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Earth Makers: Sacred Stories & Queer Spaces

Earth Makers: Sacred Stories & Queer Spaces

By Joey Armstrong
Join creator/host Joey as she creates queer space for all persons to show up authentically and listen to some healing stories. Warm the kettle. Take some deep breaths. Listen. All are welcome. No exceptions.
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The new podcast format takes off with a story about Ents, love without conditions, and hard break ups.
September 24, 2021
Update: Your Story Matters
Joey Bear is back with some changes…
August 29, 2021
The YES of the Cosmos: A Letter to the LGBTQ2+ Community
This is for you. Listen with care.
July 13, 2021
Queer Stories: Turning Toward the Light of the Moon
Joey shares a personal story about childhood, astronauts, moths, and the Moon. It gets pretty queer! 
June 27, 2021
"Guard Your Heart"
Joey helps us unpack "guard your heart" language found in the Christian scriptures. What does it mean? Is it helpful? Should we use it at all? Please consider donating to Joy Dertinger, host of the 99 Lead Balloons podcast, at
June 19, 2021
Pride 2021: Speak From The Fire 🔥
We reflect on what we mean when we say “pride” and why real, helpful pride comes from the fire inside. Also, listen to The Life She Wrote podcast wherever podcasts are found! Contact Joey at or on Twitter @earthmakerspod
June 4, 2021
Memorial Day 2021: So That Hearts May Be Changed
Joey memorializes a true story of compassion and empathy from a queer perspective
May 31, 2021
We the Freaks
CW: suicide, terrorism, transphobia. Joey is back and she is filled with passion and ire today! You are not mistaken and you are not a mistake. Don’t forget that. Check out QuakerSpeak on YouTube and the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts ch. 8 in the Christian Bible.
May 29, 2021
New Update: You Don’t Have to Rush to Do Anything
Joey gives us a brief update about the future of the podcast and a nugget of wisdom from her teacher. More episodes are coming!
May 10, 2021
Brief Update: Loss and Grief
Joey is taking a break.
April 12, 2021
Ask a Trans Person About Resurrection!
Joey invites us to wrestle with the spiritual concept of Resurrection as we approach the pagan and Christian holy feast day of Easter Sunday 2021. What is the difference between resuscitation and resurrection? What has been dead and lost to you that needs to be made new? What do transgender folx know about Resurrection, anyways?? Follow the Joey and the podcast on Twitter @earthmakerspod or email Joey at! 
April 3, 2021
What's the Deal with "Sin"?
Joey invites us to wrestle with the word "sin" and the teachings, philosophies, and theologies behind it and why it seems to have "staying power" in the culture. Do you actually believe sin is a real thing? If so, is this belief helping or harming you and others?
March 27, 2021
Don't Consume Toxins (The Fifth Precept of Buddhism)
CW: Mass shootings, white supremacy, toxic masculinity. Joey finishes the series on the Five Precepts of Buddhism by reflecting on where we find toxins in the culture, including in the recent shooting in Atlanta, GA.  Follow Earth Makers on Twitter at @earthmakerspod and please review the podcast on Apple Podcasts! Follow the Bread. Wine. Movies. podcast at @breadwinemovies 
March 19, 2021
Tell The Truth (The Fourth Precept of Buddhism)
Joey continues the series on the Five Precepts and discusses how lying is not necessarily always the opposite of the Truth. We also reflect on lying as violence and forgiving those who have lied to us.  The quotes come from Bhikkhu, Thanissaro. "Ethical North Star: The Five Buddhist Precepts for Modern Times, 4. Tell the truth." Lion's Roar, March 2021. Please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts and find Earth Makers on Twitter @earthmakerspod 
March 5, 2021
Getting Spiritually Naked with David Hayward, The Naked Pastor
Earth Makers is so excited to welcome David Hayward aka The Naked Pastor to the podcast! David is an Earth Maker who expresses his spiritual care for others primarily through cartooning, painting, and writing. David shares his story of deconstruction and why he does what he does for the world and Joey tries not to faint from excitement over interviewing one of their heroes! The audio cuts out a few times for some God awful reason! Our apologies!  You can find David's work and follow him on Twitter @nakedpastor Instagram: @nakedpastor Website:
February 26, 2021
Do Not Engage in Sexual Harm (The Third Precept of Buddhism)
Content Warning: sex, rape, sexual assault, sexual harrassment, etc. are discussed. Joey talks about a difficult and powerful topic today and shares a little of their own wounds and scars around sex and relationships.  The quote comes from Goodman, Trudy. "Ethical North Star: The Five Buddhist Precepts for Modern Times: 3. Don't Stereotype, Exploit, or Harm Others Sexually." Lion's Roar Magazine, March 2021.
