The steps to belonging are not as clear and organized for one who has moved on from specific religious traditions and their accompanying congregational structures. My spiritual hunger is more pronounced than ever, but it’s often a solitary journey with the exception of a meaningful conversation over coffee from time to time. This aforementioned dialogue is quite enriching, but there remains in me an amorphous void that mainline church participation used to fill.
I can’t go backwards or grow back inside old clothing once its seams have been ripped apart. I find no edification or inspiration anymore from sitting in a sanctuary and hearing exposition limited to a single collection of holy scriptures, nor participating in a small group or class that is similarly narrow-focused. These have their well-established place and satisfy millions and I celebrate that; I’m simply no longer among the millions. What I long for, rather, is a small cohort of individuals from any background who are committed to convening regularly and growing proficient in some key spiritual practices. These include but certainly are not limited to:
* Transparency on daily intentions; i.e., discussing how the actions and words we currently intend are helpful (or harmful) to people, animals, and the earth itself
* Mindful breathing
* Mindful eating
* Meditation and contemplative prayer
Which of you falls into a similar place on your spiritual journey these days, looking for non-traditional community that meets you where you’re at and provides both challenge and deep, loving friendships?