To have great poets, there must be great audiences, too. ~Walt Whitman
Which quote means to say, thank you, to all of you reading and listening to this site. This month’s podcast is a mini-episode featuring readings of some of my favorite spiritual poetry. For much of my life, I was a person with only a mild appreciation of poetry, such as a few classics by Robert Frost. It wasn’t until I began writing as a spiritual practice, that poetry-like phrases began to appear, as if from nowhere. Since then, I’ve found a deep appreciation for the creative wellspring from which universal ideas emerge and are uniquely expressed by many voices. It’s not hard to find well-crafted poetry, but it is hard to find what I call “spiritual poetry” – that which speaks from the source of our being.
Anything we do with our heart and soul becomes a spiritual endeavor, in spite of ourselves. ~Jerry Wennstrom
One of the striking features of my interview with Jerry Wennstrom is it felt we were in the same room even though we were hundreds of miles apart. There is a sort of innocent intensity about him that charged our entire conversation. He’s at once at ease, yet serious, seemingly going with the flow, yet very precise.
Jerry Wennstrom is an artist, not a spiritual teacher, yet he is obviously a spiritual teacher. Everyone is a teacher, he says.
“I’m not a teacher,” says Norio Kushi, “I’m not someone who knows something you don’t know. Just look for yourself and see what you see.”
Though Norio Kushi says he is not a spiritual teacher, the story of his spiritual awakening is a fascinating one, and his advice in light of that awakening is worth considering. Thankfully lacking in nonduality jargon, this interview with Norio is both entertaining and inspiring. His is a remarkable story of discovery.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Selected Links and Notes from this Episode
Norio’s father was Michio Kushi, who popularized the macrobiotic diet in the United States. Norio’s mother, Aveline Kushi, founded the first natural foods store in the U.S. in 1966 in Boston, and was the first person to use the term “organic” in selling produce. [2:57]
When Norio was five, his mother told him to always trust his feelings as that’s what would guide him through life. [3:53]
Everything we think we are has been programmed into us. [9:23]
The difference between feeling and emotion. [11:09]
Jan Frazier is a spiritual teacher and author of When Fear Falls Away and The Great Sweetening, among other books. In our interview, I found Jan’s emphasis on allowing and unfolding a nice counterpoint to my usual drive to find practices and tools to speed up the spiritual search. I hope you find this Jan Frazier interview interesting, as well.