Are you someone who believes that in order to be spiritual you need to follow a religious path? Or do you want to be self-aware and practice meditation without including religious chanting?  All of the above-mentioned things are possible. We are here to break the myth that spiritually is always guided by a religion. Read on to know more about it!


Spirituality is the way of thinking or self-awareness that a person can practice by being mindful. It focuses on being clear about your thoughts and intentions which will in turn help you navigate through life. Sam Harris’ book Waking Up: A Spirituality Without Religion is for all those people who want to be self-aware and spiritually guided but don’t want to embrace any religion.


Things to keep in mind if you are trying to embrace spirituality:


Waking Up summary starts by adding self-awareness in the minds of readers. It begins with telling us how we are always running away from and are on the lookout for happiness. It is human tendency to look for better things and take it for granted after receiving them. Sam Harris bags this with an example.Imagine that you are getting to spend a day at the beach. You are sitting on the beach and the sun is spreading its warmth. Your skin initially loves basking in the sun. But that ends as soon as you start sweating.  Now basking in the sun becomes a punishment for you and you discover a new pleasure which is searching for a shade. But this pleasure also comes to an end the moment you start feeling cold. By means of this example, the author is trying to teach that running away from displeasure does not guarantee permanent pleasure or happiness.


In this book, the author preaches that Self is an Illusion and Consciousness is irreducibly subjective. In simpler terms, it is what it likes to be you. According to him, there is no world without consciousness or Waking Up. He explains- when we suffer, we suffer consciously. Whether one is going through a mental illness/pain or joy/ happiness. It is the reality of the universe.


Mindfulness or being aware of one’s own thoughts come from mediation. Sam Harris urges the readers to close their eyes and focus on the process of breathing. Mindfulness is not when no unnecessary thoughts come to your brain meditating.  Rather it is a process of focusing on one’s own breath even if multiple thoughts are crossing your mind.


Follow these two approaches of spirituality to wake up and become more conscious


After giving insights on how to be mindful, the author Sam Harris talks about the two approaches of Spirituality. First one is the gradual approach which hails its origin from Theravada Buddhism and the second one is the sudden realization technique which is put forward by the Dzogchen school of Buddhism.


The first approach or the gradual approach talks about not thinking from the point of view of self. Throughout the entire journey of consciousness, you keep thinking about yourself but the moment you reach your destination the idea of single or self does not exist.


While the second approach or sudden realisation begins with the idea of selflessness. The author mentions that if a person is trying to eliminate the idea of self or wants to practice selflessness then they must follow the sudden realisation approach.


The author also states that in order to wake up and be conscious, it is imperative to find the right guru. The above two mentioned approaches (gradual and sudden realisation) can be followed judiciously only with the presence of a right mentor or guru. Think of it as finding the right teacher to teach you subjects like mathematics, science or english. The right teacher is the one who has knowledge about these disciplines and also has the right skillset to teach you. The similar requirement goes for the mentor or guru who is trying to enlighten you about spirituality.


Most people follow Buddhist teachings in order to awaken their spiritual being. According to the Buddhist Teachings, humans have a disorganized view of reality because of which they tend to suffer more. These teachings will help you rise from disorganized reality to actual reality.


In the Waking Up book summary, the author mentions that one must be careful before taking any kinds of drugs to attain spirituality. People usually believe that the journey of spirituality starts with peace. They look for instant gratification, the moment they start their journey which is practically not possible. Peace is a by-product of spirituality. It is not something that you will experience on an everyday basis. 


Therefore, people looking for instant peace of mind are prescribed certain drugs like MDMA, LSD or psilocybin mushrooms.Consumption of these drugs induces peace of mind and increases the love for things around you. The hallucinations and psychedelic feeling resulting from this is often compared to the state of mindfulness.


Author's Bio: 

The author of this article is a professional having years of experience in the field of Digital Marketing and currently associated with Proxgy. The author is an expert in writing on virtual travel, online video shopping and Digital marketing topics.