It’s very trendy these days to throw the word spiritual around to announce to the world that you are a “spiritual” person. But if you asked the people around you what spirituality means exactly and why it is important, you might get many different answers. In fact, you might even wonder if we are all talking about the same thing.  When it comes down to it, each of us defines spirituality in our own way. The answer to the question, “what is spirituality?” depends on our own personal interpretation and perspective of the term, and our definition will most likely evolve, expand and change over our lifetime.

For many, spirituality is connected to big questions about life and identity; What is my purpose in this world? Do things happens for a reason? What is my connection to the world? Am I a good person? How can I live a better life? Some link their spiritual life to their religion, others meditate or find comfort in a personal relationship with God or a higher power; and others seek meaning through nature, art and sports. Whatever it may be, it is something we all experience, in some form or another.

Spirituality often gets confused with religion, and in reality, the two are only loosely connected. The major difference between them is that religion is about believing and spirituality is about being. In Christianity, is it believed that Jesus is the son of God and the sacraments of Baptism and Communion are observed; in Islam, a Muslim believes in Allah and observes Ramadan. Spirituality, by contrast, has no rules or dogmas to follow; it is a much broader concept. True spirituality is something that is found deep within us, a connection to something greater than ourselves. It is a way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and people around us, and it isn’t found in any particular belief system. The current Dalai Lama writes about spirituality in his book Ancient Wisdom, Modern World; “spirituality is concerned with those qualities of the human spirit – such as love, compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony – which brings happiness to both self and others…”

Why are we spiritual? How does it serve us? There are no right answers here. Again, it will be something different to each of us and will ultimately serve us all in different ways. Spirituality offers us comfort and peace during the ups and downs of life. It strengthens our mind and spirit. It shows us that our role in life has a greater value than what we do in our everyday life. It helps us understand our life’s purpose.


1.)   What is Spirituality?

A.    A religion based on old sacred texts

B.    Depends on our own personal interpretation

C.    It can mean different things to different people

D.    A trendy word to impress people

E.    Both B & C

2.)   Spirituality is connected to the big questions of life, such as:

A.    How much should I weigh for my height?

B.    What color car should I buy?

C.    What is my purpose?

D.    Do aliens exist?

E.     Who killed JFK?

3.)   Spirituality and religion are the same thing.

A.    True

B.    False

4.)  The Dalai Lama described spirituality in his book as:

A.   Concerning qualities relating to the human spirit

B.    A negative thing to believe in

C.    Bringing unhappiness to both self and others

D.   Involving qualities such as love and compassion

E.    Both A & D

5.)  Spirituality strengthens our mind and spirit.

A.   True

B.    False