February 20, 2021
Valentine's Day 2021 Bonus Episode: Love is Complicated
Joey shares their reflections on the complications and complexities of the human experience of love on this Valentine's Day 2021. Follow Joey on Twitter @earthmakerspod or email Joey with any questions or thoughts at
February 14, 2021
Do Not Steal (The Second Precept of Buddhism)
We continue our series on the Five Precepts of Buddhism. We wrestle with the role "theft" plays in our day to day lives and how to manage our relationship to it. The quotes comes from:  Li, Rebecca. "Ethical North Star: The Five Buddhist Precepts for Modern Times: Don't Steal." Lion's Roar. March, 2021.
February 12, 2021
Do Not Kill (The First Precept of Buddhism)
Joey begins their series on the Five Precepts of Buddhism with a look at our engagement with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence. The quote comes from Jan Willis and her article "Ethical North Star: The Five Buddhist Precepts for Modern Times: 1. Don't kill." Published on pg. 46 of Lion's Roar magazine, Vol. 6, Number 1 in January 2021.  Thinking about supporting the podcast? Find ways to share and retweet the episode! Any questions or spiritual care needs? Email Joey at or find Joey on Twitter @earthmakerspod !
February 8, 2021
Is this Podcast for Me?
Joey does the work of Earth Makers "apologetics" today as they answer the hard question: Is it possible for a spiritual care podcast to be for everyone?
January 31, 2021
Update: Some Small Changes
We are moving to being a once a week podcast!
January 23, 2021
“He’s Not My President” & Other Delusions
We begin season 3 with a conversation about delusion and suffering.
January 20, 2021
The Valley of the Shadow of Dysphoria (End of Season 2)
Joey reads their recent essay “A Fish and Her Shadow” and tells their story of transness and dysphoria. You can find the essay at
January 9, 2021
Update: Where is Earth Makers Headed?
Joey updates everyone on how they are healing and on the future of the podcast and of the Earth Makers Collective!
December 27, 2020
Update: Real Talk with Joey
Joey is taking a break from the podcast.
December 16, 2020
“How Do I Maintain a Relationship with Someone Who Chose Hate?”
Joey reflects with us on wrestling with relationships in a divided political landscape.
December 14, 2020
Hi, I’m Joey and I’m Queer (Joey’s Story, Cont’d.)
Joey shares their story of coming out as queer.
December 11, 2020
Beauty and the Beast and the Story of Change
Joey reflects on crying while listening to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack and how change and being wrong can make a good story.
December 9, 2020
On Christianity: Why Does the Cross Matter?
Part 1 in a series on the beliefs and teachings of Christian spiritual traditions.
December 7, 2020
Hi, I’m Joey and I’m an Addict, Pt. 1: Co-Dependence
CW: addiction. Joey tells their story about addiction and recovery, Part 1.
December 4, 2020
Twenty-Four Brand New Hours
Joey explains the #100daysofmeditation challenge and invites us to reflect on a meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh found in Peace is Every Step, published by Bantam Books in New York in 1991. The excerpt is found on pgs. 5 and 6.
December 2, 2020
“How Do I Live With The Harm I’ve Caused Others?”
We reflect on how hard it is to Do No Harm.
December 1, 2020
Gratitude for This (Joey’s Story, Continued)
CW: suicidal ideation/intent, addiction, drug use, alcohol use, trauma. Joey gets real with everyone about why they are grateful for life. The National Suicide Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255 and The Emily Program: 1 (888) 364-5977
November 28, 2020
Thanksgiving 2020: Hard Times with Gratitude
A special Thanksgiving meditation on gratitude in 2020
November 26, 2020
Gratitude for Others
We begin our gratitude practice for the week by focusing on others. The Jack Kornfield meditation can be found at
November 23, 2020
Transgender Day of Remembrance 2020: Softer To Me
We reflect on the soft heart of life in the face of this solemn Transgender Day of Remembrance.
November 20, 2020
Workshop: Forget Faith
In today’s workshop, we examine the ways in which faith is problematic and the ways in which it helps. We discuss faith vs. the Kingdom/the Dharma.
November 18, 2020
You Will Not Be Annihilated
Joey invites us to reflect on where we find our value and worth and our fear of loss and annihilation.
November 16, 2020
Moving On From Abuse with Joshua Berwald
CW: physical and emotional abuse. Political abuse. Alcohol consumption. Racism. Joshua Berwald of the Bread. Wine. Movies. podcast joins us and shares his story of moving on from domestic abuse and national politics abuse into a new life of healing.
November 13, 2020
“How Can I Welcome the Stranger When the Stranger is Someone Who Hurt Me?”
1. Lots of exciting new announcements!! 2. We wrestle with the mandate of Jesus the Christ to welcome the stranger in such a divisive time.
November 11, 2020
The Good News of Impermanence
We reflect on how nothing lasts and how that feels and what is true.
November 9, 2020
After the Election
We pause to reflect on the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as POTUS and VP.
November 8, 2020
In the Dark
How do you wrestle with uncertainty in the face of a bizarre, stressful election process? Let’s find out!
November 6, 2020
“Remember, Remember the 5th of November...”
Today we wrestle with acceptance and approval and anxiety and privilege.
