Maya centers on the fact that our beliefs create all reality that matters to us. The most intriguing part about this is that, this illusion nevertheless functions. Its actually an issue in semantics while translating the Sanskrit word to English. In English, an illusion does not function. Beliefs are capable of creating full blown experiences. But the greatest power in our hands is to choose/not to choose to play the game of beliefs.
I read an interesting quote somewhere.
“The world we experience and the life we live, are the reflections of our thoughts. The mind creates a world of illusion. By changing our thoughts, we change the illusion and experience a different reality. We do not create a world, only an illusion that looks real. No unusual power is involved here. We are living in Maya and are changing the Maya.”
There are 2 examples I can think of:
In the movie peaceful warrior, the master tells the student that as a reward for all the hard work he is going to take him to a magical place. The master and student trek for long along a rough mountain path. The student is hyper excited all the while. When they finally reach the top, the master says that this is it. With this the student is instantly turned off and he asks the master if all he wanted to show was the view from the mountain top. The master says no, and lifts up an ordinary stone and says this is what I wanted to show. With this the student is even more disappointed.
There is another example I can recall from childhood. Once a guy was told by his friend that a girl in his class found him attractive and liked him. He trusted that friend and therefore thought it was really true. For the next 6 months, whenever he looked at that girl, he was primed to think that she was admiring him or giving him furtive glances. His whole opinion about her was transformed. He started to create a soft corner for her in his mind which was free from judgment. Also, he would be extra nice while talking to her. At the end of these 6 months, the friend revealed that it was just a prank and that girl did not mention anything about him. Now this guy was suddenly disillusioned.
So this example shows how a belief in something can transform the entire journey and induce all kinds of experiences. Now the complexity here is that though the belief was not based in reality, the experiences created by them were real. This is the power of illusion. It really creates experience inside you. In the above 2 examples, we can clearly see that the journey element was filled with rich experience. Though the final destination was not corresponding with the starting belief.