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Spiritual Topic for May 2022 - Spirituality

Updated: Mar 31



Spirituality


Overview


Every being on Earth is spiritual, whether they know it or not! Spirituality is a part of our energy and our essence, entwined and expressed through every thought, emotion and action. In short, spirituality is a part of who we are.


Even so, providing a clear-cut definition of spirituality is no easy task. Wikipedia, the internet-based encyclopedia, acknowledges, “there is no single widely agreed-upon definition of spirituality.” What it means to be spiritual differs from one individual to another, because we are all different.


You may be wondering why spirituality matters and why droves of people are focused on becoming more spiritual. We are living in a time when people are waking up to what’s going on in the world around them and wanting to seek and find the truth. People are becoming aware that there is more to life than what we have been led to believe. 

We all have the potential to have a deep yearning to discover our true essence and to find greater meaning and purpose in our lives. Spirituality is a personal journey of getting to know oneself and cultivating a deeper connection to God/Source.


The search for finding the meaning of one’s life can lead one to research and follow many different narratives and beliefs. Be mindful that everyone has their own perspective on what it means to be spiritual.


Spiritual seekers are on a quest to become closer to the Divine and to uncover a deeper meaning to life, to the world around us, and to that which is inside us, focusing on age-old questions such as, “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “How can I serve?”


Contemplating these questions doesn’t mean one is in service to others. A service to self person could have the same first two questions, but their third question will likely be, “What can I gain?” in lieu of “How can I serve?”


One can be deeply religious and at the same time deeply spiritual. There are as many paths to connecting with Source/God/Universe as there are souls in the multiverse. Everyone has their own personal path and their own connection, whether they realize it or not. Some people choose to explore their spirituality within the boundaries of a particular religion. There is no right or wrong way to approach spirituality, and therefore, we should not judge people who choose to explore their spirituality in a manner that is different than our own.


Some people feel they are more, or less, spiritual than other people. Those who feel they are spiritually disadvantaged may not yet have recognized that a lot of spirituality is about life processes and how one manages them, faces and learns from them, or runs away from them. Even our personal issues are a part of our spirituality because they reflect what areas we need to focus on and offer us the greater opportunity for growth.


When exploring spirituality, including listening to your favorite personalities discuss spiritual topics and answer spiritually based questions, it can seem very attractive and supportive, and something for one to hold on to. Spirituality can be a lonely path on one’s own, and no one is an island. People flocked to Jesus and other spiritual gurus like Buddha, who attracted followers through their enigmatic magnetism. There’s nothing wrong with finding a teacher (or teachers) you trust. However, use your discernment and be mindful of what resonates as truth and what doesn’t. Try to avoid rebelling against aspects that don’t resonate with you. Remember, what you resist persists! If it doesn’t resonate, simply let it go.


One aspect of spirituality is having the confidence to be truly authentic and stand in your own sovereignty and divine power, which is naturally beautiful. It’s about each individual’s unique journey—inner reflection, discerning, and ‘innerstanding’ in great depth who and what you are, why you are here, and what you can do to help others. We all have our own part to play. Recognize that you don’t have to conform to the ideals of others. Instead, find and nurture the beauty and depth of your own soul.


Spirituality is an inner knowing that we are more than just our physical bodies. We are connected to others, the world and the universe through some unseen matter. While spirituality is a personal journey, we meet up with and make connections with others who are going through similar experiences. This is called resonating with someone or being on the same wavelength.


We’ve all had these energetic interactions—like meeting someone new and feeling as if you know him/her or immediately feeling drawn to or the need to distance yourself from someone. These examples help us recognize the frequency surrounding and connecting us.


Human beings have electromagnetic energy fields surrounding them, called auras. Human auras are the energetic manifestation of one’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health, and have specific colors associated them. There are many interconnected layers of one’s aura, including physical, emotional, mental and etheric. Auras can expand or contract and its colors will change based on one’s thoughts, emotions, actions and overall wellbeing.


There are techniques one can use to develop the ability to see auras, however, to most they are invisible, unless viewed by special photography. An interesting fact—one of the earliest aura photographs was taken by Nikola Tesla in the late 1800’s!