November 5, 2020
Nov. 3, 2020
The blessing today comes from Jan Richardson’s book Circle of Grace published by Wanton Gospeller Press in Orlando in 2015. Please reach out to should you need some safe space. This election doesn’t determine your worth.
November 3, 2020
Joey’s Story (But Not the Whole Story)
Joey reads the introduction to their new in-progress book on spirituality and invites their listeners to be a part of their story of recovery.
November 1, 2020
Halloween Spooky Story time: Way Back When
Joey reads a scary short story they wrote to help distract from the stress of the days we currently live in! Grab some hot cider and a blanket! It’s gonna be spooky!
October 31, 2020
What If I’m Afraid of the Election?
Day 1 of spiritual care during the Election. The quote is found in The World According to Mr. Rogers by Fred Rogers, pg. 161, published by Hachette Books in New York in 2003. Email Joey at or on Twitter @RevJoBear.
October 30, 2020
Workshop: Belief vs. Practice
Hey! It’s our first EarthMakers Workshop! Bring a writing utensil and a piece of paper! See you there!
October 28, 2020
Introducing Earth Makers Workshops & Other Important News
1. Workshops are coming! 2. Please review the podcast on Apple Podcasts. 3. The 5 Year Plan on Earth Makers Collective is under way! 4. If you are interested in being a guest on the podcast or have someone in mind, please email me at or find me on Twitter @RevJoBear
October 26, 2020
Throwing Pies
We reflect on how we respond to demeaning behavior and the temptation to act out in a demeaning way. The selections come from: 1. The Mister Rogers Effect by Dr. Anita Knight Kuhnley, published by BakerBooks in Grand Rapids in 2020, pg. 15. 2. The World According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers, published by Hachette Books in New York in 2003, pg. 79.
October 23, 2020
“...the Story isn’t finished.”
We reflect on story and meditate on Padraig O’Tauma’s poem from his book In the Shelter, published by Hodder & Stoughton in Great Britain in 2015. The selection is found on pg. 5.
October 21, 2020
Before the Weighted Blanket: Thoughts on Having a Hard Day
Joey reflects on their hard day and takes the time to be transparent with you. The meditation is found on pgs. 112 & 113 in Circle of Grace by Jan Richardson, published by Wanton Gospeller Press in Orlando in 2015. Email Joey at or find them on Twitter @RevJoBear
October 19, 2020
When Fear Becomes a God
We reflect on False Evidence Appearing Real through a blessing from Circle of Grace by Jan Richardson, published by Wanton Gospeller Press in Orlando in 2015. The selection is found on pgs. 34-36.
October 16, 2020
“What If I Don’t Like Myself?”
We reflect on our value and worth through the poem “Leavings” by Naomi Shihab Nye found in Cast Away, published in 2020 by GreenWillow Books in New York.
October 14, 2020
You Don’t Have to Impress Anybody
We reflect on our fear of losing people and relationships. We let go of our need to impress.
October 12, 2020
“What’s the Point in Praying to a Higher Power?”
We wrestle with prayer. No big deal.
October 9, 2020
“How Do I Practice Self Care in 2020?”
Joey invites us to reflect on how we take care of ourselves in the hellscape clusterfu** that is 2020.
October 7, 2020
Autumn: The Hard Work of Going Home
CW: death and dying. What do you need to let go of today? Let Autumn be your teacher.
October 5, 2020
Thoughts and Prayers (and other problems)
If you plan on thinking and praying about someone but won’t practice service, your prayers are powerless. Laying the hammer down today.
October 2, 2020
After the Debate
What can separate us from the Love of a higher power?
September 30, 2020
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (Love & Spirituality, pt. 1)
CW: rape, assault, abuse, trauma, drug use. We begin our series on Love, wrestling with the difference between “liking” and “loving.”
September 28, 2020
Trust in the Slow Work of G-d
A response to Wednesday’s episode on waiting through a simple reflection on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s poem. Interested in exploring amazing, quality, heartfelt spiritual direction? Check out Zanny Johnson’s work at
September 25, 2020
CW: suicide. There are all kinds of waiting. Anticipatory, excited waiting. Anxious, suffering waiting. Where do you find value in waiting?
September 23, 2020
Stories of Recovery: The Rule Rather Than the Exception
CW: overdose, death, suicide, addiction. Joey shares their story of an old friend called Matt. Sometimes, memories are all we have.
September 21, 2020
We Are Not As Wise As We Think We Are
We reflect on the spiritual gift of wisdom, wrestling the ego, and truth-telling.
September 18, 2020
We talk about what it means for the inside to show on the outside. Joey shares their story of coming out as trans and non-binary. 💙🌈 email Joey at or on Twitter @RevJoBear if you feel alone today.
September 16, 2020
Our Space Suit Problem
We reflect on freedom from the approval of others through the teachings of Ram Dass.
