practical ways to connect spiritually without religion

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We engage in spiritual practice to remind ourselves of and connect ourselves with our higher selves, that which we consider to be greater than ourselves, and/or the source of truth, life, beauty and wonder.  What this spiritual practice would look like depends on the individual. There are many practical ways to connect spiritually without religion.

The Baha’i Faith, for example, requires its followers to offer prayers a certain number of times per day. It offers some flexibility on the number of prayers, but followers must select the prayers from one prayer book. Those who personally feel moved by the prayers will benefit, but those whose hearts are not stirred by those words—however beautiful they might be—should not be judged or criticized. Everyone has had different life experiences and it should not be surprising that the same things won’t necessarily move everyone’s heart.

It is good for us to keep the Divine in our hearts as often as possible, and the ways to do so vary as much as there are people on the Earth. For those who haven’t succeeded in keeping the Divine in their heart at all times, below is a list of ways that some people keep the divine in their hearts, and perhaps It may even stimulate further ideas. This is definitely not an exhaustive list.

  • Meditate by emptying your mind of all thought

  • Meditate by listening to your breathing

  • Meditate by maintaining complete awareness of the world around you. Notice every detail from the largest to the smallest.

  • Go out into nature and notice everything around you. Close your eyes and hear everything around you.

  • Prayer

  • Lighting a candle and staring at the flame

  • Watching the sunrise or sunset

  • Watching the stars at night—especially when the stars are not obscured by city lights

  • Closely observing the behaviors of a pet or a loved one

  • Watching children play

  • Find the quietest place possible and enjoy its silence

  • Listening to beautiful music

  • Reading poetry

  • Reading books on spirituality or religions

  • Wearing something as a symbol of your spirituality

  • Creating an altar with symbols of things that are deeply meaningful to you

  • Putting up art in your living space that inspires you spiritually

  • Playing music that inspires you spiritually

spirituality without religion in the future

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Many people cannot relate to the spiritual practices of any current religion.  They certainly should not be expected to. Many people long for a connection with the Divine but do not necessarily feel it with the religions present in their time and geographical area. It is understandable that one might not feel that connection. Some people affiliate with a religion since it seems to be the easiest way to associate with the Divine. But for a lot of people such affiliations ultimately feel empty.  As such, they seek a meaningful spirituality without religion.

So how can the spiritual practitioner wanting feel a connection with the Divine do so without religion? To understand that, its important to understand why we yearn for spiritual connection.

One important aspect of spirituality is to feel the connection with something greater than ourselves. It’s easy to feel disempowered by the institutions that dominate our current lives. But a photograph of the Earth from space, a beautiful sunset, or a spectacular view of the stars at night (untainted by urban light pollution) can help people understand that there is a bigger picture that we belong to. Being able to see this bigger picture gives us a greater sense of purpose, as well as clarity as to why we are here.

Another purpose of spirituality is to contribute to an ethical framework from the broader big picture perspective. This ethical guidance also comes from realizing that we are part of a whole much greater than ourselves. This bigger picture perspective helps us see the impacts of our actions more clearly.

A third important purpose of spirituality is to help us see the beauty of the present moment, even if at first glance it might seem dark, stark, or even a living hell. Being able to see the beauty of the present moment and have gratitude for it, even when it is difficult, can help with one’s sense of purpose and bring joy and celebration to places where it might not have been perceived as possible before.

In the absence of religion telling you what to think, it is important to turn within and think about what it means to be in contact with the Divine, what one’s own ethical framework would look like and how to connect with the beauty of the present moment.  Not relying on an institution to guide us means that we can be open to the quieter whispers that can beckon us from our surroundings, and new messages from unexpected sources.  Practical suggestions for connecting with the Divine can be found in the next blog post.

All these things contribute to a life of purpose. Each of us is here for a reason, though we might not be cognizant of what that reason is. Life can often show us clear signs, but we also need to be open to “course corrections” via other clear signs that might contradict what we had previously thought was our purpose.