Community: Then and Now
Our feature story this month, “The Emerging Power of ‘We’, Awakening to the Evolution of Community,” by Linda Sechrist, prompted me to reflect on the role community has played in my life.
Coming from a large family in a rather small home, with one bathroom and an open-door policy to friends and family of all ages, just being home felt like being in a community. With a kitchen table that doubled for a cafeteria table and the girl’s bedroom with five beds and sometimes sleeping bags in between, one was never alone.
My first real sense of community, outside of home, came when my dad and a sibling started visiting a different church than the one mom preferred. Eventually, mom followed with the rest of us in tow and we began diving deeply into a newly formed Christian community. This community was much different than what we’d been previously exposed to in that the sense of community was intimate with deep roots. Our family firmly rooted quickly.
Sunday morning services eventually expanded into Sunday School and evening services with weekly Bible study groups and prayer meetings. It was a healthy and very happy community for me during those days. In my young adulthood, I began straying from that community and found myself lacking any kind of spiritual community for over 30 years. Though I rarely get to see the folks from those days except for special occasions and funerals, it’s always just as though we were together yesterday. In those moments, the sense of intimacy with that community returns.
Thankfully, I’ve found my way back to spiritual community with the Centers for Spiritual Living with my base being Concordia CSL, in Rhode Island, near my home. My experience at finding this new community was very similar to the first—another warm and welcoming place where I immediately felt at home. It’s been three years this month and my roots are firmly planted and growing, surrounded by lots of healthy, well-fertilized soil, rich with positivity and potentiality that my psyche is absorbing.
The feature and thinking about community inspired me to act on creating an intentional community for Natural Awakenings readers within the Insight Timer IOS/Android App. It’s something I’ve thought about since I first learned of the app a few months ago. There’s no better time than now to share it with you as we launch.
Insight Timer is a free meditation app with over 30,000 free meditations as well as paid options for classes and additional features. One of my favorite aspects of this app is that I can see who and how many people around the world I am meditating with in real-time. This feeling of global connectivity is very powerful, which is why I created a space for us to come together locally online as well.
If you’d like to participate, join in or learn more, visit NABoston.com/pages/join-our-email-list. Add your name to the Insight Timer email list and we’ll send you an invitation to the group. Alternatively, you may download the app at iTunes or Google Play and search for Natural Awakenings Greater Boston Community. I hope you join me. With hopes for each one to find the perfect community within which to thrive.