Cancel the plane tickets; how to start your spiritual journey without moving to the Himalayas.

Spirituality when everything goes wrong

It’s 6 am. There’s a mystical darkness outside your window as the coffee brews. You’re sitting at your computer and pulling up your checking account to check your balance.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock. It’s Internet Explorer – it will take a minute or 5.

The checking account pulls up – (minus) $3000. Someone hacked into your account and just bought 2 roundtrip tickets to Paris while you were asleep.

%)(*!%$)(*!@#)(%$

You close your browser window to see your Twitter page. One of your friends did something brave and broke up with her boy-friend.

“I hate that bastard – I can’t believe we broke up – good riddance to bad garbage. Mail me my clothes back you punk.” Now, that took a lot of courage. Such powerful words in one short tweet.

Then you realize it’s your girl-friend.

)%*@)(%*)@(#*

You lean back on your chair to take a deep breath. You fall back and hit your head on the floor.

When you wake up, you see your friends and family at the hospital. The doctor tells you that you’re going to be spending the next 3 months at home on bed rest. Your little cousin holds up your Iphone.

“Late again – you’re fired dude”.

By 10 am, you’ve broken your head, your relationship, your bank account and been fired from your job.

Time for your eat, pray, love adventure.

Your head and heart hurt. Your bank account is going to hurt even more when you’re sitting in bed at home without a job.

You saw that Eat, Pray Love movie with your girlfriend two weeks ago (the one who just broke up with you on Twitter). She predicted that you would be going on a long trip – just like Julia Robert’s worldwide adventure to Italy, Indonesia and India.

Is now the time to pick up and go?

If you are hurting, financially, emotionally or spiritually, you might feel that you need a change of pace. And a change of scenery. It’s time to find yourself or to find God. Or to find God so you can find yourself.

You have so many questions and not so many answers. Life seems to have hit a wall – you’re asking ‘why me’, ‘why now’ or may be even ‘who am I?’

Leave your life, and journey into world? You could but do you need a worldwide spiritual journey to get in touch with your inner self?

Time for your spiritual journey.

You’ve come to a point in your life when you feel like something is missing. What are you going to do? Are you going to escape?

As much as the grief of common life events may get to you – break-ups, deaths, job losses, financial ruin, you may not have to go very far to find answers.

The answers actually are within you – you have the answers to all the questions you seek. Now, you must find the spiritual tools to help you uncover those answers.

Your spiritual journey begins at home.

Cancel your flights and throw away the travel guides.

No need to go out to the Himalayas, Tibet, Jerusalem or India.

No need to search for spirituality. No need to get away from your life – your spiritual life starts exactly where you are.

How can you practice spirituality every day and wherever you are?

It’s a good question for someone like me who wanted to join a monastery. But I decided no. I wasn’t going to be like the Budha. Or Liz Gilbert.

I wasn’t jumping the palace gate like the Buddha to discover myself.

Not going across the world (eating pizza and being a landing pad for mosquitos) to find out who I really am.

I’m going to do it here. In the present and in the real world.

And here on this blog, I’ll show you how to live a spiritual life too, starting right now.

Are you on a spiritual journey? Were you able to reach nirvana from your recliner or did you take a pilgrimage around the world to find the truth?

For my book on spirituality, God and to surviving tough times, click here for more information on Is God Listening?

36 Comments

  1. Hey Vishnu, I’m so excited for the new blog! What a great inaugural post. I love this message. Too many people think of a spiritual journey as something ‘epic’ or at least ‘external’ from real life. It’s not, of course. The deepest spiritual journey is in the life you’re already living. The now is where all your deepest lessons will be learned. It’s never anywhere else.

    Yes, I was able to reach nirvana from my recliner, because like a student of Zen says when they reach Satori (enlightenment) “I realized that there was nothing to realize.” … and that’s the greatest realization of all.

    “Then you realize it’s your girl-friend.” Haha, that made me laugh. Again, I loved your first ever post and I’m really looking forward to the new blog.

    1. Andrew – thanks for your message and encouragement. And for being excited about my first post 🙂

      I think spirituality is not somewhere outside of us but definitely within. To come to that realization is difficult. How to come to that realization, practices, how to get into a spiritual state of being are some of the things I’m hoping to talk about.

