It can be fun to wonder about the future of spirituality. Or, really, how I imagine it can be, based on what I am currently familiar with and interested in, and what I would like to see.
I am in the Bay Area now, and I imagine that what’s happening here does say something about the future of spirituality. What’s happening here is what we may see in some other places in the relatively near future.
It’s a more grounded and practical approach to spirituality, one that’s closely connected to human healing and growth, social engagement, and even spirituality. To me, those cannot really be separated in lived life. They are expressions of a recognition of oneness – in immediate experience (all as awareness Spirit), through science (astronomy, Big History, ecology, systems views), and even through the “paranormal” (ESP, synchronicities etc.).
Since it’s a practical approach to spirituality, it’s compatible with most worldviews – including most or all religions and even atheism.
Also, since it’s a practical approach, it can be applied to many areas of life, including schools, health care, hospitals, prisons, workplaces, and more.
Since it’s a practical approach, it’s also subject of research. What are the effects of different practices, for different groups of people? (Physiologically, psychologically, health wise, socially etc.). What mediates these changes? What works best for whom and when? What are the risks? How do we minimize these risks?
Since it’s a practical approach, it’s also more widely accepted and respected by mainstream society.
And since it’s a practical approach, teachers are – as Adyashanti suggests – more like coaches. They share their experience, and give practical suggestions. That’s about it. (There will inevitably be some projections, as in any human relationships, but a practical emphasis may typically reduce this.)
We already see all of this.
I also imagine more organizations, businesses, and centers where they explore the intersection of practical spirituality with a range of other areas, including business, education, healthcare, science, ecology, city and regional planning, sustainability and more.
I imagine more centers where people can devote themselves to exploring this area of themselves and life. (Often not affiliated with existing traditions, although drawing upon their experience and wisdom.)
And I imagine centers where people who are going through spiritual emergencies can find rest, guidance, and support. (I have sometimes wished for that for myself, especially during the initial phase of the awakening, where there were intense energies and I felt quite alone at a human level, and my current dark night phase. This is, and has been, especially close to my heart. It’s something I can see myself working with, if life goes in that direction for me.