Stumbling Mystic Podcast – How Can We Integrate Our Spiritual Experience Into Daily Life?

Those of us committed to a spiritual path walk a line between wanting to advance, but also knowing we have no place to go. To be spiritual is not really to achieve. And yet, we do all of this for a reason. We want to see some change in ourselves and in the world around us.

One such “goal” on this goal-less path is to integrate what we do and feel in our spiritual life into our normal daily experience. Can we stay connected to the spiritual mystery longer and more frequently, can we allow the benefits of spiritual practice to permeate us so that we are changed?

In the seventh and final Episode of Season 1 of the Stumbling Mystic podcast, I turned to the topic of integration. My guests talk about the many ways they integrate the Sacred and the ordinary, including wonder, awe, the healing power of nature, slowing down, exchange with others in your community, subtle energy, and more.

You can listen below to Episode 7, “How Can We Integrate Our Spiritual Experience Into Daily Life?” Or, visit the podcast page, or listen on your favorite podcast platform.

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Stumbling Mystic Podcast – What Is the Spiritual Response to a World on Fire?

War, armed conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine, Syria, Yemen and many other places, nuclear threat, climate change, future pandemics, authoritarian governments, social upheaval, and more – thinking about the issues we face can paint a gloomy picture.

Where do we find hope? How can we find a path forward toward positive change? What is the spiritual response to issues that are enormous and seem unsolvable?

These are the questions I asked my guests for this week’s episode of the Stumbling Mystic podcast. The conversations we had left me inspired and hopeful. My guests were frank in their assessment of our situation, but placed our current times in a larger context of transformation and renewal.

You can listen below to Episode 6 of the Stumbling Mystic Podcast, “What Is the Spiritual Response to a World on Fire?” Or, visit the podcast page, or listen on your favorite podcast platform.

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Stumbling Mystic Podcast – The Inner Dimensions of Spiritual Practice

It seems like the demands of work and the pace of technology are ever-increasing, adding pressure to accomplish more, process faster, and run madly just to stay ahead of the game.

A spiritual practice with a contemplative component slows the pace of daily living. If we can lift our awareness out of the fog and flailing of activity, we can attune to the dimensions of life that are resting just below the surface. The key to practice is to make it a habit so that its qualities can permeate.

Choosing spiritual practices that work for us is a personal decision. My conversations in this week’s episode show a variety of approaches to practice, including:

  • Differing views on whether meditation is “mandatory” for modern mystics;

  • How to use the body as the grounding vehicle for practice;

  • Use of a tantric sexual practice to circulate energy within the body;

  • Practicing in nature as a way to restore strength and balance;

  • Service as a spiritual practice;

  • Songwriting as a spiritual practice.

You can listen below to Episode 5 of the Stumbling Mystic Podcast, “The Inner Dimensions of Spiritual Practice.” Or, visit the podcast page, or listen on your favorite podcast platform.

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Stumbling Mystic Podcast – Mysticism, Seeing the Sacred Everywhere

If you feel lost in the spiritual landscape of modern society, you’re not alone. Many seekers today feel unsupported in their search, caught between the skepticism of secular culture and the dogma of traditional religion.

Mysticism is not strange or exotic. It is sitting right beneath the surface of our normal experience, shimmering and alive. Ultimately, mysticism is a new way of seeing that makes the whole world Sacred. In Episode 4 of the Stumbling Mystic podcast, “Mysticism, Seeing the Sacred Everywhere,” we talk about:

  • The direct experience of the Sacred that is beyond reason, a mystery that Joseph Campbell says can be known but not told;

  • Mysticism as a path beyond religion and skepticism;

  • Development of our own inner knowing that intuitively understands we come from and return to Source.

You can listen below to Episode 4. Or, visit the podcast page, or listen on your favorite podcast platform.

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Stumbling Mystic Podcast – How Does Traditional Religion Support our Spiritual Life?

