Cultural Fiesta Through The Golden Triangle Of India

Millions of tourist from India and abroad opt for Golden Triangle vacations to gain an insight into the rich culture of three major cities of India. Delhi is the Capital of India and a bustling metropolis too. People from all over India and world come here for best education and career opportunities, medical facilities, business and corporate tours, and exciting holidays. With 2000 years of history to narrate, Delhi offers whirlwind ride of a multitude of historical sites that have made a mark of some kind at the national and international level.

The Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, India Gate, Lotus Temple, and Akshardham Temple offer a rich architecture of different eras with Mughal and British influences being the most prominent. The rickshaw ride in the lanes of Chandni Chowk, rich museum art and relic collections, pleasurable shopping experiences at Janpath and Palika Bazaar, national and international events on a regular basis, art and performance shows, handicrafts from all over India at Dilli Haat and state government shops, and potent nightlife, Delhi is a perfect tourism destination in India.

The next stoppage on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, Agra, is the largely influenced by the Mughals. Architectural marvels and great buildings at Agra include Taj Mahal, various palaces of Agra Fort, Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri, and Swami Bagh. With Mathura and Vrindavan nearby, Agra is not untouched by the Brij region culture that revolves around Lord Krishna and His childhood antics. The Ram Baraat at Agra is taken out with quite pageantry and culminated at the chosen Janakpuri venue where the legendary marriage of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita is staged. Taj Mahotsav at Shilpgram is the life of Agra tourism. This 10-day long festival features classical song and dance performances as well as arts and crafts by world-renowned Indian artistes.

Jaipur’s culture has much beyond its royal architectural heritage. Its cuisine, art, music, dance, and traditional customs are all influenced by domination of Rajput rulers in the region for centuries together. The handicrafts of Jaipur such as blue pottery, miniature paintings, bandhni fabrics, zari and zardozi work, kundan and meenakari work, antique jewellery designs, ivory and stone artwork, and woodcarvings are very famous. Vibrant colors and attires fire the imagination as one tours around Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Jal Mahal and Jantar Mantar that establish the magnificence and grandeur of the royalty of Rajasthan.

Heart pulse of India tours and travels, Golden Triangle cities have evolved into full-fledged tourist hubs with most exclusive resorts, hotels and spas of leading major hospitality brands, registered tour operators and tourist guides, car rental and transport services with expert chauffeurs and language interpreters for elite tourists looking forward to be assistance and interaction with someone who can speak their own language. Thus, a Golden Triangle Tour is ideal for a quick study of Indian culture, cuisine and lifestyle.

Classic Golden Triangle Route Strings Pearls Of Historical Architecture

Take a tour of Old Delhi to discover historical monuments and seats of culture that are little known in the lanes of Chandni Chowk, largest and oldest market of Asia. These include Haveli of Mirza Ghalib, traditional specialty shops and eateries that have been here for more than two centuries. Lal Qila or the Red Fort at Delhi overshadows Chandni Chowk with its magnificent presence. Standing on the bank of River Yamuna, this huge red sandstone for was built by Shah Jahan as the new Capital for Mughals, when they shifted from Agra to Delhi. Close to the fort, he also built the largest mosque in India – Jama Masjid – that can hold up to 25000 devotees at once.

New Delhi holds the first reminiscent of Islamic victory in India known as Qutub Minar, which is among the highest stone towers in the world, Humayun’s Tomb, Old Fort, India Gate, Raj Ghat, and President’s House with its beautiful Mughal Gardens thrown open to public in the Spring Season are other relics that Delhi is proud of. New-age history has seen the construction of Lotus Temple and Akshardham Temple in Delhi that exude extreme beauty.

Shah Jahan loved architecture in marble about as much passionately as he loved his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal and Agra was his birthplace, where he was born to a Mughal Emperor Jehangir. So, it was quite natural that when Mumtaz asked him to build a tomb that surpasses the entire world in beauty and grace to immortalize their love, Shah Jahan chose a site in Agra on the banks of River Yamuna for such a romantic and glorious structure. He invited best architects from all over the world and the design that he chose bore Persian and indigenous influences. Being an emperor, he imported marble from Makrana and used semi-precious and precious stones to add color to the lacework motifs. The Taj is one of the Seven Wonders of the World today.

