One main implication of spirituality being that Spirit pervades all, encompasses all, permeates all. So you can be a punk rocker who spits on a tomb-stone, says yoga is a pile of rubbish and reckons spirituality is only for hippies, and even then is still a manifestation of Spirit, because Spirit precedes all ego-rational definition and differentiation... thus: One Zen Master to Another: "Oh... the Horror... the Horror..."... perhaps because the true compassion of Spirit, the true tolerance of Spirit does not even bother to claim it is closer to the truth than the punk...identification itself (with labels or experiences) becomes paler, loses its appeal, and possibly falls to the wayside.
We don't lose our ability to judge however, because our judgments similarly arise from an experience validated by our self-inclusive compassion.... We retain our ability to choose and prefer, but we are not slaves to our expectations or disappointments.
If all emanates from spirit, as the sages tell us, then right now, we have the possibility of experiencing liberation, we just need to recognize that the Self that is already liberated. There is no spiritual advancement, you either recognize your true nature or you don't.
The preoccupation and identification with spirituality can give us a kind of tunnel vision, only seeking and accepting certain flavors that validate our "spiritual selves", but the Self or the Witness is omnipresent, and importantly, infinite. This means there is nowhere it is not, there is no-one who is better or worse at spirituality, nobody who has more permission or legitimacy. Every being and experience benefits from the compassion of Spirit, and is held. All joy and hope, grief, pleasure, pain, fear and anger, happiness and disappointment, desire and disgust, peace and satisfaction, passion and depression, all is included. Even our existing identities, those polished and fussed over idols of ourselves, those too are included.
And it is not so simple to say that spirituality means "about meaning and purpose", because a focus on meaning and purpose implies a possible lack of meaning, and a lack of purpose..which in the true experience of Spirit, is a mute point, because assuming Spirit is the origin of all things, and permeates all things and all time, then there would be no meaning beyond existence itself, and no purpose because there is nowhere to go:
There is neither creation nor destruction.
There is neither destiny nor free will;
Neither path nor achievement;
This is the final truth.
Sri Ramana Maharashi
Every sentiment or desire for advancement is part of the weave that exists within the already omnipresent spirit.
However, Practices DO help us to better body/sense function, to explore pleasure, difference and activity... To better function in the human context, to have a greater capacity for compassion. Yoga and related embodiment practices help us to translate experience from suffering into equanimity, but all such experience, the former and latter exist within the envelope of spirit, and as such is secondary to the Real, the Unchanging.
So we can better align our attention-sense-attitude (through practice) with the surrender of identification with the temporal phenomena...but it is not the Spirit that advances, and it is not us that advances, it is only that we recognize the truth already inherent... that spiritual practices can lead us to a Transformation that raises our awareness above but including the differentiated realm, resting the true Self as unchanging.
When I say "all practices train the attention" I say that because that is what we have to work with...we cannot "increase spirit", or advance spiritually, because we already are that. The only improvement is the attention-sense-attitude at exploring and changing state, but all such change exists within the awareness of Spirit.
We practice with our attention, or to put more directly, attention itself practices experiencing/exploring... it is the naked awareness that perceives all phenomena. The source of attention IS the unchanging Self.
So training the attention is discernment, but identification with discerned elements is still limiting the true capacity of the attention; to recognize its own divine nature, permeating all manifest phenomena.
So we must practice but not identify. Explore and strengthen the embodied experience, but recognize the transcendent Self, the Spirit that is the source and seat of All.
Experience = Awareness. Awareness is not a thing, it is not differentiated, who is aware?
Advaita: Not Two.
Michael Maso Ellis