Materialism or Spirituality? My Nostalgia for Unity

802 words | 10 min read


Seven years ago, I left the "normal working world."

I stepped on out to immerse myself in the study of yoga, and to teach what I learn for a living.

This happened just after a period of existential crisis, I gotta say. 

I'd found my true calling.

The only problem was, I clearly remember a {rational thinking} friend of mine asking, "What exactly does that look like?" 

Somewhat offended by the question I snapped, "I'll get back to you with my business plan — this is just me following my heart, okay?"

But what I didn’t know was one iota about business.

After a few years of training and teaching, I was still acting idealistically — meditating in my cave and having faith that the money would come. 

Sure, I was doing something I loved — yet I shielded myself from dealing with the practical factors of starting my own business. 

Living the dream for real.

The truth? Being a distanced from the world yogi wasn't getting me any close to my goals.

I know lots of people that have gone the complete other way with things — pursuing only practical, financial considerations and lacking meaning in their lives work.

Something I hear a lot: "I want to be more calm, grounded and spiritual. And I want live my life, in this world.” 

I get it. There's gotta be a middle path!

Art by Allison Kunath

Art by Allison Kunath

We can see those people everywhere who frantically attach themselves to the material world and end up chronically dissatisfied. {The ones we secretly find ourselves envying from time to time, because we imagine them to be free}.

Also everywhere are those fascinated by the spiritual search and said to be on the path of wisdom. {The ones with seemingly artificial virtuousness and sprung with tension that, if tempted, could fling them to the other path in the same quest for pleasure that they critiqued in others}.

As the wise Ken Wilbur put it — and I summarize:

One extreme deals with ultimate reality, with the ground of all being, with the divine self and infinite spirit. And the other deals with the finite self, the ordinary, conventional, typical self, it’s changes and struggles.

So are we condemned to oscillate between these two ‘paths’?

Can't we have both?

The ethnologist, Gregory Bateson has ventured into this complex terrain and he writes “I repudiate contemporary materialism as strong as I repudiate the fashionable hankering after the supernatural.”

In other words...

A middle ground EXISTS.

We want a path that's not against our life  and a life that's not against our path.

A harmonious integration of spiritual and material.

We want this in a way that's not too far from our culture.

In just about every person I meet there is a deep intuitive knowledge that a third path does indeed exist. We have suffered too much from fanaticism and exclusion; we have progressively opened ourselves to the world and its diversity. What men and women seek today is a path that reintegrates these opposites with genuine love and acceptance of all the richness that each human being carries within.
— Daniel Odier

The deeper yogic philosophy has identified this path for me. On this path, there there's no negating what’s really happening nor uttering any, "It's all perfect" bypassy-type statements. 

As these yogic teachings began to ripen within me —suddenly, I found a middle ground. I found a way to be a yogi AND get stuff done!

Building my business, some highly intelligent and powerfully practical parts of myself have begun to move and groove.

I began getting compensated for a massive involvement on Aura meditation app {my channel Mindful Moments is now 14k stress-relievers}. This blog. And a new distance-learning program so I can work with people anywhere.

If YOU have discipline, self-reflection and faith — then you’re ready to put on your hiking boots and walk this path with me.

We want to attain plentitude without denying life’s marvelous effervescence; we want a light and moving joy that would bring us to a larger, more all-encompassing experience of reality.
— Daniel Odier

I propose to accompany you on a journey through the teachings of the yogic and tantric tradition, at your side as you navigate the complexity of your mind, body and life.

A journey that will perhaps allow you to verify the existence of a path that integrates the totality of your human experience.

If you want to learn a roadmap for walking through the fear and uncertainty with love and plentitude — you're invited to a connection call with me.

Enrollment will be open soon for my highly structured program where I'll guide {a limited number of} men and women to steady their practice and blur the line separating spirituality and real life.

With Love,




Lauren ZieglerComment