The practice of Buddhism must always begin with ourselves—with gaining some kind of understanding of where we are and what sort of beings we are. Transcendental concepts like buddhahood and nirvana may well represent our ultimate goal, but we will never become a buddha by ignoring our immediate human condition.
– Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche
What “Spirituality” Means to Each of Us
In an article called Taming the Mind, Transforming Ourselves featured in Shambhala Sun, Traleg Kyobgon Rinnpoche wrote about the emphasis of taming our wild passions by focusing on our own human condition to walk towards the path of transcendence. Abstract and intellectual concepts describing the highest spiritual states, like “enlightenment” or “self-realization,” are rendered pretty useless until we can build a personal connection with its meaning in our daily lives.
This connection is vital to our spiritual development, enriching our understanding of the universe, God and ourselves.
Throughout history, human beings have searched for a connection to the outer world and inner self, in one form or another. Evidence of this has been left behind by our ancestors, like the prehistoric Cave Paintings of Lascaux in France discovered in the 1940’s, featuring extraordinary drawings of animals like horses, bulls, deer, ibex, cats, a rhinoceros, and even unicorns, which left the modern world baffled and in awe. In this light, it seems the rising search for spiritual methods to gain a connection with ones self and the divine is explained -people are merely using creative tools to bring each of us closer to our heartbeats, to the cosmos, to grasping life, to connecting with our selves.
Spirituality is not an uncommon tradition is humanity. In The Washington Times, 84% of the world has a faith, according to a demographic study conducted by Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. This study reviewed over 230 countries and took into account an enormous population of spiritual practitioners just in 2010.
The analysis stated:
“There are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, representing 84 percent of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.”
There is a significance of spirituality in all of our lives. But there really isn’t just one way to be spiritual, or connect to God or discover the inner you. Traleg Kyobgon Rinpoche describes spirituality with more of an open mind:
As individuals, we have many different needs, and our spiritual need is one of the most important. It is only human beings who yearn to feel connected to something that is sacred and spiritual. If we are to have any hope of meeting that longing, we must first come in touch with ourselves.
You can certainly dabble in various ways to get yourself on the path of transcendence, nirvana, God, love and heightened states of consciousness. To get you thinking about getting in touch with your own spirituality, here is a creative and universal list of steps that might help you develop your own techniques.
5 Creative Ways to Achieving Your Own Transcendence
1. Explore Basic Meditation Techniques
Meditation makes the entire nervous system go into a field of coherence. – Deepak Chopra
One of the most important steps to this process is connecting with your true self as you’re awakening unfolds. You can connect like this through basic meditation techniques. Choose one to your liking. It’s all about your experience.
2. Empower Yourself with Knowledge and Wisdom
“The cause of all pain and suffering is ignorance.” – Buddha quote
I believe we all can amp up our spiritual potential with self-studies. There is so much information at our fingertips now. The fastest way to understanding a subject is to go on the Internet. Read about your experience. Watch videos. Support it with research from both sides. All of this is important so you can deepen your own understanding of yourself. Knowledge is power. You can also go to workshops in your community. This builds connections and awareness.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Journey
“The spiritual path – is simply the journey of living our lives. Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don’t know it.” – Marianne Williamson
It’s good to experience your own spiritual experiences, not just rely on religious scriptures or intellectual understandings of concepts. It’s good to travel inwardly or outwardly with this intention set. You can travel inwardly like by dreaming, meditating or even journaling. You can travel outwardly like to another country, like to India or Peru. Having new experiences that awaken you is key to enriching new perspectives. You don’t have to go far. Life is a journey anyway.
4. Find Your Own Spiritual Techniques
“Always do some sadhana no matter how short, because every effort of the individual mind to meet the Universal Self is reciprocated a thousand-fold.” – Yogi Bhajan
Sadhana is a “means of accomplishing something.” It is a personal, individual effort to keeping yourself geared towards your higher purpose in life. It is important to keep up with spiritual practices only to keep yourself maintained on all the highest and lowest levels of your being. You can practice your techniques alone or with others. Ultimately, practicing meditation, prayer or exercises will deepen awareness as well as cultivate you into becoming the person you want to be.
5. Raise Your Vibrations
As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves. – Mahatma Gandhi
In this complicated world, it’s important to raise your vibrations and then maintain those vibrations by living in a positively conducive atmosphere. High vibrations mere means happy, or healthy, and all that encourages the growth of your state of well-being. It helps to configure your environment, home, automobile, work and recreational spaces to what better suits your interests. Feng Shui works. Creating a home and lifestyle that flows happily and healthily is a good thing.
EXTRA TIDBIT: An Enriching Story About Human Transformation
Human transformation is pretty common in all of our lives and it is not impossible to reach. One archetypal story is of Krishna Das, who started off as Jeffrey Kagel, and later reached his own transcendence during the epic 1970’s.
Krishna Das is a musician who layers traditional Kirtan songs into modern instrumentation and is considered as yoga’s most popular rock stars. His voice is deep, powerful and peaceful at the same time. His story is familiar in spiritual transformation history. One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das is a film about his transcendence.
The summary of this movie really explains what spiritual transformation is like for different people:
In 1970, Jeffrey Kagel walked away from the American dream of rock ‘n’ roll stardom, turning down the chance to record as lead singer for the band soon-to-be the Blue Oyster Cult. Instead, he sold all his possessions and moved from the suburbs of Long Island to the foothills of the Himalayas in search of happiness and a little-known saint named Neem Karoli Baba. ONE TRACK HEART: THE STORY OF KRISHNA DAS follows his journey to India and back, witnessing his struggles with depression and drug abuse, to his eventual emergence as Krishna Das, world-renowned spiritual teacher and Grammy nominated chant master.
Becoming Your Own Guru
In closing, spirituality is an abstract term but it all depends on how you define it in your own life. Evidence in human history has shown all the ways we have sought to gain a deeper connection with the universe, God, our inner truth, and our true selves. Life not just about success. Just acknowledging the masses of people in the world who practice some kind of faith shows that spirituality is indeed an important part of all of our lives. You can find it yourself in so many ways.
“We are all in this together.”
Extra Tidbits on Awakening Your Spirituality
- Awakening into higher consciousness will be different for every person.
- It is a long, eventful and slightly never-ending process.
- Personal practice should be associated with legitimate studies in this field.
- It is best to have a spiritual guide and mentor along your journeys.
- You are exploring this topic because its a part of who you are.
Sources Used for this Article
What Other Steps Have Helped You Along This Process? Please Share, We Would Love to Know!