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28th October 2009, 21:35
Spiritual Life


What comes to mind when you say the word spiritual?

The answers to this question are sure to be diverse. Some may identify the word with religion; others with the New Age movement, still others relate it to nature. Some may see a sunrise in their mind and some may see nothing at all and instead feel a direct connection to Creation.

Everyone has a different symbolic picture that comes to their mind's eye when they hear the word. The variance of these individualistic references is based on the belief process we were taught as children and our life experiences. Sometimes a new reference may be stronger than an older reference and the belief structure and the identification changes. Sometimes the identification with the word spiritual remains throughout life.

Beneath all of this identification that we have to have in order to exist in this third-dimensional plane, is the actual essence of the word. Webster defines spiritual as, "of the spirit or the soul, as distinguished from the body." We know the body. The body is solid and tangible. We know the mind and pride ourselves on being able to learn, to think and to rationalize.

But do we really know the spirit that exists within each and every one of us? It generally can't be seen or physically touched. It can't be tasted. It doesn't smell and can't be audibly heard. It can't tell time or compute a mathematical problem. It doesn't resonate to any of the labels we use to recognize the things around us. So what is it?

The spirit is the direct connection to the Divine. It is the cohesive sum and substance of who and what we really are; an energy that is harmonious with the Creator. It doesn't require a three-dimensional descriptive identification as the totality of it's unseen dynamics can be seen everywhere, in everything. Without the spirit, the physical and the mental would have no reason to exist as neither would be whole.

The physical and mental aspects of life are, in fact, compliments to the spirit. The physical body will pass from this and other lifetimes and the mind will require training and expand and grow with each new life experience. But the spirit, our attachment to the Divine, will remain intact, complete, all-knowing and everlasting.

Many ask how to make or recognize this connection between the spirit and the Divine. There is no right or wrong way to make the connection. To me, spirituality is the process by which we connect directly to the Divine. It isn't a belief. It is a knowing that is felt within the entire being.

My preference is a one-on-one connection because I feel more comfortable aligning myself directly with the Godforce. But that is my choice. Some may favor finding the bond in the form of a religion, through a prayer or through a meditation. Others may find it by smelling a flower or by hugging a tree. How the connection is made is up to each individual. The important objective is making the alliance between Godforce and spirit.

We care for our body, we educate our mind, but all too often we ignore the most vital part of ourselves. Imagine what the world could be if each of us were more cognizant and nurturing of our spirit.

28th October 2009, 21:41
Health and Spirituality
By: Judith Orloff, M.D.

(based on Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing)

We are the keepers of our own healing. We are keepers of an intuitive intelligence so powerful it can tell us how to heal. The time has come for each of us to claim it again. Never forget: It is your right to heal. It is your right to look inside yourself for the answers. We are on the vanguard of a health care revolution as profound as civil rights or feminism. All over, I see an uprising fueled by courageous people, demanding that their spiritual and intuitive voices be honored in the healing process. Attitudes are shifting. I meet medical practitioners and patients everywhere who rail against the icy sterility of technological advances alone-no matter how miraculous-when simple kindness, love, and awe for our inner vision is sacrificed.

As a psychiatrist and practicing intuitive, my passion has been to bring spirituality and intuition into mainstream medicine. Then we can choose from the best of both worlds. A palpable connection with a compassionate higher power (whether or not connected with traditional religious beliefs) can help us heal. Intuition is the spiritual language that links us with our hearts, and thus to wellness. I've written my latest book, Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing, (Times Books), to provides concrete tools for everyone to access their inner voice and truest sense of the spiritual. There is a conscious strategy we can take to be joyous and well. It is essential that we develop positive beliefs about healing in addition to a love for the body, an appreciation of the body's subtle energy system (Chinese medical practitioners call it "chi"), and also learn to access inner guidance and listen to dreams. With these tools, we can maintain optimal health or better face any health challenges that arise.

Science and spirituality mix. Over two hundred scientific studies have shown that spirituality is good for your health. In 1995 the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center found that a major predictor of survival for heart surgery patients was religious faith. A National Institute on Aging study found that geriatric patients were physically healthier and less depressed when they attended regular spiritual services. Research underscores the necessity of not waiting until illness or pain comes to draw on spirituality as a resource for health and healing. Is there a center in our brain for spiritual experience? Scientists currently associate our spiritual center with a part of the brain called the limbic system. When this area is electrically stimulated, some patients report visions of angels or devils. And brain tumors, which overexcite the limbic system, can trigger enhanced spiritual awareness. What scientists are willing to conclude is that the brain and spirituality are interrelated; if you develop a belief in something greater than yourself, you'll have a better chance of staying healthy longer and healing faster if you become ill.

As a physician, I have a continual sense of awe for the relationship between body and spirit. As your heat opens, so does your intuition. Your intuition will teach you how to see and how to love. It will instill in you a renewed faith to face anything.