Agra is also home to the former residence complex of Mughal Emperors – Agra Fort, Akbar’s vision city – Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar’s Tomb – Sikandra, and Itmad-ud-Daullah’s Tomb known as the ‘Jewel Box’ that was built by Noor Jehan for her father. The creative tomb is said to have been an inspiration for Taj. Jaipur, an introduction to Royal Rajasthan Tours, too is a sea of royal heritage monuments that are architectural marvels that amply use sophisticated artistry and craftsmanship. Opulence at Jaipur is all about stone art with lavish interiors. Amber Fort, Jaigarh Fort and Nahargarh Fort as well as Royal Cenotaphs at Gaitore on the outskirts of the city and the Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and the City Palace within the Pink City are witnesses of centuries of Rajput hierarchy in the region.

Camel Safaris In Rajasthan – Riding Golden Sands To Rustic Pleasures

Riding on camel’s back or being a part of more elaborate camel caravan tours across Thar Desert, offers you an ultimate soft adventure experience that takes you to the heart of rustic Rajasthan with all its lively and vibrant colors, hearty acrobatic dance performances, haunting music, traditional lures and struggles of getting on with daily chores within little means. The outstanding desert scenery and golden sands provide an overwhelming expiring that allow you to observe the desert people, admire the ongoing sculptures created by winds and undulating waves of sands, and explore the forts, palaces, temples and other architectural monuments strewn all over the region.

Most camel safaris start from Jaisalmer. Other important destinations that you will come across during your camel safaris are Bikaner, Osian, Khimsar and Mandawa, which lies at the heart of the Shekhawati region famous for its typical paintings. The best season for camel safaris is from November to Match as desert sun is especially scorching during summers. Desert climate is extreme in most case. While you will need sunglasses, head covers and suntan lotion during daytime, you will need blankets and woolens in the evenings to keep yourself warm. However, do not let the warnings deter you from one of the most memorable traveling pleasures you will ever come across.

Camel safaris at Rajasthan are usually organized in a planned manner and tour operators offer you everything that you will need or desire during the trip. They can be a weeklong or may stretch up to nearly a month and allow you perfect opportunities to get in touch with the local people and participate in their unique traditions. The region is full of rich historical legends and folklores that form basis for many artworks here including visual arts, handicrafts, and performing arts such as dance, music, plays and puppet shows. Western visitors love to see how women and men of the region wear bright vibrant colors that provide interesting contrast to the barren stark desert landscape.

The turbans, mustaches and beards of men are as striking as flared ghaghras or skirts and heavy tinkling jewellery of women, who keep their faces veiled and can balance several pots of water on their head at once, with using their hands. Harsh conditions in which these desert people survive do not at all dampen their spirits to enjoy lives and everything from their clothes to wall paintings to fairs and festivals to their pastimes speak volumes of their lively spirit. Some of the camel safari destinations such as Osian is an oasis in the vast desert region while Jaisalmer Fort with its golden hue looks like a mirage rising from the very golden sands on which it stands.

The camping sites during camel safaris are purposely chosen to provide you glimpses of actual desert lifestyles. Campfire delights often include interesting legends of local heroes and deities by guides who speak fluent English combined with performances that bring the mood of the story to life. Camels are usually bedecked with comfortable saddles and pace is kept leisurely so that tourists can enjoy views well. Camel Safari tours are also the best options, if you want to witness local traditions most prominent at religious places and fairs and festivals of Rajasthan.

Five Similarities Between Religion and Spirituality

When we were children we were asked, Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If we based our answer on the creation story in the Bible, we would answer, Chicken. But if we based our answer on our experience in raising chickens, our answer would be, Egg.

The same can be said of the answer to the question, Which came first, Religion or Spirituality?

In terms of our experience with religious books and discussions, religion came first. It is only now that more and more people are talking about spirituality and writing about it. In terms of the origin of the reality behind those words or in terms of the object of our understanding, spirituality came first. The spirit was there before there was any religion. God was there before there was anybody to worship him.