      Looking forward to your feedback and support along the blogging journey. Thanks again for commenting and keeping me on track! Also, congrats on your last post which went viral!

  2. I can already tell I am going to be losing a lot of money following your blog. Those damn round trips to the Himalayas, Tibet, Jerusalem and India cost a chunk of change!! Raw financial concern aside, I am definitely looking forward to seeing how this blog evolves… I have always been curious about the logic behind looking “within” for answers… I am looking forward to some enlightenment…

    In direct answer to your question about my finding Nirvana… I’ve tried both – the recliner model and the travel one… the answer to me was more of gradual realization that the end goal was unattainable in this life but that the discovery of truth was beautiful and could take place in bits and pieces in the here and now…

    And finally, college ex requests that you kindly stop mentioning her on your blog:)

    1. hahaha on the college ex!

      How are you going to lose money reading my blog? Bjorn – I’m going to save you the trips around the world and avoid costly spiritual journeys. But listen, you’ll be doing the traveling anyways as the international man of weddings. I’m wondering sometimes if you know the wedding parties or if you’re simply an international wedding crasher. lol

      I thought I needed to go to the Himalayas to find the answers. But I don’t think we do. Maybe all you have to do is read this blog. Lol – I should ask that question next – can you become enlightened by blog reading?

      Anyway, enjoying reading your blog. Thanks for the support and hope you can keep me on track!

  3. I’m totally hooked with the first post. And, yes, I’m on a spiritual journey (aren’t we all to some degree?) but have decided it comes in the form of finally embracing where I am in the moment and finding the “gift” in all of it. In the mean time I am accepting being a maven, although reluctantly.

    Lead on, oh virtuous one.

  4. Hi Pamela – thanks so much for your comment. I think I’m going to enjoy blogging since I am thrilled to have found your blogs now:) Love your writing and how you embrace being a maven.

    Living in the moment is a challenge all right! The past is so much more dramatic and the future is so much more uncertain and exciting. 🙂

    Thanks for commenting on my first post and looking forward to reading your blog. I’m hardly the virtuous one – Virtues is just another ‘V’ word that sounded ok with my first name. lol

  5. Vishnu, I loved this post! Thank you very much for inspiring and uplifting me with your words. I do believe the shift has occurred within me to live a spiritual life. For me it is taking time to act in line with my heart and slowly let go of my ego more and more.

    1. Thanks for being one of my first commenters! I’m glad you enjoyed the post – I enjoy all of yours, including the amazing photographs you post. Not sure if I can post daily – I’m hoping I put together something on a weekly basis.

      I’m glad you’ve made the shift to live a more spiritual life. Acting in line with your heart is a spiritual practice all by itself! And ego is a beast we need to knock out – going to be writing a lot about that.

      Thanks for commenting and dropping by Wendy!

  6. I couldn’t agree more my man! The amount of clients I see who have tried everything to find stuff that is internal from outside sources.

    It doesn’t matter whether it’s enlightenment or happiness too many people think it is external to them.

    You’ve set the bar rather high, so the pressure is on now 😉

    1. Thanks for coming by and gracing my blog:) You are one of the funniest bloggers I know and my blog is inspired in part by you. Except you really ratcheted up the pressure with your Twitter comment. I feel like I’m standing on stage, ready to go on and getting high praises before I’ve even sung a note.

      Everything comes from the inside – people just need a good guru or life coach to help them see that! LOL Thanks again for your support and inspiration Tim!

  7. Finally! Geeeez…

    Vishnu, this post is amazing. I am so looking forward to what you have in store for us and being a part of this community!

    I am definitely on a spiritual journey and I think I’m finally getting somewhere. I am aiming to change as many lives and make as many people happy as possible before my time’s up.

    Wish me luck! See you around here soon!

    1. You’re looking forward to what I have in store for this community. Yeah…good one Amy- me too!!!! LOL

      Making people happy is a spiritual journey. Your blog makes a lot of people happy! And healthy as well. I’ve learned a lot from your wisdom and guidance.

      I’m thinking about a couple health posts – I’m going to beat up on some office equipment, some jujitzu on the copier. Just kidding of course!

      Being healthy is a spiritual journey too, no?