September 14, 2020
Stories of Recovery: A Box of Darkness
Today, celebrating Recovery Month 2020, Joey shares a personal story of reconciliation from their recovery journey.
September 11, 2020
Precious, Loved, and Worthy
We reflect on our preciousness, beloved ness, and worthiness with the Non-Binary Auncle from TikTok. Follow them @thaddeusshafer on TikTok!
September 9, 2020
A Brief Update on the Pod
Friends, no episode today! Just a brief update! See you tomorrow morning and every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday moving forward.
September 8, 2020
Taking a Break & Getting Some Rest
Joey’s body is telling them to take a break and get some rest. Are you getting the rest you need? See you in a few days!
September 3, 2020
What Good Are Scarecrows Anyway?
We reflect on our sense of uselessness in the face of suffering and global injustice. The readings came from
September 2, 2020
“God is Waiting to Be Un-Shrunk”
We reflect on the nature of God, identity, and gender today through Glenn Thomas Rideout’s poem, “god is no noun.”
September 1, 2020
Being in Our Bodies
CW: reflections on eating disorders, body image distress, gender dysphoria, self harm, addiction, and suicidal ideation and intent. We practice being in our beautiful bodies, mindfully. Are you grateful for what your body does?
August 31, 2020
The Spirituality of Aspberger’s and Addiction Recovery with Patrick Hendricks
Joey’s sponsor and dear friend, Patrick Hendricks, recovering addict, gay spiritual leader on the spectrum and volunteer service warrior talks about why recovery and being “a whole person” are key to the spiritual life. On Twitter: You can find Patrick @pjhendricks and All God’s Children MCC Minneapolis @agcmetrochurch
August 30, 2020
Chadwick Boseman (1976-2020): Grief, Loss, and Pneuma
CW: An episode in which we talk about the pain of grief and loss and remembering to breathe. Black Women Radicals can be found on Twitter @blkwomenradical and at
August 29, 2020
Fundamentalism is Addiction
Joey explores the dangers of our attachments to fundamentals. Be warned: you might not like what they have to say.
August 28, 2020
Right Concentration
We conclude our series on The Noble Eightfold Path. How do we concentrate on what is right over what is easy?
August 27, 2020
Right Mindfulness
Wanna be here now? Let’s practice!
August 26, 2020
Right Effort
We reflect on the power and existence of grace in order to try our best. The reading comes from
August 25, 2020
“Yours For Fixing Up the World” A Statement on the Shooting of Jacob Blake
We pause to reflect on the recent police shooting of innocent, unarmed black man, Jacob Blake. Email Joey at or tweet @RevJoBear
August 24, 2020
Right Livelihood
Before you judge your neighbor’s job and way of life, what does yours look like? The selections are found in and
August 23, 2020
Right Action
CW: references to racist policing and the murder of George Floyd. How are we doing the least amount of harm as possible? How are we leaving no trace? The selections can be found at and
August 22, 2020
Right Speech
Let’s practice thinking before we speak, together and engaging in helpful listening practices. Let’s abolish the violence of gossip together. The reading is found in Tricycle at
August 21, 2020
Right Intention
Why did you do that? Slow down and reflect on the reason behind your choices.
August 20, 2020
Right View
We begin our series on The Noble Eightfold Path taught in Buddhist spiritual traditions w/examining accurate vs. inaccurate perception. The quote from the Kaccayanagotta Sutta is found in “What is Right View?,” an article from Tricycle found at
August 19, 2020
My Friend Anger
We reflect on the helpful nature of anger through Love and Rage by Lama Rod Owens, published by North Atlantic Books in Berkeley in 2020. The selection is found on pg. xiv.
August 18, 2020
I Am
Where is God? Who is God? Right here. In this.
August 17, 2020
Our Managers
CW: eating disorders and body image distress. We reflect on our perfectionism and people pleasing. Email Joey at should you need space made for you.
August 16, 2020
Our Firefighters
CW: there is talk of abuse, suicide, addiction, self harm, and eating disorders. We continue our series in Internal Family Systems by examining our reactive protectors. The selection was found on pg. 25 in High Magick by Damien Echols, published by Sounds True in Boulder in 2018.
August 15, 2020
Our Exiles
We continue the series on Internal Family Systems by visiting the wounded childhood parts of us. Email Joey at or find them on Twitter @RevJoBear
August 14, 2020
Our Spiritual Center
CW: mention of suicidal ideation/intent. We begin our new series on Internal Family Systems theory. Do you believe you have everything you need in your core self?
August 13, 2020
Step 12: Service
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to all addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
August 11, 2020
Step 11: Spiritual Awareness
We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our HP, praying only for knowledge of Her will for us and the power to carry that out.
August 10, 2020
A Brief Update
Joey (they/them/theirs) is going on a trip for their wedding anniversary! See you on Monday!
August 7, 2020
Step 10: Perseverance
We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
August 6, 2020
Step 9: Justice
We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
August 5, 2020
Step 8: Compassion
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. Please email Joey at if you need some spiritual care today.
