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Are you an adventurer of spirituality?

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Shamanism, Art Therapy, Mindfulness Meditation, pilgrimage or recitation of mantras ... We are more and more numerous to join the great family of contemporary spirituality, a vast mosaic of practices, rites and beliefs. After personal development, spiritual development? Diving among new seekers of meaning and transcendence.

Flavia Mazelin Salvi

They meditate, pray, practice shamanism or retreats in monasteries, read both the Gospels and the Upanishad, practice art therapy or consult with magnetisers. Until now, they did not have a name. They are now called the "new adventurers of spirituality". A baptism that we owe to sociologist Jean-François Barbier-Bouvet, author of New Adventurers of Spirituality (MédiasPaul), who worked on a vast investigation, "Spiritual quest, singular ways, sociological inquiry on spiritual seekers "- conducted in 2013 by the Task Force on Emerging Spiritual Research and Practice (Gerpse) - on the members of the informal and heterogeneous large family of contemporary spirituality.

According to him, "these new adventurers have emerged from a religious landscape that has changed considerably in the space of a few decades.They often practice the off-piste, they do not necessarily fit within the framework of religions instituted, or in in any case they are not limited to it ". Driven by curiosity and the desire to make personal experiences, they feed on readings, meetings, group workshops or solo exercises. Their common point: the same desire to connect to their interiority, to connect to another dimension of existence.

A progression or a click?

Starting a spiritual quest can not be decreed overnight. This aspiration is often the result of a long journey. It can also be expressed as the need to move to a "higher stage" after doing work on oneself, in analysis or in therapy. Angela Evers, art therapist and author of the Great Book of art therapy (Eyrolles) notes indeed that over the course of therapy, once the first demand satisfied, "more and more men and women express the desire to go to something that goes beyond the ego, which takes them out of narcissism ".

Significant life events, such as illness, family breakdown, death or personal crisis, can also trigger. This is the case for one in two people. Marianne, 43, retired to a monastery for a fortnight after suffering a burnout."I am not a believer, but I felt the strong need to be in a place of silence and" outside the walls. "With meditation, I discovered a strength in the interior and a link with the 'Invisible, which are more precious to me today than anything else.'

After the birth of her twins, Louise, 34, turned to qi gong to "refocus"; she has also initiated Yi-king to "better accompany life changes and understand what is happening beyond appearances".

A variety of experiences or spiritual zapping?

Everyone his way and his practices. This could be the motto of these new adventurers, who are characterized by their eclecticism, their curiosity and their cultural flexibility. Yoga, shamanism, mindfulness meditation, pilgrimages, recitation of mantras, creation of mandalas ... Contemporary spirituality is a vast mosaic of practices, rites and beliefs that we explore, accumulate or deepen according to our temperament, beliefs or beliefs. his inspiration.

The variety of experiences is such that some people do not hesitate to talk about religious nomadism, religion à la carte or spiritual zapping. Critics Arnaud Riou, coach, trainer, speaker and author of Calm, my notebook of meditation (Solar editions), refutes en bloc. "The paradigm that governed the old world, the one that is in cracking on all sides, was the separation.Today emerges a new one, based on the principle of interconnectivity.We can no longer think or act in a fragmented way.The new adventurers of spirituality connect and associate, they bridges between tradition and practice, and the diversity of their rituals reflects a desire for openness of heart and mind, as well as a need for unification, inner and outer. "

Alain A 52-year-old martial artist, he is also an environmental activist and regularly reads the Gospels. Three practices that have a priori no connection between them, but that he considers as an integral part of his spiritual journey, because completely complementary and consistent with the way he apprehends life and the world. His career perfectly illustrates the analysis of Jean-François Barbier-Bouvet: "We went from the model of" or ", from the exclusive, to the model of" and ", the inclusive," he observes. The sociologist also noted that if these new adventurers "borrow simultaneously or consecutively several ways, they always pursued the same goal: the progression on their internal path".

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