Everyone is spiritual

It’s sometimes easy to forget that everyone and everything in creation is connected within a spiritual web. Everyone has a spark of Light, deep within, waiting to be fanned by the flame of spiritual awakening. As has been said, we are not human beings who have spiritual experiences but rather, we are spiritual beings who just happen to be having a human experience right now. Everyone is spiritual, whether they are willing to admit it or not!

The poet Rumi put it beautifully when he wrote, “Awareness sleeps in mineral, it dreams in plants, it wakes in animals and awareness has the potential to become self-aware in humans”. Everything has awareness, even if still dull and contracted in many instances. Just as the fruits on a tree ripen at their own pace, so too, our souls mature and become enlightened at different times. Everyone and everything is evolving at its own speed. Everyone’s destiny is enlightenment.

Spiritual pride

One of the biggest barriers to our spiritual growth is pride and particularly spiritual pride. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The seeker after Truth should be humbler than dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet but the seeker after Truth should be so humble that even the dust would crush him/her”.

When talking about your spiritual journey be humble, be careful not to sound as if you are superior in some way. Avoid being confrontational by challenging someone else’s beliefs. Your practices may seem important to you but be open and accepting of other practices and points of view. When we respect others, they are more likely to listen to what we have to say. Sadly, many of the conflicts in the world today are the result of one group trying to impose its idea of spirituality on an other group. Remember, we only judge from our own level of ignorance.

What to say

If you have a regular spiritual practice, you are presumably receiving some benefits. Start here. When we hear about anything new, we almost always ask ourselves, “What’s in it for me, how could I benefit from this?” People are more likely to be interested in something that’s proven to be useful to someone else. Speak from your own experiences, what changes have you noticed in your life, your health, your relationships with others, are you less stressed, more peaceful, are your desires more easily fulfilled?

Avoid using too many foreign words or phrases. Keep it simple, no one will be interested in something that sounds too complicated. Many people are fascinated by

new ideas but others may behave defensively when you talk about practices originating in other cultures. Be sensitive to how someone is reacting to what you are saying

Know when to stop

When you’ve just finished meditating on a flight and the stranger sitting next to you asks you what you were doing, he or she may not be expecting or wanting a thirty minute lecture. A few sentences are usually enough to gauge a person’s interest before launching into a fuller explanation.

Certainly share your practices with your family and friends but learn when to stop. No one wants to be constantly preached at. In my early twenties, four of us rented a big house together. Three of us learned to meditate around the same time but the fourth was a hold-out. The three of us who meditated pestered him mercilessly. If he got a cold, had an argument with his girlfriend we immediately pounced, telling him that if he meditated non of these would have happened. Unfortunately, rather than encouraging him to meditate we drove him in the opposite direction until, at the slightest mention of meditation, however innocent, he would jump up and stamp out of the room. We cannot and should not try to convert anyone to our way of thinking if it is against their wishes.

Be the example

The simplest and easiest way to interest others in your spirituality is often not through what you say but by the life you lead. Spirituality isn’t just the time we spend meditating, praying or doing our yoga asanas. It’s how we live our lives. When your spiritual qualities radiate in your daily life, other people will want what you have and want to know how they can be like that too. Rather than having to convince someone of the benefits, now you merely have to share your practices with them.

Finally, don’t be frustrated if some people aren’t interested in your practice. We don’t have to convince everyone join us. Become a spiritual lighthouse. Silently bless the world with your Love and Light wherever you go and to whomsoever you meet. This way, whether anyone is interested in your practices or not, they won’t be able to avoid benefiting from your radiance.