The body is strong, the mind clear and, if not one-pointed, moving toward a sense of focus. We enter now the realm of the soul. Wait! What happened to mind-body-spirit? How'd soul get in there?
Soul is our personal experience of spirituality and bridges that with our transpersonal experience of the Universal. Spirit is what we typically call God, and soul is the phenomenological means by which we get there. Personal spirituality is how we connect with the transpersonal, the sense of spirit that is "out there" (even though it is "in here").
Our connection to soul does not have to take on any particular form. Often we get caught up in the trappings of our birth religion, or discover a connection to a new vehicle of spirituality, such as Kabbala, Yoga, Christian mysticism, or Wicca. The form does not matter; it is more what moves us to make the connection at all.
For some of us, soul will be sinking our hands into the good dark earth of our garden. For others, it may be participating in the rituals of Tibetan Buddhism, Voodoo or Tantric Yoga.
You may have been raised on Catholic hymns and, while not moved by those, be moved by the kirtan of Hindu practice. You may have been raised Jewish, yet not connected to your birth religion until you discovered Kabbala. Or you may feel the connection right from the start.
The point is, just as with our choice of physical practice, our choice of soul practice should be driven by what we connect with on a primordial level.
The next element to consider in the fabric of our evolution and existence is spirit. This is something more ephemeral, and intangible, as it is the transpersonal aspect of who we are as a whole being. Because it is both inside of us and outside our "selves" (think about it), it is paradoxically a place that is parallel with body-mind-soul, and apart from it.
© 2008 Michael J. Formica, All Rights Reserved