Aruna Nagar : A Kin to Buddhism

Here’s everything about Buddhism you can look forward to exploring at Delhi’s Tibetan colony, Aruna Nagar.

The Aruna Nagar colony in New Delhi is home to Tibetan Refugees, and might be the closest you can get to experiencing the vibe of Buddhism in our country’s capital.

Here, it is not uncommon to find monks peacefully walking about the gullies, and locals chanting on their beads as they sit outside their houses. In general, the people here seem more humble, and much more slowed down than the contrasting roads running parallel to the colony.

My friend and I paid a visit on a hot summer day, and the first thing I can tell you is – the temperature levels of the colony drops down significantly as soon as you enter!

Getting There

There’s no point going by your own vehicle because you’ll have to walk a long way from wherever you get parking space.

A tried and tested way is take the Yellow Line Metro till Vidhan Sabha Station. And then, take an e-rikshaw, which will drop you at the entry point of the main market gully. You will need to walk inwards to reach the main market, so it’s better that you ask for directions from here, because the GPS doesn’t really help in the tight gullies.

Things to do

The major highlights of a visit here would comprise of exploring the Korean and Tibetan teas and cuisines at various Cafes (which are by the way, REALLY good); shopping at the cultural stalls and stores; visiting the Monastery; and checking out the bookstore which specializes in books on Buddhism.

Shubh Arambh’ with Food

The Buddhist Monastery is built in a small, undisturbed corner without much tourist movement. It didn’t feel proper to be clicking pictures, so taking a quick look from the outside, we proceeded into the main market.

And by the time we reached, it was well into lunch-time, so we headed straight for food!

  • Kori’s Café

A quaint little café, with a Korean menu and a large selection of herbal teas. Compared to the other cafés, it looked like this place was more frequented by the locals, perhaps because of the different cuisine type. Being vegetarians, my friend and I were surprised that the options were still decent – they had a veg alternative to almost everything on the menu! Here’s what we tried :

  • Bibimbap Hot Stone Pot – Full points for presentation! The Bibimbap sauce is the key flavor in this concoction of rice and steamed vegetables. I’ll admit – it does take a bit to get used to the taste. You’ll either love it, or will have to brave through it. I personally enjoyed it.
  • Veg Shin Ramen Noodles – Very light on flavors and a hearty bowl of ramen and veggies. You can ask for something more dense on spices, if you’d prefer.
  • Solomon’s Seal Tea – Very, very subtle flavor. If you didn’t drink it with some focused attention on the taste, you’d probably mistake it as drinking warm water.
  • AMA’s Café

This place is famous for its desserts. And by the looks of the tables around us, pizza too! We tried out (from most to least favorite) :

  • Affogato
    Why this is delicious – one, they serve a generous serving of ice cream. And two, they serve the coffee base on the side. Pour at your convenience! It’s not a pre-prepared concoction.
  • Mud Pie
    Surprisingly lighter than the usual mud pies! A safe-side kind of option.
  • AMA Café’s Special Tibetan Cake (savory)
    Warning : This is not for the faint-hearted. With a very strong flavor, it was difficult to swallow even one bite of it. The waiters warned us but we dared try anyway.

My Shopping Haul (sort of)

There are stalls lined up, as well as permanent shops. From the stalls, you can expect to get clothes, beads, souvenirs and a tad bit of stuff here and there. I’d recommend stepping into the shops instead, which aren’t that expensive either.

Here are the key things I explored and learned about:

  • Singing Bowls – These are great for meditation, and the shop owners are polite enough to teach you how to use them. It can be quite fascinating, as a very small bowl is capable of producing an amazing resonance! I had no luck working the bowls on my own, so I resolved to come back next time and try again.
  • Incense Sticks – Quite different (and better) from the commercial ones in various areas. The entire stick is flammable, and quite thick. I’ve tried a few from the pack, and they have a mild, natural scent in contrast to the artificial, overbearing commercial ones. Also – the smoke isn’t as overpowering either. I got the whole gift box for only Rs. 80!
  • Prayer Flags – inscribed with the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”, their vibrant colors add great personality to bed headboards and car backseats.
  • Tibetan Bells – You could go for the hanging type, used like a wind-chime, or the dorje kind, that you can use during prayer.
  • Prayer Wheel – it’s believed that spinning the wheel, which too is inscribed with the “Om Mani Padme Hum” mantra is as good as chanting the mantra out-loud.

