I decided to write this post because I talk about spirituality a lot. I find it true, of depth and more fascinating than topics like psychology, or anything else in the world actually. And yet, often when I mention the word I’m met with a blank face. Or I lose them. And I get it - “spirituality” is a loaded word. It’s got a lot of associations that come up whenever we hear it. So I wrote this post to show you where I’m coming from when I talk about it.
I also wanted to share with you my own experience, how I went from viewing spirituality as a vague word that meant nothing… to becoming an integral part of my path. I hope this article resonates with you, or perhaps mirrors what you also came to realize yourself in this area.
Intro complete - here we go.
Spirituality: From Fluff to Sacred (My Story)
I used to roll my eyes at the word “spirituality.” I remember I first heard the term from a girl I was dating while in Asia. She’d talk about yoga. Auras. How she considered herself spiritual but not religious.
At the time I had too much “physical” stuff on my plate to give it too much consideration.
I was busy chasing sex and adventure and money down whatever rabbit hole I could. I valued the physical. The pleasures of life. THAT was what was real in my mind - spirituality seemed like a fluffy concept; like what even WAS it anyways?
But I started to inch towards that world a little bit. A book here. A course there. It started to pull me in slightly.
Fast forward to returning back home to Canada. I created and failed a business. I entered into my “grind” years where I worked shit jobs with shit people in shit traffic each day. I went back to school to study business. I pursued the “dream job” to realize that was just that - a dream. I got hired and fired from great jobs, and immersed myself fully in the mix.
Until one day I finally quit.
I spit myself out of the mad “rush hour” grind and landed hard on the pavement - ass first. I was penniless and struggling to find my footing, yet I was actually happy. I had chosen to follow the quiet whisper of my heart’s voice over the megaphones all around me, and strangely it was that very decision that ushered me into a new stage of consciousness.
... More accurately, I shifted into a (stabilized) state where suddenly I was aware that I was aware. And like a moth to the light, my primary focus become to stay grounded in that centredness. My mind began to release its tight grip, and spiritual teachers’ words suddenly began to completely resonate.
That was my own path in a nutshell, and many others have their own journey. And now several years later walking deeper down that spiritual path I ask to myself “why spirituality?” Why should someone even bother?
1) Spirituality: The Final Frontier
I came across a title of a TED talk the other day called “Consciousness: The Final Frontier.” I didn’t watch the clip because the title alone nailed it. Somewhere along the way you realize that nothing out there works to complete you. Not money, nor a 6-pack, nor a perfect girlfriend. None of it is the end game… there’s always something missing.
Many people have to spend years of their life pulling back these curtains for themselves in order to believe it.
Without an inward connection to the self, you can be sitting at the table eating the best food in the world or be there after fucking the hottest girl you never thought you could get, and still feel hollow and dead inside.
"And Now, Yoga"
In the spiritual Indian text of the Yoga Sutras, it starts the first chapter with a simple phrase, “And now yoga." Yoga in Sanskrit means “union” - union between you and life itself. That single phrase says that after all the nonsense - after all the fucking, sucking, chasing, earning, creating, tasting, birthing, seeing… after so many years of fruitlessly trying to find yourself in the reflection and realizing it doesn’t work - it’s time to now turn inward.
From the Isha Blog:
For those unknowingly walking the spiritual path, somewhere along the way the you realize that the physical no longer satisfies you. That added zero in the bank account doesn’t quite do it. That a 6-pack doesn’t fulfill you. That all the pleasure and accomplishments and family in the world simply fall short.
Now myself, I hadn’t experienced mansions or Ferraris or accolades, however have had a full and wild life full of experiences that most men have only imagined in their minds. And after a certain point, it all just began to bore me.
The spiritual process called to me, and had a depth where I couldn’t see the bottom. For all I knew (and know), the bottom is limitless. Or doesn’t even exist.
2) The Benefits of Meditation: The Gateway Drug to Being a Spiritual Junkie
Even if you don’t feel a pull to “walk the spiritual path,” the most common entry point into spirituality is meditation. Tim Ferriss and other influencials today show us the scientific benefits of meditation. Stress relief. Drop in blood pressure. Lowered cortisol levels.
The nature of the mind is that sooner or later it starts to churn you up. If you live in your mind it turns you into a ball of stress. And the desire to escape the pain of that stress that becomes the motivation to turn to meditation.
For someone who is uber practical and logical, the idea of mysticism or spirituality can be complete nonsense, but the scientific benefits of meditation hold up and are of solid merit.
Meditation acts like the reset button on your mind.
Why does it work? Because meditation acts like the reset button on your mind. If done correctly, your mind clears and blows wide open like a big blue sky - no clouds and no clutter. If done correctly, you reach a state where you can’t tell where your body ends and where the world begins - it’s just a vast infinite plain in all directions (up, down, sides) that you ARE. “Oneness” no longer becomes some vague idea you read in some book, but rather an actual state that you have experienced.
And the bliss of that state is simply beyond comparison - it’s as deep as it gets.
So why spirituality? Because stress release. Because living up in your head all day sooner or later starts to become a living hell.
Enter spirituality through the back door.
3) When the Student is Ready, The Teacher Appears (Spirituality Chooses You)
I saw a Ram Dass talk once where he said the cashier you see at the supermarket is living her dharma. Everyone is doing their work and working through their stuff. Burning through their karma. Going through what they have to go through.
I don’t know how it all works, but certainly what rings with truth for me (and has been my own experience) is that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. I remember trying to read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” in my early twenties, and how it didn’t make any sense. It felt forced and nothing stuck. I ended up putting it down.
Years later IT called to ME.
Suddenly I was ready and had an unlimited passion and thirst for spiritual teachers and insights. It all resonated and made sense with exactly what I was going through. Fuck wanting to read them - I couldn’t keep away from those books (YouTube videos, articles) even if I TRIED.
So regardless of what I write here, either you’re ready or you’re not. Selling doesn’t work in this stratosphere. Each soul’s path is unraveling exactly as it needs to, and in its own perfect timing. So relax wherever you are. Embrace what you’re going through and take what you need.
So the third and final reason for “why spirituality?” is because you don’t really have a choice - it chooses you.
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