I've been missing spiritual community. I was going to say I've missed it lately but the truth is, I've missed being part of a spiritual community since the moment I left the body/mind of Reclaiming.
I love group souls, the over-arching, dazzling complexity of the energy of groups. When people come together for any reason, the community can become more than a sum of its parts. Sometimes that's a great thing, sometimes the group soul is a disaster. Or it can be anything in-between.
In my work I often encounter family souls. If I get the chance, I love to work with siblings, parents, aunts, uncles and the children of clients I see regularly. There's a current that runs through families. DNA probably generates it, or that's one of my theories.
Workplaces generate powerful group souls that can make the experience of each individual either lovely for the most part, or horrendous.
I'm lucky to be a part of the group soul of Capitol Hill. It is the most cohesive neighborhood I've ever lived in. We are diverse but we share something powerful. We all LOVE living on the Hill. We're so proud. That pervasive thought form pulls us together, creates a sense of welcoming that permeates the communal table of good vibes at the coffee shop, the north hall of Eastern Market (a gathering space), the restaurants and shops, the parks and our beautiful boulevards and streets. We try our best to be good neighbors. It's an incredible experience.
What I've missed since the day I departed from the group soul of Reclaiming is being part of a community that comes together in order to consider the mysteries, to contemplate a greater wisdom, a greater kindness, a greater love. In spiritual community, even during periods of strife, the common goal is to connect to human beauty and goodness in ourselves and others, and to connect to God, however we imagine that.
Spiritual community is tricky for me, though. I always think I know how any ritual could be better, the result of many years of planning rituals. It's hard for me to sit there without critiquing what's going on. So silly. Also there is a problem with holy texts. The stories of the Torah do not resonate with me. I think it's a fascinating historical book, but holy? I really don't get it. Likewise Christianity is extremely challenging since Jesus Christ is not a functional lens for the divine for me.
I attended the Hill Havurah Seder this year, which was mad mayhem, punctuated by funny songs. That's one way to do a seder, not the worst way. The Hill Havurah is a bunch of Capitol Hill based hippie Jews without a rabbi or a temple.
|Hill Havurah seder. That's the back of my head on the left side of the picture.|
|St. Mark's on Maundy Thursday.|
I also went to Maundy Thursday and Easter services at St. Mark's, a very progressive, inclusive, social justice oriented Episcopalian church just down the street. It is very convenient.
It was nice to see neighbors and friends at these events. At the Seder, also at St. Mark's, I could not feel my connection to God, though, which is a problem. I tried, believe me. What I figured out is that it isn't just the community I seek. I would love to worship along with the others. At the Seder, also at St. Mark's, I felt like an observer, not a participant. It's slightly disappointing.
Now I'm headed to Paris where I will explore the Jewish quarter, of course, and also no doubt will walk through some big ole cathedrals. I'm no longer a witch, not really a pagan either. I have a hard time being Jewish and I am definitely not Christian at any level. In which spiritual community do I belong? Where can I connect with the people, the overarching soul of the community, and with God?
Who knows? It's an ongoing question. I am curious. Shalom.