What are we to do with traditional religion? As an institution, it has been a foundation for the faithful for eons, and yet is a turn-off for so many spiritual seekers today. Is there a place for religion in the spiritual life of a modern mystic?

In Episode 3 of the Stumbling Mystic podcast, I turned to two long-time friends who are actively committed to their faith to help me understand this topic. In our conversations, I was struck by how profoundly the structure of religion supported their deep, rich spirituality, as well as how much they struggled with conflicted feelings about that very structure.

You can listen below to Episode 3 of the Stumbling Mystic podcast, “How Does Traditional Religion Support our Spiritual Life?” Or, visit the podcast page, or listen on your favorite podcast platform.

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Stumbling Mystic Podcast – Using the Wounds of Trauma to Heal

Whether we have faced severe events like war or physical assault, or the garden-variety insults and wounds inherent in life, we are all affected by trauma. It is the unifying condition of human experience and the cause of much suffering.

One of the reasons we are drawn to spirituality is a desire to heal. Many of us feel that we are broken, need to be fixed, maybe even that we are unlovable. But there are some approaches to spiritual growth that help us encounter pain and some that suppress pain. One promotes healing and the other does not.

In Episode 2 of the Stumbling Mystic podcast, I spoke with therapists, coaches and healers to understand how the power of trauma can hinder or accelerate our spiritual growth. We talk about:

  • How trauma causes us to disassociate from our bodies in order to survive;

  • The need to reinhabit and celebrate the body as the path to healing;

  • How somatic work allows us to release trauma and excavate our true selves;

  • Whether the spiritual journey is one of experiencing pain and joy in order to bring Spirit into the world of form;

  • Why healing our own wounds is necessary if we are to be healers for others.

You can listen below to Episode 2 of the Stumbling Mystic podcast, “Using the Wounds of Trauma to Heal.” Or, visit the podcast page, or listen on your favorite podcast platform.

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Stumbling Mystic Podcast – How Do I Respond to the Spiritual Impulse?

I was drawn to the spiritual flame at an early age. Questions of ultimate concern have always fascinated me.

The spiritual impulse is a pull that feeds me, delights me, frustrates me, and educates me, continually leading to deeper discoveries about my essential self. I want to understand more about this compelling urge that occupies so much of my energy.

In Episode 1 of the Stumbling Mystic podcast, I talk with my guests about how their experiences nurture their spiritual well-being. Their stories and insights are inspiring:

  • How one person’s grief and anger at the cancer diagnosis of her child led to a spiritual maturity that was big enough to hold her volcanic rage;

  • How a young seminarian found solace from depression by lying before the tabernacle in the middle of the night;

  • How turning toward the difficulties and shadow of our common humanity can help us participate in a collective conscious with others;

  • How the spiritual impulse pulls us into a partnership between our ego self and higher self that is the basis for spiritual growth.

I was struck by the courage, vulnerability and resilience of my guests. Although I’ll never fully grasp the nature of this impulse that draws me toward the Sacred, I am grateful for its power and guidance.

You can listen below to Episode 1, “How Do I Respond to the Spiritual Impulse?” Or visit the podcast page, or listen on your favorite podcast platform.

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

The Stumbling Mystic Podcast – Food for the Spiritual Traveler

I’m a writer. So why am I publishing a podcast?

Because the road is long and the walking is slow. Because the aim of spiritual growth is to transform our way of being, and that kind of change doesn’t happen in the first few miles.

Because we sometimes forget and need reminding. Because we are often lost and need encouragement. Because on such a long walk, we need to be nourished along the way.

That’s why I write the Stumbling Mystic blog, to remind and encourage and nourish and nudge. My writing is a creative and communal practice – writing the blog feeds me, and I hope reading it feeds you as well.

So, to further this creative and communal endeavor, I interviewed ten of my friends and colleagues to gather their insights on the spiritual impulse. These are thoughtful, dynamic spiritual seekers who have been walking the road for years. They generously shared their time and wisdom for this podcast.

Continue reading “The Stumbling Mystic Podcast – Food for the Spiritual Traveler”