Because the energy we attract and the energy we put out into the world flows through our auras, it’s important to keep our energetic fields clean and healthy. Praying, meditating and spending time in nature are a few of the many methods one can use to keep their auras clean, and these same techniques can be used to further develop one’s spirituality.


To further develop our spirituality (to uncover our true essence and develop a direct connection with Source,) we need to find ways to unplug or even take a brief pause from the ‘reality’ presented to us through television, media, government, schools, family, friends and much of society. There are many ways to take a pause, and what works best for one may not work for another.


Meditation is just one of the many tools that can help us take a pause from societal ‘reality.’ People meditate or use other methods to take this pause to shift from an outer to an inner focus in recognition that one isn’t his or her thoughts (or the thoughts delivered to us through TV, social media, and other outlets,) but the field of awareness behind thought. The purpose of meditation is to move beyond thought in order to connect with the pure unbounded consciousness that is our true essence.


Some people avoid meditation, concerned that it goes against their religious beliefs. Edgar Cayce, a well-known American clairvoyant and devout Christian, addressed this when he stated, “Prayer is talking to God; meditation is listening to God.”


Meditation resonates with some people, while others prefer to take this pause using different approaches. The same things that help you relax, bring you joy, and raise your vibration, are things that can help you further develop your spirituality and connect with your Divine Self. While these differ for each of us, for illustration purposes, some examples include: sitting under a tree, walking, taking a sea salt bath and playing ball with one’s dog.


Over time, some people experience an organic blending of their key spiritual practices (such as prayer, meditation, connecting with angels and guides, spending time in nature, etc.) When one is fully present in the moment doing what gives them the greatest joy, one can experience the same inner stillness, connection to Source and to one’s Divine Self that can be attained through meditation.


As spiritual beings, we are on a journey to uncover our true essence and find greater meaning and purpose in life, a quest that entails a deep inner focus. 13th-century Persian poet Rumi summarized this perfectly, “Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”


Discussion Questions


  • How long have you been aware that you are on a spiritual journey (note that we didn’t ask how long have you been on a spiritual journey!) What does spirituality mean to you?

  • What woke you up to a deeper awareness of life or to the idea that there may be more to life than you initially thought?

  • Have you had an aura photograph taken, and if so, what insights did you gain from it?

  • Do you meditate and do have any unique meditation practices or insights to share?

  • What methods other than meditation do you use to practice present-moment awareness?

  • How do you think (or feel) you can become a more spiritual being?


A Deeper Dive: Consciousness Outside the Body


The soul is a state of consciousness that can exist separate from the body. This is the eternal part of us, the part of us that lives beyond death and outside of our body.

Part of spirituality is recognizing there is more to life than living and dying in one’s physical body. There is a part of us (our soul) that lives within the body during a lifetime but can also experience states of consciousness outside of the body.


People who are focused on further developing their spirituality are learning how to directly connect with Source/God to align with one’s Divine Self and mission. It takes most souls countless lifetimes to fully align with one’s true essence. Every life builds experiences and spiritual development and provides us with the opportunity to overcome some of our internal blocks and soul/personal challenges. Thus, each life helps one with their soul’s development.


Ideas about reincarnation vary based on geography, culture, religious and spiritual beliefs, and many other factors. Did you know that reincarnation was a commonly accepted belief amongst early Christians, however, this ended when the concept was deemed heretical by the church council in the 500 A.D.’s?


Dr. Brian Weiss provides additional context in his book, Many Lives, Many Masters: “There were indeed references to reincarnation in the Old and New Testaments. In A.D. 325 the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, along with his mother, Helena, had deleted references to reincarnation contained in the New Testament. The Second Council of Constantinople meeting in A.D. 553, confirmed this action and declared the concept of reincarnation a heresy.”


Regardless of whether one believes the soul has one or multiple incarnations, we can further explore the idea that the soul is a state of consciousness that can exist outside of the body. In the remainder of this Deep Dive, we touch upon the various ways this can take shape, including Lucid dreams, Out-of-Body experiences, Astral Travel and Remote Viewing.


