The thing that often sets me apart from people is that I like to have some idea about what I am talking. So one more of the big reasons why I usually refrained from talking about Spirituality is because firstly I need to be clear about what is “Spirituality” fundamentally.
I would urge you to take a moment now and think about this. Often we use words, even at times to define ourselves but a closer inquiry reveals that we are not clear about what these words even mean, forget whether they are true or not!
So what do you think is Spirituality?
I remember asking this to one of my favorite monks, and he said that Spirituality is increase in perception. It sort of sounded right to me…. and yet it is after many years that I have clarity on the matter.
In my last post I spoke about Truths. Truths seem fundamentally linked to Perception. A persons ability to fathom layers and layers of truths about a matter, Truths that impact and transform life, is Perception. Increased perception would lead to these various truths and it is only this way that we can truly know and understand life.
What is Real? Keep aside the Mental Drama
So often in conversations I find the need to ask people ‘Are you sure, that is true?’ Because usually we are all inflicted by our Mental drama. For eg: I remember a few weeks back, it was really hot in Mumbai. The summer was in full swing and everyone in office decided to have Ice Cream. The idea being lets have something cool. But for me there was nothing Cool about Ice Cream. I was thinking about it’s ingredients – with the level of sugar, milk and flour – I doubt Ice Cream is cool at all. The moment I think of cooling foods in Summer – I am thinking Ash Gourd, Watermelon, Black grapes and so on. Yes, on one level, cool foods = foods which are Cold in temperature, but if you thought a bit more, then you would think about foods which actually make your body cooler & more adept at tackling the outside heat. Definitely going by the second type of foods is a healthier option. But when taste > health we have mental drama.
Similarly, when people get really thirsty they drink Coca Cola but it is actually dehydrating. A lot of such examples are there which show how often we are caught up in our Mental Drama and just losing touch with reality.
More and more that I am adopting a spiritual and yogic lifestyle, I am realising how much more closer it is to the Realities of Life. One has to drop the Mental Rubbish that we indulge in so freely and actively in our usual, daily social lives. It is very difficult at first but then slowly the thoughts change and I am realising that by dropping the mental rubbish I am actually doing what is best for Me. So it is kind of counter intuitive.
It is our Likes & Dislikes with no base in Reality – That is Mental Drama. We usually identify ourselves as our bunch of thoughts and largely the likes and dislikes. These thoughts & likes/dislikes they have nothing to do with our health nor well-being nor growth – it is all just Mental Drama.
So establishing the fundamental meaning of “Spirituality” we can then chart tips towards spiritual growth, for eg:
1) Question your thoughts and impulses – are they real or just Mental Drama?
In the current book I am reading, Thich Nhat Hahn suggests putting up a sheet in your office/home which says, “Are you Sure?”
2) Think about Death
Truly thinking about Death or a close brush with it really shakes people up. All this mental rubbish that we do – it all just becomes nothing when faced with Death, isn’t it? Sadhguru often says, remind the people around you that they will die one day.
3) New Exposure & Experiences
New experiences, going out of your comfort zone can often break a lot of stigmas. It can show you a whole new world. Travel is definitely one such thing for me.
Why clarity about Spirituality is Important
Everyone has something to say about Spirituality. Everyone thinks that as Spirituality is something intrinsic – anything goes. This is a problem because the most random acts can be deemed “spiritual”. At times these activities can harm people and at other times they are just futile.
Especially today when Spirituality is a big industry and it is only growing bigger – we need to remain grounded. Clarity is paramount. People often talk about faith & belief – the problem is that these can easily become dogma. A way to not become fanatic/dogmatic about your spirituality is by developing intelligent clarity about it.
So here is to some clarity! Cheers. 😉