August 4, 2020
Step 7: Humility
We humbly asked our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings. Follow Isabel Rae McKenzie @birdpoems on Twitter and find her work on!
August 3, 2020
Step 6: Willingness
We were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all these shortcomings.
August 2, 2020
Step 5: Integrity
We admitted to our Higher Power, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Email Josiah at if you need help with your 5th step!
August 1, 2020
Step 4: Courage
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
July 31, 2020
Step 3: Faith
We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our higher power...
July 30, 2020
Step 2: Hope
We continue our series on the 12 Steps. CW: this episode features a personal story about a miscarriage. Please take care of yourself and stop listening if that’s what you need.
July 29, 2020
Step 1: Honesty
We begin our series on The 12 Steps, a sacred text of recovery, with the spiritual principle of honesty. Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions, that our lives had become unmanageable.”
July 28, 2020
Embodied Spirituality
We reflect on bodies and embodied thought and practice through the work of Jane Vennard in her book Fully Awake and Truly Alive. Published by Skylight Paths Publishing in Woodstock in 2013. The selection is found on pg. 3.
July 27, 2020
Juneteenth 2020 Minisode
We take a short pause to hear from BIPOC voices on anger and rage as a path of liberation. Happy Juneteenth! The quotes are found in Love and Rage by Lama Rod Owens, published by North Atlantic books in Berkeley in 2020. The quotes are found on pgs. 1 and 3.
June 19, 2020
Letting Go (End of Season 1)
Trigger Warning: There are discussions of suicide in this episode. See you next season! Thanks for all the support! If you use Apple Podcasts please help Josiah out by writing a review and leaving a star rating! Today, we reflect on the power of letting go through a reflection by Mechtild of Magdeburg found in Christian Mystics by Matthew Fox, published by New World Library in Novato in 2011. The selection is found on pg. 16.
June 15, 2020
“So I Decided.”
We reflect on facing the past and making decisions through Padraig Ó Tauma’s poem “Jacob and Esau.” The poem can be found at
June 14, 2020
Why I Call Myself a Mystic
Josiah talks to us about his experience as a mystic and reads to us, again, from The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr, published by Convergent in New York in 2019. The selection is found on pg. 1.
June 13, 2020
“Christ” is Just a Word
We reflect on our problems with words and how we can reframe words like Christ through Richard Rohr and Caryll Houselander’s work. The selection is found in The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr, published by Convergent Books in New York in 2019, on pgs. 2 and 3.
June 12, 2020
We reflect on the Divine feminine and meditate on a prayer from Wild Mercy by Mirabai Starr. Published by Sounds True in Boulder in 2019. The selection is found on pgs. xi and xii.
June 11, 2020
The God Problem
We reflect on the word and concept “God” and meditate on the words of 13th century mystic Meister Eckhart through Meditations with Meister Eckhart by Matthew Fox and published by Bear & Company in Rochester, VT in 1983. The selection is found on pgs. 12-16.
June 10, 2020
Spiritual Care and the BIPOC Arts: Poetry and Justice
We reflect on poetry as an act of justice in Layli Long Soldier’s poem, “38.” The excerpt is found in the collection Whereas, published by Graywolf Press in 2017 in Minneapolis, on pgs. 51-53.
June 9, 2020
Noah and Queer Eye
Despite all evidence to the contrary, God loves you. Please watch Queer Eye Season 5, Episode 1 on Netflix.
June 8, 2020
Spiritual Care and the Arts: Star Wars and Togetherness
We reflect on how a story from a galaxy far, far away has helped make togetherness possible.
June 7, 2020
Spiritual Care and the Arts: The Movies As Holy Scripture
Josiah reads his article from 2018 on finding the Divine in the movies. The article can be found at
June 6, 2020
True Self Care Is Not the American Way
We reflect on finding value in self care first. Email Josiah at
June 5, 2020
LGBTQ+ Spirituality
Josiah, a queer guy, leads us on a reflection of how to love who we actually are through the work of Peter Sweasey found here:
June 4, 2020
“What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel?”
We reflect on the gift of anger through Rev. Fred Rogers’ song published in 1968.
June 3, 2020
Goals Are Overrated
We reflect on our addiction to goals and goal setting through a passage from This: Becoming Free by Michael Gungor. Published in Petaluma by Roundtree Press in 2019.
June 2, 2020
Quiet Love
We practice listening to the language of the suffering. Josiah’s email is
June 1, 2020
“When I Am Very Still”
We reflect on being the calm in the eye of the storm through a poem by Josiah Armstrong.
May 31, 2020
Confession: I Want to Believe
Josiah confesses where he’s at with theistic belief and how sometimes belief is a drug we recover from.
May 30, 2020
White Spirituality is Disconnection: An Official Statement from Earth Makers
In light of recent events, Rev. Josiah Armstrong states the official position of Earth Makers on racism and spirituality. No meditation today.
May 29, 2020
#adulting (The Inner Life)
We rethink the episode on the inner voice of the adult and we practice Gathas.