We can even say that spirituality is an offshoot of religion. For many centuries people professed religion. Some of them fiercely opposed religions other their own. Christians for many centuries opposed paganism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and any other religion. This has happened also with paganism, Islam, and the rest with respect to the other religions. They too opposed other religions.

But more and more people discover that mere religion cannot answer their deeper yearning for a better experience of life. So, they turned to something deeper and better than religion. They found this in spirituality.

Because spirituality in a sense is an offshoot of religion, there is bound to be some similarity between them, just like the similarity between the egg and the chicken.

First, both believe in a higher power of some kind. Religion believes in God the Father or Jesus, or Allah, or Brahman, or Tao. Spirituality believes also in this God or it may conceive of God as a universal or primal energy. Both believe that such being possesses power higher and greater than what we have.

Secondly, both religion and spirituality desire to have a relationship with this higher power. Although the nature of the relationship is different in religion than in spirituality, the desire for this relationship is there. Religion connects with this higher power with fear and trembling. Spirituality connects with this higher power with love and affection.

Thirdly, both religion and spirituality have rituals and practices which deepen one’s religiosity or spirituality. Religion usually has sacred rites or sacraments. Spirituality has meditation or yoga sessions.

Fourthly, both have respect for the sacred, the other worldly. This is not just respect for God. This is respect for the reality that is beyond our senses and reason. When religion pushes this respect to its extreme, it becomes superstition. When spirituality pushes this respect to its extreme, it becomes religious spirituality.

Fifthly, both have fear of failure. In religion this failure is punished by hell fire or repetition of existence or some other worse fate. In spirituality this failure is the inability to realize one’s true worth or value and the destiny of a life of meaninglessness. Hell, repetition of existence, non-existence, meaninglessness are forms of punishment for failure, either in religion or in spirituality.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4397727

Religion and Spirituality – What Differentiates Religion From Spirituality?

Religion is “absolute truth of life” of the physical manifested world. It is Religion and not Spirituality which forms the basis of the present society we live in. In the present the needs for following a Religion being at its minimum… it is easy to follow any Religion. Anyone… even a layman can follow any Religion but not Spirituality?

What vastly differentiates Religion and Spirituality? Religion… if it forms the core of the physical manifested world… it is the Spirituality (the truth of our Soul within) which upholds the values in the society. Without Spirituality the physical manifested world cannot sustain for long but in the absence of religion… the society can survive on its own.

It is Spirituality (the truth of our real self… our Soul within) which forms the core of the cosmic world. The physical manifested world is a reality in terms of the senses (which guide every human being on its earthly journey). In the cosmic world… our physical manifested world does not hold good for there is nothing solid in the Cosmos. Everything in the Cosmos is made up of the basic building block of the Cosmos which comprise of atoms and molecules alone.

Religion is meant for passing of the physical manifested life in a meaningful manner. Unable to understand the nature of God… humanity has built for itself various religious centers all over the globe. These religious centers are they a mosque, temple or a church… provide a succor to the ever ailing society. They quench the thirst of an average human being… one who does not have time or the resources to contemplate directly on God the Almighty.

Indulgence in Spirituality is not meant for the average human being. To be able to fathom the depths of the Scriptures of the various religions of the world (the core truths of Spirituality)… one needs to dive deep into the pearls of wisdom contained in the various sacred Scriptures of the world. Spirituality is totally oblivious of a religion. In the field of Spirituality one need not go to a mosque, temple or a church in search of God. It is contemplation and only contemplation which shall lead one to God the Almighty.

Spirituality (contrary to religion) is all about the spirit existing within every human being neigh every living being (Jiva as we call it in Hinduism). It is truth of every life prevailing on Mother Earth. It is the real self of us which exists within every living being since the birth of that body in the form of an individual soul. Spirituality and Religion are the two fundamentals of life which every living being is required to follow simultaneously.

