Tag Archives | Elephant Journal

Overcoming Chronic Pain to Walk a Pilgrimage


I describe my path of preparing for Spain’s Camino de Santiago spiritual pilgrimage, when I’ll also participate in the Deep Democracy Institute‘s intensive seminar for large group facilitation in Barcelona, on elephant journal:

Living with chronic illness I often cycle between gratitude for life’s hidden meanings, a subtle aching for a cure, and a spiral of despair when one fails to appear. But now I’m seeing those aren’t the only options.

Muscle pain, exhaustion, and mental fog have been a daily part of my life for most of the last four years. The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) doesn’t provide an adequate medical explanation, since the condition is still poorly understood.

At the beginning, I couldn’t help but interpret this situation through a mystical lens. It had to be part of a “spiritual crisis.” Only that perspective made any sense—that “the universe” had unforeseen plans for me.

The illness has undoubtedly sent me down a path of self-development that I might have never have found in “normal” health.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Ten Obstacles to Sane Spirituality

EctoplasmicSnotJulian Walker wrote this excellent overview of New Age flakiness, and gives some corrective measures.

via Elephant Journal:

I am passionate about the relationships between three things:

> inquiry-based practices (yoga, meditation, bodywork and ecstatic dance happen to be my favorites)

> critical thinking (also called “viveka” in yogic parlance, or discriminating wisdom)

> and shadow work (after Jung – the psychological idea that we have a “shadow” that is where we hide the emotions, experiences, thoughts and aspects of self that we would rather not face. Shadow work then is the process of courageously turning inward to bring honest awareness and compassionate attention to this place.)

Having been a yoga teacher for the last 18 years, and having spent my adult life swimming in the waters of popular spirituality, my sense is that more often than not these three elements are missing both in theory and practice. My sense is that this comes down to one revelatory observation.

Read the rest
Continue Reading