Starting out on the Way

You are invited to post questions and comments about your experience starting out with The Way: A Journey of Healing and Self Acceptance in the comment area below.

We will post specific discussion topics in new posts in the coming weeks.

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2 thoughts on “Starting out on the Way

  1. On Day Two of the Reflections/Journaling, Jim points out, “Religion is a community activity; spiritual practice and spiritual development are deeply personal.” I would agree with this to some extent, as I became frustrated with institutionalized religion several years ago and found myself on quite the solitary path as my spiritual practice deepened and expanded. And yet…. some of the most profound moments of awakening have occurred while I am in community with others in a spiritual setting. In fact, every so often I am called to be with others who are on the Journey, either in retreat or through a workshop, etc. The spiritual energy of the setting and the other participants ignites something in me, and I crave it and grow through the energy of new spiritual relationships. Does this also reflect that spiritual development can be a community activity without becoming a religious one? Or is it more like the joy of my solitary practice is merging with the joy of others who are walking their solitary ways? Just wondering out loud…

    • Hi Susan –
      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. My apologies for the sluggish reply.

      Religions are communities joined by their adherence to shared laws. The word religion comes from the Latin word “religare” which means “to bind up.” There is lot of black and white and either/or in religious dogma. Membership-in-good-standing means we believe what the religion says is true.

      Spirituality is not an either or proposition but a both/and proposition and it’s not rooted in dogma but in experience. Spirituality is inclusive because it’s based in non-dual thinking. This doesn’t mean religion and spirituality are incompatible. Spirituality can include religion, and, for most of us community and ritual, will be an integral part of our spiritual lives. The key word in your comment is “or.” We are not bound to choose one or the other. Spiritual practice and spiritual growth have a lot to do with the paradox of the “both/ands” that abound in our lives.

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