One can live without Religion but not without Spirituality for Spirituality forms the core of very existence of every living being. It is the spirit within every human being that we exist as a physical form on Mother Earth. We may or may not indulge in understanding Spirituality or a Religion but inherently every living being pursues the path of Spirituality in every manifestation. Spirituality is that fundamental of life which cannot be ignored by one.

To be able to understand the basics of the Spirituality (not religion) one needs to understand the underlying meaning of the various sacred Scriptures existing on Mother Earth. Whatever our religious masters teach us on the physical plane may not be a truthful representation of whatever is contained in the sacred Scriptures. Many commentaries may exist related to a particular sacred Scripture but all may not be correct or rightly represent the facts contained therein.

To be able to interpret the sacred Scriptures correctly one needs to understand the inner meaning of the core teachings contained therein. Spirituality in other words can only be best understood from a realized master. Only those who have reached the level of Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed can deliver the humanity of its ills.

On the contrary going to a temple, mosque or a church can provide temporary succor to the ailing humanity but it is only Spirituality which can provide a permanent relief. Religion provides relief in day-to-day life but Spirituality liberates one forever from the cycle of birth and death. Religion is primarily a following of an enlightened master… it is only the correct interpretation of his teachings that one can follow spirituality to its logical end.

Buddhism Religion relates to the teachings of Gautama Buddha. The Islamic Religion is based on the teachings of Prophet Mohammed. Jainism (which can not be rightly called as a Religion but a way of life) is based on the collective teachings of the various Tirthankars (enlightened souls). Similarly Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Following the teachings of Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed… One can definitely reach the higher portals of Religion but to become one like Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed one needs to understand the core teachings of the realized masters themselves in a totally unadulterated form.

In a nutshell, if we desire to understand the fundamentals of life itself and reach the end of the cosmic journey… we need to understand Spirituality in totality. And on the contrary if we desire to live the present physical manifested life in the best manner possible then following the dictates of Religion alone would suffice.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2590646

Registration open for UCT Dance Conference this week

Dance, Religion and Spirituality is the theme of the UCT School of Dance’s seventh international dance conference entitled Confluences, which runs on campus from 11-13 July 2013.
Registration open for UCT Dance Conference this week
Designed to stimulate dance academics, students, choreographers and other dance fans, the conference incorporates the presentation of formal academic papers, research seminars and panel discussions as well as daily workshops and thought-provoking performances.

Discussions will centre on “the complex issues of the interconnectedness (or lack thereof) of the practices and experiences surrounding dance, religion and spirituality,” says Confluences 7 chair and director of the UCT School of Dance, Gerard Samuel.

Some of the intriguing titles of papers to be presented include Dr Doreen Gordon’s “From ‘other worldly’ to ‘world dance’: an exploration of the institutionalisation of dançá dos orixá as an artistic field in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil”, “Post-positivist Spirituality in Dance and Somatic Research: a narrative” by Dr Jill Green (North Carolina, USA) and “Dancing the Body through the City: preliminary concepts and notes on mobility, ritual, freedom and spectacle in the Minstrel Carnival, Cape Town” by Jade Gibson (South Africa).

Acclaimed choreographer and performer Vincent Mantsoe is the keynote speaker. He is now based in Saint Pont, France with his company, Association Noa-Cie Vincent Mantsoe.

Range of performances

Confluences begins at 9am daily at the UCT School of Dance, culminating in a range of performances each evening. See Jacki Job and Garth Erasmus’s Truth or Fiction and extracts from choreographic works from the UCT dance students under the banner Why Fit In? on Thursday, 11 July at 7pm. Vincent Mantsoe offers a rare performance of Gula on Friday, 12 July at 7pm. “This is arguably one of the signature choreographic works that has jettisoned this beguiling artist into the international arena,” says Samuel.

Registration open for UCT Dance Conference this week
The evening also showcases Jamaican-born Lisa Wilson’s Ancestral Whisperings, which premiered at the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience in Durban in 2012.

There will be a mixed bill featuring the award-winning Underground Dance Theatre and freelance artist Nicola Elliott, fresh from their tour to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, on Saturday, 13 July at 6pm.

The panel discussion entitled “What Place for Dance in Monotheistic Worship?” takes place on Friday, 12 July at 9am.

