Tailor Made Travels to Asia

Asia is the largest continent in the world and it is also the most populous. Unlike the other continents, Asia is an extremely diverse continent, not just geographically, but also culturally, in terms of religion, economies etc. It is witnessing high population and economical growth rates and will continue to grow at a fast pace in the future too.

Asia – Mysticism and Enigma

Asia has always been regarded as a somewhat mystical and enigmatic region. This aura continues to draw travellers to it from across the globe. There are many countries in Asia that are key tourist destinations. One can either choose an off-the-shelf package from an agent, or choose the more personalised option of tailor made travels to Asia.

India – Asia’s Jewel

India is one of the most popular tourist destinations in not only Asia, but the world. In fact, inbound travel in India is growing at a fantastic rate. Owing to greater focus by its government on tourism, better infrastructure, heightened security measures and the general charm of the country, more and more tourists are planning their holidays to this mystical place.

India, just like Asia, does not stand for one culture or for a homogenous population. India is a continent in itself. The sheer size of the country, coupled with its diversity, makes a journey to India an endeavour that cannot be completed in one go. The Himalayas comprise of breathtaking destinations like Leh-Ladakh, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh. Northern India houses the dynamic capital city of New Delhi and other culturally rich states like Rajasthan and West Bengal. The iconic Taj Mahal is also situated in North India. South India is dramatically different from its northern counterpart. Speckled with beaches, islands, coconut trees and a more laidback attitude, South India is a different experience altogether.

Surrounding India

From the tip of South India, one can saunter off to Sri Lanka, called the Emerald Isle of the South. Surrounding North India, countries such as Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan are as enigmatic as they are pristine and beautiful. The entrenched footprint of Buddhism in these countries lends them a serene and spiritual ambience.

Hot Asian Destinations

Other key destinations in Asia include Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam, and many more. Indonesia is another up and coming stop on the maps of travellers. The relatively cheaper currency, pristine beaches and party lifestyle make Bali and other islands on this archipelago hot travel destinations.

Was Paul a Mystic?

Recently I received an email which raised the question of whether the Apostle Paul was a mystic due to his third heaven experience. Let me emphatically state that there is no such thing as a “Christian” mystic. Many who make this assertion do so on the basis of II Cor.12:2-4, which describes an isolated incidence of Paul being carried to the Third Heaven.

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago-whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows-such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man-whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows-was caught up into Paradise, and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

In verse 2 the term “caught up” is the Greek work harpazo which is translated as seizing something by force. In this instance, the word harpazo is in the aorist tense, denoting a one time occurrence. This was a one time occurrence that God himself initiated.

We must actively seek to separate Christianity from the mystery religions. Our communion and connection with God comes through divine grace and the shed blood of Jesus and not through any spiritual exercises that we ourselves perform! Reacting to revelation is far different than conjuring these spiritual experiences through the practice of any of the mystic disciplines or contemplative traditions. If our spirituality is dependent upon anything that we ourselves perform then we are basing it on works and not on faith!

It is imperative to state that Paul did not embrace a works based faith. Paul’s spirituality was squarely focused on grace and in no way did Paul promote experiencing God in a mystic way. When you compare Paul’s third heaven experience to the rest of his ministry it becomes an obscure and isolated event. He had this experience only once in 14 yrs of ministry. Modern day seekers of third heaven experiences would have us believe that they can visit the third heaven on a daily basis. Indeed, they must be more “spiritual” than the Apostle Paul!

It is important to emphasize that Paul did not initiate this encounter nor did he in any way point to this experience as something for us to emulate. He most certainly did not teach others, how to take the journey! Self styled apostles and prophets operating in the contemplative and mystic traditions not only claim to have made multiple trips to the third heaven but also teach others through conferences, books and tapes, how they too can have similar encounters! Seeking third heaven experiences “by faith” is not biblical and should under no circumstances be engaged in.

These experiences as they are being taught today are no different than the occult. What they report and engage in is astral travel (astral meaning heavens). A true blood-bought child of God has Christ residing within and does not need to seek him through mystical third heaven experiences.

Defining Practical Mysticism in Shamanic Work

Practical Mysticism – what is it? Many use the word mysticism (some may even say abused) to define their practice in metaphysical and psychic work, but what is it really.

Mysticsim is discovering your ultimate self reality. Self reality is the relationship of masculine/feminine energy, the mind, and the Universe. To have a relationship with the Universe, you must discover if there is a supreme power that exists and make contact with it. Mysticism in practical terms is the ability to experience a supreme universal being within one’s ownself so that you are able to be intuitively guided in all you do and create the life you desire.

The main practice in mysticism is mystical meditation which is where the attempt to make contact with the supreme universal being. The goal is to develop a second sight in order to see into yourself.

We will use a simple candle in the meditation exercise. This is a perfect example of beginning to form the second sight. The second five minutes you will begin, after some practice, to continue to hold the imagery of the flame in your sight even when you close your eyes.

One may also begin to see other after-images from the experience such as clouds of various colors, inner lights, or dimensional images that seemingly have no relationship to the flame. It is important to remember a few things, each image is coming from you sub-conscious mind and originates from somewhere.

Why do we practice this type of meditation in shamanic work? Meditation is foundation work in shamanic work. There are various levels of meditation work from relaxation to self-induced hypnotic states to astral travel.

It has been said that meditation is simply listening, if this is true mystical meditation is hearing rather than simply listening.

Self-Programming or Self-Induced Hypnosis

Self-programming is aimed at placing what you want for consciousness and awareness to be in the sub-conscious mind. Over 90% of all your decision making is done in the sub-conscious mind, thus if you wish to change the basis of your decision making, you must change your sub-conscious mind.

Self-programming can:

  • shift your relationships with family, friends and co-workers
  • increase your magnetic energy level
  • increase optimism for life
  • better decision making
  • intuitive guidance instantly
  • and more opportunities to create effortlessly

Candle meditation

Light a candle and have it approximately 2 feet in front of you. Sit relaxed. Feet flat on the floor. Palms resting comfortably on lap. Inhale deeply and exhale. Each breath focused upon the flame of the candle. Repeat until you can feel yourself drawn by the flame.

Focus your eyes on the flame of the candle with a fixed gaze. Don’t wander from the flame. Remain as relaxed as possible, motionless. Try not to tense as focus on the flame. Remain motionless fixed on the flame for 5 minutes (you may want to put a timer on so that you don’t focus on anything but the flame)

After the 5 minutes, close your eyes and remain still motionless and breath normally with your focus on your forehead right between your brows for 5 minutes.

Open your eyes once more and again look at the flame but this time without fixing on it. Do this for five minutes.

Now end the meditation by simply closing your eyes, inhaling deeply, and say thank you.