Top 10 Traps of Spiritual Materialism
Walking the spiritual path can be a tricky adventure. Sometimes we make progress and become more free and loving and wise; sometimes we may think our meditation or prayer or ritual is leading toward enlightenment, but really we're just treading water or even going backwards. The great Tibetan meditation teacher, Chogyam Trunpa, wrote that we are often "deceiving ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques." He called this kind of self-deception spiritual materialism. We all deal with spiritual materialism; here's a list, from my book The Seeker's Guide
, of 10 common pitfalls of spiritual materialism you may encounter on your spiritual journey and the key signs that you're on the path of progress
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The Never-Ending Process of Self-Improvement
You can become so obsessed with your own self-improvement—your story, your victimization, your faults, your fears—that instead of becoming free, you end up caught in a tape-loop. This myopic kind of focus on the self also leads to social apathy. It just isn't true that your self-empowerment and self-healing will necessarily lead to the health and happiness of others and of society. We have to participate in the improvement of more than just ourselves.