Go to www.uct.dance.ac.za for more information and online bookings. Would-be delegates can also sign up at the registration desk from 8.30am each morning. A limited number of tickets for performances will be sold one hour before show time at R40. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Those wanting to attend the full conference pay an all-inclusive fee of R700 (i.e. entrance to all papers, workshops and performances, daily conference kit/programme, complimentary tea and coffee). The cost is R200 for students. All those attending as a single day visitor (papers and workshops only) pay R70. There are no card facilities.

Afrikaans women’s magazine launches

Media24 Women’s Magazines have launched the first-ever issue of a unique Afrikaans magazine, Lééf – met hart & siel. The monthly glossy magazine is targeted at the modern Afrikaans woman who is looking for spiritual fulfillment, for personal growth and guidance and, above all, a sense of living a complete and balanced life.
Associate editor Christine Ferreira says that what sets the magazine apart from the many other women’s magazines is its strong holistic message and focus on personal values, the community and family, religion and spirituality. The contemporary title has two core pillars – heart and soul.

“The stress of today’s fast pace, global and local issues, and societal demands takes its toll on many. There is a need for a kind of ‘spiritual safe house’, something that addresses today’s issues but also instills a sense of balance and gives one that necessary guidance and helping hand.

“We believe readers will find solace in Lééf – met hart & siel, as it is a holistic read with much uplifting guidance and advice.”

Sarie editor Michélle van Breda is editorial head and writers such as Professor Piet Naude (motivational speaker and ethics professor at The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth), Marzanne Leroux-Van der Boon and American preacher Joyce Meyer will contribute on a regular basis.

Lééf – met hart & siel retails at R17,95 nationwide and is also available at Christian book shops.

Four ways B&B and guest house owners can avoid being exposed this festive season

With the hospitality industry at its busiest during the holiday period, it is also at its most vulnerable. Here are some of the common risks owners face and how best to mitigate them.
Paul Halley
Paul Halley
1. Make sure even Santa can’t get in…

With a few weeks left before the holiday rush, now is an ideal time to check all safety and security installations such as alarm systems, perimeter fencing, fire equipment and safety evacuation procedures. All staff should be receiving refresher training so they are well prepared to respond to emergencies such as security threats, fires, floods, guest injuries, etc.

Guests should also be provided with general safety tips and made aware of the establishment’s safety and evacuation procedures on arrival. Guests should be urged to report incidents such as credit card fraud, theft, suspicious behaviour of on-site contractors (or even staff) and should be encouraged to keep their valuables locked up. Any incidents resulting in possible injuries also need to be recorded in detail.

2. Keeping afloat

The country is expected to continue experiencing sporadic, heavy rains over the coming months, and while this is a welcomed relief, the disastrous effects of lightning and floods are already evident. To help limit potential damage, holiday establishments should ensure that:

Four ways B&B and guest house owners can avoid being exposed this festive season

On the flipside, until dam levels reach more acceptable levels, water restrictions, and even outages will persist. The challenge here is flooding due to geyser or pipe bursts from the pressure fluctuations or taps being left open during water outages hence, establishments should ensure that:

Four ways B&B and guest house owners can avoid being exposed this festive season

3. Early morning blues

To deal with the volumes of guests, kitchens often close later with staff leaving in the early hours of the morning. At this point, they are usually very tired and may neglect to check that deep fat fryers, stoves, and cooking equipment are switched off, that freezers are operating normally and that the premises are secured and alarm system activated. Not only is there a danger of frozen goods spoiling but the establishment also runs the risk of fire damage. Implementing and requiring strict adherence to a robust shut-down procedure becomes critical; requiring additional checks and a review of the shutdown process is, therefore, also advisable.

4. Business uninterrupted

These checks and balances are invaluable in managing risks, however, cannot completely shield businesses from losses. The cost of potential liability claims (there is always that one guest who has too much festive cheer and gets injured), flood damage or even loss of income – coupled with costs of rehousing guests – if an establishment isn’t able to operate for a certain period, can be exorbitant. As the ultimate safeguard, comprehensive hospitality insurance and business interruption covers should form part of every service provider’s risk management strategy.

