Eckhart Tolle

To begin a spiritual journey, it's important to first understand what spirituality means. Spiritual leaders from around the world want to help you start your journey by explaining what spirituality means to them.

Eckhart Tolle, author of A New Earth, says to be spiritual is to live in a state of openness. "With that openness, a far greater power comes into your life," he says. "So to be spiritual is to be in touch, connected with that dimension of depth in yourself."

Eckhart says you need to become more aware of the aliveness of this moment. "The aliveness that is all around you no matter where you are. And to become aware of that, you need to become a little bit more alert than you usually are," Eckhart says. "Increasingly, you become rooted in the aliveness and the fullness of the present moment. That's to lead a spiritual life."
Marianne Williamson

Spiritual author and lecturer Marianne Williamson says spirituality wakens when you become still and humble. "There are forces inside you—forces of fear and limitation and chaos—and they live inside us saying, 'You can't do that,'" she says. "Spirituality is where you lay claim to a ground of being within yourself where you say, 'I want to be that. I really do. I want to be that person that I'm capable of being.'"

Marianne says people aren't happy because of what they aren't giving. "The most important thing is that we learn how to forgive each other and that we learn how to love each other. How to live in the spirit of blessing and not blame," Marianne says. "The spiritual path doesn't mean always an easier path, but it means a choice. A choice that we're making to try our best to be as loving as we can be."
Rabbi Irwin Kula

Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, says the key to being a spiritual person is understanding that it takes practice. "You have to practice becoming alert, becoming more conscious, becoming aware," he says. "And you have to practice becoming kinder, more compassionate and more caring."

Rabbi Kula has a rule that will help you practice your spirituality. "You have to develop your head, your heart, and your hands," he says. In order to develop your head, Rabbi Kula says you need to learn something new about yourself, someone else or an opinion you strongly disagree with, because doing so will help you become more conscious, aware and alert.

When you are grateful for things, Rabbi Kula says you develop your heart. He suggests that at the end of the day you think of 10 things that you're grateful for.

The idea of developing your hands means to perform an act of kindness every day. "Here's the key: [perform the act of kindess for] someone more vulnerable than you," Rabbi Kula says. "And it's like anything else. The more we practice, the better we become."
The Rev. Ed Bacon

The Rev. Ed Bacon says that like law and medicine, spirituality is a practice. "Spiritual practitioners must practice spirituality where we stop, take a breath, become still inside—that's the act of meditation and contemplation," he says. "It is the same in all of the religions."

The Rev. Bacon's advice for people seeking a spiritual journey is threefold. "That is to be in nature, to connect with the arts and to connect with ritual," he says. "It is in moments of serenity, stillness, that we experience something much larger, transcendent, cosmic than we are."
The Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith

Michael Bernard Beckwith says everyone is spiritual, though not everyone realizes it. Spirituality, he says, is the awakening to a dimension of the being or soul. "When one begins to really feel into the spiritual dimension of their beings, they bump into love. They bump into compassion. They bump into beauty," he says.

When you begin to notice the things in your life you are grateful for, Michael says you will stop seeing obstacles or hindrances. "You see potential. You see possibilities," he says. "Then you become an open vehicle for more inspiration, more wisdom, more guidance coming from the spiritual part of your being."