“Real religion is the transformation of anxiety into laughter.” – Alan Watts

Before we jump in, some sad news:

Today is our last daily email until mid-August.

Our retreat begins on Sunday, and I’ll spend the next few days polishing our curriculum and maybe squeezing in a bit of rest before the event.

Of course, I could catch a wild streak and write to you out of the blue from time to time.

But let’s plan on this being our final installment until I’m home and rested on the other side.

And, let’s make it a good one 🙂

(shout out to Seamus who requested today’s lesson)

Today, we’re finally going to crack open the murky, misunderstood topic of…

(deep breath…)


A loaded term, I know.

But only because it means so many different things to so many different people.

So let’s give it a clear, simple, universal definition:

“Spirituality” is the measure of how smoothly “spirit” — aka. universal intelligence, God, Tao, nature, whatever name you prefer — runs through our system, unobstructed by ego.

Imagine a hose with a stream of water running through it.

The hose is ego; you as you view yourself, separate from everything else.

The water is spirit; the universal intelligence that creates and organizes reality.

If the hose is kinked, blocked, clogged, or otherwise obstructed — less water flows through it, which means less spirit flows through you.

Doesn’t matter if you wear white robes, recite fancy mantras, never miss a day of church, memorize the Tao Te Ching and the Bible, and can touch your toes to your ears during hot yoga.

None of that becomes “spiritual” until spirit actually moves through your system while you do it.

Which is no small ask, because the ego is a tricky beast.

The trickiest, in fact.

Here’s a short list of how we block spirit with our ego:

– Thinking of ourselves as “spiritual”

– Thinking of ourselves as important / special

– Rigidly defending our beliefs

– Mistaking personal beliefs and opinions as facts

– Repressing uncomfortable emotions

– Trying to look good in the eyes of others

– Trying to improve ourselves

– Taking things personally

– Comparing ourselves to others

– Wishing ill on others

– Getting attached to material things

– Getting attached to specific outcomes

– Thinking of ourselves as separate from everything else

– Wanting to be “more spiritual” (hint: the thing that wants it is the thing that is blocking it)

And, especially:

– Not being completely and utterly and constantly in awe of the sheer, dazzling beauty of reality.

And that’s just a short list.

We could be here for days listing the ways our ego cuts our spiritual legs out from under us.

There is a lot more to say on this topic, like:

– How ego is not the enemy; an under-developed ego that can’t get out of it’s own way is the enemy.

– How spirituality is not just love and light and angels and heaven, but everything (nothing is not God).

– How the spiritual journey is not about becoming “better” (which is just another an ego game) — it’s about becoming who you most naturally are.

And a whole lot more.

The more I write, the more I realize how long this email could get…

But I need to go get ready for our retreat 🙂

I hope this email gives you some material to chew on while I’m away — let me know if you’d like to pick the discussion back up later on.

Have an amazing few weeks over there, and I’ll see you on the other side…

– T

By admin

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