There is no set definition for spirituality, although the term is used to explain the connection and experiences of the human spirit or soul. Everybody has a unique relationship with the idea of spirituality. It does not necessarily mean that you have to be religious to understand and involve yourself with spirituality, although religion can inform individuals on what spirituality means to them.
Spirituality in the Modern World
The contemporary understanding of spirituality is post-traditional and, as a result, not associated with a specific religion—people who refer to themselves as spiritual people now often distinguish that they are spiritual without faith. The modern understanding of spirituality is defined as centring on the deepest values and meanings of people.
Modern spirituality often focuses on an ‘inner path’ (hence is individual-centric) and an aspect of transcendentalism. However, some replace transcendental or abstract ideas with greater humanistic values and approaches. Generally, modern spirituality focuses on concepts like love, compassion and tolerance, which can be involved both within the material and the immaterial understanding of ourselves.
Several factors can break down spiritual practices. There are psychological practices, such as meditation, which is known to be highly beneficial for the mind and body. There are social practices that enable a communal understanding of spirituality and an emphasis on otherness instead of fixations on the ego. Somatic practices aim to purify the body in an attempt to diminish the influence of the ego. An example of this is fasting. Spiritual practices themselves are about attempting to address divine realities.
It is evident through the concept of spiritual practices that spirituality aims to diminish the role of the ego within the self and our actions. Emphasising otherness, whether communally or in a divine sense, allows us to be distanced from the ego and make more constructive decisions towards helping others rather than ourselves.
Guided meditation is a practical element in the modern practice of spirituality. To distance ourselves from the notion of the ego and accept that there is otherness (whether physically or in an abstract sense), we must practice mindful activities. Guided meditation allows us to view our thoughts and pass judgement on them from a distance and, as a result, introduces clarity and perspective to our minds that we cannot otherwise have. This is a helpful step in developing your sense of spirituality by understanding the self and the metaphysical nature of meditation, providing more profound knowledge of both.