During this year’s Convergence, we tried to connect two threads: The places we call home and the spiritual practices that ground us in those places. The purpose of spiritual practice, for many of the world’s religious traditions, is to facilitate a personal encounter with the Divine, with our True Selves, with the Absolute.
Place is not a bounded or static entity. It is a portal through which we are led. I like to think of it as one of those paintings you have to stare at for a while, before you can see what is hidden. A place becomes sacred when we begin to see what is really there. On our maps, there is often just a large monochromatic green patch for parks and protected areas. This is the hight of abstraction, and colonial hubris. Places are full of the memories and particularities of those who dwell and have dwelt in them. Spiritual practices can facilitate a deep connection to places, and thus to an ethic of care. During the Convergence, we learned to sit still in a place and listen.
What else can we do?
- Mark the seasons, and solar cycles
- Learn to ethically forage edible foods
- Learn to meditate
- Listen to First People’s stories of the land
- Eat mindfully
- Learn the names of plants and trees
- Walk a labyrinth
- Go hiking
- Attend a worship service, or sit in a quiet church/temple/synagogue
- Engage someone you don’t know
- Find like minded people to talk with
- Allow one’s self to grieve for loss
What other spiritual practice do you do to connect with place?