Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Spiritual Life - Spiritual health: the concept and map

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Spiritual health - the concept and map

One of the components of the UU A Way Of Life mission 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 with the non dualistic Oneness
  5. Unconditional love
  6. Mindfulness
  7. Felt connection to the interdependent web
  8. Freedom from and freedom to
  9. Self efficacy
  10. Authenticity
  11. Laughter
  12. Not knowing and curiosity
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 the coming weeks, months or year?

Plan to increase one unit
Peace and joy
Attunement to non dualistic Oneness
Unconditional love
Felt connection to interdependent web
Freedom from and freedom to
Self efficacy
Not knowing and curiosity

These components are not listed in any particular order. They all are important and exist in balance with each other. They comprise a part of a system.
Once you have done the rating, pick one to work on for a period of time, a day, a week, a couple of weeks, a month. At the end of the practice time period re-rate the existence of the component in your life, and develop a further plan of practice either on the same component or choose another one.

Enhancing one’s spiritual health is facilitated by intentional choice and practice. However, the basic choice is simple: the path of the ego or the path of the spirit? This choice is called in many religious philosophies as “wrong mindedness” or “right mindedness.” You will know when you are on the right track when you experience less fear and more peace and joy.

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