May 28, 2020
George Floyd, Rest in Power (1974-2020)
We reflect on the racist violence of white policing that murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN on 05/26/2020. What can we do? 1. Make space for and listen to black voices. 2. If you’re white, Promote voices of color before your own 3. Ask POC how you can help 4. Make the Bodhisattva Vow
May 27, 2020
Dams in the River
We reflect on the flow of spirituality and the things that we allow to block the flow. This: Becoming Free is by Michael Gungor and it was published by Roundtree Press in Petaluma in 2019. The quote is found on pg. v.
May 25, 2020
The Inner Life: The Wise Grandparent/Sage
We reflect on the Jizo Bodhisattva qualities of equanimity, benevolence, courage, full responsibility, engagement in life, and unquenchable optimism through the lens of our inner wise grandparent.
May 24, 2020
The Inner Life: The Teenager
We reflect on the voice that pleads, wants, defies, and demands. The poem “I Want To Be...” can be found at
May 22, 2020
The Inner Life: The Child
We reflect on our most basic needs through The Inner Life. Today, part 1: The Child.
May 21, 2020
The Relentless Pursuit of Everything You Were Made To Be
We reflect on our purpose and our identity through a story found in the book Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. Listen to Rob’s great podcast The Robcast.
May 20, 2020
Teachers Worth Listening To: Cari Armstrong, Yogi
We reflect on yoga as a spiritual practice that helps us connect to our bodies, God, and all beings with the guidance and teaching of Cari Armstrong. Josiah is lucky to be married to her. You can find Cari and her yoga classes at and Caritas Yoga on Facebook. Namaste.
May 19, 2020
I Was Wrong
We reflect on the rejection of cruelty and the value of being wrong. Please check out the interview with Mitch Horowitz on The Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast and check out Hail Satan? A film by Penny Lane available on Hulu.
May 18, 2020
The Masks We Wear
Trigger warning: there are discussions of eating disorders, self harm, and sexual assault in this episode. We reflect on masks and laying them down. We meditate on the poem “Lucha Libre” by Esteban Rodriguez. The full poem can be found at
May 17, 2020
Spirituality is Connection to a Higher Power
We reflect on words like “God” and “higher power” and embrace the mystery of it all. The article is called “Richard Rohr Reorders the Universe” and it was written by Eliza Griswold and published by The New Yorker on Feb. 2, 2020.
May 16, 2020
Spirituality is Connection to Others
We reflect on spirituality as a necessary connection to all beings. Refuge Recovery by Noah Levine was published by HarperCollins in New York in 2014. The quotes are found on pgs. 49 and 50.
May 15, 2020
Spirituality is Connection to You
We reflect on spirituality and how we connect with ourselves, first. Wild Mercy by Mirabai Starr was published by Sounds True in Boulder in 2019. The quote is found on pgs. 9 and 10. You can learn more by visiting
May 14, 2020
You Become What You Receive
We reflect on bread and life and sacrament. The Bread of Life article can be found at
May 13, 2020
“Looking Mortality Straight in the Eye is No Easy Feat.”
We reflect on facing mortality and death and our avoidance. Content warning: if death and loss are too challenging for you in this season, you may want to skip this one for now. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty was published by W. W. Norton & Company in New York in 2014. The quote is found on pgs. ix and x.
May 12, 2020
Shame & The Rise of Skywalker
We reflect on a few great quotes from General Leia in the final chapter of The Skywalker Saga.
May 11, 2020
Mother’s Day 2020: Our Greatest Fear
We reflect on the concept of “mother” today and on what actually frightens ya through Marianne Williamson’s poem, Our Greatest Fear.
May 10, 2020
Belief is Overrated
We reflect on attachment to belief through Christian Wiman’s poem, All My Friends Are Finding New Beliefs. The full text of the poem can be found at
May 9, 2020
Taking a Walk
We reflect on “communing with the sublime” through walking meditation via A Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros. The New York Times review can be found here:
May 8, 2020
Building Sand Castles on Vesak Day 2020
We reflect on the beauty of impermanence and letting go through a quote by the great Pema Chödrön. Happy Vesak Day 2020 to you!
May 7, 2020
The Ninth Beatitude
We reflect on who is on your team and how to claim your “heavenly reward” when you feel persecuted.
May 6, 2020
The Eighth Beatitude with Joshua Berwald
We reflect on being persecuted for the truth and the kingdom of heaven with Joshua Berwald of the Bread. Wine. Movies. podcast.
May 5, 2020
The Seventh Beatitude
We explore the practice of making peace and we engage in Metta meditation.
May 4, 2020
The Sixth Beatitude
We reflect on purity of heart, right intention, and “seeing God.”
May 3, 2020
The Fifth Beatitude
We reflect on the practice of mercy and Josiah tells a story.
May 2, 2020
The Fourth Beatitude
We reflect on righteousness. What is it? How do I practice it without becoming a moralist?
