Can Spirituality Actually be Faked?

This one’s always a hot topic – to believe or not to believe in the credibility of the spiritual folk?

When people that claim they are spiritual, are seen arguing, yelling or being outrageous (basically, behaving like an average human), they are deemed to have faked their awakening. After all, how can someone spiritual be so insensible?

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But have we ever taken a moment to reflect that people don’t just become saints overnight?!

And even saints don’t necessarily have it all figured out

When you listen to a spiritual discourse, sometimes, you’ll find the answer to your latest problem and begin to put the speaker on a pedestal. Unfortunately, as soon as we hear something questionable about this person, or observe a subtle flaw (arrogance, pride or mockery are good examples) we become clouded by the authenticity of this person speaking.

Is this just a fakir faking it?

In that, we lose our focus from the true purpose. It doesn’t matter who faked it.

It shouldn’t matter who spoke to you, only that what was spoken could benefit you or not. We’re not here to judge other people’s progress. We’re here to grow conscious of our own.

Think of it in this way, our temptations are like tests of our consciousness.

A temptation to gossip. A temptation to binge. To pick a fight with someone. To create drama. And so on. And at some point in life, everyone is reintroduced to the temptations they are trying to curb, to see if they can pass the test this time around.

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So if you’re not conscious, you won’t even know what’s happening, you’ll keep falling into the trap, and it’ll become a vicious cycle. If you’ve just started living consciously, you may resist for a while but give-in whenever a push comes to shove. But essentially, it is every spiritual practitioner’s endeavour to overcome this temptation.

So, you see – we’re all just on varying levels of consciousness, awareness.

And in that, spirituality, or the expansion of our consciousness is not something that can be faked. There will always be people whose temptations overshadow their wisdom, claiming they know better than they really do. But isn’t that true for every face of life – there’s always someone too smart. And I agree, it’s difficult to take such people seriously. But still, here me out.

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Learn from EVERYONE. Only use your discernment to gauge the credibility of the message, not the messenger. Are you doing something because you’re placing blind faith in someone else, or because what they said made sense?

Don’t focus on the temptation, whether it’s yours or another’s – focus on the wisdom.

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Picture Courtesy : pixabay.com

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3 Unique Things To Do at Mcleodganj for Lazy Travellers

The lazy traveller’s guide for Mcleodganj, home to countless Tibetan Buddhists.

Mcleodganj became an immersive and life-changing experience for us, simply because my friend and I were too lazy. Ironically, I feel like I should proactively talk about this, because it’s turned out to be such a good thing!

#1 – Stay at a Monastery Guesthouse

After a steady 30-minute uphill climb from the bus stand, we found our way to the backside of our hotel. The entrance was blocked by huge hoardings all over the floor, that said ‘welcome’. Not very welcoming, to be honest.

With not a single person in sight to ask for directions, and not knowing what else to do, our first idea was to move some of the hoardings out of the way, and try getting in. But quickly, it became quite obvious, when we saw a few uprooted plant pots and unmanned doors, that the hotel had actually been ghosted. Had OYO conned us?

We then did something more sensible and called the hotel’s reception. So apparently, the actual hotel was another 20 minutes away and Google Maps had played a prank on us. This was a relief, as you can imagine. And so, we began to walk some more.

On the way upwards, we noticed an elderly Buddhist nun trekking down from a monastery. She looked at us with a huge, angelic smile and blew a flying kiss as well. As a stronger believer of ‘signs’, we figured that we’re meant to visit the monastery.

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Nyingma Monastery, en-route Mcleodganj to Bhagsunag

As soon as we reached the road that led up to our hotel, we knew it was going to be impossible. A car had just barely managed to climb that dirt road, its engine desperately vroom-vrooming its way up. We turned around and rushed back to the monastery. And they gladly took us in!

Our stay at the monastery guesthouse was actually quite humbling. The room compromised simply of two twin beds, and a wooden chair. The bathroom was to be shared between all the other rooms on that floor.

We were also blessed with a perfect view of sunrise, sunset and stargazing from a giant window in our room, that looked into the world. The monastery itself was minimalistic and gorgeous. Not to forget, it was unbelievably inexpensive. Just 200 INR!

TAKEAWAY : Book a hotel that allows free-cancellation, because it may not be located where the map says so, and you might find something more soulful, like staying with the monks.

#2 – DON’T Follow a Checklist of Things to Do at Mcleodganj

We went with a list of 5 ‘Must-Try’ Cafes, and we happened to visit all ZERO of them. I have no clue if Shiva Café is overrated or not, simply because we never made it that far up!

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Other Lazy Travelers on the way to Shiva Cafe

Also, again thanks to Google Maps, we never reached Namgyal Café because the cafe has been relocated, but hasn’t been ‘mapped’ yet. Also, none of the locales seemed to know its exact whereabouts, and we ofcourse were too lazy to try finding it out on our own.

TAKEAWAY : Mcleodganj cafes serve better food than Zomato reviewers claim. All 6 of our meals ended up at underrated and sometimes non-digitally-existant places. Because these places are so good, I decided to talk more about them in another blog. Stay tuned!

#3 – Meet the Dalai Lama

We happened to visit the Dalai Lama Monastery when his Holiness was visiting. The streets outside the complex were packed with anticipating travelers and monks, beautiful decorations and chatter. You might have guessed by now how lazy we are, and after about 90 seconds of sincerity and patience, we decided to enter the premise anyway.

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Tibetan Monks waiting with flower bouquets awaiting the arrival of his Holiness, Dalai Lama

What we found then, was a completely quiet and empty monastery! Almost everyone was outdoors, waiting for his Holiness to arrive; save a few security personnel and monks on duty inside.

