Renowned spiritual Guru and world peace ambassador Sri Sri Ravishankar says “Anything that uplifts the spirit, anything that brings more happiness, love, joy, creativity, compassion, and enthusiasm in life is spirituality.” It keeps your mind fresh and enthusiastic and helps to live in the present moment. How to be spiritual is a question each one of us should ask in our minds because when we learn to live fully and give our complete 100% to each task in life, there will be no regret.
There were great spiritual leaders who helped thousands find deep spiritual harmony. Some of them are Jesus Christ, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Swami Vivekananda, Kabir Das, etc. Technology visionaries Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg visited Late Neem Karoli Baba’s ashram in India when they were conceptualizing their business ventures. They came in search of inner clarity of thought.
The all-pervading conscience is called ‘Brahma.’ The meaning of ‘Aham brahmasmi’ is 'I am God'. Spirituality is about seeing me in the person next to me. Since I am God, so is the next person. If all of us could see god in each other, there will be no violence or hatred. The world will be a truly beautiful place.
Many issues occur because of ego. Issues could be petty things in our daily lives or even big issues between countries. Most of these issues will cease to occur if we effectively address the subject of ego. Ego could be related to feeling superior, inferior or even just the thought that I have no ego. Spiritual practices will help us manage our ego better. We will be better equipped to follow the idea of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ that means the whole world as a family.
We will also feel the need to break down barriers amongst us, like religion, caste, state, country, ethnicity, etc. We need to teach our young ones right from an early age on how to be spiritual so that they will grow up to be ideal citizens who don’t abuse drugs and have clarity in thoughts with purity in action.
As per Sri Sri “Religion is like a banana skin and spirituality is the banana inside.” Religion aims to make you spiritual. The fact of the matter is even a nonbeliever can pursue spirituality and find the inner peace.
There are many conflict-ridden places like Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, etc. Most of us live normal lives in our countries and worry about mundane things. However, for a person living in a war-torn country, just staying alive is the biggest worry.
There is also a serious immigration crisis going on. A huge number of immigrants from the third world and conflicted countries try to migrate to more prosperous countries in Europe like France, UK, US, etc. in the hope of pursuing a better life. If discussions happen with parties involved, which based on human spirituality and not just rational things, it will bring about a huge difference.
We need spiritual leaders, Gurus, and organizations to take suitable measures and initiate talks to reduce world trauma. Who knows, this may even avoid a third world war.
Meditation is an easy practice which can be done by anyone to connect with our inner selves. It also reduces stress and anxiety. Science has proven that meditation increases the quality of life. It keeps hundreds of different diseases at bay and gives rejuvenated energy to body and mind. A very common method of meditation is ‘mindfulness.’ Mindfulness is a simple method of meditation; you could sit comfortably and pay attention to the breath.
A very common misconception about meditation, yoga, and spirituality is that it's for old and ailing people. The truth is even a person who is young and completely content with life could meditate and enjoy its benefits like the enhanced focus of mind and better sleep. It's not just for people who have stress-related illnesses. You don’t need to wait until you are old and retired from the job to contemplate how to be spiritual.
Another extremely common myth is the idea that spirituality means renouncing all worldly pleasures and becoming a monk. Any individual can become a monk to seek spiritual wisdom; it is the person’s prerogative. But ordinary people like me can marry, work a 9 to 5 job, have kids, and still find time to meditate a little every day. Spirituality or the knowledge about the working of our minds is within reach of all of us.
To achieve mastery of anything, we would need to spend a few thousands of hours perfecting the method. So if one starts early and young, the individual will have more time in life to invest and grow in spirituality.
Spiritual practices like yoga and meditation strengthen our mind and give us a much wider perspective when we face problems and issues. As they say, having hatred in mind is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Spiritual knowledge helps you to forgive easily. If you have deep gratitude within, the cosmos will provide even more to be grateful.
If we derive from the theory of the butterfly effect, even our thoughts are vibrations and have consequences and results. What we wish for the other person will come back to us. So if we practice forgiveness and gratefulness, it’ll only make our life better.
Many of us who are in the corporate rat race, have to deal with high work pressure and commute through heavy traffic every day. This puts a lot of stress on us, and that is why it is extremely important to de-stress and have some ‘me time’ every day. If you master the techniques on how to be spiritual, like yoga and meditation, it will help you lead a calm, and relaxed life.
Spirituality will also help us be more productive in our jobs and find a purpose in life. Employees who meditate every day handle stress better and complete tasks in a timely way.
Yoga is found to be beneficial for people of all demographics. Yoga is a path through which we can be spiritual. However many people do yoga after all spiritual elements are removed and treat it just like any other form of exercise. The different types of yoga are jnana yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga and raja yoga. The meaning of the word Yoga in Sanskrit is union. So essentially yoga means the union of body, mind, and soul.
We are advancing fast regarding science and technology. They are made for the comfort of man and to increase his quality of life. But on the flipside, thousands are falling into depression and other stress-related disorders. People who take modern medicines like anti-depressants further falls into a vicious cycle because these medicines cause dependency and make the mind weak.
We have discovered new medicines and methods to treat diseases. But ironically find it difficult to manage our minds. This is where India’s contribution to the world becomes important. India’s contribution to the world is the understanding and knowledge of the working of the mind. As much as we work hard and achieve goals, it is also necessary to tune out and de-stress now and then.
India had the answer to the age-old question of how to be spiritual. That is why the iconic rock band ‘The Beatles’ came to India to practice transcendental meditation.
Some of the most sought-after spiritual places are Varanasi-India, Kyoto-Japan, Avebury-UK, Mount Kailash-Tibet, etc. Irrespective of religion or faith, people go to the spiritual destinations to experience bliss or sometimes to get away.
Native Americans were highly spiritual people. They had the utmost respect for nature and its elements. Ironically they were looked down upon as uncouth and uncultured by the conquering British among whom even cannibalism was prevalent.
Spiritual books don’t usually deal with just the mundane; it gives pointers for the spiritual seeker. Some of the famous spiritual authors are Paramahamsa Yogananda, Paulo Coelho, Eckhart Tolle, Rhonda Byrne, etc. Two of the most popular books are ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’- Paramahamsa Yogananda and ‘The Alchemist’-Paulo Coelho.
Consuming meat and fish are known to put toxins and cause diseases in the human body. It is ideal to consume the farthest in the chain of evolution as food. The farthest in food chain from us are fruits and vegetables. If we consume evolved creatures with more developed brains, our bodies will find it difficult to break them down and integrate into a part of us.
Eating vegetarian food thereby not causing harm to other lower beings of the earth creates an environment in our body which is tranquil and conducive to meditation.
All of us will ask at some time or other “who am I” and start diving deep into the question of how to be spiritual. The trick is to nurture these thoughts and walk the path to get the answers. It is the journey that is beautiful, more often than the destination. Hope this information helps you get started on your spiritual conquests.