Is Community Needed On A Spiritual Journey?

I currently have ZERO friends (please, don’t stop reading here) who are on a spiritual path like me.

It can be kind of a lonely place. Though I have never minded being alone. ‘Alone but not lonely’ my parents would often say.

I have been on this journey for almost three years and I have not yet had one meaningful, live conversation about spirituality. This blog is pretty much the only outlet I have for  discussion of the metaphysical.

I do pass along the occasional tidbit to my wife, if I think it can help her through the turmoil of PPD. But outside of that she is not like me. Even if I did find ‘The Power of Now’ on her bookshelf, she doesn’t have the same hunger for truth or meaning.

From time to time I have forced a conversation about spirituality and they have always been tortured experiences. I come off sounding incoherent with somewhat of a loose grip on reality. I am convinced that the beliefs of the person listening to me affect the depth of the words coming out of my mouth. Eckhart Tolle has said that when he is asked a question the depth of his answer depends on the depth of the question.

My question is this, do I need a spiritual community to deepen my spirituality?

So far my spiritual quest has consisted of reading books, reading interviews, watching YouTube videos, practicing yoga, meditation, and contemplation. And as frustrated as I may get, I ALWAYS feel like I am making progress. My understanding grows in clarity with each passing day.

As a side note my favorite ritual, by far, are my daily walks to a nearby park bench which lies under two mature maples, overlooking the Rideau river. I sit for about twenty minutes in attempted silence, or I ponder the latest spiritual tidbit I have come across. Today was especially beautiful (see the picture below looking up from the bench).

Looking Up

I am actually dreading the coming winter and being robbed of my routine by the bitter cold.

On some level I believe I am afraid of seeking out a local spiritual community on the basis that they may challenge certain beliefs that are currently giving me comfort. One of my greatest concerns on this spiritual path is coming across someone who believes they are enlightened, but actually aren’t, and they say something that shakes the very foundation of my beliefs.

I often been tempted to attend one of Eckhart Tolle’s retreats, though they timing isn’t great now with two kids under three. I wonder what the experience has been like for anyone who has attended. Has it been transformational? They say meeting a guru can greatly expedite a spiritual journey.

For the moment I will hold my course as it has served me well. But I am very interested in hearing any opinions you may have to offer.

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6 thoughts on “Is Community Needed On A Spiritual Journey?”

    1. Thanks for the link. I have read it a few times. Despite all the initial resistance you seem to have found your time there a valuable experience. That pretty much seems to be my path as well, though stuck in resistance for the moment.

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  1. I feel your words deeply, Graham. Like you I know no one who is on a path like mine. When I try to talk to others, offer up whatever advice or insight I may have, it usually doesn’t end well – I think I have a tendency of coming across too strongly. My wife tells me she feels like a child being parented. 😦 Not QUITE what I’m after … I take some solace in knowing that – despite the fact that there are unlimited paths to Truth – we all end up at exactly the same place. Keep heart and keep opening yourself to others around you – they may just surprise you. Peace!

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