Spirituality is good for your soul! Is it? Perhaps, you may find the next statement harder to accept, but I believe you can be convinced after pondering on it for a few moments.
75% of Americans identify as spiritual people. So, the majority of the country do not necessarily despise a higher power. Being spiritual can have a different meaning for many people. As an example, I am a Deist. The theology is Deism, which comes from the root word, deity. Simply put, I believe in a deity.
The Pew Research Center found 48% identify as religious and spiritual, while 27% identify only as spiritual.
Only 54% of U.S. adults think of themselves as religious – down 11 points since 2012 – while far more (75%) say they are spiritual, a figure that has remained relatively steady in recent years.
More people are starting to embrace the label, spiritual but not religious. Nowadays, yoga and meditation are recognized spiritual practices in the Eastern world, but more commonly recognized as “mind-body-spirit” practices in the Western world.
Fortunately, spirituality and religion are not always synonymous anymore. An Atheist does not believe in a deity and still can find their path to spirituality. An Agnostic may or may not believe in a deity but neither influences their path to spirituality. Atheists and Agnostics have embraced their own sense of spirituality.
As a Deist, I withdraw myself from organized religion. Occasionally, I may attend a service at a Unitarian Universalist church. Although, I find the best way to connect with the Divine is through meditation and nature.
I do not believe in the jealous, vengeful God, nor do I believe in the God who condemns people to a fiery place. I believe in a deity that I call God, but this God is love and beauty in everything. William Ellery Channing (a famous Unitarian minister of the early 1800s) concurred 200+ years ago in this quote, as excerpted from the book, Transcendentalism: A Reader.
We discern more and more of God in everything, from the frail flower to the everlasting stars.
Last year, I was blessed with two opportunities to connect with nature on a deep level. In July, I attended the 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat in the Northern Mexico highlands. Imagine meditating for 12 hours a day for 10 consecutive days, while being surrounded by mountainous beauty. I was given that honor. Two months later, I walked 65 miles in 6 days on Spain’s Camino De Santiago from Ourense to Santiago De Compostela. It was so scenic to traverse the city of Ourense to the rolling hills of Western Spain before finishing in Santiago.
In Chapter 21 of my new book, I discussed these experiences in great depth. However, those two experiences connected me with the Divine. Both experiences were different, but the solitude allowed me to learn a lot about myself and life. Solitude is the medium that connects us with the Divine. Nature is the best environment for nonverbal communication with the Divine. All we need to do is to be quiet and listen.
So, what is good for your soul? It will vary for everyone. Some people may find that a religion is good for their soul like Christianity or Buddhism. Alternatively, people may find that a spiritual path outside of religion is good for their soul. I have found that a blend of Deism and transcendentalism is good for my soul. Have you discovered what is good for yours?
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