Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spiritual Materialism and...the Finger

Tamara Levitt (Super Spiritual Girl) is not an overachiever but is the founder of Begin Within (and production company) with resources, blogs, music, and videos designed to inspire and assist, educate and entertain (

I’ve had it up to here with spiritual materialism: spending $200 on yoga outfits, the abundance of self-proclaimed gurus repackaging ancient Eastern spiritual principles into fragmented Coles [Cliff] Notes versions, and books and films that suggest that if we simply repeat our daily affirmations we’ll attract the perfect partner and a super high paying job.

And if it doesn’t attract them, we must be doing it wrong. Suddenly, personal growth is all about outcome. Everybody’s jumping on the spiritual bandwagon. But hey, it’s hip. It’s cool. It’s fun. Let’s all chant “Namaste” together!

I don’t know, personally my spiritual path hasn’t always been so hip, cool, and fun. It has often felt beautiful. But along that path there has also been pain. When I was in my early 20s being spiritual wasn’t hip at all.

I spent my evenings hanging out with people 30 years older than I was in Buddhist and meditation classes. I remember feeling isolated, with a mind full of questions, desperately wanting to share my path.

I felt such frustration that everyone my own age was hanging out in bars getting wasted instead of wanting to discuss concepts such as impermanence and emptiness. It was a lonely time. Even now, I consider myself a happy person, but my current path is by no means a simple one.

I’m grateful to have connected with an abundance of authentic, aligned seekers and feel no lack of sangha [spiritual community]. But similar to when I was younger, I still feel disconnected from the mainstream.

Before, this disconnect was due to an absence of spiritual support, and now it involves me questioning the authenticity of fellow seekers and the teachings available. I find myself concerned about what the Westernized spiritual movement has become. More>>

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