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Are You Also Getting Trapped in Spiritual Materialism?

 New to this term Spiritual Materialism or wondering why I have even used this term with “Spiritual”?

You will certainly know why going ahead in this article. It is important being a spiritual healer or Lightworker to understand the difference in 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”.

I decided to write my views on this very emerging concept of “Spiritual Materialism” when I read about some Shamballa excerpts. During my readings it is then when I came to know about the Buddhist monk Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche who founded and established many Buddhist and Shamballa teaching centers in the west already.

It is important for all of us to understand it as we are ascending everyday into spirituality and trying to serve our purpose along with being a closer victim to spiritual materialism too.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche introduced techniques of Mindfulness, compassion & love and being aware of our thought process at the same time. Mindful practices and certain breathing techniques help us being in the state of awareness which allows us to choose the right path and make right decisions too. The responsibility of a Lightworker isn’t just limited to giving spiritual guidance and healings to others and helps them come out of their sufferings. We are more aligned to our spiritual purpose too, to serve the Divine, to make way for peace and compassion as our spiritual tools.

In the times of wars and competitions everywhere and everything that we do these days, we must not forget, we are spiritual warriors serving the purpose to instill and maintain peace, love, harmony and oneness with each other. To stop the warrior mindset to destroy each other with weapons and through armies, we have to keep the compassion and love alive in self and all around.

We need to heal ourselves and others who are already in deep pain and suffering and they don’t even know they are. Few who know need divine guidance to instill that peace and love in their hearts. Mindful spiritual practices and knowing our core self will help us to heal our hearts and minds & is the key to the question that often arises, what we want to choose, peace or war, love or hate, forgiveness or resentment & revenge?

When we heal our hearts, we heal our thoughts, our actions too, if this isn’t happening, you still need to work on yourself. Remember, while you as a spiritual worker responsibly heal others, you need to heal your own self too.

Talking now about the spiritual materialism, no offense to anyone and with all due respect to all, I would want to express my views on this very elegantly as this is a very sensitive matter and many people or healers may not even realize that how easily they can get trapped and slipped away from their core purpose they initially started with when they started their spiritual journey. With time sometimes in a rush and competition of proving ourselves the best we forget that we must keep on working on our egos too.

It is evident and it is quite possible that in order to rush into the competition, we sometimes forget our core purpose and continue feeding our egos. “Ego” is a very complicated thing to deal with sometimes, it can lead us on road of illusions and materialism through spirituality also. But how 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 inside you, when you don’t realize what you are thinking and what verbiage or actions you are depicting. When you have a lack of genuine compassion and understanding towards others and don’t deal with situations or people respectfully.

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 you are actually going off track into spiritual materialism. This is when you should stop, look inside, analyze and realize what went wrong? Energy exchange is necessary and must be practiced, however, it is valid only when you are serving from the core of your heart to actually create and make a real positive shift and difference in others’ lives.

Not only in the west but in our side of the world also we are conditioned from very early age about individualism and material possessions as the signs of success and achievements. The material possessions, is a way of feeding our egos to continuously tell us and others “He look what all I have achieved, how successful I am or I am better than everyone else”. Remember during childhood, even if we have had acquired second position in a competition, we were not so grateful for that second prize trophy but regretted not being able to achieve the first prize though!

Same way, if you don’t feel a need to meditate every day or practice even an hour’s meditation or Dhyana or just sit at the feet of your God/guru/just being with the presence of divine beings to cleanse and heal self, you are on a path of getting trapped in spiritual materialism by not honing your divine skills and tools. Just learning few holistic techniques and using them to give healings to others will not serve the divine purpose fully. We have to continuously grow within ourselves to know more and more about the mysteries of this endless universe.

We cannot just limit our knowledge and spirituality to what we think we know about spirituality. Spirituality is much broader as a term than we have even thought of. It is our own journey too along with making others aware about their journeys. Remember, being human and a Lightworker at the same time isn’t that easy as it seems to be. We also have to deal with our own problems, egos and challenges during our own journey.

We have to understand that, just providing solutions is not the only purpose, but also, bringing real change in their lives is one of the core purposes for us.

Just using spiritual tools to build an empire of materialistic possessions will not serve your good in long run. Working on self is equally important while we serve God through our abilities to help others. How? By keeping ourselves in alignment with the divine purpose we can certainly work on ourselves. Meditate, and release what all is not serving your highest good and the purpose you want to serve unconditionally.

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 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, the ‘physical materialism’ - when we believe that owning and acquiring more & more material things will bring us happiness and success; the second lord is ‘psychological materialism’ - when we believe that a certain faith or belief system will cure everything. The third lord is ‘spiritual materialism’, the belief that a certain state of mind or spiritual practice will free us from our daily troubles, 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, no matter now or later, but it will definitely happen. You can’t escape; you have to face it with courage!

The belief of using a certain technique to set us free that I mentioned earlier is nothing but thinking that we can be tamed or trained on a certain technique and then it can be used to bring that joy in us. However, the joy is already within us. It's us who are trying to find it outwards but eventually we have to look inwards to recognize and enjoy that bliss we already have within ourselves.