The Tibetan colony is rather unfrequented, and while I rejoice in sharing this place with you, I hope that any of us that visit respect the culture and maintain a kind attitude to help preserve this place’s uniqueness. 🙂

My friend and I also visited another Buddhist place, Mcleodganj. We had a curious experience there, read this post to have a chuckle at us!


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Spiritual Awakening: My Strange Story Of How I Was Shaken ‘Awake’

11:11 on the clock. That’s where my spiritual awakening came into full swing! Here’s the story of what happened next.

11:11 on the clock. That’s how my spiritual awakening came into full swing!

I’d always heard my American friends call it a lucky number, saying “make a wish!”. It was that very day, 27th April 2017, when I’d seen the number and wondered if the Universe’s Wishing Foundation was really a thing. Or if we were just talking Santa for adults?

Giving it no longer than a moment’s thought, I shrugged it off.

11:11 Once Again

A while later, I had time to spare. So, aimlessly browsing through a website about human psychology and relations, for no specific reason, I found a blog that talked about God’s plan.

And again for no exact reason, I scrolled down and came across a comment from someone talking about ‘Twin Flames’. The anonymous person described it in a way that made me curious, but I got back to work and forgot about this too, just as quickly.

By night, the phrase Twin Flames was spinning in my head, I couldn’t get it out. So finally, I looked it up and the very first article I saw was from a website which had 1111 in its URL. I had goosebumps!

This would be my first encounter with ‘Divine Guidance’.

What I was reading was so unusual and weird at the time, I was skeptical. As my conflicted thoughts began to grow, I decided to end my browsing for the night. And there, on the clock, once again, was 11:11! Staring back at a dumbstruck me. It was a full circle.

Lying down with my eyes closed and heart palpating wildly with the possibility of this not being a coincidence, I remember feeling my forehead tickle and tingle.

And then seeing a beautiful pinkish-purple flower with countless petals just spinning majestically in my mind’s eye before I blacked-out into a deep sleep. I also share more from that night, in the video below. I hope you enjoy my narrative! 🙂

This is the story of the day I was pulled into the unbelievable world of Signs, Synchronicities, Angel Numbers, Healing, Meditation, and more. You’re either a believer here or a skeptic. Within the span of a year, I’ve moved from the latter (extremist) to the former (extremist, once again).

Let’s start with the phrase Spiritual Awakening. What does it mean?

To me, this was waking up to a few realizations:

  • One, out of nowhere, a higher intelligence had gathered keen interest in my life and was guiding me. I couldn’t see or hear anyone, but the power was inspiring my thoughts in some way, for sure! Whenever I listened to the guidance, I would see an undeniable ‘affirmation’. Or what we casually call a sign, an omen.
  • Two, 11:11 is a real thing after all. If you’re seeing it too – welcome home! To day at the very least, the Universe is letting you know through these repeating numbers, called Angel Numbers, that your life’s going to transform magnificently very soon.
  • Three, it’s not easy to talk about it. We are Spiritual Beings living a Human Experience, but the kind of amnesia we’ve been put under has made us extreme skeptics. Nevertheless, by sharing my own experiences, I hope to put forward a strong case over time on why this stuff is more real than you’d like to believe.
  • And four, you can’t undo this. It becomes a part of you. You will be happier, the sooner you learn to integrate your two contradictory worlds into one. By writing this blog, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do for myself too.

Why did I have a Spiritual Awakening? Can it happen to you, too?

I asked for it, and yes, you can experience this too.

How it comes to you will be unique to you, but you holding the desire for a Spiritual journey is in itself an invitation to begin this journey. Wait and watch – it shall unfold beautifully in due time!

Learning about twin flames and experiencing these synchronicities led me onto the spiritual path through balancing my masculine and feminine energy. Eventually, it led to much deeper healing and my exploration through other modalities.

But even if I didn’t know what to ask for, I was energetically asking for help in the way I knew how to. At that point, I had lost direction in my life and I was miserable within. I craved for answers.

Unsatisfied at work, unsatisfied with relations, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I engaged myself in fitness, learning new things or meeting new people, I felt like something was eating up my mind. I just wasn’t at peace. I tried gratitude writing and I tried walking in nature – all temporary fixes.

sad, lonely, dark night of the soul

Something was very off, and I didn’t know what. What psychology might classify as depression, is spiritually called the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’. It was time for a change.

So I asked for it – I asked the Universe what the point of my life was. And surely, it humbled me with answers, directed to me overtime with utmost subtlety and conviction.

