July 16, 2004 Features & Images » Feature Story

Feature - Rejecting materialism 

The quest for happiness through a spiritual path

By K-L Grant

There is a palatable sense of peace and contentment that embraces some people. It’s in the way they move, the way they speak, the way they smile and the way they look at you. These people are comforting to be around as their calmness radiates outward and touches those close to them.

These people come from every walk of life, but often work in the healing arts. They are yoga teachers, acupuncturists, tai chi instructors and psychics. But they are also lawyers, business people, retail staff, athletes and artists. It is not what they do that is important, but how they do it, and they do it by walking a spiritual path.

Western society is still not sure what to make of such people, so by and large they walk quietly, attracting little attention to themselves, yet doing what they can where they can to positively effect change in the world. These people understand a spiritual path is a path taken silently and alone, with no need to beat the drum or recruit, as everyone’s path is different.

Kelly Oswald is the founder of The West Coast Institute of Mystic Arts and is partnering with Tourism Whistler to produce a weekend psychic fair in September. She radiates calmness in the manner of those who are aware in every moment.

"Spirituality is staying in touch with divine energy, or the universal source, or whatever you want to call it. Dr. Wayne Dyer calls it the Source; some people call it Universal Energy, Christ consciousness, or God. But spirituality is not religion; it’s about authenticity and being true to yourself. ‘Know thy self, and to thine own self be true’ – that is a spiritual path," says Oswald.

"Mother Theresa once said ‘America has a hunger that bread can not feed’. Life doesn’t work as a material quest, so people start looking for happiness elsewhere. Spirituality helps you find that. There is an emergence of a new culture that demographer Paul Ray calls ‘Cultural Creatives’* and his studies show they make up about 1 in 4 people in the USA."

That more and more Westerners are choosing to walk this path is evident in the heightened awareness of alternative healing methods and the many retail stores supporting the industry. From yoga to reiki, tai chi to Buddhism, Chinese medicine to craniosacral work, Korean hand therapy to Thai massage and Kashindo to Tui Na, the range of healing methods available to Westerners is astounding. And that’s just from the back pages of Pique Newsmagazine.

This extensive range of options draws people seeking relief from chronic injuries and an alternative to the surgery or drug options often favoured by Western medicine. These options come from many different cultures, but all have one thing in common: energy. A spiritual path understands the universe is made up of energy, in the same way quantum physics breaks the universe down into energy. This universal energy is tapped into, one way or another, to facilitate healing.

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