Tue, May 24
- Sun, May 22 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
- Tue, May 24 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
"I pin my hopes to quiet processes and small circles,
in which vital and transforming events take place.”
-- Rufus Jones
As Thich Nhat Hanh teaches, taking refuge in the sangha includes believing in the collective wisdom of a group of people who choose to practice in the same way on the path to liberation. Sharing our experiences and supporting one another off the cushion are part of the beauty of taking refuge in the sangha.
In a small circle of spiritual friends we can become clearer about our experiencing, thinking and feeling, and deepen our curiosity and ability to receive the gifts of this practice and this precious human life.
These Companion groups consist of 3-5 people who meet to share what is alive in their practice as it is embodied and experienced in their daily lives. Each meeting generally starts with sitting, followed by a poem or reading that people choose as a focus of their sharings. Each person then has a time to share more deeply about their lives and practice. The first person shares, followed by a brief silence, then a time for the rest of the group to ask honest, clarifying questions without telling, judging or advice-giving. This is followed by another brief silence and then the pattern is repeated until everyone has shared. Time is reserved at the end for appreciations and honest sharing about the group’s interaction.
It is not difficult to form a Companions for the Journey group, which could be done in person or through video or conference calls. Still Water wishes to encourage people to form these supportive circles as a way of strengthening both the life and practice of individuals and also the life of the community.
The Companions for the Journey Groups will be initiated by two 60-90 minute phone calls on Sunday, May 22nd (3:00 - 4:30 pm) and Tuesday, May 24th (8:00 - 9:30 pm). Those who wish to be part of a group can participate in either call (or both). These short offerings will provide more detailed guidance in forming and conducting a small sharing circle of spiritual companions, and help in determining whether this type of group is right for you. There will be time for questions and additional written material will be provided.
The success of these types of intimate groups greatly depends on the trust that develops with mutual commitment and presence. We are asking that groups commit to meet for six months, either every other week or once a month. And that participants make regular attendance a priority.
On-going support for ten Companions for the Journey groups will be offered by Ann Kline, an experienced spiritual direction group facilitator, and by Mitchell Ratner, Still Water’s Senior Teacher for the six-month start-up period.
The Companions for the Journey Groups are offered in the spirit of Dana. Participants are encouraged to make a donation to the Still Water MPC that accords with the promptings of their heart and their personal circumstances. The tax-deductible contributions are used to support the community and its projects. All donations are appreciated.
The number of supported groups is limited, please register early.