      Thanks for your support and guidance! (just by blogging and doing a dang good job!)

  8. Vishnu, congratulations on your animated and interesting first post!

    You make a very good point. Spirituality and enlightenment do not require that a person travel to far away land;memorize and recite 80 lines of some ancient script; sit a certain way when meditating; or chant a specific mantra just so.

    Too many philosophies, books, and blogs make it way too complicated, in my humble opinion. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE! I look forward to your tips on armchair enlightenment.

    1. Thanks for your kinds words and good wishes Debbie. I finally kicked of this blog after a year!

      I’m with you – throw out the rituals, sacred sites, bells & whistles and get to work! I love armchair enlightenment so much I might change my blog theme to it.

      Looking forward to keeping in touch. Thanks again for stopping by.

  9. Vishnu, I love this post! Thankfully I didn’t go travelling to begin my spiritual journey. I believe it was starting my spiritual journey at home that gave me the courage and the focus to travel. I think you are so right that it must start now, wherever you are. I’m definitely guilty of putting off starting my meditation practice and this post has inspired me to start today! Thank you 🙂

    1. Caroline – Thanks for your kind words. It’s taken me more than a year to kick off my blog! I’ve watched many people kick off their blogging journey including you.

      Traveling is kind of a spiritual journey by itself even if you didn’t mean it to be, no? It allows you to see so much of the outside world that you have to reflect upon it internally.

      I’m not against going to the Himalayas for some self-realization and inner awareness – just saying we could probably do that from our sofas as well. LOL Hope to get into it more in posts to come!

  10. love it! great launch and i’ve always loved your site banner when i first saw it.
    this is such a funny post! talk about worst case scenario.. love your style. i think this will be a great blog!
    i do think there is value/merit in traveling to Indian ashrams or meditation retreats, but your focus on that it can happen at home is a great one, and so valuable because that’s where it all starts!

    1. Love your writing and your blog Janet! you’re like my top 3 inspirations. Buddha is in the top 2. LOL

      Thanks for the great writing you’ve done. Your blogging and business journey (and life journey) has been funny, earnest, honest and authentic! I hope to follow in your footsteps!

      Listen, I completely think that an ashram, monastery can do wonders. I may be heading there myself if all else fails! But in the meantime, exploring if I can reach nirvana from my hidden underground quarters where I have access to cable tv and internet should make an interesting blog journey.

      Thanks for your blog, writing and humor! And commenting on my first post:)

  11. Congratulations on your first blog on this new and fabulous blog of yours!
    “Stand up when life knocks you down” I love that 🙂

    I would love to have had a big beautiful epic spiritual journey like Liz Gilbert’s, but time, fiances, and circumstances lead me to a quiet personal journey of a couple of decades. Nothing flashy, just internal. The beautiful thing about a less wildly epic spiritual journey is, it reminds us to go within every day even during the mediocre times. – Allowing us to cultivate a life long connection with spirit that has a 24/7 full time presence.

    I’m so excited for your blogging journey 🙂
    Whether it be epic or not, it shall be most rewarding! 🙂

    1. Aileen – thanks for visiting and for your comment:) I like that – nothing flashy and just internal!

      I think the book and movie were more a travel journey rather than a spiritual one:) It just happens that any trip to India will end up being spiritual! A spiritual journey is a lifelong one indeed – most people just have to start on it and I think they want to but what’s the most effective way to enlightenment is what I want to figure out! LOL

      Thanks for your comment again – enjoying reading your blog and will continue to make my far out comments on there:)

  12. Vishnu,

    That’s a terrible day at the office, eh? Nice first post. Also, an important message. Discovering one’s self happen ‘within’ one’s self. There’s is no need to go anywhere on a journey in today’s age of information. All the wisdom you need can be attained from where u are. When you are on a journey to discover yourself, all you need with you is – YOU. Look forward to hanging out here more often.

    Amit

    1. Amit – thanks for your visit, comment and wisdom! A tough day in life in general but I’m sure we’ve all experienced days like this!

      All we do need is ourselves for spiritual awareness and self-awareness. No need to travel far and wide. Enlightenment can be reached from exactly where we are.

      Thanks again for your visit and looking forward to keeping in touch.

