Research has shown that spirituality is increasingly popular with more people turning away from organized religions. Gay spirituality is also following this trend. The internet has a large and ever growing number of groups and websites dedicated to gay spirituality.

Spiritual practitioners have many reasons for choosing their path. The emphasis on material possessions and technology are not sufficient for everyone. They want to establish a deeper connection to the planet and the forces of nature. Spiritual practice is for many a more positive way of connecting with the Divine than organized religion as that emphasizes fear. Spiritual philosophies concentrate on love and the power of positive feelings.

For gay people there are also the issues surrounding the condemnation of their lifestyle by religion. This condemnation has led to a world where it can be difficult for gay people to accept themselves. Some thinkers compare the process of coming out with spiritual seeking. There are no books or rules to follow; the person has to find their own way. Both require the individual to look inside themselves for true knowledge and acceptance.

Some people have suggested that gay spirituality is following on from the tradition of gay people entering the caring professions. There has always been a high proportion of the gay population choosing careers such as nursing, social work and ministry. This may be because the majority of homosexuals choose not to have a family and so have more time and freedom to care for others. Following a spiritual path is another manifestation of this phenomenon.

Another cause of the rise in spirituality among gay men especially could be the suffering the community has undergone as a result of AIDS. It has meant that many gay men of all ages have cared for and lived with people who are dying. Historically faith and spirituality have had an intimate relationship with the idea of death.

Whatever the reasons for it there is no doubt that gay spirituality is increasing. There are several main aspects of the practices. Firstly many are seeking a higher consciousness through the use of sex and intimacy. Gay tantra is very popular and involves using breathing and physical intimacy to reach higher states of pleasure. It focuses on concentrating on the present which is an important part of spiritual work. The opposite side of the coin sees a growth in workshops encouraging gay people to discover ways of sharing intimacy other than sex. You can also find gay shamans, energy workers, pagans, healers, herbalists. Workshops on meditation, energy work, nature and drumming are also growing in popularity.

If you would like to learn more about gay spirituality there is a wealth of information on the internet. Many groups have formed to encourage spiritual practice in the gay community and they hold meetings, workshops and retreats. You will also find details of books written by gay spiritualists with philosophies and practices relating directly to gay people. Many websites have chat facilities and other features for online communities so that you can share thoughts with others.

There are a myriad of reasons why gay spirituality is increasing in popularity. People have so many motivations for trying a spiritual way of life. If you want to explore that aspect of yourself there are many ways to do so.

Howie Holben operates Spirit Journeys, a gay vacations association that centers on metaphysical travel. Howie has travelled the world learning from indigenous peoples. You can find more about gay tours with a highlight on spirituality at Spirit Journeys website.