Spirituality for me is recognizing that I am connected to the energy of all creation, that I am a part of it—and it is always a part of me. Whatever label or word we use to describe "it" doesn't matter. Words are completely inadequate.
Spirituality is not religion. You can be spiritual and not have a religious context. The opposite is true too: You can be very religious with no spiritual dimension, just doctrine.
Spirituality isn't something I believe in. It is what and who I am: a spiritual being having a human experience, as the French philosopher and priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin profoundly said.
Knowing this has made all the difference. It allows me to live fearlessly. And to make manifest the purpose of my creation. And I will be bold enough to say I know for sure it's the greatest discovery of life: to recognize that you're more than your body and your mind.
For several years in the 1990s, I did a segment on my show called "Remembering Your Spirit"—in spite of being ridiculed in the press for it and getting pushback from some viewers who weren't willing to accept the message that there's more to our lives than our five senses reveal.
Over the years, I've continued to find new ways of introducing the concept of spirit to a broad audience. This magazine is one of them—the mission being to help people find their best life, a life that acknowledges mind, body, and spirit.
Claiming my own spiritual depths and encouraging others to recognize the fullness of their potential through spiritual connection is my greatest purpose and calling. It's why I've continued to do the show these many years. It's why I recently decided to start my OWN television network—the Oprah Winfrey Network—devoted to that purpose. It's why I chose A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle, as a book club selection, and why I interview him this month.
I've read hundreds of books that have helped me become more spiritually attuned. A New Earth resonated so deeply with me and caused such a shift in the way I perceived myself and all things, I couldn't not share it.
It's been the most rewarding experience of my career to teach this book online with Eckhart Tolle and witness millions of people all over the globe awaken to their lives in such profound ways. The book is essentially about recognizing that you are not your thoughts, and seeing, then changing, the way your ego-based mind dominates your life.
Here are a few e-mail responses from readers that make my heart sing:
"I suddenly feel alive, present, and overjoyed." (Dionne, Baltimore)
"I can see the truth that the voice in my head does not have to control me." (Domingo, Jersey City, New Jersey)
"I felt a sense of weight lifted off my shoulders. Everything happens when and where it should. I need to stop fighting and let it be. I can just live, not fight my life," (Tequiera, Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Allowing the truth of who you are—your spiritual self—to rule your life means you stop the struggle and learn to move with the flow of your life. As Eckhart says in A New Earth, "There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One With Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don't live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance."
The joy and vitality that come from being that dance are unmatched by any pleasure you can imagine. What it takes, I've learned, is being committed to experiencing life's spiritual essence. And that, as I said in my conversation with Eckhart, is a decision you make daily: to be in the world but not of it.
From the May 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!