Here we focus on the importance of Meditation and solitude for optimal health, efficiency in everyday life and business affairs.
We will also consider the importance of biofeedback to elicit health-producing effects.
Over the past few decades, numerous ‘scientific’ studies have confirmed the absolute value ofÂ meditation to ones physical, psychological, and spiritual health.
- Physiological effects.
- Behavioral (Psychological) effects.
- Subjective/personal reports confirming greater scores on one’s spiritual dimension.
In a (1998) study, found that 71% considered spirituality to be personally relevant. Moreover, that there is a strong relationship between spirituality and effective leadership.
The researchers were intrigued by these findings because they pointed to a large group of well educated professionals who found spirituality relevant in their lives, but who were not actively involved in traditional religion.
These studies confirmed their own informal observations that a growing number of people are developing their spirituality outside traditional, organized religion.
Thus therapeutic psychology cannot afford to ignore the spiritual dimension. Carl Jung said that he was able to cure only those midlife patients who recovered a spiritual orientation to life.
Elkins did some exquisite, psychological research on the components of spirituality. Here are some of their findings and components:
The spiritual person has an experientially based belief that there is a transcendent dimension to life. The actual content of this belief may range from the traditional view of a personal God to a psychological view that the “transcendent dimension” is simply a natural extension of the conscious self into the regions of the unconscious or Greater Self But, whatever the content, typology, metaphors, or models used to describe the transcendent dimension, the spiritual person believes in the “more,” that what is “seen,” is not all there is. He or she believes in an “unseen world” and that harmonious
contact with and adjustment to, this unseen dimension is beneficial. The spiritual person is one who has experienced the transcendent dimension, often through what Maslow referred to as “peak experiences,” and he or she draws personal power through contact with this dimension.
MEANING AND PURPOSE IN LIFE:
The spiritual person has known the quest for meaning and purpose, and has emerged from this quest with the confidence that life is deeply meaningful, and that one’s own existence has purpose. The actual ground and content of this meaning vary from person to person, but the common factor is that each person has filled the “existential vacuum” with an authentic sense that life has meaning and purpose.
MISSION IN LIFE:
The spiritual person has a sense of “vocation”. He or she feels a sense of responsibility to life, a calling to answer, a mission to accomplish, or in some cases, even a destiny to fulfill. The spiritual person is a “metamotivated” and understands that it is in “losing one’s life” that one “finds it”.
SACREDNESS OF LIFE:
The spiritual person believes life is infused with sacredness and often experiences a sense of awe, reverence, and wonder even in ‘nonreligious’ settings. He or she does not dichotomize life into sacred and secular, holy and profane, but believes all of life is ‘holy’ and that the sacred is in the ordinary. The spiritual person is able to ‘sacralize’ or ‘religionize’ all of life.
The spiritual person can appreciate material goods such as money and possessions, but does not seek ultimate satisfaction from them nor attempt to used them, as a substitute for frustrated spiritual needs. The spiritual person knows that ‘ontological thirst’ can only be quenched by the spiritual and that ultimate satisfaction is found not in material, but spiritual things.
The spiritual person believes we are our ‘brother’s keeper’ and is touched by the pain and suffering of others. He or she has a strong sense of social justice and is committed to altruistic love and action. The spiritual person knows that “no man is an island” and that we are all “part of the continent” of common humanity.
The spiritual person is a visionary committed to the betterment of the world. He or she loves things for what they are yet also for what they can become. The spiritual person is committed to high ideals and to the actualization of positive potential in all aspects of life.
AWARENESS OF THE TRAGIC:
The spiritual person is solemnly conscious of the tragic realities of human existence. He or she is deeply aware of human pain, suffering, and death. This awareness gives depth to the spiritual person and provides him or her with an existential seriousness toward life. Somewhat paradoxically, however, awareness of the tragic enhances the spiritual person’s joy, appreciation, and valuing of life.
FRUITS OF SPIRITUALITY:
The spiritual person is one whose spirituality has borne fruit in his or her life. True spirituality has a discernible effect upon one’s relationship to self, others, nature, life, and whatever one considers to be the Ultimate.
-By Dr. Ranjie Singh