Nine Touchstones of Spirituality

Nurture life.

"To honor, respect and support mothers and children. To recognize all people and all beings as connected in the web of life. To embody the intelligent love that is the ground of all being."

Walk in love and beauty.
"To appreciate the infinite diversity of all beings in the natural world, including ourselves and other human beings, and to sense that everything wants to be loved."

Trust the knowledge that comes through the body.
"Take seriously that our bodies are ourselves and that sensation and feeling are the guardians of life. To experience the joy and pain that comes to us through the body. To allow the power of the erotic to lead us to question the denial of pleasure and satisfaction that is inherent in the ethos of domination. Ground ourselves in the earth and to acknowledge our interdependence in the web of life. Trusting body experience also means never giving ourselves over to any authority - no wise man, no guru, no spiritual teacher, no spiritual tradition, no politician, no wise woman, no one."

Speak the truth about conflict, pain, and suffering.
"Not idealizing life. Not denying the realities of our personal and social lives. For many of us, childhood and other traumas have been intensified because conflict was denied and we were not allowed to feel our pain. Denial is also a social phenomenon . . . Denial is only possible when we sever our minds from our bodies."

Take only what you need.
”Acknowledge that conflict - taking the lives of other beings - is inherent in human life and thus encourages restraint."

Think about the consequences of your actions for seven generations.
"Affirms interconnection and asks us to consider not only our own needs, but those of al our relations for seven generations as we take and give back to the circle of life . . . We are not asked to hold ourselves to impossible models of perfection, but to consider the consequences of our actions on a scale we can comprehend."

Approach the taking of life with great restraint.
"Taking only what we need . . . those of us who live in industrialized countries take so much more than we really need without thinking of the lives that are lost. And because as individuals, communities, and societies we so readily resort to violence and warfare to resolve personal, ethnic, and national conflicts."

Practice great generosity.
"If we are to gain the power to act, we must acknowledge that no one of us can take on all the burdens of the world. As we recognize our strengths and forgive our limitations, we can begin to approach others with a generous spirit. A Native American philosophy asks us to always "speak the best of one another and perceive the best in everything." And adds "it is a strenuous discipline in these times to practice this." We must speak the truth about the harm dominator societies are doing to ourselves, to other people, and the web of life. Yet it requires great discipline to understand the harm that white people have done to Native Americans and other people of color without concluding that all white people are mean and that white culture has nothing of value in it . . . Though great harm has been done, very few people or groups have nothing to commend them. When we polarize situations, we make it difficult for our "adversaries" to change, and we begin to perceive ourselves unrealistically as "all good.""

Repair the web.
"We are living in a world where the bonds of relationship and community are broken by violence . . . it calls us to transform our personal relationships, our social and cultural institutions, and our relation to the natural world."

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