Posts tagged WeSpace
Participatory Mystical Awakening

Discovering and Practicing Mysticism – Part Two

So, how do we practice mysticism?  

Once we’ve cleared up some of the common misperceptions about mysticism, we find that we can approach mysticism from a trans-rational perspective, believing that it is real and something we participate in, experienced in connection to our Higher Self, and deeply connective to others. You can read more in depth about those distinctions in Part One.

Getting past some of those mental hurdles, we now can step into our participatory practice. This is a co-creative process that we engage in with our whole being. While mystical experience can be received in many different forms and ways, we can practice our active engagement into the process by cultivating mystical awareness, learning to sense emergent mystical realities, then interplay dynamically with them and one another in convergent communion.

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The Drama Triangle: When Groups Go Wrong

Getting Back to Heart Connections

Sometimes we shy away from group settings because they can be quite messy. Who hasn’t sat in a group and experienced it devolving into something painful? We’d like to believe that spiritual groups devoted to love and prayer don’t have this problem, but we all know that isn’t the case.

This quite often comes from a drama with three different roles that we and others tend to play. This is called the Drama Triangle which reveals dysfunctional interaction originally described by Stephen Karpman. I learned this from him in a workshop forty years ago. It has served me greatly to explain the cycles and patterns of behavior I saw unfold in so many groups and conversations. It also indicated what we should do to get off the Drama Triangle! There are more nuanced approaches for the professional, but I will give the basics here.

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Everything That Rises Must Converge

Why We Need the “We” – Part Three

We are experiencing a great convergence in humanity today. As the world evolves further and further technologically and scientifically, the space is shrinking. Globalization is bringing people together in new ways both profound and troubling. This external convergence is absolutely heightening the need for greater evolution and convergence in our interior spaces: our morality, our values, our education, our empathy, and certainly our spirituality.

When there is a strong convergence, two ranges of outcome are possible: A horrible crash or a beautiful communion.

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Evolving Collective Spiritual Practice

Why We Need the “We” – Part Two

Last week we explored the shift from shoulder-to-shoulder to heart-to-heart, focusing specifically on practice with just one other person. This week we’re going to broaden that out to a community context. Not only do we need to expand our spiritual practice beyond the confines of individualism, but we desperately need to evolve how we gather and practice together.

We also emphasized the importance of the need to further reflect oneness in our spiritual practice. If we seek the experience of oneness with all, and with one other person, what would it look like to seek this experience in a group? And wouldn’t such a group practice be reflective of a more evolved approach to our spiritual gatherings?

How do we get there? 

Let’s start with a very simple picture. Imagine a group of people sitting in rows of chairs (or pews) looking up at a person on a stage. Now picture a circle of chairs with people sitting, facing one another. What difference do you feel? Where in your body do you feel it? Stay there for a moment.

Now picture a glowing heart radiating from each person in the circle. See the spiritual energy and love flowing out of them. As the waves expand out, everyone’s spiritual energy fields are overlapping and engaging with one other, creating a palpable collective field where love, wisdom, encouragement, and much more can emerge. Is this a spiritual reality?

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From Shoulder-to-Shoulder to Heart-to-Heart

Why We Need the “We” – Part One

When you hear the words “spiritual practice,” what do you think of? Perhaps you picture someone meditating. Perhaps you picture a person doing yoga or tai chi. Perhaps you think of a rosary or prayer beads. Whatever it is you imagine, it is highly likely that your image is of a single, solitary figure at practice by himself/herself. If you pictured a group, kudos to you (although the title and picture in this post may have influenced you!).

Even so, the vast majority of our attention is still on the personal. In fact, most of our experiences of group spiritual practice or spiritual community are largely an individual experience. There are just other people around. It’s shoulder-to-shoulder practice.

There is certainly value to this. There is a sense of accountability. A sense of comradery. A side-by-side, working on this together comfort. But there can also be a strong sense of loneliness. An isolation when things aren’t going quite right. An over-orientation on the teacher/authority. A guilt and shame at not living up to the standard assumed by the group. And quite often, a failure to bring about any kind of social transformation. 

Of course we need to practice alone. And certainly some spiritual practice must be tailored to our own individual needs and expressions at various points in our lives. But if this is primarily the only form our spiritual practice takes, then we are missing the vital component of shared, heart-to-heart spiritual practice.

Is it really vital? Would we even know if we’ve never experienced it?

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