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In the recent times , due to a change in lifestyle and the social fabric of the society, it has been viewed that there has been a shift of people, in particular the youth , from the old religious practices towards the folds of SPIRITUALITY. This has led to the emergence of a number of alternative, holistic movements and faiths taking the large number of youth into its folds. The youth today is exposed to varying degrees of socio – economic and political changes leading to shift in their lifestyles and thought process. The youth are trying to search for some inner peace in the fast pace of their lives. The ART OF LIVING plays a crucial here simplifying the complex meanings of life for the youth and helping them cope with the changing society. During the course of my research , I have tried to answer the question of why the youth is important for our society and why is the youth entering into the folds of spirituality focusing on art of living being one of the forums for imparting spiritual knowledge and helping in holistic wellbeing of the youth. During the course of the research, the field of focus was Art of Living and youth between the age group of 18 to 35 years were the subject of study.
SPIRITUALITY OR RELIGION?
There is a need to first understand spirituality in a little more detail. Spirituality is a foundational aspect of what it means to be human. Each of us has the ability to experience something more in life than is immediately apparent to us on the surface level of life events. Spirituality is our capacity to discover or create something more in the ordinary events of life. Spirituality functions as the energy, the capacity, and potential for transforming our lives into something purposeful, meaningful, and valuable. From that perspective, spirituality really isn’t about religion. As mentioned in “the handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence”, around the world there is a growing concern with spirituality in the lives of general public and scholars. Whether one looks at the bestselling books, or T.V shows , one quickly finds some mention of the same. Religion and spirituality are also seen as playing important roles in major geopolitical conflicts in a world that is seen to be getting smaller and fragmented. We also come across different views on the scope and meaning of religion and spirituality.
Wulff (1997) , said that ‘religion is becoming reified into a fixed system of ideas or ideological commitment’. Also according to Zinbaur and his colleagues (1997), ‘spirituality is now commonly regarded as individual phenomena and identified with such things as personal transience, supra – consciousness, sensitivity and meaningfulness. Religiousness in contrast is now often described narrowly as formally structured and identified with religious institutions.’ There are also those who clearly describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. What that means can vary a great deal from one person to another. Among people who use this description are people who may not have a belief in a deity but who practice meditation because meditation is proven to support healthy brain and emotional functioning. There are also those who may have been raised in a family that maintained rigorous religious practices but as an adult these practices were rejected in preference for personal rituals and practices. There are those who have chosen a variety of elements from different sources that have personal meaning. The consistent theme among people who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious are a preference to maintain a certain distance from religious organizations and to focus on personal spiritual development.
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