I found today’s practice to be a bit misaligned with the title, in that Deepak spent much of the time talking about finding groups that help enhance our spiritual journey, but didn’t really spend any time talking about how faith guides the journey. So, I’m going to do my best to bridge the two.
When you spend the time figuring out what makes up YOU – your beliefs, your likes and dislikes, your emotional state, etc., it only makes sense to naturally align yourself with those that hold similar compositions. You have faith that those you align yourself with, will only enhance and uplift who you truly are. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to get there or, you realize after a while that a particular group might not suit you anymore. But, what we discover through finding those like-minded groups, is that life is not a journey we have to go alone, and how lives are much fuller because of it.
Whether we know it or not, we have been aligning ourselves with groups from the time we are born – family (however that is defined for you), friends, political circles, religious circles, professional circles, etc. These circles constantly evolve, fade, and expand so long as you are evolving as a human. It’s only natural to pique curiosity, challenge ourselves, and evolve our ways of life by joining and/or forming new groups that better suit our current selves.
So how does this align with faith? Remember that faith stems from our core beliefs. Groups are support systems of sorts, sating the need to fulfill our core beliefs in a positive manner. Groups provide us with comfort, a feeling of safety, a feeling of joy, and a feeling of being full. Groups are what help to bring our core beliefs together, resulting in a full feeling of faith.
To give an example, these days you see all sorts of specialty fitness centers: spin centers, yoga centers, meditative centers, racquetball clubs, etc. People see that not everyone can identify with attending a gym that has multiple options for workouts – some might think it’s a waste of money, others might think that the offerings aren’t for them, etc. So, specialized fitness centers were formed where like-minded people can go to take their 3-times-a-week spin class, or go to their favorite yoga practice, without having all the excess “noise” that comes with a multi-functional gym. When this happens, the group that attends that spin class, ends up forming friendships outside of those classes, or perhaps a group starts to attend the same classes together, as a form of camaraderie and motivation. But the result is having their core needs met – they trust the group to support them motivationally, they feel the love from that support, they start to feel secure in their abilities during that class, and as a result, they feel whole. It’s because of this that their faith in themselves, and in others, blossoms.
Since we naturally are already a part of many groups in our lives, this practice is more about looking within yourself, to see if the groups you have aligned to (naturally or on purpose), suit you and who you are evolving to be. Take time to stake stock of what you like to do, and what you love to do. Take time to reflect on who you want to be in your life and begin to seek out things to try that align with this. When you get that “whole” feeling, you know you’ve arrived at a group that will give you faith you need to continue your journey.