Before you get too immersed in all of my teachings about Zen and other forms of personal growth and improvement, I thought it would be beneficial to talk about one of the key results of taking these practices to heart: good spiritual health. However, that term has some confusion associated to it and therefore I wanted to first explain what exactly I mean by the term spiritual health.
You see, spiritual health can actually mean different things for different people. One common understanding of spiritual health is the strong connection that you have with God, or any other religious figure. However, in my case that is not what I mean – which is pretty ironic considering that the Zen lifestyle is still actually a religion at its core.
So what is my definition of spiritual health? I personally like to think of spiritual health as a combination of your mental and emotional health, with your physical health. Yup, it’s that simple. In essence it basically means that I really don’t have a clear definition of spiritual health myself, other than combining two other forms of health. However, I think that meaning is actually pretty nuanced in its own right. Both having a healthy state of mind and having a healthy body are critical to living life to the fullest. In fact, the mind and body are almost like yin and yang in the sense that they complement each other and make you whole. So being healthy in both areas really brings up to a spiritual sense of wellbeing.
Now what do I mean by having a spiritual sense of wellbeing? It is basically having the feeling that “life is good”. For example, it is when you wake up and are not tired or fatigued, but rather refreshed, energized and ready to start your day. And it also means that you have no bad thoughts or troubles that may be clouding your mind. Or at the very least, only minor troubles as we cannot escape such issues in life – but being spiritually healthy means that you can deal with such minor troubles effectively, making them essentially specks of dust in the way of achieving success and happiness.
Using more symbolic imagery, it’s almost like everything you do is as lighthearted and simple as walking on air. This is not to say that your life will become simplistic or anything like that, but rather your life will never become too much for you to handle. You will feel like the world is your oyster, and that you can and will accomplish everything you set your mind to, and will overcome anything that stands in your way.
Now admittedly, achieving perfect spiritual health is just about impossible, at least in my opinion. After studying all sorts of ways to achieve my version of spiritual health, I can say confidently that I have never even come close to achieving what I believe would be perfect spiritual health. However, what I can say is that I have made large strides over time, and I can still see the tangible benefits of continuously striving for perfect spiritual health. Because the fact is that even just 10% of a perfect spiritual health is miles more than most people who do not understand, let alone attempt to live a highly spiritual life, combining both mental and physical aspects.
Hopefully I did not confuse you too much with my definition, as I tried to explain it as clearly as I possibly could. Spiritual health is not an easy subject to understand, but once you start learning about all of the nuances involved with it, you can see just how your life can be transformed in a positive way, even without coming close to being in perfect spiritual health. It does require that you test yourself in ways that you never thought necessary for achieving happiness and fulfillment, combining elements of mental training, emotional training and physical training. But the results are definitely worth it if you put in the time and effort. If you take my words here on Peia Pathways to heart, I can promise you that you will see the world in an entirely new light, one that makes life a wonderful journey actually worth living.