We were thus able to stroll around at our leisure pace, taking our time to soak in the monastery’s vibe and chuckle at the Choco-Pies and Real Juice bottles offered to the Buddha deities within the temple. How times have changed!

Did we finally get a glimpse of his Holiness? Nope. People were still waiting for him when we came back outside. Not as a sign of disrespect, but sheer laziness, we slowly walked ourselves away from the golden opportunity.

TAKEAWAY : I admit that we probably missed a lot of things that Mcleodganj is most known for. But we discovered a lot of underrated things that you won’t, unless you’re lazy too!

One thing we did do quite enthusiastically, was reach out to the locales and understand their lives. What we found out through these discussions was life-changing, and might be worth your time too. Watch this space for that post!

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5 Strange Misconceptions About God We Need To Set Straight

Have we got our ideas about divinity wrong? There are so many man-made misconceptions about God, that I’m compelled to set the facts straight now!

I often wonder if we’ve got our idea of the Creator all wrong. There are so many misconceptions about God, so many strange expectations! To begin with, why would ‘God’, who has access to everything and needs nothing that we can offer (because He IS everything) not give you what you want?

What would God do by keeping everything good for Himself?

Note : While I’m not declaring a gender for God, but I’m in no mood to write He/She everytime I make a reference, so let’s use He.

And, is it even God, if He enjoys seeing us ‘begging for mercy’? Does God need His ego to be flattered, and really does God even have one?!

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And just like those questions above, I have a few bones to pick with humanity. Let’s throw out these misconceptions and get our facts straight about God. Shall we?

Misconception #1 – God’s grace is only invoked through prayers, rituals, sacrifices, lighting candles, etc.

What about the atheists? I know a few, and they don’t look miserable. God hasn’t even punished them yet, for being so bold and declaring God is non-existent.

And think of this. We’ve all met someone we can call the ‘most selfless person ever’. Then considering that God is the combination of all the highest qualities everyone has, including selflessness……does it even make sense that God would only give you something when you worship and please Him with intense sacrificial rituals?

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What would God get with all that glorification – who is He even competing against to prove his glory? Does God even need validation, could God be insecure?

Truth is there really is no right or wrong way to invoke the omnipresent, all-pervasive presence in our lives. Your relationship with the Universe is whatever you make of it.

Misconception #2 – “God needs to help other people, so maybe today’s not our turn.”

But if it’s God, if it’s the Universe, if it’s the Divine, then this is an omnipresent soul. Then there shouldn’t be a Round-Robin service, I think it should be ’round-the-clock!

This is sheerly a sign of living with the mindset of lack. It’s about staying blind to the power of Divine Guidance. It further reflects our lack of self-worth, and judgment towards ourselves, thinking we don’t deserve care or help in moments of need.

Read More : Healing Self-Esteem Through Inner Child Work

Misconception #3 – But what if God gets ‘fed-up’?

Is there really a limit on how much God will do for you before He decides He’s done enough? Who decides that you’re a lost cause, and it’s time for God to abandon you? What happens to such people – do they get thrown out of the Universe?

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Adding to the previous point, the idea that people are too toxic to be saved is just barbaric. Healing, love and compassion are the inherent natures of our being.

More often than not, we’re under soul contracts, obligated to treat each other in tough ways that help us learn our spiritual lessons once and for all.

Misconception #4 – Asking God for help is a sign of weakness.

If It Isn’t God – what stops us from taking help?

It is ego that says “I am INDEPENDENT. I will do this all by myself”.

There are people that claim they’ve never asked God for anything! There’s another growing trend of people calling themselves ‘SELF-MADE’.

So then I wonder, how much of a self-made person are you, really?

Do you harvest your own food? Stitch your own clothes from the cotton growing in your backyard? Grow your own trees for the all your well-carved furniture? You know where I’m going with this.

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You see – no matter how hard you try, you cannot be a self-sufficient, isolated ecosystem. We were never made to do unnecessary heavy-lifting in the first place!

We are here to come together with our unique qualities and simply help each other grow towards our Oneness with the Universe.

By being ‘self-sufficient’ and never asking for help, who are we even trying to prove a point to?

I am not preaching here, because I came from the same mindset of self-sufficiency. And it was this huge blockage that disconnected me. After all, I was saying I am separate, and therefore I must take care of myself separately. How can such a person experience Oneness?

The Universe likes the fastest way to self-evolution. It wants to help you. It’s YOU that’s deciding to ride a bicycle to the finish line, when really, you could be on a Hayabusa!

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Misconception #5 – How can you believe in something you’ve never seen before?

We need to understand that we are always, constantly being helped and looked after. But because things are manifesting behind the scenes, instead of counting our blessings, we’re usually questioning its occurrence at all.

The Universe is NOT beating a drum for you, every time it helps. Would you have preferred that instead? Would have been kind of annoying, honestly. We must admire it working in a wondrous silence.

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But then there are moments in life, when we are met by Divine Intervention. We know in that moment, “this couldn’t have been by chance, this wasn’t ME. This was something much bigger, more powerful”.

For me the first signs of God stepping into my life were Angel Numbers. Boy, was that an exciting breakthrough!

In retrospect, we can always agree that things worked out for the best. Why? Simply because things were working in your favor, even when you didn’t think so.

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Concluding Thoughts

So what I’m trying to put out there, is that the creator, God, the Universe is always working for you. Whether you ask for it or not. Divinity isn’t against you, it’s working FOR you. At all times.

YOU can make your life much more better, and more meaningful, if you let go of your guilt of asking for too much, or trying to figure everything out on your own. And instead work with the Universe to co-create a reality that better suits your human experience.

Now that you know this, only one question remains, “slow-motion, or accelerated living?”

Choice is yours! 😉

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5 Misconceptions about God We Need to Set Straight