‘Spiritual but Not Religious’ – Where Do You Go for Guidance and Support?

I had an interesting discussion with a Christian Hospital Chaplain recently about differing viewpoints of those who adhere to a religion and those who describe themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’. It was a long and interesting conversation.

One of the many issues we talked about was that if you are interested in a religion, then it is likely that you have somewhere and someone to approach if you have spiritual questions.

This is not necessarily the case if you are ‘spiritual but not religious’. There is apparently no obvious place to go for impartial discussion and spiritual development. If you approach someone in a religious organisation, you are likely to receive advice and information based on the understandings and teachings of that religion.

What is spirituality?

There are many definitions which focus on different aspects:

Thich Naht Hahn,1 the Vietnamese Zen master and Buddhist monk, wrote:

‘Spirituality is not religion. It is a path for us to generate happiness, understanding, and love, so we can live deeply each moment of our life. Having a spiritual dimension in our lives does not mean escaping life or dwelling in a place of bliss outside this world but discovering ways to handle life’s difficulties and generate peace, joy, and happiness right where we are, on this beautiful planet.’

Dr Maya Spencer’s2 personal experience includes a wider perspective of spirituality and includes a power beyond the materialistic:

‘Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.’

Others talk of a sense of ‘wholeness’ experienced by people who lead a spiritual life.

Why is our spirituality important?

There are health benefits to a spiritual self-care practice. A review of over 3,300 studies of health and religion/spirituality, concluded that a daily spiritual connection has a healthful effect, irrespective of whether religion is followed or not.3

William Bloom and Angela Sellens Drake4 describe spiritual health and happiness as follows:

‘It is an inner experience of strength, optimism and peace, whatever your situation or circumstances. This deep-rooted inner attitude cascades through your neuro-endocrinal networks to boost your health and wellbeing – physical and mental.’

Interestingly, the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatry5 in the UK has around 4500 members, reflecting their belief in the growing evidence base around the positive relationship between spirituality and mental health.

How can we explore and develop our spirituality?

So, where and who do you go to if you want to explore a spiritual experience and understanding which is not based on a particular religion?

Nowadays people often turn to the internet for spiritual information where they encounter weird, inaccurate, and extreme opinions. This can be very confusing when conflicting information is read; it is impersonal and a far from ideal way to develop spiritually.

There is, however, an avenue for spiritual information and experience which is little explored – a Spiritual Healing session.

What happens in a Spiritual Healing Session?

When you attend a Healing6 session with a well-trained7 Practitioner of Healing there is opportunity to explore spiritual matters in a supported environment and develop spiritually.

A client can expect to experience the following in a Spiritual Healing session:

  • A peaceful, safe space with a compassionate Healer Practitioner, to allow uplifting, direct spiritual experience and exploration.
  • Through the Healing Practitioner attuning to the energy of Source, the client’s personal energy field is filled with Source energy of Unconditional Love. It is common for most people to sense this Love or sense a deep peace which encourages a remembering of who they really are as souls and is uplifting, spiritually and mentally. This direct spiritual experience and spiritual nourishment promotes wellbeing, restores energetic wholeness and benefits mind, body and spirit.
  • To encourage self-care spiritual practices, the Healing Practitioner may suggest spiritual self-care tools (such as transformative visualisations or meditation techniques), appropriate to the client’s needs at the time.

A Healing session can take place in-person but is also very effective over face-to-face online video and telephone, making it also accessible for people with transport difficulties, or those with mobility impairments or other disabilities. 

If you are interested in an experiential way of exploring your spirituality, why not try a spiritual healing session? At Omnes Healing we run a free online Healing Centre. If you are interested, please click here for further details.

Su Mason PhD

References and Notes:

1. Thich Naht Hahn. The Art of Living. Generic 2017

2. Dr Maya Spencer. What is spirituality? A personal exploration. https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/docs/default-source/members/sigs/spirituality-spsig/what-is-spirituality-maya-spencer-x.pdf?sfvrsn=f28df052_2#:~:text=Spirituality%20involves%20the%20recognition%20of,cosmic%20or%20divine%20in%20nature. [Accessed 14-6-23]

3. Koenig HG. Religion, spirituality, and health: a review and update. Adv Mind Body Med. 2015 Summer;29(3):19-26. PMID: 26026153

4. William Bloom and Angela Sellens Drake. The  Secrets of Sprirtual Health and Happiness. https://www.findhorn.org/william-bloom-secrets-of-spiritual-health-and-happiness/#:~:text=Spiritual%20health%20and%20happiness%20is,and%20wellbeing%20%E2%80%94%20physical%20and%20mental. [Accessed 14-6-23]

5. The Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatry -https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/members/special-interest-groups/spirituality/resources [Accessed 14-6-23]

6. Also called Spiritual Healing, Energy Healing, Energy Rebalancing, etc.

7. Healers who have been trained to UK Healers’ and/ or The Confederation of Healing Organisation’s standards should be well-informed in spiritual matters, without a religious bias.

Photo by Christina Morillo

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