Building Your Spiritual Home
Companions on the Road
Wherever we are on our journey, our beliefs and behaviors
are embedded in the network of our relationships. We usually
try to find friends who agree with us, help us to be comfortable
with who we are. And if we change, this is likely to be reflected
in changes in our network. I look at the therapists I have
chosen, and can read the history of my relationship to myself
as it evolved. I chose my first therapist, Dr S. from three
that I interviewed. I chose her because she was the only one
who seemed not to like me. She seemed stern and I figured
she wouldn’t let me get away with anything. She was
very helpful, but I always felt her as unloving. After a stint
in the Army, I chose a second therapist. Dr N. seemed to like
me all right and that was okay by then. My third therapist,
Dr B., felt like a good and loving friend. One could say I
was getting better. One could blame it on the good therapy
I was getting, or on other changes in my life.
A similar progression occurred in communities of worship.
When our children came, we tried a local temple recommended
by family. We were very unhappy with the materialism and lack
of compassion we felt there. After five years, we finally
quit, and felt much more comfortable in our downwardly mobile,
very tolerant, very liberal Unitarian Universalist Church.
It supported a search for God, rather than any particular
path. This environment supported our non-hierarchical relationship
with our children, our efforts to avoid the materialism of
the culture, and our general openness about our feelings and
our life. And in supporting our lifestyle, it also helped
us move further in our chosen direction.
In 1982 I helped form a men’s group that continued
for 19 years. We could discuss our families, our relationships,
and our style of interacting. We tended to be honest, confrontative,
helpful. But it was not a place where we discussed spiritual
questions or yearnings. After it broke up, its place was taken
by a small therapist group interested in reading about spiritual
therapy, and also a group of psychics eager to share extra-ordinary
experience and to support each other in this pursuit. Both
of these new groups supported my own changing interest, from
the world of relationships to our relationships with the transcendent.
In general, we are likely to find ourselves attracted to
a different set of friends as we evolve. We need to seek support,
information and encouragement that fits with our own evolution.
I would also like to mention individuals who have offered
not just support, but leadership along the path. Everett,
a rabbi, helped me to fall in love with the natural world
around us and to find God there. Ward, a minister, suggested
transcendental meditation before I had even heard of it. He
also introduced me and my wife to creation spirituality, which
had a huge impact on our world view. Rick, an old friend,
arranged a life-changing psychic reading, and gave me my first
deck of Tarot cards. And Mary, my minister and spiritual advisor,
helped me to move miles further in my spiritual quest. And
of course, my wife, with whom I feel like I share a common
mind and a common path through life.
All these people, and many others, have led me along the
path. My main contribution was that I was often seeking ideas,
feedback and suggestions. I was asking for help. And, more
important, I was willing to try something new. I took risks.
1) Think of three people who have most affirmed and supported
you in life.
2) Think of three people you have affirmed and supported.
3) Do you have a community of faith? Does it support you and
4) Do you have other affiliations that support you?
GET A LIFE
THE JOY OF A DEPRESSED
OPENING MANY DOORS
THE PATH OF MEDITATION
GIVING UP CONTROL
MARRIAGE AS A CHANGE
STRUCTURES THAT SUPPORT
VERMONT AND NATURE
TO HELL WITH DIGNITY
COMPANIONS ON THE ROAD
WHAT SHAPES LIFE
MAKING FRIENDS WITH GOD