Are you new to the world of Spirituality? Did you hear the term Spiritual Materialism often or wonder why I have even used this term with Spirituality?
You will certainly know why going ahead in this article. It is essential as a spiritual healer or lightworker to understand the difference between actually serving the purpose we are here for and the difference when we silently slip away from our track and get trapped in Spiritual Materialism.
When I read some Shamballa excerpts, I decided to write my views on this emerging concept of Spiritual Materialism. During my readings, I learned about the Buddhist monk Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who founded and established many Buddhist and Shamballa teaching centers in the west.
All of us must understand this, as we are spiritually ascending with each passing day and trying to serve our purpose while also being closer victims to spiritual Materialism.
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche introduced the techniques of mindfulness, compassion, love, and being aware of our thought processes at the same time. Mindful practices and specific breathing techniques help us to be in a state of awareness, which allows us to choose the right path and make the right decisions too. The responsibility of a lightworker is not limited to giving spiritual guidance and healing to others and helping them come out of their sufferings. We are more aligned with our spiritual purposes, to serve the Divine Creator (God) and to make way for peace and compassion as our spiritual tools.
In these times of wars and competitions everywhere and in everything that we do these days, we must not forget that we are spiritual warriors serving the purpose of instilling and maintaining peace, love, harmony, and oneness with each other. To stop the warrior mindset from destroying each other with weapons and through armies, we must keep compassion and love alive in ourselves and all around us.
We need to heal ourselves and others who are already in deep pain and suffering, and they are not even aware of it. Very few of us know we need divine guidance to instill that peace and love in our hearts. Mindfulness spiritual practices and knowing our core self will aid in healing our hearts and minds and can answer the age-old question — What do we want to choose: peace or war, love or hate, forgiveness or resentment, and revenge?
When we heal our hearts, we also heal our thoughts and actions. If this something does not work, you still need to continue working on yourself. Remember that while you, as a spiritual guide, are responsible for healing others, you must also heal yourself.
With no offense and due respect to all, I want to express my views on this topic elegantly because this is a sensitive concept. Many people or healers may not even realize how easily they can get trapped and slip away from the core purpose they initially started in their spiritual journey.
With time, sometimes in a rush to prove ourselves the best, we forget that we must keep working on our egos too.
It is evident and quite possible that to rush into the competition, we sometimes forget our core purpose and continue feeding our egos. The ego is a very complicated thing to deal with sometimes. Spirituality also can lead us down a road of illusions and Materialism. But how do you know you are getting trapped or already trapped in spiritual Materialism and not serving the actual purpose?
The easiest way to identify when you are silently slipping away is when you start seeing problems or issues in others and not within yourself. When you realize your actions are not in alignment with what you think or reflect you believe. Furthermore, when you lack genuine compassion and understanding toward others and fail to deal with situations or people respectfully. It is when you seem to be slipping away.
When your purpose slips away from serving unconditionally to only making money and running behind more fame and recognition, when you think everyone is a competition for you, it is then that you are going off track into spiritual Materialism. It is when you should stop, take a step back, look within, analyze, and realize what went wrong. Energy exchange is necessary and must practice. However, it is valid only when you are serving from the core of your heart to create and make an evident positive shift and difference in the lives of others.
Not only in the west but also on our side of the world, we are conditioned from a very early age to think of individualism and material possessions as signs of success and achievement. Material possessions are only a way of feeding our egos to continuously tell us and others — Hey, look what I have achieved, how successful I am, or better than everyone else.
Remember that as children, even if we won second prize in a competition, we would not be grateful for the trophy but would be disappointed that we did not win first place!
Similarly, if you do not feel compelled to meditate every day, practice even an hour of Dhyana or sit at the feet of your God, Guru, or be in the presence of the divine beings to cleanse and heal yourself. By not honing your celestial skills and tools, you are on the path to becoming trapped in spiritual Materialism.
Learning and using holistic techniques to heal others will only partially serve the divine purpose. We have to continuously grow within ourselves to know more and more about the mysteries of this endless Cosmos.
We cannot limit our spiritual knowledge and intellect to what we think we know about it. Spirituality is much broader as a term or concept than we have even thought of it. It is a journey with a purpose or responsibility to make others aware of their journeys if they seek guidance and are willing to step on their paths. Remember, being human and a lightworker simultaneously is more challenging than it seems to be. We also must deal with our problems, egos, and challenges during our respective journeys.
We must understand that only providing solutions is not the primary purpose; bringing real change in their lives is also one of our core purposes.
In the long run, using spiritual tools to build an empire of materialistic possessions will not serve in any way. Working on oneself is just as important as serving God through our ability to help others. How?
Being in alignment with our divine purpose, we can certainly work on ourselves. Meditate, and release what is not serving your highest good and what you desire to serve unconditionally to humanity.
If your behaviors and actions are not in divine alignment, you are not serving the actual purpose. If you are not learning your lessons through the situations happening in your life currently and continuously blaming others for that, you are trapped.
The Trap of being in Competition
Trungpa Rinpoche spoke about the Three Lords of Materialism, viz., Physical Materialism — when we believe that owning and acquiring more and more material things will bring us happiness and success.
The second lord is Psychological Materialism — when we believe that a specific faith or belief system will cure everything.
The third lord is Spiritual Materialism — the belief that a particular state of mind or spiritual practice will free us from our daily troubles and sufferings and can bring more peace or material gains.
