Traditionally, religion and spirituality were synonymous. We went to church, believed the doctrines and participated in the rites and rituals. The intention of the services and traditions was to provide ways for us to connect with God and feel our spiritual natures. The ideal of religion is good but I believe its implementation in the hands of man has let people down and led to disillusionment. Today one can find their connection to Spirit in many different ways.
The New Age Spirituality movement was a result of the disillusionment. Wikkepedia says “The New Age aims to create “a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas” that is inclusive and pluralistic. It holds to “a holistic worldview”, emphasizing that the Mind, Body, and Spirit are interrelated and that there is a form of monism and unity throughout the universe.” The movement gives us permission to find our spirituality in our own way. And presents the idea that there is one spirit and and the world is connected.
Ram Dass answers the question Are religion and spirituality the same thing? very eloquently, “Spirituality is about finding God within you and developing compassion and love and freedom from the mind. Religion is a way of worshiping together through institutional rites and traditions.” I really like these definitions of religion and spirituality. Spirituality is a personal preference and seeking of your own connection to spirit while religion is a way to worship with others. Religion can be used to help you find your spirituality, as spiritual practice or as a way to connect with others. Spirituality is about our personal journey to find God and Spirit.