Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet
It’s time for me to admit something. I’ve been in the closet. I’ve been ignoring a huge aspect of myself, and I just can’t do it any longer. Maybe it won’t seem like such a big deal to you. But here it is…
I’m <cough> spiritual.
(this is a cartoon version of me wearing a black wig after coming out of the spiritual closet, in case you were wondering)
And I’m not just declaring that I’m now an “SBNR” (spiritual but not religious) person just because I live in Los Angeles and it’s the hipster thing to say.
I’m talking about dedicating myself to creating a uniquely personal spiritual path rooted in mindfulness; I’m talking about opening up to learning about different spiritual traditions to see which practices might feel like a good fit to explore—and which ones don’t; I’m talking about deepening my meditation practice with the intention of connecting not only with myself and others—but also with the giant Mystery. Love. The Universe. Spirit. Whatever I decide to call that thing (or no-thing). And, although this is hard for me to believe—my staunchly secular mindfulness meditation practice brought me to this place.
Well, maybe not… After all, the Latin root of “spirit,” is “spiritus,”—which means “breath.” And the object of my meditation practice for the past 6+ years has been the breath. So there’s that.
But all nerdiness aside… I can honestly say that I’ve had enough transcendent experiences at this point in my practice to know that there’s more to meditation than it merely serving as a practical tool to help me manage my emotions and find a sense of inner peace.
Does this mean I’m losing touch with my pragmatic side? Nope. But I seem to have reached this new stage in my practice where I’m no longer interested in holding onto (and hiding behind…) the cynical, overly-rational, pseudo-intellectual arrogance that has kept me from seriously exploring anything considered remotely spiritual. I’m finally willing to let go of all the past judgments I’ve made about what it means to be a “spiritual” person.
And I’m finally willing to own up to the fact that I am one.
So my new challenge moving ahead is to continue deepening and expanding my meditation practice while finding ways to feel safe and comfortable exploring what I’m referring to as “secular spirituality.” I have no idea what this journey is going to look like just yet. But I’m finally ready to admit that I want to find out.
Which is probably a great place to start. 🙂