Spirituality and How to Nurture It Within

Like some of you, I’ve always hungered after spirituality. As a consequence, I have learned many things about it over the years.

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It is important to start with this understanding of spirituality. Otherwise, the natural inclination is to look for what can never be found. The place to begin is with the regognition that your interest in all things spiritual is not simply because you were raised in a religious environment. Certainly, your rearing plays a part. But spirituality itself is very likely written into your DNA. I have no way of knowing this. And, some might vehemently disagree. It's just a hunch on my part but, my point is, there is no need to seek what you are already. Start with the assumption that your interest in all things spiritual is implanted in your genetic make-up.

That assumption then gives birth to the next point I wish to make.

2. Spirituality grows in the garden of your attention.

I just planted a few tomato plants this spring. I've never had a great deal of luck growing tomatoes in the past, but I generally show interest at springtime each year, in t as new buds everywhere around me.


What happens, however, is that I soon lose interest. As a consequence of inattention, the plants suffer and often wither and die.

They do, however, not because I stop liking the taste of red ripe tomatoes on a fresh, summer salad but because I stop giving them any attention. I have resolved to be a bit more attentive this spring and summer.

It's the same with spirituality. You don't have to be involved in any organized religion to be spiritual. One of the benefits of involvement, however, is this: at least once a week, or whenever you go, you are giving some attention to your spiritual life.

,p>I have discovered that that to which I give my attention to - regardless of what it is - has a tendency to expand...to grow. I think you'll find this to be equally true with regard to spirituality. You don't have to don a orange-colored robe like some Zen monk or check yourself into an ancient Christian monastery in Italy in order to give attention to your spiritual life or to benefit from its expansion in consciousness. It will happen quite naturally as the consequence of your daily attention.

3. Your spirituality and/or religious upbringing, such as either may or may not be, holds no patent on the Divine.

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Dr. Steve McSwain
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