Spirituality is a big topic. And when you are big on it, it can bring you to the awakening of your spiritual essence.
If you’ve been on your spiritual journey for a while, you may have hit a plateau. If you are new to it, you may not know where to start.
Whether you consider yourself spiritual or not, you can’t be less or more than you already are. After all, it’s the essence of human existence.
What Is Spirituality?
You can call it God or life force, or use your definition of the unknown and mysterious. Once you awaken to your essence, you start cultivating your connection with the Spirit, honoring it within yourself and your life.
According to Agapi Stassinopoulos, bestselling author and speaker on spirituality, it is the awareness of your spiritual nature. She says, “It’s your awareness that the Spirit already lives inside you, regardless of your beliefs.”
In essence, practicing spirituality means dedicating your life to your Soul’s awakening.
The Importance of Exploring Your Spirituality
When you see yourself as a physical being, your life is finite. Moreover, you live on autopilot, re-creating events from your past. So it’s a self-perpetuating cycle with a known beginning and end—the end that so many people are afraid of. But you can overcome this fear of death by realizing that you aren’t your physical body. And this realization comes from transcendental experiences.
This is why spiritual experiences become life-changing because they shift your entire paradigm of self and the nature of reality.
So spirituality is the number one priority in life. When you incorporate it into our human experience, everything makes sense.
As you become more aware of your spiritual nature, everything takes on another meaning.
The Different Types of Spirituality
Because spirituality is deeply personal, it differs from person to person. Whatever gives you a more profound sense of purpose and meaning can be translated as a form of spirituality.
Generally, there are five primary types that most people can relate to:
1. Mystical spirituality
This type of spirituality is based on the idea that life is a mysterious event. Yet, there is a greater unifying principle to every human experience.
In other words, whatever happens happens for a reason, sometimes unseen and unfathomable. Mystical spirituality relies on one’s intuition to navigate this life.
2. Authoritarian spirituality
Associated with religious beliefs, this type often entails a set of rules and a hierarchical structure.
Authoritarian spirituality can turn into a fundamentalist religion, separated from the major religions. People who adhere to this type of spirituality tend to exclude other beliefs and spiritual views, driven by the idea that their perspective is the most truthful one.
3. Intellectual spirituality
Intellectually spiritual people gain their knowledge from spiritual theories. They may draw their spiritual insights from studying theology or even science. For example, Dr. Joe Dispenza, legendary neuroscientist and New York Times best-selling author, uses neuroscience to demystify transcendental spiritual experiences and help you heal your body for good.
Usually, it’s not a stand-alone type but complementary to your tangible experiences as a way to comprehend them through the mind.
4. Service spirituality
If serving others gives you the most transcendental feeling, service spirituality is for you.
This is how most people get in touch with their divinity. Because when you help others unconditionally, you transcend what’s known as self and have a direct experience of oneness.
5. Social spirituality
Also known as group spirituality, this type consists of having spiritual experiences as part of the group. It doesn’t have to be related to religious or spiritual activities. You can get in touch with the Spirit when you collectively hike, exercise, or even dance! It’s the feeling of oneness with like-minded people that makes you feel enlightened.
Truth be told, differentiation itself is a human pattern of falling into an illusion of separation. Because of the very nature of spirituality, there should be no types.
As Sufism puts it, there are as many ways to God as there are stars in the sky.
Spirituality vs. Religion: What Are the Main Differences?
Spirituality and religion are often opposed to one another. Indeed, there are core differences between the two that set them apart. Here’s a closer look at what they are:
Religion has rules in the form of rituals rooted in dogmas and ideology. Spirituality has no rules except for one, which is to follow your heart.
Restricted definition of God
In most religions, God is defined by dogmatic religious perception. But our human perception is too limited to definitely define the unknown.
So, unlike religion, spirituality doesn’t restrict how you call or perceive higher powers. You define it as per your unique experience.
External vs. internal God
Most religions view God as something outside of you that governs your existence. According to Ken Wilber, creator of Integral Theory and trainer of Mindvalley’s The Integral Life Quest, 70% of the population believes in God as some mythical superior being that can intervene in their lives if they know how to approach, obey, and worship Him properly.
“It’s a childlike belief that many adults have, and this pre-rational approach can be detrimental to adult rationality,” he adds.
A spiritual approach to God is that you can find it within—the Spirit is inherently present within you from the moment you’re born.
