Would you like fries with your spirituality? Why we need to wake up to the commodification of spiritual growth

Would you like fries with your spirituality? Why we need to wake up to the commodification of spiritual growth

Maybe you have noticed the inequality built into our wellness and spirituality industries? How, increasingly, non-religious spirituality is the preserve of people who can afford a ‘lifestyle’? The problem here is not the fact of spiritual books, yoga classes and the now-obligatory retreats, each of them lovely things in their own way. The problem is the perpetuation of models of spiritual perfection which say that any of these are necessary. For now it is increasingly common to learn that peace or spiritual perfection depend on perfecting meditation skills, getting quantum healing or having homes with good Feng Shui.

To my way of thinking there are two problems here. The first is that is that any spiritual path which requires endless convolutions or rigorous adherence to right ways of action denies one very fundamental possibility: that life, existence, and the messiness of mankind are exactly as they should be. It concerns me that the modern spirituality industry essentially denies the possibility of our just being: imperfect and content to merely exist within a timeless sequence of living and dying.

Li is the path to spiritual growth

However the second problem is way more profound. For whilst it is undeniable that we need peace in our hearts to achieve a good death, I believe that commercial considerations are throwing up all sorts of problems around how we go about it.

For as well as denying us the possibility of simply just being, the spirituality industry confuses the issue by not making clear that things like being good at meditating are actually a consequence of spiritual perfection – not the means to achieve it! Pretty much the same can be said for Feng Shui too. For in Feng Shui, ‘outsiders’ observed that great peace was associated with the fortuitous placement of objects. And so, without understanding what was really going on, they assumed that the fortuitous placement of objects was the key to achieving a great outcome. It was a reasonable assumption – but they got it the wrong way around.

We can’t afford a situation in which the process by which we achieve a peaceful death is misunderstood in this way.

This process is essentially what I write about. The Li tradition teaches that the means to achieving a peaceful death is not meditation, mindfulness or knowledge of endless religious sayings. It is actually a realisation of the one gift we all carry within: the willingness to open your heart to love.

Wishing you Health and Happiness,


Naja Li’s Guide to Dying is available as a free download from Smashwords.

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