- Before you begin any new activity in your day: Fill yourself with awareness and consciousness. Be here, now. Feel the life pulse through your body. Feel gratitude in your heart for the gift of life! Remind yourself every hour – I am alive! How do you know you are alive? There is breath energy moving in and out. There is life in you. Smile.
- Smile every morning: Because, you are alive and you awoke to see another day, and you didn’t have to! Smile because someone you love is alive, and they didn’t have to be!
I realize that these tips sounds so simplistic and we expect something so much more and elaborate when we think of our spiritual practice – but this is it. This is all it takes and this is everything.
If you can live this way consistently this for some time, in a few months, everything will change. I can promise you that.
Also, of note, Today is Guru Purnima, a wonderfully highly energetic day, opening us to new possibilities of spiritual growth and making us more available to the beautiful grace of a Guru. It’s a wonderful day to begin, and I hope you do.