Let me start with my own little story-
Life was as normal and fun as it could ever be and I suddenly fell sick while I was in the first year of my bachelor’s degree level. Pleural effusion (excessive fluid on the lungs) hit me hard and I was bedridden for more than 6 months. Doctors had to drain the extra fluid from my lungs injecting a big needle through my ribs and I had to be on strong medication for about 8 months or so.
In the meantime, my dad and I visited a nearby medical clinic for my follow up to see if my lungs were in a good shape. Something so ineffable, inexplicable and unfathomable happened that changed my life forever. As we got there, it was very strange for me to see piles of books nicely arranged in book shelves in the front section of a medical shop containing long-bearded guy’s pictures on every cover of the books. As soon as I saw those books cover with those pictures, a certain feeling of deja vu very strongly shook me from within as if I had known Him for years, as if we were so familiar although I had never ever heard His name or seen His face before and had no any idea of spirituality and what those books were all about. You know I was awestruck or say, hypnotized by seeing the depth of calmness and magic of His eyes and the very indescribable feeling was so strong that I got carried away totally and started insisting my dad to get me at least two books pretty vehemently. My dad very reluctantly agreed to get me those books after a tough negotiation.
Those books were “Love and meditation” and “Be still and know” by OSHO published by Diamond Pocket Books. That is how my whole journey kicked off. I then devoured all of His books, audios, videos or whatever I could find. Eventually, I started yoga, meditation, solitude, silence, contemplation, introspection, mindfulness and many more stuffs that opened up a whole new dimension of life within me.
To be precise, it ignited my intelligence rather than sharpening my intellect.
Okay, let’s now ponder over what being spiritual could mean based on the basis of my experience and observation.
What spirituality is?
Who/What are “you”?
A body? Mind? Or Emotions? All? Or None??
Are we here to eat, sleep, procreate or do something significant?
Spirituality is defined as a quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things which to me is not quite true.
Existentially, being spiritual is having a longing for the freedom, an inclination towards the source of life, an eternal quest to finding the answers to the most basic questions like what life is, what death is, what human beings are born for etc. Or, spirituality is rather about dropping these questions than finding the answers! Human beings are the only living organism on this planet that is capable of being self-aware which unfortunately is never thought of and practiced. All the human beings are spiritual in the sense that all of us are simply longing for joy, peace, freedom, ecstasy and benedictions regardless of our religions, creed and caste or whatever. All of us are only trying to expand the horizons of pleasantness within ourselves which most of us are trying to bring about through the acquisition of money, position or fame.
However, spirituality also has a dimension of perception and practice. Please be reminded that I’m not talking about the behavioral traits but a dimension of individuality or being. Even if the existential nature of still water deposited on a pit after the rain and the flowing river emitted from Himalayas is the same, there are many distinctions in terms of their purity, freshness and their inherent dimension. Hence, the one who constantly practices to be AWARE being unidentified by distractions/drama created in the level of body, mind and emotions is a spiritual being.
I call them pointers since they are NOT the ultimate qualifiers. They are only indicators.
A spiritual being constantly realizes and internalizes the TRUTH that life is fragile and fleeting, is a meditative and joyful being, is disciplined as s/he is conscientious being, is a compassionate, empathetic being who is capable of giving unconditionally, is a nature lover, is conscious and aware in every action or inaction of life and happenings, practices to live in the very moment which we call the present moment, has a great sense of humor, always strives to realize what s/he is NOT!
You reflect the exact same what/who you ARE. You can only share or give what you have. If you are unhappy, you cannot share happiness with others. This is applied to everything about us and around us. Hence, being a spiritual being is about being real, authentic and truthful.
- Being conscious, mindful and aware. Practice of watchfulness/witnessing without judgment.
- Spirituality is about being real. Therefore, it is not about believing or disbelieving whether God exists or not. Therefore, a Sadhak calls oneself a “seeker”.