May 1, 2020
The Third Beatitude
We reflect on “strength under control” and practicing inheriting the space that has been made for us.
April 30, 2020
The Second Beatitude
A new introduction and a reflection on practicing mourning and comfort. The book Unsubscribe is by Josh Korda and is available wherever books are sold. Some swears in this one. Please email me at if you need a space for comfort and care.
April 29, 2020
The First Beatitude
An introduction to the Sermon on the Mount via Dietrich Bonhoeffer and a reflection on “poverty of spirit.”
April 28, 2020
Spiritual Bypass and Grace
We conclude the dharma talk on the Noble Eightfold Path and we meditate on the power of grace in the face of our practice.
April 27, 2020
The Third and Fourth Noble Truths
We continue our series. Natalie Goldberg’s book The Great Spring was published by Shambhala Publications, Inc. in Boulder in 2016. The quote is found on pg. xiv.
April 26, 2020
The First and Second Noble Truths
A dharma talk on suffering and it’s cause followed by meditation.
April 25, 2020
“All Religions Will Pass...”
Josiah gives a brief dharma talk on a controversial quote by pre-revolutionary Russian Orthodox philosopher and theologian V V Rozanov.
April 23, 2020
A Cup of Coffee
We reflect and meditate on the interconnectedness of all beings and things.
April 22, 2020
“Always Pray Your Own Prayers”
Josiah shares a story about prayer and we do Metta meditation together.
April 21, 2020
Hope is Overrated
We reflect on expectations, attachments, and the 3 steps of self-compassion.
April 20, 2020
We reflect on the value of recovery through the first 3 steps of The 12 Steps.
April 19, 2020
Wild Geese
We reflect on our place in “the family of things” through Mary Oliver’s poem, Wild Geese.
April 18, 2020
Why I Call Myself a Buddhist
Josiah shares his reasons for identifying as a Zen Buddhist and utilizes a teaching from Thich Nhat Hanh for some help.
April 17, 2020
We explore 10 Tips for a Mindful Home by Karen Maezen Miller found in Lion’s Roar magazine, printed 9 April 2020.
April 16, 2020
Women Teach Us: Dr. Cheryl Giles
We explore sitting with our anger, fear, and sadness with Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and psychologist, Cheryl Giles. The essay is called Beyond the Color Line: Cultivating Fearlessness In Contemplative Care and is found on pg. 41 with the selection on pg. 43. The essay is included in The Arts of Contemplative Care ed. by Cheryl A. Giles and Willa B. Miller and published by Wisdom Publications in Boston in 2012.
April 15, 2020
Women Teach Us: Alice Walker
We explore love and womanism with Alice Walker.
April 14, 2020
Suffering, The Last Jedi, and Pastor Jimmy
We reflect on the value of learning from suffering.
April 13, 2020
Easter Sunday 2020 Teacher: Jesus Christ/Rabbi Yeshua of Nazareth
It’s Easter. Resurrection and light are the topics!
April 12, 2020
Holy Saturday 2020 Teacher: Shūsaku Endō (1923-1996).
Holy Saturday. Silence and suffering in silence.
April 11, 2020
Good Friday 2020 Teacher: Horatio Spafford (1828-1888).
On this blessed Good Friday 2020, we continue our series with Horatio Spafford and his famous Christian hymn. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Call the number. Stay alive.
April 10, 2020
Teachers Worth Listening To: Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (c. 1900-1986).
Part 6: Sufi Islam through the teachings of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen.
April 9, 2020
Teachers Worth Listening To: Rev. Fred Rogers (1928-2003) and John Prine (1946-2020).
Part 5: Fred Rogers and John Prine. Email Josiah at and tell him one thing you love about yourself!
April 8, 2020
Teachers Worth Listening To: Saint Hildegard of Bingen
Part 4: Hildegard of Bingen. We reflect on Hildegard’s thoughts through the devotional Christian Mystics by Matthew Fox, published by New World Library in Novato in 2011. The reading is found on pg. 20.
April 7, 2020
Teachers Worth Listening To: David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)
Our series continues with part 3: David Foster Wallace. Our reading comes from his address titled This is Water. You can find it on YouTube or a book store!
April 6, 2020
Teachers Worth Listening To: Lao Tzu and Winnie-the-Pooh
We reflect on Taoism through part 2: Lao Tzu and Winnie-the-Pooh. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff was published in 1983 by Penguin Books in New York.
April 5, 2020
Teachers Worth Listening To: Rich Mullins (1955-1997)
We begin a new series for reflection, Teachers Worth Listening To. Today, part 1: Rich Mullins.
April 4, 2020
We reflect on fear and calm through a translation of Psalm 23 for children called Found by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago, published in 2007 by Zonderkids in Grand Rapids, MI.
April 3, 2020
We reflect on hope through the poem More Honey Locust by Mary Oliver published in Evidence by Beacon Press in Boston in 2009. The poem is found on pg. 17.
