What is Spiritual Development?

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What Is Spiritual Development?

The answer to this question can never be simple, rather, to find the answer one must embark upon an exciting, unpredictable journey that lasts an entire lifetime.

There are as many spiritual journeys in the world as there are people. Our spiritual awakening happens as a result of many factors and experiences which make up our unique lives.

To boil it down to its simplest form, I believe the path of spiritual development encompasses four main areas in our lives.

  • Spiritual – our understanding of the metaphysical world
  • Mental – the development of the mind
  • Physical – our bodily connection to the spirit and mind
  • External – our outward actions toward others

“If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.” – Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
merton-photo

The first category, Spirituality, is the broadest and most difficult to succinctly summarize. It can often be centered in one’s religion, personal spiritual practices, and affiliation with communities of like-minded individuals. We commonly see it as any practice done with the purpose of connecting with the Divine. At Stillpoint, our foundation is rooted in the ancient spiritual practices of Spiritual Direction, Lectio Divina Prayer, and Centering Prayer.

The Mental aspect of spiritual development centers on the development of our mind. The Christian tradition calls for a “renewing of the mind” in the book of Romans.  Buddhist sages teach of the need to “awaken” or “enlighten” the mind. Crucial aspects of this mental process are the need to develop imagination and to expand our knowledge. While these ideas are often seen as academic pursuits, they are also vital to a spiritual development.

The Physical connection to our spiritual development is often easily overlooked. All religions tend to agree on the importance of caring for one’s body or “physical temple” as described by St. Paul. The ancient traditions of Asia serve as an excellent example of the unity between mind, spirit, and body. Qi Gong, Tai Chi, martial arts and yoga all have foundations built on the importance of spiritual development. Even mindfulness in walking or jogging can have a deep influence in our lives.

Finally, we have learned from those who have gone before us that true spirituality will ultimately produce Service for the greater good of our human race and our planet. When we are infused with a Divine understanding of the world we begin to see in us a desire to bring justice and peace to those who are hurting and in need.

With these four cornerstones as the foundation of Spiritual Growth, Stillpoint: Center for Spiritual Development seeks to provide ways for everyone to be encouraged and strengthened on their journey.

 

Pace e bene,

Brian