“May noble thoughts come to us from all sides.”
– Rig Veda (Ancient Indian scripture)
When we moan about life, spirituality seems vague. That’s when we wonder what exactly spirituality is and we’ll likely dismiss it as an impractical concept.
Therefore the first step is to differentiate between the material and spiritual.
Material means matter – our daily routine and the surfeit troubles that keep us busy. Spirituality however, means a reinvigorating experience; a feeling beyond the mere relief moments that is part of our daily lives.
If you try the following, you might see spiritual life is real; the experience is verily the best confirmation.
First level – A glimpse of practical spirituality
Write down five things that you are deeply thankful for. The experience of happiness induced by a gratitude practise is obvious for you. Most people remain disconnected and find spiritual joy inaccessible because they only see bad in their lives. But this first step to thank our good fortune is a liberating experience; from despair we have entered slowly the space of celebration.
This celebration is real unlike the hard partying by those who seek to escape their daily worries. A positive celebration of life is more fulfilling than a denial of suffering through sensual experiences. Although the focus here is still the self, it’s healthier because we aren’t focussing on our discomfort but our blessings.
There are men and women however, who tap a richer source of contentment. They take their spiritual experience to the second level.
Second level – From ‘I’ to the other person
After thankfulness for what you have got in life, you could try thanking a person for not what he has done to you, but for what he is, and for what they do independent of you. Here, the focus is on the wonderful qualities of the other person; his or her being who they are is a cause for festivity. It’s the other person centric approach, and a new and effective way to tap divine happiness.
Often we are centred on ourselves; even when we appreciate, we are happy because of the benefits that have accrued to us. And that means we are still at the level of ‘I’. Now if we appreciate others for their existence and activities in general, we begin to touch a higher dimension of happiness. ‘There’s more to life than me and my worries’ is the message we send to the universe. That’s when we also learn to see our existence in general and our miseries in particular as tiny compared to the vast goodness in this universe. It’s a paradox: we feel insignificant, yet deeply satisfied.
If you have a healthy practise of thanking others- friends, strangers, things, experiences or events- beyond yourself, you are ready to enter the third level of spiritual experience.
To be continued…