April 2, 2020
Inner Dharma, Inner Light
We reflect on the Buddhist dharma and the Quaker light through an old story found in The Barn at the End of the World by Mary Rose O’Reilley. Published by Milkweed Editions in Minneapolis in 2000.
April 1, 2020
Holy Fools (In Memory of Tomie dePaola [1934-2020])
We reflect on our holy foolishness through the prayer of St. Francis in memory of Tomie dePaola.
March 31, 2020
All I Really Need
We reflect on simple truths and gifts through the lyrics of “All I Really Need,” a song written and performed by Raffi on Songs of Our World (Troubador Records Ltd., 1980).
March 30, 2020
The Minefield of Your Mind
We reflect on perfectionism, overthinking, and physical intuition through a selection from The Barn At the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd by Mary Rose O’Reilly, published by Milkweed Editions in Minneapolis in 2000. The selection is found on pg. 11.
March 29, 2020
The Earth Maker
We conclude our reflection on the Trinity as articulated through the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer. Today, part 3: The Earth Maker.
March 28, 2020
The Pain Bearer
Trigger warning: There is discussion of eating disorders, addiction, self harm, and trauma in this episode. We continue our reflection on the Trinity through the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer. Today, part 2: The Pain Bearer. The reading comes from Images of Pastoral Care, an anthology edited by Robert Dykstra and published by Chalice Press in St. Louis in 2005 and is found on pg. 77. The selection is written by the late Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) from his book The Wounded Healer (1972).
March 27, 2020
The Life Giver
We reflect on the Trinity as described by the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer. Today, part 1: The Life Giver.
March 26, 2020
“God Rid Me of God.”
We reflect on a prayer by German mystic Meister Eckhart and how it invites us to let go of our attachment to opinions, beliefs, and assumptions.
March 25, 2020
When the Trees Say Nothing
We reflect on a reading from Kathleen Deignan’s compilation of Thomas Merton’s meditations on nature, When the Trees Say Nothing, published in 2003 by Sorin Books in Notre Dame. The reflection is number 4 on pg. 46.
March 24, 2020
We reflect on a reading from Richard Rohr and the power of compassion.
March 23, 2020
Story Time: the robot & his cat.
We do some mindful listening as Josiah reads his short story “the robot & his cat” (2020) published on
March 22, 2020
Every Day
We reflect on gratitude practice through Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem, Every Day. This poem can be found on p. 25 of Nye’s poetry collection, A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, published in 2005 in New York by HarperCollins with illustrations by Terre Maher.
March 21, 2020
We offer up lament through Psalm 88 during this difficult season. Warning: there are lots of swear words in this episode. Ask the kiddos to leave the room. Email Josiah at and send him your lament.
March 20, 2020
We break down the Serenity Prayer with part 3: Wisdom.
March 19, 2020
We reflect on the Serenity Prayer with part 2: Courage.
March 17, 2020
We break down the Serenity Prayer in 3 parts. Today, Part 1: Acceptance.
March 16, 2020
Solitude vs. Isolation
We reflect on a passage from Thomas Merton’s (1915-1968) book New Seeds of Contemplation (1962) and examine the differences between solitude and isolation.
March 15, 2020
We engage in Metta Lovingkindness meditation today for ourselves and for all beings.
March 14, 2020
“On the Floor with a Pencil in Her Ear.”
We reflect on a question asked by Sufjan Stevens and an answer from a systematic theologian in these chaotic and anxious times. Song - “Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickerel Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?)” from Greetings from Michigan, The Great Lake State (Asthmatic Kitty Records, 2003)
March 13, 2020
Serenity Prayer
We reflect on our fears and anxieties surrounding the coronavirus by praying Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer together.
March 12, 2020
Shepherd of the Question Mark & Jeweler of the Surprise
We reflect on hard questions from therapists and where we can go to let our guard down.
March 11, 2020
We reflect on the power of Aimlessness from the Buddhist wisdom of the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh.
March 10, 2020
We reflect on different types of nature and grace with the help of Mary Oliver’s poem, Yellow.
March 9, 2020
Go In
We reflect on the poem Go In by Steve Garness-Holmes and on the beauty of God as Earth Maker, Pain Bearer, and Life giver.
March 8, 2020
“It Is Not Working for Me”
We read an excerpt from Christian Wiman’s essay, My Bright Abyss (2013), and reflect on the difficulty of the God concept in the midst of life’s pain.
March 7, 2020
We reflect on Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem, Mystery.
March 6, 2020
Beloved is Where We Begin
The podcast has changed. Each day, let’s remember there is earth and space made for us to show up and receive exactly what we need.
March 5, 2020
Addendum: Being Human with Stephen Johnson
Our 1st episode with Stephen Johnson got cut off unexpectedly and these are some concluding thoughts. Thanks!
February 2, 2020
Being Human with Stephen Johnson
Manly’s first guest, Stephen Johnson, describes the value of humanness over manliness. Watch out...there’s a lot of movie and TV references! The following are links from the episode:
February 1, 2020