If you are thinking of demeaning and competing with your own Guru, then sorry you are somewhere trying to feed your ego and getting trapped in spiritual materialism. There is certainly no competition of one with another. Universe has made each one of us unique. Getting insecure by the deeds of others or knowing others’ getting/going to be more successful, is a thought & action of ego no matter it is your own Guru. This clearly proves an act & thinking from ego self and not divine self. The place of Guru can never be replaced by a Shishya (disciple). This means you are not giving respect to your Guru for what has been taught to you.

There is certainly no spiritual battle going on where we have to defeat other Lightworkers’ by creating a fake image of ours, if you are actually running after material possessions & image more than serving your purpose, it will end up nowhere. Look, God knows that in order to lead our lives on earth, we need things to fulfill our material needs too, that is completely ok, your soul purpose should be to serve the purpose, all your needs will be met by the Lord automatically.

Universe always watch over us, our actions (karmas) and our intentions. If the intention is pure, material needs get fulfilled automatically, but if intention isn’t in sync with the divine purpose then no matter how high you reach in the field of spirituality, downfall is definite one day.

Your intention must be pure at heart, if your heart can feel others’ pain & suffering and genuinely serving them, God will take care of everything you need for your survival. A true Lightworker never forgets his/her purpose on earth for which he/she is being sent.

Working on self is really important while we work for others, as a Lightworker we have to bring that change with courage having compassion and divine wisdom inside us. The main purpose for all of us is to attain peace and peace is the only thing that can bring that love, compassion and healing to all of us.

Everything is interconnected, if our intentions are pure & focused on good for all, only good follows us. Remember 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, or rewards and recognitions or high profile contacts all the time; it’s time for you to do a reality check for yourself - you are trying to "Sell" it all! Selling here means, you have just tipped over and crossed to the other side i.e. spiritual materialism.

This doesn't mean, you should not tell about your healing practices or shouldn’t provide healings and solutions or shouldn’t accept energy exchange, the word of caution here is, remaining centered in the being or mode of serving others through "You" as a channel and not just serving your own needs.

Life will keep on throwing challenges and bring events to shake us up when we become dormant. Also, we need to understand the consequences of mixing up different rituals together for healing. Not everything can be mixed up to bring instant results. It is like when we try to mix two different chemicals in a chemistry lab, what happens when they are not meant to be together??? Yes! You got it right! Not all spiritual practices & cultures can be mixed, so, keep them separate and give them respect they deserve.

Also, the choice of words and language we use to interact and deal with others also brings it to our notice that we may be falling victim into the trap of ego and materialism through spirituality. Any words & feelings of judgment, jealousy, separation and acquiring something, is a wakeup call for you for sure!

The core of spiritual materialism is it makes you feel you are growing spiritually but actually you are just feeding your egos through spiritual techniques and tools. So, if you are not serving from the core of your heart then stop, and look inside what has brought this to you, remove and release it before it is too late.

A real spiritual/enlightened person, would not run after materialism so much, he/she will follow his Guru like God hence serving the purpose and in return all needs are taken care by God.

The core belief of Shambhala is in the ingrained goodness of human beings. There is no one good or  bad; it’s only the core intentions. Mindful meditation helps us focus on our breath while keeping ourselves aware of our thoughts especially the ones those we create out of our rigidity and negative mind conditioning & beliefs that keeps us caught in the web of being and behaving in a certain way that may not serve good for us and others around in any manner.

We all are souls on this earth, in this physical body, to learn/teach lessons, experience the ups and downs in life, and understand the reality of the universe & life itself. Our purpose is to heal self and others by the divine wisdom God has blessed us all with.

Through meditation, we gradually come to individual realization of oneness with all beings, and through this emanate compassion and awareness/wisdom, the core tools to heal this world. Also, we must not forget the Law of Three, whatever we give or say comes back to us three folds. So, if you give out love and healings, that is what you will get back, if you give money to the needy ones, that is what you will get back, if, you give blessings, blessings is what you will get back and so it is. If you curse, you get back that curse three folds too. So, don’t forget, if you think and do wrong to others, no one is watching over you, or you will be able to escape from that. Universe is watching over for that too, and when the time comes, it will be returned to you in three folds for sure.

To conclude with, dwell in the bliss of divine love, compassion and serving others through your work as a divine channel and not get caught in the web of spiritual materialism.

Spirituality is a very broad term and to experience that you need to keep walking on this path and keep learning & sharing your knowledge with zero ego and insecurity of your power being overtaken by another, there is only one power “God”. Spirituality is itself “Awareness” and that is the only key to reach & fulfill our divine purposes on this earth. This is why we all are here to learn how to be one and still be unique and be separate from the stings of materialism.

Stay grounded, no matter how far and heights you reach with your work, if you won’t universe surely knows how. Do not forget, it’s not us who brings healings & relief to the ones in pain and sufferings, its God who chooses us as a channel of healing for all on this earth.

Bring the change with compassion & being grounded and not with feeding your egos! Be that change! There is a very thin line between being actually spiritual and being feeding the egos.

Love, Light, Peace, Gratitude and Lots of Blessings to all!!!

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