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Spiritual Awakening for Geeks

Religion & Spirituality Podcas

A show for independent spiritual explorers who seek peace of mind, better relationships, and a more meaningful life.


United States


A show for independent spiritual explorers who seek peace of mind, better relationships, and a more meaningful life.



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The Cycle of Spiritual Practice

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)


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Awakening as a Creative Process

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)


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Awakening to the Extraordinary

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)


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Catching Up

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)


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Stop Getting Indoctrinated by Your Favorite Groups

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)


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How Spiritual Groups Support Awakening

Many groups are available to provide support for your spiritual journey—from religions to spiritual movements to self-help groups. For simplicity, I’m going to call all of them spiritual groups. What all spiritual groups have in common is that they all support spiritual awakening, which I define as evolution toward greater empowerment and greater compassion. Let's explore some of the unique ways that spiritual groups can support awakening. (read more)


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Teachers and Teaching

Spiritual teachers are our guides to awakening—and they’re all around us. In this episode, I’ll describe the many types of spiritual teachers (including some types you might not have considered), I’ll show you how to get to know a teacher before you enter a student-teacher relationship, and I’ll show you how to avoid problems with spiritual teachers—problems like idealization and exploitation. Finally, I’ll explore various routes to becoming a teacher yourself. (read more)


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Do-It-Yourself Awakening

Contemplative technology invites a do-it-yourself approach to awakening. When practical knowledge about awakening is packaged in relatively inexpensive, accessible technology, this makes it possible for independent-minded people to use powerful tools for awakening---while being less dependent on spiritual teachers and communities. In this episode, I describe some of my experiences with a do-it-yourself approach to awakening, and I explore the pros and cons of such an approach. (read more)


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Technology for Awakening

Meditation instructions can be viewed as a form of technology; if that’s surprising to you, I’ll explain. In this episode, I clarify what technology for awakening is, and I describe the roles that religion, science, and engineering have played in developing this technology. I talk about how technology has supported my own spiritual journey, and I explore how devices and entheogens can be helpful for awakening. (read more)


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How I Became a Zealot (Then Freed Myself)

In this episode, I’ll tell you the story of how I adopted my first spiritual practice, and I’ll describe how that practice had some negative effects on me that I hadn’t foreseen. I’ll talk about how I eventually freed myself from those negative effects, and I’ll tell you what I learned from the whole experience. (read more)


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The Call of Awakening

As I see it, awakening is a process—a process that we all participate in. Part of that process is a powerful feeling that we all have from time to time; this feeling serves as an invitation to move forward on our spiritual path. I call this feeling the call of awakening. By learning to recognize this feeling, you can become a more active participant in your own process of awakening. In this episode, you'll learn how to recognize when life is offering you an invitation to awaken, and you'll learn how to respond when you receive such an invitation. You'll also learn what I mean by awakening, and you'll learn how awakening is related to mindfulness, insight, and evolution. (read more)