Truth vs. mystery
Transcendental spiritual views perceive God as the ultimate reality.
This ultimate reality is a mystery in itself. You can know it by becoming one with it through your personal discovery.
Unlike spirituality, religions translate one-size-fits-all truths already discovered by prophets. And now it’s passed on to you as a set of rules and dogmas.
Religion and Spirituality: What They Have in Common
Despite their differences, spirituality and religion have fundamental aspects in common.
Mahatria Ra, spiritual leader and trainer of Mindvalley’s A Journey to Infinitheism Quest, explains that the modern term religion is derived from the Latin words “re ligare”—again and origin. So the purpose of any religion is to lead you back to your origin—God.
In the same way, spirituality conveys the message that your origin is divinity, so being religious or spiritual implies living your life in ways that get you closer to your divine essence.
Also, spiritual wisdom is universally present in every religion, translated into virtues like unity, forgiveness, compassion, righteousness, and service to others.If you don’t integrate spiritual wisdom into your day-to-day life, it remains an abstract concept. — @Mahatria Click To Tweet
As you see, at the core of religion and spirituality are the highest principles of life. So, whether you are religious or spiritual, you want to integrate them into your daily choices.
Call it religious spirituality or spiritual religion; what matters is not the spirituality definition but spirituality practice.
Deconstructing Spirituality Myths
One of the most common myths about spirituality is that spiritual people are like saints who are always righteous and love everyone around them. According to Agapi, when you are spiritual, you are aware of the Spirit while living in your humanness.
Let’s look at some other spirituality myths:
1. Spiritual people must have a guru
While teachers are priceless gifts who can help you on your spiritual journey, having a guru to look up to is not a must. In fact, you can be your own guru or “buddha” (“awakened”) if you wish.
2. There is a point when you will finally get there
There is no pinnacle or finish line to cross on a spiritual journey. As soon as you reach a mountaintop, you will see another mountain to conquer. So this journey is a continuous process of evolution and growth.
3. You have to act, talk, and live in a certain way to be spiritual
You’re born spiritual because divinity is your true nature. It means that being spiritual is awakening your essence. Even without this awareness, you aren’t less than the Spirit.
4. Following a spiritual path entails asceticism
Luckily, you don’t have to become a hermit and avoid all sorts of human pleasures to be deserving of the title “spiritual.” You can live in the world, fully enjoying your life, with the full awareness that your journey extends beyond it.
5. If you are spiritual, you never experience negative emotions
When you use spirituality to avoid negative emotions, it’s called spiritual bypassing. On top of that, focusing only on positive thinking or feeling grateful for traumatic events can be a form of toxic gratitude.
The bottom line is that being spiritual doesn’t mean you distance yourself from your human nature. It means that you transcend it through spiritual practices.You can be spiritual and have human emotions without judging them. When we don’t judge, we have the ability to shift them. — @AgapiSays Click To Tweet
6. You cannot be spiritual and religious at the same time
When you truly awaken to your spiritual essence, you don’t differentiate between the two. You can maintain your religion and practice spirituality.
You can believe in the consciousness of the prophets as the universal principle of love without being religious. Whatever helps your spiritual growth is perfectly spiritual.
How to Get Into Spirituality
Cultivating a spiritual mindset can give your life meaning and help you grow as a person. So, whether you’re curious about spirituality or seeking guidance on where to start, it’s never too late to access your spirit.
Here are five ways to start your spiritual practice, explained by Agapi:
1. Become aware that you are Spirit
There’s divine intelligence dwelling within you. When you focus on the awareness of your spiritual essence, you will awaken to its presence.
Pray to God in every moment, like when you are in line, stuck in traffic, or doing your household chores. Imagine you’re talking with your best friend and sharing your challenge. “Bring that light in, and you become a light warrior,” she says.God is not a being. It’s a state of being that we have access to 24/7. — @AgapiSays Click To Tweet
3. Listen to classical music
Agapi explains that the Universe is a sound, which is why classical music invokes your spirit. When you feel down or depressed, listen to a masterpiece like Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and ask God to help you find the strength to go through this challenge.
4. Spend time in nature
Find a place in nature outside your environment. When you watch natural wonders, you start experiencing wonders within. You can also watch a compilation of wonders of the world on YouTube to help you remember that this world is a miracle, and so are you.
5. Practice free writing
Your soul is a wise voice within you, waiting for you to hear it. Agapi explains that pen and paper ground this voice, already embedded in you.
