For any given set of spiritual practices, there are many possible approaches to (or ways of engaging with) those practices. This article describes ten such approaches (that we tend to cycle through) and four zones of spiritual practice: reason versus intuition, and tradition versus creativity. By the end of this article/episode, you'll understand the cycle of spiritual practice; you'll understand the ten different approaches within that cycle; you'll understand the four zones of spiritual practice; and you'll start to recognize your edges for growth (you'll recognize which approaches and zones you're comfortable in and which approaches and zones seem less familiar). You'll also get a little better at recognizing oppression and exploitation in spiritual groups. (read more)
The Spiritual Awakening for Geeks Podcast
Part of the Spiritual Awakening for Geeks project.
If you want to awaken, how do you know what to do? How do you know when to seek the guidance of a spiritual group or teacher, how do you know which group or teacher to choose, and how do you know when it's time to leave that group or teacher and move on? In many ways, this problem is similar to the creative task faced by an artist, an engineer, or an entrepreneur. In this episode, I explain what the creative process is and how that relates to spirituality and awakening. I define what I mean by a mystic, and I talk about how mystics use the creative process to create their own spiritual path. I also talk about how mystics can transcend existing spiritual patterns to become spiritual pioneers. (read more)
Everything religious, spiritual, or sacred is based on something set apart as special or extraordinary. In this episode, I describe spiritual awakening as a cycle of sensing, pursuing, and integrating the extraordinary. In the first part of this cycle, we sense the extraordinary and turn our attention toward it; in the second part, we pursue the extraordinary, navigating toward it and learning to recognize it; and in the third part, we integrate the extraordinary back into ordinary life. I illustrate this cycle with examples from my life, and I describe some problems that can arise along the way. (read more)
It’s been almost four months, so let’s catch up! In this episode, I discuss my thoughts and feelings about this show and how it’s been evolving; I give some background information on my latest article, “Stop Getting Indoctrinated by Your Favorite Groups;” I talk about my experiences with ecstatic movement and my recent forays into sociology and philosophy; and I discuss episodes of a few other shows. (read more)
In my 30s, I was involved in a group that promoted Nonviolent Communication, a practice that helped me gain self-awareness, empathy, and conflict resolution skills. Unfortunately, my involvement in this group had an unintended side effect: over the course of a decade, I gradually lost my ability to think critically about Nonviolent Communication itself, and I eventually became somewhat of a true believer. During this time, I had similar experiences—though to a lesser degree—with various spiritual and environmental groups, too. Eventually, I noticed a pattern. After encountering helpful ideas, I was getting involved with groups of people that were promoting those ideas, then I was losing my ability to think critically about those ideas—almost as if I’d been brainwashed. This article is my attempt to shed some light on this pattern and explore what we can do about it. (read more)