Community Around Practices

My goal is to be in a community centered around a practice. I want a practice that nurtures and grows a certain state of being… of being well, of being peaceful, of being aware. I believe we have this in Authentic Montreal and I’m really happy about it.

Every community needs something to hold it together. In ancient times the something, the juicy spice that held people together, was survival! Your odds of survival were much greater in a community that shared food gathering/hunting, protection from wild animals and other people, shelter building to protect from the elements, etc..

Today, we have little need for community to survive. We do need fellow people, but the interactions through online transactions that order supplies to your doorstep, impersonal purchases at the grocery store, and online payments for energy and water do not require any significant relation or community for them to occur. We can plug into this system with little significant human contact and all our survival needs are met.

Except one: connection. Connection and its many forms – companionship, love, touch, shared purpose, etc. – may not be necessary for immediate physical survival, but it is necessary for mental well being and mental well being is necessary for physical health (there are a host of diseases related to or exacerbated by things like stress, loneliness, depression).

We still need community. And we have a scarcity of it.

Churches, despite the decline of religion, still have some of the most vibrant long lasting communities in the world. Most of these communities are centered around beliefs. Though there is nothing wrong with communities centered around beliefs, an increasing number of people don’t hold those beliefs. I am among them and find it difficult to be part of such communities.

I’ve asked myself: can I adopt the beliefs of religion X? The answer has always been “no” for me. The question then became, “if I can’t adopt a set of beliefs to be part of a community, what can I adopt?”

I can adopt a set of practices and an intention to nurture an awakened state of being.

There are communities around practices, too. There are yoga communities, meditation communities, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, etc.. These are all communities around a practice that has the intention of growth and cultivating awareness and well being. I remember many times participating in these communities. There was just one problem. We rarely interacted. The practice was fundamentally solo.

Enter Authentic Relating. Here’s a practice that is fundamentally relational and has the potential to nurture awareness and foster self development. This is exactly the kind of practice I want at the center of community and is why I’m so excited about Authentic Montreal.

I envision Authentic Montreal growing and individuals growing within the community. I see us becoming more aware and feeling more fulfilled. And I see us doing this… together. I say “I see”, but we are doing this already.

Eckhart Tolle shares in “A New Earth” the inner purpose of all people is to awaken. There’s a great fulfillment to be had when we’re in touch with this purpose. With a practice like circling, where we want to be aware of what is, of each other, we are awakening. Creating a community around this practice supports each other in awakening as well as in life in general. We are deepening our connection to life, to each other, and to the world. We are becoming more aware of how we show up and how we can show up.

This is why I’m so excited. If you haven’t already joined Authentic Montreal for circling then I invite you now!

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