We had a wonderful first Zoom gathering in April. There were about 15 of us on the call, and it went very well. It wasn’t the same as being in person with each other, but I think those of you who participated would agree that it was very worthwhile, since you told me you are interested in more Zoom gatherings.
I hope more of you can join with us next time. And next time will be Saturday May 16. I am adjusting the time period a bit–a 105-minute session instead of a 2 hour or 120 minute session, or, from 10:15 am to noon, because 2 hours over Zoom feels a bit long for a few people and for me.
The focus of the gathering will be “spiritual shadow.” We will look at and discuss how most spiritual communities have had shadow showing up in their midst, as well as how we each have our own personal spiritual shadow elements. Spiritual shadow encompasses many aspects: from a spiritual teacher who has taken advantage of his/her followers –such as inappropriately using money, power and sex– to an “inner circle” of followers who feel superior to other followers/community members, to a personal “spiritual bypassing” that just about everyone engages in at times.
After the initial guided meditation, I will ask for brief check-ins from group participants only if they feel pertinent to the whole group, where it feels the group would benefit from the check in. The check-ins will be limited to 1-2 minutes, depending on how many people participate.
I have been finishing up a nine-month mentorship involving studying spiritual communities with shadow elements. I will share with you what I have learned from the mentorship as well as what I witnessed within a spiritual community of which I was a participant for many years. There will also be an exercise for you to explore your personal spiritual shadow. Any of you who have experienced spiritual shadow within a spiritual community of which you were a member/participant will have the opportunity to share your own experiences.
To start us off, I want to recommend “Wild Wild Country”, streamed on Amazon Prime, if you happen to be a member. The documentary is a six-part series about the rise and fall of “Osho” –as he is best known–and his community of followers. The movie is not required viewing for the ATS gathering, and is approximately 6-7 hours long. Even if you are only able to watch one or two episodes, you will find it helpful. It is a wonderful documentary series.
Please let me know if you plan to attend the Zoom gathering or not. These gatherings are free, since I don’t need to pay a room rental fee for when we meet in person.
We may stay with the topic of spiritual shadow for the next few months, depending on your interest.