Research shows that our nervous system is soothed when we belong to a group of caring people. Environmental scientist and Zen teacher Kritee Kanko writes that we must form small spiritual communities, islands of sanity and resilience, to meet the climate crisis of our time. Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh says that "The next Buddha will be a Sangha," a spiritual community. It is time to pay attention to the Third Jewel! What practices, therefore, can we undertake to create true bonds of friendship and belonging?
This workshop centers on spiritual storytelling as a means of fostering intimacy, authenticity, empathy, and caring. Participants will be invited to immerse themselves in silent reflection through a guided meditation, allow a memory to arise, and then write (using pen and paper) a personal narrative about a moment or event that asks for our attention. Stories will be read in small groups, with guidance on mindful listening and holding space. Reconvening as a large group, we will reflect on the insights that arise from writing our own story, the experience of listening to others' stories, and how such sharing can further the building of community.