  13. Vishu,

    Congratulations on the fabulous kick-off of your blog! I love your humor!

    I’m on a spiritual journey and I’ve done both: I’ve been to sacred places, I’ve been to monasteries, I’ve been on retreat, and I practice being right in the world. I don’t find any of it contradictory. The whole idea of “inside” our “outside” is dualistic to begin with! There are many roads to travel to the same destination.

    Still I love your idea to start where we are! There’s no time to begin like now. Thanks for the encouragement. So glad to have you in fully in the community.

    1. Thanks so much Sandra! Great to see you and all my blogging buddies here. YOu are all my inspiration for starting to blog! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and am thrilled that you’ve made it through the 2 year mark!

      Yes spiritual places and an internal spiritual journey are both helpful for spiritual awareness. Many roads to travel to the same destination – absolutely. But I think just moving into the caves of Dharmasala to kick of a spiritual practice may not be the most prudent! The caves are freezing cold and have bats.

      How to go through our spiritual journey day to day is something I’m going to explore on this blog. Again, thank you for coming by and commenting! What an honor:)

  14. Nice start to the long-awaited blog Vishnu! Due to similar reasons I made a conscious decision not to go off travelling after I finished my degree many moons ago, and instead focus on setting down some roots here in Scotland after moving here when I was 16. It’s nice to have a community of people around you (in real life as well as online!)

    1. Milo – Thanks for the comment. Blogging’s going to be a fun journey. I don’t have any pets yet but do plan to get a couple soon to help me do my blogging, videos, etc.

      I think sometimes a travel journey can lead to a spiritual one. Travel can also lead to many new discoveries about yourself and the world. But as you’ve found out, you can do that right from the comfort of your home. Looking forward to keeping in touch via our blogs.

  15. Hi Vishnu,

    This is a great post that promises much to come. I certainly enjoyed your humourous take on life. Being able to step back and laugh in the face of adversity makes it slightly easier to bear.

    I am still on my spiritual journey. This will be a lifetime trek that is more about the journey than the destination. I feel that the answers that we seek to our problems lie within. We need to go deep inside to gain insights into managing life better.

    But once we do, it won’t hurt to go on a pilgrimage or a short retreat of sorts. We will be more open then to the answers that lie all around us in the world. And if we can learn from and with other spiritual seekers, so much the better. It will certainly help us on our journey.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!

    Irving the Vizier

    1. Thanks Vizier for your friendship and comments. Life is humorous so why not laugh about it right? Spiritual journey is more about the journey than the destination but like most journeys, I regularly ask myself “am I there yet?” lol

      Retreats, pilgrimages and other spiritual journeys can only help us accelerate our spiritual journey. Fellowship with other spiritual seekers can do the same… I’m hoping to explore many of these things on the blog and hope you’ll add your wisdom along the way. Thanks again!

  16. Hi Vishnu,
    Congratulations on this impressive first post! I love traveling to gain new perspective though I’ve not traveled a lot in the past number of years and yet my spiritual journey continues. I’m looking forward to see where you go with this!
    All the best!
    Lori

  17. Hi Lori – thanks for stopping by. I read your blog regularly and enjoy it. I’m not sure how you update your blog so regularly:)

    Yes, spiritual journeys can start just where we are (which is where I hope to focus on more) and through travel as well. Maybe the internal spiritual journey deepens with our external surroundings? It might be easier to within when we’re at the temple rather than watching the Apprentice.

  18. Well I want to go on a spiritual journey…yes someplace out their, in search of God, but thanks for the reminder, I need it daily!
    So for the past 2 weeks my spiritual retreat has consisted of camping out in a tent in my back yard. Yes that is as far as I needed to travel to reconnect to God, the Divine , my living , all knowing Spirit, my heart, my truth…all of it. Yes getting out in nature and close to the earth is all it takes for me to have a spiritual journey…and I didn’t have to go any further than my own back yard:))))
    Peace and love on the journey!
    Christine

    1. hey Christine – sounds like a pretty good at-home, backyard retreat! I can’t think of a better place for spiritual realization than under the moon and the stars. And close enough that bathrooms, internet and kitchen are also accessible:) Thanks for your visit, comment and hope to see you here more often.

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