What is Spirituality?

Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.

Spirituality involves exploring certain universal themes – love, compassion, altruism, life after death, wisdom, and truth, with the knowledge that some people such as saints and enlightened individuals have achieved and manifested higher levels of development than the ordinary person.

Spirituality encompasses the thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, feelings, and behaviours we have about the transcendental element of the universe. Transcendental means that which is outside of normal reality. That which seems to transcend or go beyond the physical world as we see it. Spirituality has a sacred and awe-inspiring quality to it.

Spirituality may include a range of beliefs. Belief in God, gods, the sacredness of nature, angels, enlightenment, the supernatural, or concepts like karma are all common spiritual beliefs. Anything a person thinks is somehow linked to the sacred can be considered spiritual. Climbing a mountain can be spiritual if a person believes it is done for some transcendental purpose.

Spirituality is important for wellness. It provides the mind with a framework for understanding existence and mortality. It provides a sense of meaning, hope, and social connection which are all important for psychological resilience. From this foundation, a person can develop self-talk that helps them process and respond to adversity. The death of a loved one is understood as a part of the evolutionary process of the soul. An argument with a friend is understood as an opportunity for maturing in humility and compassion.

Spirituality also helps a person develop emotion regulation skills and self-awareness. Meditation is a perfect example of this. It is a spiritual practice that also cultivates psychological wellness, self-awareness, and self-regulation.

In many spiritual disciplines, an exploration of spirituality gives an opportunity to purify the body, mind, and energy and develop as a spiritual being. Various spiritual traditions also propose that spiritual discipline may even allow for the development of spiritual abilities, like the ability to heal, see auras or contact the deceased.