Spirituality and spiritual courses
Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some, it’s about participating in organized religion: going to church, synagogue, a mosque, etc. For others, it’s more personal: Some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga,meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks. Research shows that even skeptics can’t stifle the sense that there is something greater than the concrete world we see. As the brain processes sensory experiences, we naturally look for patterns, and then seek out meaning in those patterns. And the phenomenon known as “cognitive dissonance” shows that once we believe in something, we will try to explain away anything that conflicts with it. Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience — something that touches us all.
Traditionally, spirituality referred to a religious process of re-formation which “aims to recover the original shape of man,” oriented at “the image of God” exemplified by the Torah, Christ, Buddha, Muhammad and others. In modern times the emphasis is on subjective experience of a sacred dimension and the “deepest values and meanings by which people live,” usually in a context separate from organized religious institutions. Modern spirituality may include a belief in a supernatural realm, personal growth, a quest for an ultimate/sacred meaning, religious experience, or an encounter with one’s own “inner dimension.