Lucid dreams occur when an individual is fully aware that they are dreaming, yet they remain within the dream state. Research has shown that over 50% of the population has experienced at least one lucid dream during their lifetime.


The difference between non-lucid and lucid dreams is that with non-lucid dreams, events seem very real and people are typically not aware they are dreaming. It’s only after the individual awakens that they realize it was a dream. With lucid dreams, individuals are aware that the events taking place are in a dream and that what’s happening is not real. Because of this, sometimes individuals have control over the characters, their surroundings and the actions that occur during a lucid dream.


Many people have successfully used lucid dreams to overcome fears and anxieties, fulfill fantasies and to tap into greater creativity. Opponents of lucid dreaming point to the drawbacks, which are primarily sleep related issues like interrupting sleep and a lower quality of sleep.


A 2012 survey by Schadlich and Erlacher revealed that there are five main areas of focus when people are lucid dreaming (with overlap between the areas:)


  • 81% - Have fun (fly, dance, play games, etc.)

  • 63% - Decrease nightmares

  • 30% - Problem solving

  • 27% - Develop creativity

  • 21% - Practice skills


An Out-of-Body experience (OBE) is the sensation of one’s consciousness leaving its physical body and having the ability to observe oneself from a distance. Many experts believe that OBE’s are extensions of lucid dream experiences.


Common characteristics of an Out-of-Body experience include: the sensation of floating outside of one’s body; a broader sense of the world; looking down at one’s body from a height; and the feeling that what is occurring is very real. Not surprisingly, Out-of-Body experiences are reported to be most common among children and those who have had a near-death experience.


Astral Travel is similar to OBE’s in the sense that both entail the sensation of leaving one’s physical body. Out-of-Body experiences are unplanned, while Astral Travel entails an intentional effort to direct one’s consciousness outside of the physical body. Astral Travel (sometimes called Astral Projection,) involves traveling, usually to a spiritual plane or alternate dimension, while OBE’s typically involve hovering above one’s physical body and observing it from a third-party perspective.


Remote Viewing is yet another practice. Remote Viewing is the ability to attain information about a person, place or event without using one’s physical senses or any other discernable means.


Although people sometimes confuse Remote Viewing with OBE’s and Astral Travel, there are differences. With Out-of-Body experiences and Astral Travel, travel is involved (with OBE’s one’s consciousness is typically hovering above one’s physical body, and with Astral Travel, one travels to an alternate time and space.) With Remote Viewing, an individual obtains information real time, however, it is usually done without traveling. In addition, Astral Travel tends to be an interactive experience whereas Remote Viewing doesn’t require physical interaction.


It has been reported that military and intelligence agencies have used Remote Viewing (and to a lesser degree, Astral Travel) as a spying mechanism and to obtain important information. The obvious benefits are obtaining needed information without travel or placing a team member in danger.


Lucid Dreams and Out-of-Body experiences are largely acknowledged within the scientific and medical communities and have been researched extensively. Remote Viewing has also been studied, particularly in military and intelligence operations. Astral Travel, is a more controversial topic, likely because it’s considered to be a spiritual practice and can take one to places outside of known realms.


Even though Astral Travel is not as widely accepted, it may be more common than we think. Many experts believe that we all Astral Travel during our sleep.


The extensive studies and remarkable stories documented by individuals who have experienced Lucid Dreams, OBE’s, Astral Travel and Remote Viewing provide us with information for reflection on how consciousness may exist outside of the human body.


Discussion Questions


  • What are your thoughts regarding reincarnation? Do you have any recall of any of your own past lives?

  • Do you believe in consciousness outside of the body? Why or why not?

  • Have you ever become aware of your consciousness outside of your physical body?

  • Have you ever had a lucid dream? If so, please share your experiences and any insights.

  • Have you ever experienced an Out-of-Body Experience, Astral Travel or Remote Viewing? Is so, please share your experiences.


Worksheet:


202205-My_Spiritual_Journey_Worksheet_-_May_2022_-_Final
.pdf
Download PDF • 258KB



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