Spirituality as fashion or lifestyle statement.
Editor’s note: Most folks have enjoyed this list. It makes fun of ourselves. But some of us (see comments!) wonder, what’s the point, Waylon!? Here’s the point: enjoy yourself. The point is to make fun of ourselves, and awareness, and awareness of what genuine spirituality might be, or might not be. It ain’t commercialism.
It’s not that YOU or me are saying what genuine spirituality is (as they say in Zen Buddhism, the second you say it, it’s no longer true), but that it can be helpful to point out a genuine path that’s helpful for humans, as opposed to be captured by their own theism or hero-worship or longing for a cozy cult.
And finally, in case you think judging is the problem, remember: you judge what to have for lunch. Should I eat this dog poop? Or an organic apple? That’s judgement. The problem is pre-judgement–prejudice–being caught in our preconceptions. That’s what meditation works with, and that’s why meditation can be frustratingly hard to monetize! But don’t worry, we’ll keep trying, this is the land of capitalism!
Are you a SUV-driving-hippie/sorta-Buddhist/insta-yogi? Want everyone to know how holy you are? Read on!
1. Mala on wrist; mined out of cave wherever, who cares…never used for actual meditation practice.
2. Tattoo of OM (“it means, you know…’the light inside of me bows to me'”) or anything in Sanskrit that takes long enough to explain that you can impress the casual question-asker over bobo tea in Bali.
3. Lululemon/Aloyoga/Nike/Outdoor Voices etc. toxic plastic yoga pants made overseas…as everyday wear.
4. Co-Exist bumper sticker on your Lexus SUV
6. GT’s Kombucha.*
7. email signature includes “injoi” or “all one family”
8. non-sequitor Burning Man references: “Oh, I never go to the bathroom at Whole Foods; the lines are worse than Black Rock City.”
10. Must-have café accessory: Brene Brown, Pema Chodron, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle or, cunningest of all, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (book held upside-down with unbent spine). Huge fan of matcha or chaga or mate (the less well-known/the pricier the better) with alternative milk, doesn’t matter if it’s organic or heavy liquid shipping across continent or even from Australia emitting carbon all the way, packaged in non-recyclable plastic stuff. Planet? Whatever!
Extra Credit: Crystals! Vision Boards; sage incense; Dr. Bronner’s; electric car or hybrid; Essential Oils in lieu of deodorant, cologne, perfume; altar on dashboard or sacred stuff/ feathers/ dream catcher hanging from rearview mirror, Dalai Lama or Rumi or Hafiz or Buddha (doesn’t matter really) quote book on toilet; live in Boulder, Berkeley, Madison, Lincoln, Lawrence, Brooklyn, Santa Monica or Venice, Austin, Ashland, Missoula, Asheville, Portland, Seattle, Eugene, Flagstaff; vacation in Belize, Sayulita, Costa Rica, Bali India or Tibet; subscribe to elephantjournal.com
A few reader suggestions: Mandala beach blanket, pottery vessel filled with half burned Palo Santo blocks, trust fund, CBD everything, dog named Karma, password Yogi108, Ram Dass quotes on Instagram stories; expensive bike, not used for transportation though–SUV driving to far flung trails because local trails aren’t good enough. What climate change? From Lori: Uses “Goddess Bless” and really means it; Invites you to Ecstatic Dance and clears your Chakras through movements not unlike the OA; invites you to their current MLM party peddling the next essential oil, Miracle Powder, CBD infused products and still invites you even when you say no thanks.; Is truly the he sweetest person and you love them nonetheless. Couple’s colonics played to the tune of blue whales mating though; saying “Tribe” to describe any group we’re a part of; wearing Spiritual Gangster (plastic mix, made overseas, not organic); will add more as more come in!