What Does Spirituality Mean To You?

Many people, when I say I am spiritual have the false assumption that I am deeply religious.  Nothing wrong with that, but it's just not my personal definition.  While we've "tried on" many churches and many faiths over the years, for me personally no single man made / organized religion quite fit the bill, there were too many unanswered questions, too much to take "on faith" (or because you don't have the answers so we say oh it's what God, Allah, Buddha meant but can show no proof of this, just say we are sure it's what was intended- well, sorry, I am not so sure of this since it seems deeply skewed depending on whether you follow the beliefs or not).

I don't think you are wrong if you do believe those things, they just don't work for us, which is why we do these Soul Food Sunday posts-  spirituality to me can be found anywhere-  in art, in nature, in music, in literature (yes, music and literature can be considered art forms, but roll with me here), in the perfect cup of coffee, by being in perfect harmony with another-  wherever you find it, claim it.  Own it.  Say yes, for me this is enlightenment, at least for the moment.  Even the great masters will say you cannot achieve perfect enlightenment that stays the same forever and ever while you live here on earth- that is what death is, here, there is always more to seek, to strive for.

It is okay if you believe differently than I do, or I believe differently than the mini divas, or they all believe differently than each other.  We are all right-  for us.  This is a large part of why I am not a big fan of organized religion, most tell you that if you believe differently, you are wrong.  I don't think anyone has to be wrong, I think we can all be right, for US, for that moment, and that may or may not change over the course of our lives, but because my right is different than your right, doesn't make either one of us wrong.  Let being right for YOU, be enough without trying to make those who hold different beliefs feel like they are wrong.

Like all great ideas, many have had them before me and much more eloquently I am sure-  here are a few thoughts on the subject- maybe one of these quotes will speak to you.

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It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.  Thomas Jefferson

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Philosophy is questions that may never be answered.  Religion is answers that may never be questioned.  Unknown

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Not all religion is to be found in the church, any more than all knowledge is found in the classroom.  Unknown

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I believe in God; I just don't trust anyone who works for him.  Unknown

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When I use the word spirituality, I don't necessarily mean religion; I mean whatever it is that helps you feel connected to something that is larger than yourself.  Dean Ornish

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Most men's anger about religion is as if two men should quarrel for a lady that neither of them care for.  George Savile, Marquess de Halifax

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Religion is a fashionable substitute for belief.  Oscar Wilde

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Excite the soul, and the weather and the town and your condition in the world all disappear; the world itself loses its solidity, nothing remains but the soul and the Divine Presence in which it lives.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.  Henry David Thoreau

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The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.  Leo Buscaglia

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All religions must be tolerated for every man must get to heaven his own way.  Frederick the Great

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It's important to be heroic, ambitious, productive, efficient, creative, and progressive, but these qualities don't necessarily nurture the soul. The soul has different concerns, of equal value: downtime for reflection, conversation, and reverie; beauty that is captivating and pleasuring; relatedness to the environs and to people; and any animal's rhythm of rest and activity.  Thomas Moore

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When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.  Jean Shinoda Bolen

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The purpose of life on earth is that the soul should grow - So Growl By doing what is right.  Zelda Fitzgerald

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This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.  Dalai Lama

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God* made so many different kinds of people.  Why would he allow only one way to serve him?  ~Martin Buber

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If you begin to live life looking for the God* that is all around you, every moment becomes a prayer.  Frank Bianco

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*To me the God used here is/can be/should be replaced with your whatever your higher power and prayer is meant in whatever way you pray, not necessarily down on your knees begging and asking forgiveness for sins.
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