I hope that it is okay for me to post such a long selection from a book on my blog (please let me know if you know of otherwise, so I can amend), however below is such a complete definition - and redefinition - of Spirituality that I could not bring myself to cut it down.
I have always defined my spirituality as my "fire" - it is that thing in me that motivates me to live and do and breathe and create in the world. I never thought that spirituality is actually HOW I deal with the fire in me to live, do, breathe and create. I love that Ronald Rolheiser takes spirituality out of the mystical and into the every day of how we choose to live our "one wild and precious life" to quote another wisdom figure, Mary Oliver.
Here is the excerpt:
"For many people, the term spirituality conjures up images of something paranormal, mystical, churchy, holy, pious, otherworldly, New Age, something on the fringes and something optional. Rarely is spirituality understood as referring to something vital and nonnegotiable lying at the heart of our lives.
This is a tragic misunderstanding. Spirituality is not something on the fringes, an option for those with a particular bent. None of us has a choice. Everyone has to have a spirituality and everyone does have one, either a life-giving one or a destructive one. No one has the luxury of choosing here because all of us are precisely fired into life with a certain madness that comes from the gods and we have to do something with that. We do not wake up in this world calm and serene, having the luxury of choosing to act or not act. We wake up crying, on fire with desire, with madness. What we do with that madness is our spirituality.
Hence, spirituality is not about serenely picking or rationally choosing certain spiritual activities like going to church, praying, or meditating, reading spiritual books, or setting off on some explicit spiritual quest. It is far more basic than that. Long before we do anything explicitly religious at all, we have to do something about the fire that burns within us. What we do with that fire, how we channel it, is our spirituality. Thus, we all have a spirituality whether we want one or not, whether we are religious or not. Spirituality is more about whether or not we can sleep at night than about whether or not we go to church. It is about being integrated or falling apart, about being within community or being lonely, about being in harmony with Mother Earth or being alienated from her. Irrespective of whether or not we let ourselves act in ways that leave us either healthy or unhealthy, loving or bitter. What shapes our actions is our spirituality." - Ronald Rolheiser in "The Holy Longing"
"Lovers cannot make their moments of oceanic oneness happen. They can, however, freely choose to assume an inner stance that offers the least resistance to being overtaken yet one more time by the graced event of oceanic oneness in the love that sustains them day by day. A poet cannot make poetry happen. But a poet can freely choose to assume the inner stance that offers the least resistance to the graced event of poetry pouring out onto the blank page. Those committed to healing cannot make healing happen. But they can freely choose to asume the inner stance that offers the least resistance in which the gift of healing occurs."
-- From James Finley's writing titled "Turning to Thomas Merton As Our Guide in Contemplative Living" as part of the work celebrating his centennial "We Are Already One."
"A civilization is a community of beings united in a common aim of creating the beautiful"
I'm reading this little 1982 publication by Matthew Fox, theologian, and Brian Swimme, physicist, and wanted to share some of the opening and very inspiring words:
"Though cultural chaos dominates the global situation of our time, the vision of what is to come can gather us into the work of creation in the midst of collapse and confusion. The chaotic fragmentation that surrounds the globe represents the confusion that accompanies every great birthing hour. The world quails with the fear of labor, and it is the task of our generation to act as midwife to this great birthing, to assist in the cosmological movement itself by creating those forms of life and being that will usher in the era of the global civilization."
Wild Lotus Living is me, Summer Starr. Here I share my personal musings and resources on my own path of unfolding