My Touchstone Word for 2024: Attunion

Dear friends
Each January I choose a word or phrase that will serve as a touchstone, a North Star to navigate by in the coming year. Here’s my Touchstone Word for 2024:

ATTUNION: a melding of attention, attuning, and communion

You won’t find attunion in a dictionary (yet). I coined it myself. I hope to use it to spark vital conversations about growing a more perfect union/attunion in our fragmented culture. As Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote: “A new word is like a fresh seed sown on the ground of the discussion.”

Here’s a full definition:

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Wonderground: My 2023 Touchstone Word

Hi friends

Every January I choose a word or phrase that will serve as my touchstone, a North Star to navigate my life by in the coming year. I’m eager to share my touchstone word for 2023:


“Wonderground” functions both as a noun and a verb. A wonderground is a context, a ground upon which a person or community cultivates and exercises wonder. “Let’s go down to the wonderground for the community conversation tonight.” The verb form, “to wonderground” means to ground one’s wonder in a practical context. “We wonderground our longing for a more harmonious world in our daily lives.”

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Interfaith Voices

Dear friends,

Recently, our contemplayful singing cohort (we call it the Songtuary) got some national exposure on the NPR show “Interfaith Voices”, hosted by Amber Kahn. Our half hour conversation turned into this 16-minute podcast. You can listen here.

“Musician Craig Green tells us why creating space for people to sing outdoors is his spiritual calling.”

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The Communal Roots of Contemplaytion

Contemplate is from Latin contemplatus, past participle of contemplari “to gaze attentively, observe,” from the prefix com- “together” plus templum “temple.” The original meaning of Latin contemplari was “to mark out a space for observing auguries or omens,” and the temple was a holy space reserved for this purpose.

So, contemplation in the original sense entails gathering with kindred spirits in sacred space to discern, look deeply, seek insight that guides our path forward in a world filled with noise, fear, distraction and confusion. There is a craft to creating settings and occasions for contemplation.

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The Science of Co-enlightenment

I’m keeping a record of my Google searches that yield NO RESULTS. These are becoming like trail blazes for me. Today I searched: “science of co-enlightenment”. No results. Hmm. “Science of enlightenment” gets 400K results.

A science of co-enlightenment is not difficult to conceive. After all, Thich Nhat Hanh suggested that the next Buddha will not be an individual but would manifest as a community. That prophecy implies a co-enlightening culture in which this collective Buddha nature ripens.

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Today’s new contemplayful word:

Curiosify – to awaken and focus curiosity in oneself or another.

Curiosifier – A person who stimulates/awakens the fire of curiosity in others.

The best teachers are master curiosifiers. Skill as a curiosifier is key to success in many endeavors: social change activism, story telling, leadership in business, etc.

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