You don’t need to go a church, temple, prayer hall, gompa, or synagogue to find spirituality. It’s all around us, in the trees, the animals, the faces of people and as I found out.... a shopping centre. As an icon of western capitalist consumerism the shopping centre is always seen as one of the least of spiritual places, along with freeways and lawyers offices.
However when you think that spirituality is about opening your heart, then you can take spirituality with you everywhere and learn to see the world through the lens of your heart. On this particular day, I noticed that the shopping centre was full of people in wheelchairs, with disabilities, the elderly, the frail, people with mental illness, people down and out and everybody else just looked hurried and stressed. Immediately I started judging them with a whole myriad of thoughts running through my head and then I just stopped as though a light bulb went on. If growing spiritually is about learning to love people you find hard to love, then it’s the judgements I’m making that are preventing that.
All I needed to do what stop the judging, stop the internal commentary on what I think, and just open my heart. My judgements were a barrier to love and suddenly that particular shopping centre was the most spiritual place on earth and everybody inside was my teacher. Simultaneously love and gratitude rose up, washing through my body and soul leaving me in awe of how magical the universe is.
Of course the feeling didn’t last as long as I’d like, but it was a moment that I could reflect on afterwards. And when I have more and more of these moments, they’ll become on big long moment of love where I love me and everybody else without fear.