So you want to start cultivating a relationship with pen and paper and develop a journaling habit. The more you allow it to come in, the more you trust it.
6. Spiritual practice recommended by all Mindvalley authors
Meditation is a spiritual practice highly recommended by all Mindvalley authors—one that you can use to connect with your divine essence. Through guided meditations or self-meditations, what’s important is taking your time to sit in stillness and reconnect with yourself during the day.
Morning meditation shifts your focus from the outside world to your inner voice to guide you through the day. And evening meditation prepares your subconscious mind to receive insights and guidance.
Whatever you choose for yourself, make it consistent. Start small, and it will become one of the best habits you’ve ever built.Mediation helps you keep in touch with the world of infinite possibilities. — @ChoquetteSonia Click To Tweet
Recommended Books on Spirituality
Reading spiritual books can be an enlightening experience in itself. They draw spiritual wisdom from various religious, philosophical, and spiritual traditions that are relatable to everyone. Moreover, they focus on healing, compassion, forgiveness, self-love, and other highest virtues, reminding you of your divine origin.
Here’s a list of books to help with your enlightenment:
- Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. A profound dialogue with God about the meaning of life, beliefs, religion, modern society, human experience, other dimensions, and highly evolved beings.
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle. This book guides you on the journey into the present moment. At the end of it, it can liberate you from self-imposed suffering or, at the very least, make you suffer a bit less.
- The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer. A groundwork for peace through self-exploration and self-dissolution.
- Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon by Joe Dispenza. A fascinating marriage of science and spirituality to help you heal and transcend your limiting patterns.
- Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. Paramahansa Yogananda’s life story is presented as a quintessence of the wisdom of the East.
- The Seat of the Soul: 25th Anniversary Edition with a Study Guide by Gary Zukov. An invitation to step into your power and become aware of the new phase of human evolution.
- A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman. Your daily dose of profound reflections on yourself, God, and your relationship with the divine.
8 Inspiring Spirituality Quotes by Mindvalley’s Teachers
If you need to get inspired on your spiritual journey, we’ve rounded up these quotes by Mindvalley’s teachers on spirituality. Use them as your daily reminders that you are a spirit having a human experience.
- “Meaning is the antidote to any suffering in life that enables you to endure anything and embrace life as it is.” — Ken Wilber, trainer of Mindvalley’s The Integral Life Quest
- “The most spiritual thing you can do is love the world the way it hasn’t been loved before.” — Mahatria, trainer of Mindvalley’s A Journey to Infinitheism Quest
- “Your spirituality should be discovered, not inherited. It’s up to you to discover your own spirituality. You can explore and create your own.” — Vishen, best-selling author and founder of Mindvalley
- “You came into the physical world in your body for a reason. So integration and embodiment are vital parts of any self-growth and spiritual practice.” — Jade Shaw, trainer of Mindvalley’s The Art of Astral Projection Quest
- “Spirituality doesn’t replace your physical awareness but augments it. You can ascend when your Spirit is integrated into your body.” — Jeffrey Allen, trainer of Mindvalley’s Duality Quest
- “The most important thing in your life is that you are alive right now.” — Sadghuru, trainer of Mindvalley’s A Yogi’s Guide to Joy Quest
- “Eternal growth is a mercy that allows you to unfold your intrinsic nature and to heal and transmute everything that hinders you from living in bliss.” — Michael Beckwith, trainer of Mindvalley’s Life Visioning Mastery Quest
- “Intuition is the truth of your Spirit. It transcends the ego. It’s your most expanded and graceful version of yourself.” — Sonia Choquette, trainer of Mindvalley’s Sixth Sense Superpower Quest
Start Your Spiritual Journey With Mindvalley
Spirituality is a deeply personal matter. But there’s something very impersonal, or, rather, omnipersonal to it—the Spirit.
If you need daily reminders of your true spiritual essence by the world’s renowned spiritual teachers like Sadhguru, Jeffrey Allen, Michael Beckwith, Sonia Choquette, Mahatria, and Ken Wilber, Mindvalley is here to help. You can unlock your free Mindvalley access and try sample classes of quests designed to help you elevate your consciousness and improve your spiritual life.
Additionally, you will get access to a world-class library of meditations designed to help you walk the spiritual path with ease (available on the app only).
Most importantly, you will join a community of like-minded people aspiring to awaken, evolve, and elevate the consciousness of humanity.
Images generated on Midjourney.