Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Spiritual Life - What is spiritual health?

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What is spiritual health?

Spiritual health is not usually named as a thing. Human beings are much more likely to talk about physical health, mental health, financial health, public health, community health, and the health of various systems.

One of the components of the UU A Way Of Life is to improve spiritual health. Before we can improve spiritual health we have to have a baseline, a reference point from which to compare. To ascertain a baseline we have to have a description of its components and indicators of the presence and strength of those components we can measure. What are the components of spiritual health? Here’s a suggested list to start:

  1. Peace and joy
  2. Kindness
  3. Forgiveness
  4. Attunement to the nondualistic Oneness
  5. Unconditional love
  6. Mindfulness
  7. Felt connection to the interdependent web
  8. Freedom from and freedom to
  9. Self efficacy


The way these components can be measured simply is to answer the question, “To what extent has this factor been present in your life in the past several months or year on a scale of 0 -10 with 0 meaning 0% of the time, 10 meaning 100% of the time and 5 meaning 50% of the time?” This is meant to be a self report, and it may be helpful to get a best friend or trusted other who knows you very well like a spiritual director, a therapist, a life partner to rate their perception of the presence of these factors in your life as well.

Once a rating has been identified, this is your baseline. The next question is how can you kick it up a notch over coming months or year?

You can use this model right now to rate your level of spiritual health. Let's say over the last six months to what extent has each component been present in your life?

After you give yourself a rating on each component determine one component you'd like to work on for the next month or so and make a plan to practice. Start small, review frequently, learn as you go, and re-rate in a month's time.

In subsequent articles we will provide more detailed descriptions of each component and ideas for improvement.

2 comments:

  1. Truly helpful. It's a wonderful model you are developing. As I picked an indicator like peace and joy, over the last six months I gave myself a 3 especially with the Covid-19 stuff, impeachment, police murders of black citizens, political corruption, etc. How do I not let these things destroy my peace and joy?

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  2. The United States is one of the most spiritually sick nations on earth. Its inequality, racism, materialism, unrestrained military might, and unjust criminal justice system make it evil.

    The fact that they would elect a psychopath like Donald Trump and tolerate and enable his moral turpetude tells you a lot about the spiritual health of the country.

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