How spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness.” – Eckhart Tolle
First, allow me to unpack the term “spiritual.”
If you believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, then everything we do is intrinsically spiritual. However, in the past we broadly used that term in conformity with traditional religious ideals.
For the purposes of this article, I am referring to spiritual as the process of personal transformation and growth, oriented on subjective experience independent of any specific religious (including new age) context.
Now, let me address the term “mindfulness.”
Mindfulness is simply a state of mind, not owned by any form of spirituality or religious dogma. It is truly a secular tool, but it can also deepen your own personal spiritual path.
Mindfulness is intentionally observing human experience from a place of calm objectivity, anchored in the present moment.
You don’t need to believe anything about the deep mysteries of the Universe, quantum physics, or religion to become interested in your own consciousness and to experience the benefits of mindfulness practices.
It’s not enough to think about thinking, but to know what consciousness feels like between thoughts.
Mindfulness meditation allows us to investigate and transform our experience in the present moment, and come to understand some durable truths about the nature of human consciousness…and broader realities.
Why should you care?
- There’s an immediate benefit: you are simply able to deal with things and experience life in a much more relaxed, effective fashion.
- It is an opportunity to explore the human experience in a way that science or religion cannot. It opens doors to understanding ourselves deeply and authentically.
- It introduces us to a state of mind and reality that is too beautiful and profound for ordinary language.
- You will feel far more stable and empowered in this state of mind than in your ordinary daily thought pattern.
- Meaning to your life tends to become illuminated over time, and renewed gratitude becomes more natural and habituated.
- You become more aware of the miracles happening all around us (e.g. nature itself is supernatural), and realize that everything in existence is intrinsically mysterious.
- It reminds us to never work against Mother Nature, and to allow people, places, and things to be as they are (especially people). There’s tremendous power in this.
- Your apparatus for intuition becomes amplified, and insightful answers and deep truths strike your consciousness from a mysterious mechanism we don’t fully understand yet.
- You will experience more inner peace as a result of increased freedom from reactivity from external conditions.
- The physical health benefits are numerous and discussed in other parts of this blog.
In short, you will become exponentially more effective at life, and discover the difference between fleeting happiness and continual-enduring joy.