Note that depression isn’t to be taken lightly, or that spiritual practices are the only solution to dealing with it. When our body and mind are out of alignment, it can take twice the energy to walk this path. So, whatever modern intervention helps, take it.

But just know that there is something higher in it too. And if you can reach out to it, it will transform your life.

Did this ‘Spiritual Awakening’ make things any better?

While there were some drastic, odd, and strange changes that caught me off-guard and overwhelmed me at times, there was also a lot that became better in my life.

meditation, spiritual awakening, conscious living

A major difference I saw, was not just an improvement in mental health and a rising hope for a direction in life, but my physical health and overall reality began to change, too. Here’s how :

I shed a LOT of weight. I went down 2 whole points on the BMI scale.

My diet preferences changed. For the first few months, my body repelled oily or heavy foods. Most of my diet became fruit-and-salad-based. Overtime this normalized, of course, but that shift gave a huge boost to my health.

Over the years I’ve experienced many dietary changes, from repelling eggs to rejecting caffeine. As they say, your body slowly begins to prepare you for deeper levels of healing.

I became conscious.

Most of my life, I had been living on autopilot from one day to the other. I wouldn’t say that I am fully conscious! I have this short, silly and sweet story for you to remind you how deeply on autopilot we are at times. 🙂

But now, after the spiritual awakening, I have a deeper sense of awareness. For instance, I am not just annoyed or just happy.

I am also growing aware of what that emotion looks like in my body, what responses it triggers, and how to extract wisdom from it. I’ve curated a digital workbook for anyone that’s learning to strengthen their emotional awareness.

This means everything around me has become more real than ever. Which means that what no longer serves me in thought or action, is rapidly going out of the window and way into my past.

My energy levels started fluctuating tremendously when I was around people.

For a couple of years to follow, there were days when I would feel like I was living worth 5 days at a time! And on others, I would be so tired I’d simply stay in and sleep.

Energy is a crazy thing and just like most of the spiritual workers out there, I’m still figuring out how to deal with it. It did finally make sense why I’m an emotional sponge, and how to stop soaking up other people’s energy.

My psychic senses began to clear up.

(Wait, what? Well, this escalated quickly!)

By psychic senses, let me help you understand at a very high-level the ones I’ve developed personally:

#1 – Clairsentience

A heightened awareness of other people’s sentiments, even if they’re not aware themselves. This is basically what we call being (really) good at empathy.

#2 – Clairvoyance

In other words, having visions about an event in the future that later manifests. This happens to me during meditations and some of my dreams, and no – I can’t tell you what your future is.

Clairvoyance for me means seeing bits and pieces of important events that are coming up for me in my journey, thus guiding me to prepare better for them.

#3 – Intuitiveness

When you begin trusting this Higher State’s guidance, you notice that you are more in tune with it.

You can trust your ‘gut-feeling’ a lot more now, and you don’t need to worry about why you feel something so strongly. You just obey. If you’re trying to develop that and fight off the ego, I’d recommend reading this post.

#4 – Telepathy

Of course not at every moment, and not very extensively, because that would drive me (or anyone) crazy. But it is rapidly becoming easier to catch hold of a person’s thought just a second before they say it out loud.

The funny thing is, I am not necessarily close to that person. As long as I’m in a clear state of mind, these telepathic moments keep coming to me.

Read More : Is Telepathy Real?

These were the initial changes, of course. Overtime, there has been a lot more that’s shifted in my life!

Concluding Thoughts

Essentially, my Spiritual Awakening has opened the gates of communication with the Universe. And that’s why I like to say “the Universe talks to me, and I’d be a fool not to listen”.

I’ve touched very briefly about a lot of things above, and there’s yet a lot more to come. It’s been four years and I’m still peeling layers, and finding newer insights in this journey. 🙂

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5 Spiritual Books Everyone Should Read!

The Spiritual world has a lot to offer, and these are 5 enthralling books that give you a first taste of a ‘soul experience’.

Here’s my list of 5 must-read spiritual books: independent of any one God, open to criticism, giving readers goosebumps, and hopefully answering some questions about the ‘soul’.

These were the books that I read along the first few months of my awakening and that really helped put the journey into perspective. And so, I hope you will enjoy them just as much!

#1 – Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss 

This was where my journey began. I picked this book up at the airport on a whim, and by the time I reached home from the flight, my life had changed. This work is worth your attention because it’s written by a psychiatrist who’s just as skeptical about writing it, as the reader reading it.

