Fables – You are I and I am You

Once upon a time there was an honest student.

Alumnos budda

In his heart lived the desire of perfectioning himself. One dawn, when the crickets started to break the silence of the late afternoon, he traveled to a humble house in the mountains where a yogui dwelled and knocked on his door.

casita en la montaña

– Who is it? – asked the yogui

– It is me, respected master. I have come to seek spiritual guiding from you

– You are not prepared enough – answered the yogui without opening the door. Spend a year in a cave and meditate. Meditate without break. Then, come back and I will guide you.

rays of light

In the begining, the student felt his heart sink, but since he was fully determined, he obeyed the yogui.

He found a cave in the base of the mountain and during a year he practiced deep meditation. He learned how to be with himself and Being.

cueva himalaya

When the monsoon arrived, he knew a year had past since he arrived to the cave. He left to meet again with the yogui and knocked at his door.

– Who is it? – asked the yogui-

– I am You – answered the student.

– If that is so -said the yogui – enter. There was no place in this house for two “I”s

dos pájaros en la luz

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Religion or Spirituality?

Alcanzando la luz

“I don’t belive in religion”

“I don’t think there is anything else”

“I’m getting enought just going through my days”

“I’m a very spiritual person”

We’ve all heard such statements and may have even shared them at some point in time.

In a society such as the western, where certain needs, rewards and attitudes are encouraged… does the religious or spiritual phenomenon have space?

What is “better, religion or spirituality?

Are they the same? What do they differ in ?

atardecer impactante

Let us start by the formal definitions:

Religion ( by Merriam-Webster)

A personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

Spiritual ( also by Merriam-Webster)

Of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit

They key element that sets them appart are the practices, since we can agree that both are concerned about the well-being of the spirit.

Hence, as a consequence we could state that :

All human being has a spiritual dimension.

manos recibiendo luz

Who hasn’t felt the need to feed beyond food? Personal relationships, professional satifaction, feeling of belonging to a community…

What about religion?

Símbolos de religiones

In past times (though not so far away as we may think!), religion was one of society’s pilars.

Not pretending to analyze any particular religion, most of them share certain traits:

– They have authority figures, which decide what is adhering to the religion and what isn’t

rabino

– They profess throug ther own rites, which usually are strict and mandatory.

muslim prayer

– Their symbology is very clearly cut

vaticano

– They are excluding: religions claim they are authentic and only

linea arena

This is the key element that sets them apart.

When you put together ritual practices along with the pretension of being the one and only, this draws a line that separates what belongs and what doesn’t.

On the other side, we live in an Era (for many more decades than many people think) packed with spiritual possibilities.

chakras

The most known are the so called alternative therapies: Reiki, Pranic Healing, Yoga or Bach Flowers just to name a few. Even amongst them, you can find different variations.

However, and here is where the main difference with religions shines, it is hard to find a technique or therapy that excludes other ways of doing or thinking.

For example, you’ll be hard pressed to find a reikist (reiki therpist) that claims that a yogi is wrong.

Whilst a pranic healer focuses on the kundalini energy and the coiled snake, a reikist focuses on the universal energy.

meditacion

For some, the energy ascends whislt for others it descends.

This doesn’t mean that anything is in.

If these techniques and philosofies share something it is that the grow a spirituality that embraces different approaches to common goal.

They all start from their own certainties, paradigms and ways of understanding life, energy and spirit.

Even then, they accept that others can chip in, grow and broaden the opportunities.

cooperacion

This artile is a reflection, trying to put in words a very complicated topic and one that most people stand their ground in an intense way.

I hope that the conciliatory intention gets its way through and if it helps awakening sensibilities, cooperation and comprehension, it will have made its purpose.

Do you agree with the differences? Is there some experience you wish to share?

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