Two Types of Spirituality … Faith and Knowledge

The term … is a … term. Usually, when one mentions … the first thought in many people’s minds is that of … While religion is an aspect of … spi

The term “spirituality” is a confusing term. Usually, when one mentions “spirituality”, the first thought in many people’s minds is that of “religion”. While religion is an aspect of spirituality, spirituality is not an aspect of religion. Spirituality covers other areas of belief as well. Put simply, spirituality is the all-encompassing arena of “belief in something greater.” This can be a god, oneself as the greater being, or simply, the life-force or essence that surrounds us all. But, society and religion lead their followers in many different directions replacing the core meanings with moralistic and idealistic terms in hopes of garnering attention by answering those “big questions” pertaining to life, death, the after-life, and a god.

— Faith vs. Knowledge —

While many religious zealots view the idea of knowledge-based spirituality as “agnostic”, indeed, it is not. As a matter of fact, even agnosts believe in something, which provides them an alternative stance to organized religion and gods. You have to believe in something to take a stance!

Faith-based spirituality is the belief and trust that things will be as they will be in the future. It is the acceptance of the “great mysteries” of life and death for which religion and society teaches that there are no “definitive answers.” Such an approach to spirituality creates a fear-based environment based on gods who are vindictive and uncaring. Believers place their lives into the hands of an unseen being in the hope that all will “work out for the best.”

Knowledge-based spirituality is the understanding and kinship of all and the desire to achieve and progress through life toward one’s own Vision and goals. The “great mysteries” become topics of personal research and, with an open mind, answers can be acquired from the environment and the Universe. This type of spirituality invites one to set aside fears and examine the information and entities of the surrounding environment. One has the chance to take life into one’s own hands and guide it along a path to one’s own desires.

— Hatred and Faith —

One of the problems of today is that, in our world, wars, hatred, and bias begin in the moral grounds established by religion and society. Religion creates a solid separation between different factions of humanity. These factions take the core ideals of society and mutate them to suit the needs of their particular beliefs. In the end, when societal boundaries are breached, and control languishes over the ranks, uprisings and bitter conflicts begin to restore order. The stronger of the factions wins and forces their beliefs on the weaker.

In faith-based factions, fear is instilled and faith that a great hereafter exists. People fight to maintain their beliefs because they’ve finally “forced” their conscious minds to accept the unanswered questions based on invisible and unfounded guesses by their “noblemen”. The battles are fought to ensure that their foundations and comfort zones are not affected by the infidels of the intruding factions.

However, with knowledge-based factions, fear is minimized and the great hereafter is right here and now and continues on forever. Knowledge provides the mind with a greater degree of processing information arriving at our many senses in many contexts. It allows us to look beyond the basics and outside of the accepted “comfort zones” to comprehend the ideas and ideals of other entities, both physical and spiritual.

— Opening Your Mind —

As part of our being, we all have the need to believe in something greater than ourselves. There is a part of us that “has to belong.” Many people fall deeply into organized religion because it provides the camaraderie and a focal point for their community as well as a basis for the moral code of the community. These, in addition to the faith-based answers to the “big questions”, provide a comfort zone and a foundation for many. However, by opening one’s mind and examining the many facets behind these “big questions”, one can develop and acquire the true answers within one’s own context.

What is the key? Context-free rationalization. Of course, “context-free” is a little strong as we must all have a context, or a point of reference, that we can use to compare information and apply our rules and belief systems. However, open experience and vast knowledge can provide us with multiple contexts that we can use to devise a wider view of a particular piece of information. This wider view is what is called an “open mind”. The open mind has no safety zone as it is always risking it’s “comfort zones” in search of new information and new ways of examining situations and other beings.

— What’s next? —

Acquiring this knowledge and ability to move across many contexts is not a simple task as it requires the ability to acquire, accept, and process information outside of our current context. It is a “chicken or the egg” situation; however, it is a decision that we make as humans to initiate such a move.