What does he talk about? Past lives! So, he discovers answers to questions like – do we really reincarnate? Why do we have unexplained fears or likings towards places and people? How does hypnosis work, and is it safe to undergo such therapy? It also reveals fascinating information from the souls that are guiding us from above, whom the author calls Masters.

I was so fascinated and inspired, I went for a past life regression myself! Here are my experiences from the time.

Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr Brian Weiss, Must Read

Many Lives, Many Masters is a compelling read, because you get a good mixture of psychological therapies, healing, and some respite from the countless questions we ask about life and why things are the way they are.

The best part is that even after decades, the book is changing millions of lives, and has compelling evidence scientifically proving the existence of life beyond life. Here are some other reading recommendations for anyone seeking ‘evidence’ that spirituality is real.

#2 – Illusions by Richard Bach

The disclaimer on this book by the author was: it’s up to you to believe if this is a true story or not. Regardless of whether this book is based on a true story, or a spiritual fiction, it’s a classic in its own space.

illusions by richard bach, Spiritual Books

In short, it’s an account of an enlightened “Master”. Except he isn’t walking around like the Buddha, enlightening other people. He’s quite low-key about it. And, he’s actually quite mischievous, as he goes about bending the rules of the 3D world!

He’s mystical in his ways, and keeps a book of spiritual secrets, which he slowly reveals to the author through the course of this book. Book-ception, ha!

Short but influential writing. There are many hidden truths in this spiritual book. If you’ve enjoyed the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, you’ll surely love this one.

#3 – Journey of Souls by Michael Newton

Another psychiatrist set out to explore what happens between lives, or after-death. It is complementary to yet distinct from Dr. Brian’s book and makes a great read if you want more clarity on metaphysical questions.

Journey of Souls by Michael Newton, Spiritual Books

In Journey of Souls, you will find heavy (at times, intimidating) introspection for profound questions like –

  • what happens after we die,
  • what happens before we’re born,
  • why we have challenging lives and how we actually opt for them,
  • how soulmates find their way back to each other,
  • what ‘heaven’ looks like,
  • the truth about spirit guides, etc.

The fascinating thing is, the book is a collection of credible and validated case studies from dozens of patients who, in ‘Superconscious’ state, began to talk about similar experiences of the afterlife. As a result, Dr. Newton’s work was pioneering and revolutionised the approach to metaphysical reality.

#4 – Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch (Part 1)

Okay, so we’ve discussed past lives and between lives. What about this life? One day, the author of my next recommended spiritual book began automatic-writing. The conversation was literally, with God!

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch, Spiritual Books

I thoroughly enjoyed this book for its humorous and impartial perspective.

One thing this book taught me is – God doesn’t get offended! So, mock him, or love him, he’s all the same. But, it will shake your core religious beliefs, and if you’re an atheist, it might even convert you to a fan of the Universe.

Conversations with God works beautifully to move you from a God-fearing and Karma-fearing to a God-loving and Karma-appreciating person. It also makes you stop resenting God, and take up responsibility for your actions in life. Empowering, funny and revolutionary!

This is a powerful series with 4 parts and you might just end up reading through all of them.

#5 – The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

While the previous spiritual books in the list are research-based, somewhat scientific, and take longer to accept, this one is grounding, through daily, practical outlook-changes. A practical approach to spirituality.

Related read: 8 Books About Practical Spirituality

What I enjoyed the most about this book are the analogies! This guy knows how to break things down for you. He does this by giving you a lot of easy practices to try – how to push your own buttons, how to accelerate your spiritual understanding, how to truly heal.

A great deal of explanation is provided on key concepts such as detachment, surrendering, and even the Tao way!

Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer, Spiritual Books

The Untethered Soul isn’t meant to be finished in one go. But if you give it time to sink in, it will transform your life. Therefore, timeless and essential for every person on the Spiritual path who’s learning to deal with their ‘monkey mind’.

I enjoyed this book so much, my clients and I have been doing group discussions on some of the extracts. If you’d like to be a part of the conversation, do join us!

Michael continues to inspire the world with his teachings, and my newly found admiration is for his youtube video, where he simplifies the different types of yoga and talks about becoming a Karma Yogi.

Concluding Thoughts

While there are many great spiritual books out there, these books have set the foundation of my own journey in the first year of my spiritual awakening. If you’d like to check out more of my recommendations, here are my other book reviews :

NOTE: I am an Amazon India Affiliate. This means, for every qualifying purchase you make on Amazon through the links in my blog, I get a small commision. There’s no added cost to you. It’s a win-win!


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5 Must Read Spiritual Books For Your Soul