~ Joseph Campbell
This week I continue my look at “community.” When the topic of community comes up, many people immediately think about their neighborhoods, or groups or organizations, such as rotary, YWCA, church or spiritual center, ethnic clubs, etc., they belong to. Those are certainly our communities. But, we should be looking deeper into and beyond those groups and organizations by looking at alignment and our spiritual comfort level to determine if they support us and help meet our spiritual needs. If they don’t, we may feel the need to create community for ourselves.
Do you feel at ease with the members of the organizations you belong to? Hopefully, you are in agreement regarding goals of the organizations and groups, but do you feel truly comfortable with your fellow members? Do you feel at ease around your family and friends, because they are “community” too? Do you feel like there is a balanced exchange of energy, or do you frequently feel depleted after you’ve spent time with these people? Do you come away from gatherings happy and lifted up?
Those are questions to ask yourself regarding alignment and spiritual comfort and the communities you are a member of. If you frequently feel “dragged down” or frustrated after a group meeting or gathering, it could mean that the group, or a majority of the members, is not in alignment with you and your needs or your spiritual level or vibration.
During his recent visit to Pennsylvania, my friend and mentor Bhante Dhammawansha , a Sri Lankan Buddhist Monk, said we should spend time with people who are at or above our vibration, or spiritual comfort level. That way, we can maintain our vibration and lift it. We should not stay in relationships or communities that are spiritually uncomfortable for us or not within alignment.
As a Feng Shui practitioner and certified consultant, I use the Bagua as a template to lay over the floor plans of clients’ homes and offices in order to improve the flow of Chi, or life energy, within the space. If the flow of Chi throughout your home and/or office is disrupted or blocked, it will manifest in certain areas of your life, depending on where the disruptions or blockages occur in your space, and you’ll most likely feel it.
If you’re feeling that your life is lacking strong and supportive communities, or that you aren’t in alignment with the communities currently in your life, look at the “relationship” and “knowledge” areas of your home. These areas sit in opposite corners of the Bagua (relationship in the back right corner of the home or office and knowledge in the front left corner). These areas must be in balance with one another to feel a supportive and uplifting balanced sense of community.
If you feel you’re struggling with community, feeling left out of one, or feeling dragged down by those you participate in, look again at the relationship and knowledge areas of your home and/or office. Is there a missing piece in one or both of those areas? Is there something detrimental, such as a sharp angle, or an imbalance of elements, that requires a “cure” or an enhancement? Once you look at the knowledge and relationship areas and enhance and balance those areas, you’ll find it easier to find and create communities more suited to your needs and spiritual comfort level, or vibration.
I’ll repeat what I said last week, “creating community, and a sense of connection, is essential in life.” It’s important, especially in this age of virtual connection via devices, that we recognize that true human connection and interaction are vital to balance, happiness, and fulfillment. As extroverts and introverts, we each need a different amount of direct interaction, but that’s what we must discover for ourselves. By looking carefully at your needs and desires, you can determine and create the best and most supportive communities that feed and nurture your soul.
It seems fitting that I close with another Joseph Campbell quote:
“We’re not on our journey to save the world, but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world.”