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The Spiritual Life

Richard Pettinger
 


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A spiritual life is our conscious aspiration to achieve a more fulfilling and illumining reality. A spiritual life strikes a balance between acceptance of the world and our inner spiritual disciplines. The ultimate goal of the spiritual life is to transcend our limitations and become aware of our inner capacities.

Aspects of Spirituality

Tolerance.

The spiritual life believes in tolerance of others and their beliefs. Spirituality does not mean trying to change the opinions of others. In the spiritual life we seek to transform only ourselves. Spirituality encompasses a wide diversity of paths and traditions. The spiritual life enables people to approach the goal from many different angles.

Acceptance not Renunciation.

Spirituality does not mean we have to renounce the world and live totally detached from the joys and sufferings of the world. Spirituality teaches us to accept the world as it is, in spite of the world’s teeming imperfections we shall seek to love and appreciate the world. This acceptance is an essential part of the spiritual life.

Meditation.

To live a spiritual life means to live the inner life. If we practise spirituality we will feel the importance of at times maintaining an inner silence. The spiritual life is always more profound than intellectual understanding; it is an aspiration to know our higher reality. This spiritual consciousness we can only attain through maintaining an inner silence. It is meditation and prayer that enables us to experience inner silence and inner peace.

Selfless Service.

To follow the spiritual life is to follow the path of yoga. Yoga encompasses different methods and approaches. One of these is karma yoga or the path of selfless service. Selfless service involves serving the world through our dedicated action. In selfless service we work without attachment to the result. We make progress through serving the divine in others.

“Not by establishing an empire can man achieve abiding satisfaction, but only by self-awakening and self-giving. ” (1)

Joy and inner peace.

The aim of the spiritual life is to return to our source of abiding joy and satisfaction. A memorable quote from the Upanishads is:

“From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey’s close,
Into Delight we retire.

This significant passage from the immortal scripture of Hinduism encapsulates the essence of true spirituality.

The Spiritual Path.

A spiritual life need not be taken on our own. We can definitely take the help of a spiritual master who is able to clear our path and facilitate our spiritual progress. A spiritual master or Guru means someone who is able to awaken the dormant spirituality within ourselves. It is the Guru who can inspire and motivate the aspiring seeker to continue on the path of spirituality and bravely overcome obstacles and difficulties.

References

(1) Sri Chinmoy “The Spiritual Life” Excerpt from Fifty Freedom-Boats To One Golden Shore, Part 3 by Sri Chinmoy.

Richard became interested in meditation and eastern spirituality whilst studying at University. After studying various spiritual traditions he became a meditation student of Sri Chinmoy. Richard now offers meditation classes on behalf of the Sri Chinmoy Centre. http://www.srichinmoybio.co.uk/

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