"Desperately Seeking Spirituality" is about why and when traditional spiritual practices stop working. These are the words of Meredith Gould, the author of "Desperately Seeking Spirituality: A Field Guide To Practice." Meredith is my guest on The Mike Sevilla Podcast - Episode 358.
For the past few years, Meredith and I have been talking about the intersection of faith, spirituality, religion, medicine, and healthcare. I was raised Roman Catholic, and as a part of our discussions, I shared with her my frustrations with organized religion. She outlines some of this in the first section of her book.
In the second section of her book, Meredith outlines the five spiritual practices of being: Willingness, Curiosity, Empathy, Generosity, and Delight. I discuss in the interview, that not only does she outlines these practices in the book, she challenges the reader to examine themselves on each one of these practices. I know I was pretty arrogant to believe that I was exhibiting these practices all the time. But, when I put the spiritual mirror up to myself, there were times that I did not like what I saw. But, definitely a growing experience for me.
In the third and final section of the book. Meredith says now that you have these five spiritual practices of being, be careful and don't exhibit "Spiritual Practice Burnout," meaning going "all-in" on all of these practices, and eventually burnout and end up in the same place you were when you started the book. She also talks about "Relaxation and Rest," not "rest and relaxation," in chapter 12.
For me, I really enjoyed the book. As I've gotten to know Meredith through the past few years, I've come to appreciate her knowledge, her wisdom, and her wit. Not only does she make me laugh, she really makes me think about my life's journey, and she really makes me think about life's existential questions: "Who Am I?" and "Why am I here?"
At some point in the past, organized religion answered those questions for me. But, as many people, like me, describe themselves as spiritual but not religious, I'm looking to try to answer those questions looking away from organized religion, and looking in other directions. This book helps you find your own way, and where you end up, is up to you...