Spirituality is a quality of life and mind, as well as a practice to bring on that quality. Spirituality is often about religious experience, and it can also describe what many feel amidst the awe and wonder and power of nature, or when one is completely at ease with oneself and the world. The root word of “spirit” in English comes from a word for breath, so spirit can be seen in a nontheistic sense as what gives us life. Here are some musings on spirituality from a variety of thinkers, writers, and practitioners.

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Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.

— Abraham Joshua Heschel

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. Get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible. Never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.

— Abraham Joshua Heschel

I am a deeply religious nonbeliever — this is a somewhat new kind of religion.

— Albert Einstein

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

— Albert Einstein

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.

— Albert Einstein

Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.

— Alice Walker

BATH, n. A kind of mystic ceremony substituted for religious worship, with what spiritual efficacy has not been determined.

— Ambrose Bierce

The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.

— Anaïs Nin

The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.

— Anaïs Nin

Science has carried us to the gateway to the universe. And yet our conception of our surroundings remains the disproportionate view of the still-small child. We are spiritually and culturally paralyzed, unable to face the vastness, to embrace our lack of centrality and find our actual place in the fabric of nature. We batter this planet as if we had someplace else to go. That we even do science is a hopeful glimmer of mental health. However, it’s not enough merely to accept these insights intellectually while we cling to a spiritual ideology that is not only rootless in nature but also, in many ways, contemptuous of what is natural.

— Ann Druyan

There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe…
At every crossing of the threads there is an individual.
And every individual is a crystal bead.
And every crystal bead reflects
Not only the light from every other crystal in the net
But also every other reflection
Throughout the entire universe.

— Anne Adams, an adaptation of one of the oldest written creations of humanity: “The Net of Jewels, or Indra’s Net”

True holiness is completely unself-conscious. You wouldn’t have the slightest awareness of its existence in you. Besides you will not care, for even the ambition to be holy will have dropped as you live from moment to moment a life made full and happy and transparent through awareness.

— Anthony de Mello

When people go within and connect with themselves, they realize they are connected to the universe and they are connected to all living things.

— Armand Dimele

We feel and know that we are eternal.

— Baruch Spinoza

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

— Brené Brown

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

— Buddha

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, people cannot live without a spiritual life.

— Buddha

At times I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons.

— Carl Jung

The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

— Carl Sagan

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. more

— Carl Sagan

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.

— Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.

— Carl Sagan

Self dedication is a spiritual experience.

— Cesar Chavez

You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.

— Charlie Chaplin

It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.

— Cicero

Simply being with other people who are also seekers and who are involved in the same quest you are is very meaningful.

— Dan Wakefield

Mindfulness is both a state of being and a daily spiritual practice, a form of meditation.

— David Richo

Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being.

— David Steindl-Rast

Wherever we may come alive, that is the area in which we are spiritual.

— David Steindl-Rast

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

— Denis Waitley
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