Spirituality versus Religion

I get asked a lot about the difference between religion and spirituality. Now, I'm loosely associated with the process of spiritual humanism, what some could call a religion, but I just call it my focus on increased optimism, growth and improvement as well as a daily meditation practice.  I do not frequent a church, synagogue or mosque, but have studied many religions and ancient practices and openly explore and analyze all discoveries and theories. I believe that  everyday brings the possibility to experience something profound. You just never know! 

As I get back to the question, first let me say that I have nothing against religion or religious people.

I find what Deepak Chopra has said about the difference between Religion and Spirituality interesting, "Religion is cultural mythology. Spirituality is self awareness. They have nothing in common."

Generally speaking, based on what I've experienced most people who are strictly religious are usually seeking reward, either in this life or the afterlife;do good deeds and go to heaven, get many virgins, clean up bad karma, etc.  And most religions are based on teachings of bowing to a master and tied to feelings of unworthiness (e.g., Lord, I am not worthy to receive you.....") Feelings of inferiority and unworthiness are lower vibrational emotions that do not serve a spiritualist.  

As I understand it, a true spiritualist seeks knowledge and knowing themselves more through experience.  And when a spiritualist veers toward idolizing the founder of a practice blindly following them, well, that also starts leaning toward religion. Do you see where I am going with this?  

If you're spiritual, then you're continuing to seek knowledge for personal evolution. Once you gain all the knowledge from your current source, the "All that Is" will guide you to your next teacher and there will always be continual sources and experiences.

Let's also talk about the intersection, the vesica piscis between spirituality and religion. As one moves forward they usually have a foot in both camps. They still hold onto their religious practice as they become more spiritual.  

I often wonder if I'm in that middle camp. I have great love and respect for certain ancient teachers and saints, but speak to them as equals.  By doing so some would not call me a true spiritualist.

I have 1000's of hours of hands-on analysis over my lifetime to formulate my theories and practices. I do not follow others, but when I hear about wisdom shared by another I listen and see if there's anything that they are teaching that I've already analyzed and discarded. Perhaps they have a new way of disseminating information that resonates with me. In these cases I take that opportunity to incorporate a new exercise into my daily routine. 

And I'm not your Shaman or guru. Yes I love to answer your questions, speak to groups of all sizes, take interviews, help some of my more famous friends, etc., but I do so out of love and knowing that I'm here to plant the seeds to help you wake up.  All I want is for you is for you to take the words, the videos, etc., and before incorporating them into your structure, go out and experience life and come to your own conclusions. 

I wish only the best for you on your journey and days filled with new opportunities,
LeeZa Donatella
Site:  www.leezadonatella.com
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