By opening our minds and perceptions, we allow our conscious minds the ability to communicate more freely with our subconscious minds. In doing so, the vast amounts of information available in the collective unconscious, “The Grid”, “The Universal Library” is available to us, simply by “looking.” Consider the idea of opening the mind as a primer for what follows once you are able to use your mind to its fullest capabilities and acquire immeasurable knowledge from all entities across the Universe and throughout time.

This is the true meaning of spirituality. The knowledge and desire to exist with and within the Universal essence. To accept and acquire knowledge that is freely available to you through time and space. Finally, the knowledge to use this information in a way that is beneficial to you, as protecting and projecting yourself, you are providing a pathway for others and the betterment of your communities.

— About the Author —

Edward B. Toupin is an author, publisher, life-strategy coach, counselor, Reiki Master, technical writer, and PhD Candidate living in Las Vegas, NV. Among other things, he authors books, articlesScience Articles, and screenplays on topics ranging from career success through life organization and fulfillment. Check out some of his recent print and electronic books as well as his articles covering various life-changing topics!

Addictions – Spirituality vs Religion

Why spirituality and religion are two distinct practices, and why only one of them is beneficial to addiction freedom.

Without question, addiction freedom does require a spiritual transformation. And while Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) should be credited with uncovering that element, most participants fail to make an authentic spiritual transformation. I believe this can be mainly attributed to the false pretense that spirituality is somehow connected to religion. Spirituality and religion are distinctly and undeniably different practices. Religion is a community or group practice while spirituality is a personal journey. The practice of outward ideals and doctrines is not, nor has it ever been, a substitute for inner righteousness. Can one practice religion and spirituality? Yes, of course! However, one should not assume they are synonymous because they aren’t! Ironically, this is exactly what occurs in the Twelve-Step Program. Alcoholics Anonymous professes its independence from organized religion, but that’s a bit disingenuous since the majority of programming is sponsored by churches and various religious denominations. Moreover, two of the early, influential leaders of (AA) were deeply rooted in religion. Frank Buchman was a Lutheran minister, and Samuel shoemaker was a rector in the Episcopal faith.

While the end goal of both spirituality and religion is to establish a personal relationship with the divine, only spirituality can deliver on that promise. Religion is a community or group based practice, which usually follows a doctrine or set of ideals. When practiced correctly, spirituality is a personal journey that encompasses self-reflection, discovery, growth and a greater connection to ones higher consciousness and the divine. Truthfully, I have nothing against religion if it is practiced authentically. However, when it is not and is passed off as spirituality it becomes a grand facade that is completely counterproductive to addiction recovery. This is why many folks in (AA) trade masks or exhibit a behavioral transference. In other words, they transfer their addiction to (AA) or religion. Four of the steps of (AA) touch on self-discovery and selflessness, however, that valuable guidance is quickly quashed by the concept of powerlessness.

A spiritual practice must be born in the fire of liberation. One’s higher consciousness or spirit doesn’t exist in the realm of anger, resentment, jealousy, envy, judgment or fear. Consequently, to make that connection you must take the necessary action to relinquish your fears and insecurities. To put it bluntly, you must wipe the slate clean. It really boils down to looking your demons squarely in the eye! However, it’s hard to liberate or empower yourself if you’re being told that you are powerless! Think about it! Have you allowed others to usurp your personal power, strip your personal identity, or prevent you from following your true divine purpose? These issues can only be addressed in an authentic spiritual practice. If you’d like to embark on an authentic spiritual path, begin by examining you fears and self-limiting beliefs. Adopt a set of principles and stand firmly – no matter what anyone says or does. Take back your personal power by learning to say what you mean and mean what you say. Say no to others when it’s necessary. And, learn to speak your will in a calm and confident way.

In Summary, religion and spirituality can be practiced together; however, they are vastly different paths. Religion is a community path while spirituality is a personal journey. The path that is most beneficial to addiction freedom is spirituality.

If you’d like more information on overcoming addictions or how to make an authentic spiritual transformation, click on the links below to get a free copy of my E-Course!

RegardsFree Reprint Articles,

David Roppo

The Addiction Freedom Coach

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