Many of us refer to ourselves as either spiritual or religious. Some of us use the terms interchangeably, despite both being different, they aren’t entirely opposites either. When we look at these truths, religion and spirituality, they seem to have many similarities, but there are also many differences between the two. Our spiritual practices and beliefs in a higher power are part of our individual spiritual journey. As we grow as humans from childhood to adulthood, our definition of spirituality may change due to our own personal experiences.
When you think about the term “Spirituality” it is quite a broad concept. It has a lot of room for personal influence, so we can adjust it to our own personal beliefs. Generally, when we refer to ourselves as being spiritual, we are acknowledging a higher power or something bigger than us. The universal human experience is something many would call a transcendence or a sacred experience and belief. Spirituality is a sense of peace and oneness with all. It is, essentially, a way of life letting go of the material world.
Your own personal definition of what spirituality is will likely change as you grow in both age and wisdom. As you go through life you will encounter many different types of spirituality which could influence how you define the term. It is true that many people are still religious while also being spiritual. They still have a belief in God but choose to practice their belief without a place of worship such as a church, mosque or synagogue. Belief in a higher power does not mean you need to practice it in a traditional way. Others find their connection to the world in a totally different personal experience through art or through nature. Your definition of spirituality is yours to choose as you continue on your spiritual journey.
How many types of spirituality are there?
There are many forms of spirituality and/or religion. Spirituality is a personal experience, and our choice of which kind we follow is also dependent on our personalities. We have listed 5 types of spirituality bellow which highlights the different kinds.
4 Different types of spirituality
Mystical Spirituality is about intuition and soul. If you resonate with this spiritual path you have a belief in everything being connected, a oneness, unity of experiences. Each and every thing you experience on your spiritual journey surpasses the material world. Everyone and everything is one, and can be brought together. People who identify with this kind of spirituality believe in Karma, that everything happens exactly how it should or that everything happens for a reason. Everything in your life can be explained and this is what connects and intertwines all your experiences into one. The goal is to find inner peace and attain complete mindfulness in your spiritual life.
When you resonate with this kind of spirituality, you believe that there is a hierarchy to this world. There is an authority figure and everything should be structured or follow a set of rules. If you have religious beliefs then this is likely the kind of spirituality you associate with.
Sometimes, people who fall into this kind of spirituality can be or are also fundamentalists. When you are a fundamentalist, it means you do not accept any other religion or religious beliefs . Only your own religion is the truthful one. Unfortunately a fundamentalist religion often fules hate and can be the backbone of conflict and religious terrorism.
Knowledge is the backbone of this kind of spirituality. If you resonate with this sort of spirituality it’s likely you enjoy learning, reading and watching videos about spiritual theories. Often your opinions will change as you learn and grow.
This spiritual life path is quite common and those who associate themselves with it live life in service to others. They believe that spiritual inner peace will be obtained by helping other people. Expecting nothing in return for doing good for those who need it is a selfless act which brings many to their spiritual self.
3 Different types of non religious spirituality
Yoga is an estimated 5000-year-old, ancient practice which engages the mind and body. It involves mindful body poses with an array of synchronized breathing techniques. The aim is to open and soften the mind through movement – a kind of kinetic meditation.
Yoga helps to connect one to oneself. Those who have struggled with addiction, eating disorders, traumatic events etc… have found peace with themselves through the practice as it connects the mind, body and spirit. Even still, those who wish to wind down at the end of the day, start their morning actively and peacefully or who wish to recover from intense training find massive benefit in yoga.
Over the years since its birth, yogis (male practitioner) and yoginis (female practitioners) have passed down the powerful knowledge of the practice and it has since then developed a variety of different types of yoga as the global phenomenon expanded.
Connecting With Nature
Nature is a brilliant way to aid recovery. Whether your brain is fuddled with the noise and stress of city life or if you have recently gone through a stressful or traumatic time, immersing yourself in nature is a sure way to recovery. One does not need to be the adventurous type, going on camping trips every weekend hiking through mountains and forests. One can simply lie on some grass absorbing the earthy scent or lounging on a beach somewhere, rejuvenating your skin with the sun and salt.
Most people, adventurous or not, prefer to have a view when booking accommodation for a trip or at home as it provides visual stimulation whilst your mind decompresses.
Being exposed to nature helps to alleviate negative emotions like, anger, stress or depression, but also contributes to your physical well-being. An example of this when patients in a hospital who have a natural view from their windows will heal faster than those without.
Many people are intimidated by the process of calming your mind, preferring to not engage with the continuous and sometimes deafening chatter in our minds. Some even get anxious as “going within” reminds them too much of what they’re trying to avoid.
Meditation is a skill one learns through practice. It takes time and consistent practice to get comfortable with the steadying of your thoughts.
Not all meditation styles are designed to block everything out and quiet the mind. “Open-Monitoring” is where you focus your attention on everything around you. Hearing all the sounds and smelling all the scents without reacting.
“Some other types are focused-attention, or mindful mediation which is where you focus your attention on one single attribute of yourself internally. Whether it’s the motion of your breath or the feeling of the ground beneath you. The point is to be mindful and present in that moment and to quiet the mind and declutter the thoughts and if the mind strays then to peacefully bring yourself back to that moment without being too hard on yourself.
Even though there are many different types of meditations there is, really, no wrong method. You could be lying in bed having some quiet time with your eyes closed or you could be out in nature sitting in the lotus position but essentially, meditation is about being within the present moment and nothing more.
Our Conclusion about different kinds of spirituality and spiritual practices
Spirituality is greater than the physical or material world we live in. It is relative to each and every individual. It is a personal experience carved from one’s own experiences in life. It provides a system to easily understand the construct of one’s own beliefs. It helps one to understand all aspects of life and appreciate the change as we grow and develop our understanding of our own spirituality.
Being Spiritual can mean different things for different people. Some people follow the religious side of life. Religious practices provide a physical method in which we actively praise our belief system, whatever it may be. But for some, spirituality is not religious but more organic. They refer to connect with themselves and nature.
What is religious spirituality?
Embodying spiritual truths within your own religion.
What are religious or spiritual beliefs?
Religious beliefs are personally set or institutionalized belief systems of religious attitude, beliefs or practices to praise specific deities.
Spiritual beliefs are an experience of connection to something greater than the physical and material world. It is about living each day with mindfulness and good intention.