Word cloud for practical spirituality

Embracing Practical Spirituality on the Pisces/Virgo Full Moon

I’ve always been a lover of words, how you put them together and pull them apart.

When I was working on my Master’s thesis 25 years ago, I was fascinated by the writing of the feminist theologian Mary Daly — the title of her provocative book, “Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism, gives you an idea of the ways she de-constructed old words and created new ones in powerful, mind-bending ways. Check her out if you’re ready for some pretty brilliant brain food!

And I’ve always loved weaving words together myself that seem contradictory:

Soft intensity — a phrase I offered one of my yoga teachers to describe her classes (she ended up using it in her promo!)

Static movement — a concept I coined with one of my first coaching clients years ago for when things seem quiet on the surface but there’s lots going on underneath.

Ruthless compassion — when you’re struggling to feel empathy for someone and have to dig deep and hard to find an emotional connection.

Practical spirituality. It’s one of those word combinations that’s always fascinated me. The Oxford Dictionary defines spirituality as “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things”. But in order to ground our soul-searching, I believe we must find practical, tangible tools and resources to make it real in our lives.

The Pisces/Virgo Full Moon coming up on September 10th embodies those two qualities perfectly!

In fact, Full Moons in general are always a powerful time to bring together two different energies since the Sun and Moon are in opposite zodiac signs.

When the Moon is in Pisces, it’s a great time for tapping into our intuition and imagination, for “going with the flow”, and for holding compassion and empathy for ourselves and indeed, for all of humanity. And this Virgo season (from August 22 — September 22) brings with it a big dose of practical, quick-thinking mental energy, particularly focused on healthy self careDefinitely join us at Noon this Friday, September 9th for my Full Moon TeleMeditation – we’re back on our regular conference line which you can find below or click HERE.

(Remember, New Moons are when the Sun and Moon are in the same sign – you can read my Virgo New Moon blog to get some ideas about you could tap into that energy, even though the actual New Moon was on August 27th.)

Obviously, practical spirituality is a pretty well-established idea at this point. There are tons of books with that title and my magical friend, Selina Maitreya, was one of the first to incorporate it into her business name. We recently did a wonderful podcast together on “Sacred SELF-Centeredness” as part of her “Hour of Power” video series — you can register for it for free HERE to add to your own practical spirituality toolbox.

And I hope some of my Deb’s Picks below will expand that toolbox, too – I’d love to hear some of yours, and some of the ways that you’ve played with language and word combinations as well!

WILD MERCY by MIRABAI STARR

This one is definitely going on my short list of “books I recommend to everyone”! She is an exquisite writer and the book pays homage to saints and sages, goddesses and feminine archetypes, and contemporary teachers and seekers from all cultures and throughout history. Not only does she relay their deep commitment to making their spirituality real in the world, but also recommends practices for us to do the same. Click on the title to order it, then I’d love to hear what you think!

EARTH TREASURE VASES — FULL MOON GLOBAL HEALING MEDITATION SERIES

I learned about this powerful organization from Wild Mercy – one of the women featured there is Cynthia Jurs, who in 1990, met a 106-year-old Lama in his cave in a remote corner of Nepal. In answer to her question, “What can we do to bring healing and protection to the Earth?” she was given a practice of filling, sealing and burying Earth Treasure Vases around the world in places of need, bringing this ancient Buddhist practice alive for our times. Since then, the original 30 vases have been buried as well as many 2nd generation treasure vases and they form a living global mandala of prayers. Every full moon you can participate in a guided meditation to direct prayers and intentions into the vases and energize the global mandala. I’ve attended a few and they are fascinating, reverent experiences.

HOW GOD CHANGES YOUR BRAIN: BREAKTHROUGH FINDINGS FROM A LEADING NEURO-SCIENTIST by ANDREW NEWBERG

Another one of my most recent “must reads”! My goddess-sister Minx recommended this one and it has particular resonance for me since the author was the one who did the research for the Alzheimer’s Foundation about the cognitive benefits of practicing the body-oriented meditation Kirtan Kriya which I’ve been doing for almost 2 years. (I’ve written about it in a few Deb’s Picks & blogs, most recently in January ’22) The book has been described as a “revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for readers to enhance their physical, emotional, and spiritual health”. Perfect reading material for this Pisces/Full Moon week!

BLESSINGS” POEMS BY DAVID WHYTE — A VISUAL JOURNEY

I met David Whyte when he spoke at a coaching conferences years ago. He’s written some wonderful books, weaving his poetry with practical lessons about life and work and this video just seemed to capture the transcendent (Pisces) power of words with a very grounded celebration of Mother Earth (did I mention Virgo is an Earth sign?). Watch and listen and prepare to be transported for a few moments.

THE ONLY LITTLE PRAYER YOU NEED by DEBRA LANDWEHR ENGEL

I almost didn’t include one, mostly because the title irritated me, and I thought the author took way too long to make her case. But i have to admit, it’s growing on me and I find I’m incorporating it into my meditation practice almost every day. She reveals her “little prayer” at the very beginning and it’s a quick read. If you get it, let me know and we’ll compare notes!

I hope you’ll check out some of these powerful, practical offerings and of course, I’d love to hear about ones you’ve found, too!