The countdown has begun. The final shopping days of this holiday season are at hand. If you're feeling frantic and flustered, consider this thought by Stephanie Kaza, from her article, “Ego in the Shopping Cart,” from Tricycle Magazine.
"Spiritual experience and goods can certainly reinforce a consuming mind, too, and it is no surprise to see this happening in a consumer culture. Marketers are successfully targeting spiritual consumers as a market niche and figuring out exactly what fulfills their self-centered yearnings. How many of these products are necessary for spiritual enlightenment? Probably not one."
I believe what she says is absolutely true. The marketers have our number. They know how to grab our attention if we're "on a spiritual path."
However, I also believe that when we are newly spiritual awakened or are "stumbling toward enlightenment" as Geri Larkin would say, there are certain things that help. Sometimes, having the right props or motivational items around us do guide us toward the meditation cushion or onto our seat of compassion.
This is why I've featured some of "my favorite things" here because sometimes I know I need a gentle shove toward my meditation seat. Or a whisper from a trusted teacher whose voice on a CD urges me to keep my heart open and free of enmity. So, in that spirit, I'm completing my list of My Favorite Things—just for fun—and also because these really are the things that legitimately help me stay "on the path."
Randomly, here there are ...
(I receive no renumeration from these suppliers. I simply believe in what they do and the quality of their products.)
Brush Dance Journals
The best for jotting down thoughts and being inspired to keep doing so. Many are spiral bound for ease of writing; great quality paper and themes that nourish your spirit. On the back of one product line of journals you'll read this passage: "The Brush Dance is a Yurok Indian healing ritual where being true to yourself means giving your best to help a person in need. Being true to yourself is the one and only Yurok Indian law." I agree. www.BrushDance.com
Cards and Prayer Cards by Ministry of the Arts
Ministry of the Arts is a nonprofit ministry sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph., LaGrange, IL. Their vision: "Through the arts we contemplate and express the unity and holiness of all creation, and the heights and depths of the human heart in response to the great mysteries of existence. We affirm the power and prophecy of the arts and believe the arts to be an important ministry for hope and healing in a critical moment of world transformation." My personal favorites are their greeting cards and unique Prayer Cards, perfect for tucking into a note for a friend who needs encouragement. www.ministryofthearts.org
Sounds True Audio Programs
Exceptional audio programs, books, and events featuring today's spiritual luminaries. Interspiritual in focus, Sounds True, embraces the vision of "Many voices, one journey." A quick browse of their online catalogue demonstrates founder Tami Simon's passion for personal and spiritual growth; teachers from all spiritual traditions are honored and showcased. Exceptional audio quality and, very simply, the best value around cost-wise on audio (and downloadable) learning programs. Great sales! www.soundstrue.com
Soundings of the Planet - Music
I've listened to the creations of Dean and Dudley Evenson (and consort) for years. Their company, founded in 1979, is based on the vision of "Peace through Music." Their CDs are Ideal for meditation, healing, and, for me, background for writing. The Evensons were some of the first musicians to combine nature sounds with music to create a completely ambient listening experience. Their recordings are unique and original; each infused with the Earth Resonance Frequency for deep grounding. Any of their albums is exceptional! www.soundings.com
Ingrid Goff-Maidoff - Books and Gifts
This gifted artistan and poet from Martha's Vineyard specializes in beautiful books, cards and gifts to nourish spirited, soul-sacred, love-centered living. I love everything Ingrid creates and enjoy gifting her things to friends, especially tucking her "Fortunes" or "Joy Cards" into personal correspondence. Her book, The Joy Book, literally turned my life around at a time when I was feeling quite joy-less. The "Sanctuary Store" on her website is a soul shopper's delight. You can't go wrong with any item you choose; each item conveys the energy of love and bliss. www.tendingjoy.com. I am blessed that Ingrid is my soul-sister-friend.
Perhaps my musings will help make your holiday gift shopping a bit easier. And don't forget to give generously to yourself, too. Favorite Things like these can create a greater sense of calm, clarity, and wisdom within us by their use— and we can definitely use more of that—especially during the Holiday Season!
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are and how we can best live—kindly and compassionately with ourselves and others.
Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and co-director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.