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A Quest for Faith and Spirituality

A Quest for Faith and Spirituality

At various times in life, people look for purpose and direction. An occupation or family life may satisfy this need to some extent, but many people look for something more. Faith, religion or some form of spirituality often proves to be the supply of what they are looking for. For some individuals, a belief in something that is not limited by what is knowable through our senses and reason becomes an operative part of living. Acceptance of some force or ideal that exceeds our ability to fully understand becomes a source of motivation and contentment.

Once acquired, some form of faith seems to enable those who find it with an ability to face life and make sense of it. Confusion or frustration is replaced by serenity and peace. The process by which people find spirituality varies widely. Some find it exclusively in established religion. Others discover it independently of any orthodox form of religion. Some will tap into a variety of sources that may include both organized religion and an individual experiential process.

Starting points for discovering faith abound. One approach to acquiring faith is by visiting a variety of different religious services in person. Most churches welcome visitors and are often happy to discuss your quest with you one-on-one. The internet is also a good place to find information. Web sites like The Way International provide information about specific pathways to faith. A more secular approach to spirituality can be found at a local library or bookstore. There are usually large sections of works addressing many different beliefs. Colleges and universities offer classes covering a variety of religious and philosophical schools of thought for those wanting to make a more extensive formal study of the subject.

While there are many roads people take to find and adopt beliefs, once at their destination most will discover some practices that help to support and enrich their faith. These practices vary in some respects, but many are common regardless of the specific flavor of spirituality. Three things that are almost universally used among different faiths are prayer, meditation and study.

Praying

The act of communicating with the divine is ancient in origin. This practice acknowledges some source of strength and comfort that is beyond our full understanding. Praying allows for an expression of gratitude and requests for what is needed. Many religions have prayers that have been in existence for centuries and capture the essence of human longing for a connection. Beginning the practice of prayer may at first feel awkward, but over time will become less so.

Meditating

Quieting the mind and finding stillness and present moment awareness are practiced by a cross-section of people today. No connection to religion or spirituality is necessary, but many such belief systems recommend the practice. Some religions have specific, unique methods and techniques to follow. Attention to breathing is a common way of focusing thoughts and maintaining connection to the meditation. The inclusion of background music is another way to differentiate times of meditation from the rest of the day.

Studying

Many of the religions of the world have texts which are held as sacred. These books contain the recorded basis of their beliefs. If faith is found in one of these established organizations study of these scriptures is sure to be part of the journey.

Finding some spiritual connection is vital to many peoples’ lives. Seeking out a way to make sense of life is often satisfied by acquiring faith. Those who persistently pursue this path consistently report happier, more contented lives.

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