The Defining Light of Vedanta: Personal Reflections on Spirituality and Disability

M. Nosek, (1995) The Defining Light of Vedanta: Personal Reflections on Spirituality and Disability. Rehabilitation Education Vol. 9, (2) 171-182.

Abstract:

The importance of spirituality in living with physical disability is explored from the first-person perspective. The author follows the teachings of Vedanta, the universal, essential philosophy of Hinduism. She explains the role her spirituality has played in defining herself as:

1. A seeker of God
2. A person with a disability
3. An independent person
4. A person who is employed
5. A woman

In her personal experiences with rehabilitation systems, and in her training as a rehabilitation counselor and researcher, the role of spirituality in living with disability was never mentioned. Research on spirituality and disability is hindered by the difficulty of quantification and the lack of a common vocabulary. In clinical settings, there is a need for appropriate, positive interventions by spiritual counselors. It is likely that spirituality serves as a strong motivator in all the domains of rehabilitation, including physical, vocational, psychological, and social. A new definition of rehabilitation in terms of self-definition in a spiritual context is proposed.