These days almost everybody seems to have an opinion on spirituality. However, many of these opinions are simply theoretical and not rooted in reality or based on any sort of personal experience. Hence, misconceptions are bound to arise. Some of the common myths about spirituality include ideas such as spirituality is not for those who lead a dynamic lifestyle, spirituality interferes with leading a “normal” life, spirituality is impractical, and spirituality is based on unscientific blind belief. In this article we look to examine and address (and hopefully shatter) some of these common myths about spirituality.
Shattering the Myths
Myth #1 – Spirituality is only suitable for people with sedentary lifestyles: People with very active lifestyles and high ambitions often have a preconceived notion that the spiritual path is not suitable for them. It is often assumed that spiritual practitioners are boring and just like to sit idle and be immersed in joy and bliss.
In reality, spiritual practice not only gives the practitioner the ability to be more productive, but spiritual practitioners are also able to do more and better work with a sense of happiness and joy. According to Master Choa Kok Sui, “People on the spiritual path are not anaemic. They must be sharp, strong and courageous. Being spiritual means being dynamic, powerful and intelligent.”
Myth #2 – The spiritual path is not for those who want to lead a ‘normal’ life: Many do not embark on the spiritual journey due to a fear that they will have to “change” their lifestyle. Of course, spiritual practice will bring change in one’s life, but most of these changes are for the better. Through spiritual practice you will feel happier and develop a better self-image. You will feel more energetic and productive. You will be able to get rid of several weaknesses or detrimental habits.
One needs to understand that to be spiritual does not mean that one has to meditate and do charity work all day (though there is nothing wrong with that decision if it’s your path and calling). To be spiritual does not mean that one has to be serious and remove all fun and enjoyment from life. One can lead a normal life, have fun, go to parties, watch movies, enjoy life and while still being spiritual. There is no conflict.
Myth #3 – Spirituality is not practical in today’s age: Another common misconception is that it is impractical to practice spirituality in today’s age because it’s difficult to find time for it. It’s not uncommon to see people discouraging the children in their family from walking on the spiritual path because they think it’s not the right age or time for them, and that it might distract them from their career of material pursuits.
Interestingly, MCKS says that “Spirituality is connected with practicality”. This is because spirituality cannot be compartmentalized as a separate facet of our life. Spiritual pursuits are not meant to be an escape from life, but rather to enhance life – and that includes our material life, careers, and even our relationships. Spiritual practitioners are not detached from reality. In fact, spiritual practice teaches people to be more balanced and realistic about life. In fact, most MCKS Arhatic Yoga practitioners feel that regular practice tends to make life smoother and more comfortable.
Myth #4 – Spiritual practitioners do not want to lead a regular, family life: Imagine the shock on the face of parents who have been planning their child’s wedding since they gave birth to him/her, only to find them embarking on a spiritual journey. Well, the good news is that there’s no need to panic. One doesn’t have to be a renunciate or go to the Himalayas to progress on the spiritual path. Any individual who wishes to tread on the spiritual path need not retreat from the world, their career or their current relationships. In fact, these pursuits are used to help the individual to further develop, through the daily challenges and interactions, as well as difficulties that may occur within the family, in the office, or in the contemporary lifestyle. Also, contrary to popular belief, spirituality and prosperity are in fact compatible with each other.
Spiritual practices can comfortably done while leading a regular, family life. Also consider for instance MCKS himself. In addition to being a enlightened Guru, Master Choa was also a successful businessman and a family man.
Myth #5 – There is a correct age: There are some who feel that spiritual practices are only for people who are old. In reality, this is is a myth with very little grounding in reality. No age is too young (or too old) for spiritual cultivation. For example, take the MCKS Arhatic Yoga system in itself which introduces several powerful meditation techniques. The techniques revealed during in the Higher Levels of Arhatic Yoga require your body to be fit and strong. Hence the earlier you start, the better!
Myth #6 – Spiritual practice is based on blind faith: It is often assumed that spirituality is just based on blind faith because it is often difficult to verify spiritual experiences using a device or gadget. However, the right spiritual path encourages the students to use discernment and validate the teachings through regular experimentation and observation, before arriving at a conclusion. As it’s often said, ‘the proof of the pudding lies in eating it’. Similarly, the proof of the effectiveness of the spiritual system lies in experiencing it and it’s effect on our own life.
After regularly practicing the spiritual teachings for a weeks or months, one needs to ask:
- Is my life improving?
- Am I more happy and peaceful?
- Am I becoming a better person?
- Do I have better relationships with my family, friends and colleagues?
- Is my career/work progressing at a greater rate?
- Do I have more energy?
- Do I have greater clarity and understanding about my life?
If the answer to at least some of the above questions is yes, then it’s a good idea to continue the practice and keep on validating.
Spirituality has nothing to do with what we believe. Spirituality is about self-discovery and experiences. It’s about living fully and honestly and to become a better person. It is ultimately about self-mastery and self-realization. This is why it has been said that spirituality is a way of life.
In conclusion, we would like to quote Master Choa Kok Sui: “Spirituality is a way of life. It is not just doing meditation.” A lot of people do not realize that a strong connection between spirituality and having happiness, inner-strength, and health in your daily life. So spirituality is an essential part for everybody, irrespective of their profession, lifestyle, age, financial condition and personality.
In the Arhatic Yoga system developed by Master Choa Kok Sui, one learns to integrate spiritual practice into their life in a very practical, systematic and simple manner. The transformative effects of the practice can be experienced by anyone who learns and practices it as taught in the Arhatic Yoga workshop.