We may separate ourselves from the real world by overdoing or under practicing meditation, which leads us to the state of escaping. Life continues, no matter how hard we try to stop it. It still happens, whether in the present moment or later, but it will happen. You cannot escape and must face it with courage!
The belief I mentioned earlier about using a specific technique to set us free is nothing more than the idea that we can be tamed or trained in a particular manner and then use it to bring us joy. However, this joy is already within us.
Moreover, we keep focusing outwards with an illusion expecting it somewhere outside us. Eventually, we must look inward to recognize and enjoy that bliss we already have.
When you aspire to demean and compete with your Guru or students, then sorry, you are somewhere trying to feed your ego and getting trapped in spiritual Materialism. There is certainly no competition between one another. The Universe made each one of us unique. Getting insecure by the deeds of others or knowing someone becomes more successful is a thought and action of ego, no matter if it is your own Guru.
It proves an act and thought from the ego self, not your divine self. As a Shishya (disciple), you can never replace your Guru. It means you are not giving respect to your Guru for what you learned from them.
We are not in a spiritual battle where we have to defeat the other light workers by faking ourselves. If you are honestly running after material possessions and fake images rather than serving your purpose, it will end up nowhere. The Universe knows that to lead our lives on earth, we need something to fulfill our material needs. That is OK. Your goal should be to serve the purpose, and all your needs will be met by the Lord automatically.
The divine always watches over us, our actions (karmas), and our intentions. If our intention is pure, material needs get fulfilled automatically. However, if it is not in sync with the divine purpose, then it does not matter how high you reach in the field of Spirituality; you will fall someday.
Your intention must be pure at heart. If your heart can feel the pain and suffering of others and you genuinely want to serve them, God will take care of everything you need for your survival.
True lightworkers always remember the purpose for which they agreed to come to this planet.
Working on oneself is essential while working for others, and being lightworkers, we must bring that change with courage, compassion, and divine wisdom we possess for the betterment of humanity.
Our primary purpose is to attain peace because it is the only thing that can bring that love, compassion, and healing to all of us.
Everything is interconnected. If our intentions are pure and focused on doing good for all, only good will follow us. Remember that our small acts of kindness and being gentle can bring massive healing to this world we live in and for.
If you observe yourself talking only about your latest spiritual practice, rewards, and recognition, or high-profile contacts all the time, it is time for you to do a reality check for yourself — you are trying to Sell it all! Selling here means you have slightly tipped over and crossed to the other side, i.e., spiritual Materialism.
It does not mean you should not tell others about your healing practices, offer healing solutions, or accept energy exchange. The key is to stay centered and serve others through You rather than merely serving your own needs.
Life will keep throwing challenges and bringing events to shake us up when we become dormant. Also, we need to understand the consequences of mixing different rituals for healing.
We cannot combine everything to bring instant results. It is like when we try to mix two different chemicals in a chemistry lab. What happens when they are compatible? Yes! You got it right! Not all spiritual practices or cultures be combined. Keep them separate and give them the respect they deserve.
Also, the choice of words and language we use to interact and deal with others brings to our notice that we may fall victim to the ego and Materialism trap through Spirituality. Any feelings or thoughts of judgment, jealousy, separation, or acquiring something should be considered a wake-up call.
The core of spiritual Materialism is that it makes you feel you are growing spiritually, but you are only feeding your egos through spiritual techniques and tools. If you do not serve from the core of your heart, then it is time to stop and look within to identify what brought this to your physical reality. Remove and release it before it is too late.
An enlightened person would not run after Materialism so much. Such people follow their Guru like God, serving their purpose, and in return, all needs are taken care of by God.
The core belief of Shambhala is in the inherent goodness of human beings. No one is good or bad; it is only the core intentions. Mindfulness meditation helps us focus on our breath while keeping ourselves aware of our thoughts. Especially those we create out of rigidity and our negative mental conditioning/beliefs that keep us caught in the web of a specified behavioral pattern that may not serve us in any way.
We are all souls on this earth, in this physical body, to learn and teach lessons, experience upheavals of life, and understand the reality of the Universe and life itself. Our purpose is to heal ourselves and others with the divine wisdom God has blessed us all.
Through meditation, we gradually come to the individual realization of oneness with all beings, and through this, we emanate compassion and awareness/wisdom, the core tools to heal this world. Likewise, we must remember the Law of Three. Whatever we give or say comes back to us three-fold.
So, if you give out love and healing, that is what you will get back. If you give money to the needy, that is what you will get back. If you give blessings, that is what you will get back, and so it is. If you curse, you get that curse back three times. Remember, if you think and do wrong to others, no one is watching over you, or you will be able to escape from that. The divine is watching over you, and when the time comes, it will return to you in three folds.
Finally, dwell in the bliss of divine love, compassion, and service to others through your work as a channel of the sacred. Avoid becoming entangled in the web of spiritual Materialism.
Spirituality is a broad term. To fully experience it, keep walking on this path and keep learning and sharing your knowledge with zero egos and insecurity about your power being overtaken by the former. There is only one power, God.
Spirituality in itself is awareness and is the only key to reaching and fulfilling our divine purpose on this earth. That is why we are all here — to learn to be one with all while remaining distinct and free from the stings of Materialism.
Stay grounded. No matter how far and high you reach with your work, if you do not, the Universe surely knows how. Remember, it is not us who bring healing and relief to the ones in pain and suffering; it's God who chooses us as a channel of healing for all on this earth.