- Spirituality is about peeling off the dimension of truth beyond the physical, mental and emotional paradigm or other sensory experience of pain and pleasure.
- Spirituality is about being HOME rather than wandering around in the mundane gratifications or miseries of the world.
- Spirituality is about being connected to the eternal force of blissfulness there by developing the perception of being where by an individual can remain in a state of non-attachment, non-resistant and non-judgment which Master Eckhart Tolle calls an enlightened living.
- Spirituality is about the deep understanding that this life is our own making which people understand as Karma. Absolute accountability for what we are or we are not comes with this understanding. There’s no way spiritual beings put fingers at other for whoever/whatever they are or are not in life. So, being spiritual is about taking action to invent the future rather than believing in some kind of fate or whatever.
- Being spiritual is about having an approach of inclusivity and by instinctively and non-negation by spontaneously embracing all the dimensions rather than negation. For instance: It is also about acceptance of body and mind, matter and spirit, inner and outer world. In fact, body is regarded as a temple and the only gateway that could take us in the realm of absolutely blissful state
- Spirituality gives us different dimension of insight as what we are NOT. It sheds enormous light on who are NOT.
- Spirituality makes one all inherently disciplined not because of any external stimuli or rules but because of continuous enflamed wisdom or intelligence within ourselves.
- Spirituality makes one see the very nature and function of body, mind and emotion. So, spiritual people are creative, innovative and innately original since s/he can radically encroach the very rigid scaffolding of thought-process and belief systems.
- Spirituality is going beyond right or wrong, good or bad, this or that or this ‘ism’ or that ‘ism’. It is about recognizing the entirety of truth which is often found in the nuanced grey area.
- Spirituality is about the middle-path, a balance, an opposite of extremes. Spiritual beings denounce the path of over-indulgence or absolute abstinence.
- Spirituality makes all of the peoples’ heart filled with gratitude. An eternal sense of thankfulness would always blossom in the heart for spiritual people regardless.
- Spirituality is about bringing about the transformation in the recognition of who “I” am through intense Sadhana. It is facilitating the deliberate death of “I” or sense of doer-ship or our identifications of body, mind and emotions. This is the most audaciously painful process.
What spirituality is NOT?
It is not self-improvement.
It is not a pseudo-science.
It is not against science.
It is not about controlling mind and senses.
It is not about being vegan/vegetarian or whatever.
It is not merely an accumulation of information in the form of knowledge.
It is not suppression of desires.
It is not consolation of any kind.
It is not belief/disbelief. (Theists/Atheist)
It is not nurturing and consolidating the ego/identity.
It is not following a dogma, creed or any belief-system or disbelief-system.
It is not about learning, studying a value system.
It is not a teaching of morality.
It is not about twisting and turning of the body.
Being spiritual at work:
The fragrance of all the dimensions discussed above would definitively trickle down at work since you can only reflect what/who you are.
Being spiritual at work?
Being spiritual is about being pleasant within oneself and henceforth, with all other people.
Since a spiritual person can clearly SEE the thought patterns, belief-system and emotional intricacies
- One is naturally mindful.
- One is rebellious- non-conformity of any form of authority.
- One is communicative as being responsive rather than being reactive.
- One has more clarity.
- One is absolutely passionate.
- One is compassionate and empathetic because of the ability to have a parallel thinking.
- One is adaptable.
- One is humble and polite because of the deprivation of ego.
- One is sensitive and sensible.
- One is accountable.
- One is patently inclusive.
- One has growth mindset and has risk taking abilities.
- One is realistic, balanced. (unbiased or un-prejudiced)
- One has a holistic approach to seeing things, events and situations.
- One is visionary.
At the end, I would like to pay my utmost gratitude to all the individuals in my life who have listened with or without judgment, spoken with or without prejudice, helped me with or without entitlement, understood with or without pretension and loved me with or without conditions.
And, my gratitude to the whole existence for what it is.