Michael Gungor (Vishnu Dass) explores how clinging to our most important stories imprisons us in suffering. Freedom is simply THIS.
I Still Love You
“What do I love when I love my God?”
This is a famous question asked in St. Augustine’s “Confessions” that many people through the centuries have pondered and wrestled with.
I too have wrestled with that question. And I can tell you it wasn’t just a theoretical or casual philosophical conversation for me. For me, it felt like the slow breaking of a tree branch I was perched upon over a cliff. It was terrifying and painful and often lonely. But one thing that I think sometimes gets missed in conversations around “deconstruction” is that there is often a deep love that is underneath and even fueling the questioning. I didn’t question God because it was a cool or progressive thing to do… I didn’t question the Bible because I was trying to be relevant culturally. I questioned God BECAUSE I loved God. I questioned the Bible because it was so important to me.
This tension between loving something and not being able to understand it has shown up not just in my spiritual journey, but my personal life as well. In the last several years, some of my most important relationships have either been lost or redefined in some very scary and painful ways. But honestly, I still have such deep love for every one of those people. So what do you do in those scenarios? What do you do when your structures/expectations/understanding of reality falls apart even while you still are in love? What do you do when you love God even if you don’t know how to believe in God? What do you do when you love someone but don’t know how to define your relationship or understand them? This new single, “I Still Love You” that dropped today is an exploration of that tension. Sometimes, you just gotta let things be what they are. And maybe that’s actually the heart of what true, unconditional love is.
Nonviolent Forgiveness (I Forgive You)
Can the idea of forgiveness actually be violent? In this episode, Michael talks about Gungor's new single "I Forgive You" and explores the idea of forgiveness looking through the different lenses presented in Marshall Rosenberg's "Nonviolent Communication".
A Million I’s
Michael talks about the meaning and story of Gungor's new single "A Million I's"
What is truth? Can one be certain of anything?
Singing together is not only a potentially powerful spiritual technology and form of spiritual community, but it’s good for you! Studies have shown singing to be linked to lower stress, better moods, more of a sense of connection, and many more benefits.
In this podcast, Michael Gungor announces that he will be leading some simple chants and musical experiences that are designed to draw one into deep presence and embodiment. No religious belief is necessary to enjoy and reap the benefits of this powerful spiritual practice.
How to Change the World
How do we make a difference in a world that feels so big and out of our control? How do we not feel hopeless in the face of huge problems like climate change, racism, and inequality? Michael offers a radical suggestion.
I love this podcast so much. It’s so interesting and peaceful.
Having seen the small outbreak of rhetoric in a certain group, astutely discerned by VD/MG, I sincerely wonder and hope that all parties of the kerfuffle are healing and addressing the narcissism that has been brought to the fore. Which, I should also say that it isn’t that pathological sort of narcissism that I speak of, but what can well up from any/everyone and may come as a result of a cancelling/silencing space in addition to emotional turmoil. It is rather sad to see the variety of accountability/a call to accountability as being one to include an orientation toward negging or remarking on one’s own victim-hood. That is hardly an acknowledgment or acceptance/admission of wrongdoing, and to perceive oneself as blameless misses the point of accountability.
Why do we need to give, or inflict, pain when we are hurt or feel undone (which seems more associated with pathos)? To make a point that “they” also need to be accountable? That splitting does little to resolve and smacks of an individualistic frame that sees “oneself” and “them” as being apart from each other when the collective heart has been fractured.
I don’t know the depth and breadth of what happened, nor do I admittedly have the desire to plumb into it (though, clearly something is coming up here with my unsolicited opining), but apart from the process of displaying these things publicly (for whatever reason), I hope for a stance of “all manner of things shall be well” to be a driving force for grace toward themselves and each other through this grief even if a reconciliation isn’t possible.
“All is vanity,” including “this” anyway.
More of This!
Love listening to your work, MG!