Is Spirituality A Matter Of Becoming Less Or More Human? | Touchstones Of The Sacred | Touchstones of the Sacred


Is spirituality a matter of becoming less or more human?

November 28, 2011 By: Michael Nagel Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit



Remain true to the earth, my brethren, with the power of your virtue! Let your bestowing love and your knowledge be devoted to be the meaning of the earth! Thus do I pray and conjure you.

Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal walls with its wings! Ah, there hath always been so much flown-away virtue!

Lead, like me, the flown-away virtue back to the earth- yea, back to body and life: that it may give to the earth its meaning, a human meaning!

~ The character of Zarathustra in Thus Spake Zarathustra

by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher

For far too many spiritual seekers, their spiritual aspiration is like an iron maiden of virtue whose inner critic spikes ceaselessly stab our all-too-human souls. We envision becoming “spiritual” as transcending our humanity rather than becoming more fully human.

Modeling their behavior according to ideas of spirituality that they have read in books, many seekers I meet are genuinely upset with their humanity. Read more »

Creating a Structure of Living that Supports an Inner Life

October 30, 2011 By: Michael Nagel Category: Daily Wisdom, Mind Body Spirit

Busy Roads 150

In my work, I get to see the underbelly of our social order: the patterns of unhappiness and hardship which we suffer alone, but which are shared by others in epidemic proportions. These are the disorders of society which breed widespread personal unhappiness.

James Hillman, Jungian analyst, alludes to just such a societal disorder when he comments that one of the hardest things which he has to treat is his clients’ schedules. Hillman notes that their schedules are their defenses against change. Said another way, your personal organizer is your defense. Your to-do list is your personal tyrant. Your busyness is your soul’s captor. We haven’t the time to allow into our lives the changes that would be a salve to our souls.

Another expression of this societal disorder is a profoundly unhappy friend who regularly works 60 to 80 hour weeks. When asked why she doesn’t refuse to work such hours, she replies, “I can’t.” She’s is afraid of losing her job, although she is losing her soul. She notes her company’s informal motto is “excellence through anxiety.” I kid you not. It reminds me of another person who mentioned his company’s informal motto is “excellence through paranoia.” Read more »

Life’s Trump Card

September 28, 2011 By: Michael Nagel Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit, Teachings

cards crop

Imagine you’re playing a card game. A very unusual card game. Matter of fact, it’s a game you play every day. It’s called, “Life”. Every day, you’re dealt the cards of your life situation. Every day the same other player wins. Here’s today’s play.

The cards are dealt: today’s life situation.

The first player throws out a judgment. “It shouldn’t be like this!”

The next player tosses in an expectation. “I’m disappointed.”

The third player slams down an argument. Read more »

Looking for Direction in All the Wrong Places

September 06, 2011 By: Michael Nagel Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit


I work with many intelligent people. Despite their intelligence, often they are stymied by dilemmas with which they have struggled in thought – often for a very long time. Occasionally I may remark, “With your obvious intelligence and with all your thinking about this, if you haven’t yet arrived at answer, perhaps it might be because you’ve been searching for your answer in the wrong place.”

Such dilemmas remind me of the crazy wisdom teacher, Nasruddin, an Islamic character whose humorous exploits are spiritual teachings with many depths of meaning. Let me paraphrase one of my favorite Nasruddin stories, for it may suggest an answer to such getting stuck. Read more »

Celebrate Your Dreams part 1

July 19, 2010 By: celedra Category: About Us, Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit, The Longing

The beginning of a 10 part series in becoming free! Your authentic, beautiful essence is awaiting revelation and it is a breath away. Using the metaphor of a garden, we will weed out and unfold the essence of who you are.

Each video has an accompanying worksheet to deepen your experience. To receive the worksheets simply add your name to our email list and check the “Celebrate Your Dreams” interest box in the confirmation/profile settings email you receive. The worksheets will be automatically sent to you within 24 hours of confirmation. If you are already on our email list you will automatically receive the worksheets.

Love to hear your feedback and comments. Love to you!

Watch the video

Giving Birth

November 04, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit


I’m stripping – one fear at a time, one feeling at a time, one label, one tear. I’m stripped of each element of my person. Who is doing the stripping I can’t really say. Am I the perpetrator? Is this stripping societal, accidental, an act of God? All I know is it is happening whether I like it or not, regardless if I’m ready or not.

Sara Davidson writes in her latest bestseller Leap! What Will We Do With the Rest of Our Lives? that this act – the “s” word – is “when the supports that prop up your identity are kicked away.” Now I understand intellectually that my identity is not truly who I AM. I know on a deeper level of being alive, I am not this body that isn’t as perfect as I may want or a mother who desperately loves her three children -the youngest having returned to college today. I don?t want to believe I am unemployed or worse, unemployable. Read more »

The Feminine Face of God – Reflections on Ch. 1

September 05, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Sacred Spirit Book Club


Reading the first chapter of The Feminine Face of God, I was immediately drawn in by the authors’ authentic and very personal approach. The authors took on “the seemingly impossible challenge: to give birth and be midwives at the same time”. I think this multi-faceted role is one of the greatest challenges that women on a spiritual journey face today.

If we are to nurture, protect and even guide ourselves (like midwives) throughout the journey of sacred awakening, we must have time and space in which to retreat for contemplation and connection to our inborn spiritual source. Because modern culture fills our schedules to bursting with career and social obligations (projects and events we must ?birth? and ?mother?) that rarely fulfill our deepest needs, it is no wonder many of us are completely disconnected from our own divine nature and innate wisdom. Read more »

Stephen & Ondrea Levine – Deep Gratitude

August 22, 2009 By: celedra Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit, Teachings

Stephen & Ondrea Levine

During my almost 15 years of hospice work, it was always Stephen and Ondrea Levine that provided meaning to a sometimes overwhelming sense of loss and suffering. His books, A Gradual Awakening and Who Dies, became like my bible, a constant well of words that filled my soul and helped me be present and accepting of whatever arose.

Their workshops broke our hearts open with compassion and filled us with infinite light and love. In closing, we would do a Sufi dance, moving from person to person, looking deeply into their eyes, sending and receiving love into our hearts.  The dance was a tribute to one of my favorite phrases of his “The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.” Bless them both for their unique and devoted contribution. Read more »

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