Because linear action plans are not enough to sustain social action, we need to root our action in something deeper, a greater common ground, a wellspring of justice. The sacred refers to that which we hold dear – and worthy of reverence -- regarding values and meaning. At regular, local gatherings, the expressed purpose of which is to share what each other holds sacred and build compassion, we can, over time, build the depth of trust required to both celebrate and bridge differences between us so that we can co-create a world that works for all.
By creating local, accessible spaces to gather across traditional divides, learn the skills of compassion and reflection, and develop the trust needed to move social action forward, we will build the collaborative capacity needed to address adaptive challenges.
These nonsectarian, nonideological places are communities of practice based on human values of care, empathy, and deep reflection and serve as sources of public renewal – as we experience what it feels like to be connected as humanity and connect to our best selves.
By proliferating a simple model of gathering, more people can increase their inner capacity and ability to connect with others, and by extension, humanity’s collective ability to work together toward sustainable solutions. Such gathering spaces become even more important in pluralistic societies.
A place for spiritual growth rooted in wisdom traditions and behavioral science:
Research has now proven that contemplation changes the very structure, and function, of our brain. This is a key reason that it is a wellspring for just action. This is why world peace is predicated upon inner peace. This is why regular spiritual practice of society’s individuals is a prerequisite for the political and economic change required to address needs of sustainability.
A Sacred Space gathering includes community support for spiritual practice and provides an accessible place to receive it. To place those spiritual practices in the context of our wisdom traditions (the narratives and practices of world religions that reflect all of humanity) grounds spiritual development in a more illuminating narrative than only that of the individual ego.
A place for “Spiritual but not Religious” people to gather in an interfaith context:
Sacred Space is a place where people who have been either disinterested or disenfranchised by organized religion can connect to meet the sacred and learn reflective practices in a non-dogmatic, non-creedal way. More than one wisdom tradition is always honored, which cultivates the felt sense of spiritual freedom and the greater union shared by humankind that is beyond religious divisions.
A public place to reweave a sacred narrative of what it means to be human:
The movement of consciousness development needs to move beyond its buildings, digital networks, and cults of personality into so-called secular space to be both accessed and informed by the mainstream public. Interdisciplinary space greatly supports the ontological dialogue that is needed in our postmodern society.
A place for deeper connection, sense of belonging, and meaning-making:
Deeper relationships are cultivated through communal spiritual practice, safe space for deep dialogue, generous listening and sustained connection to the sacred in the midst of ordinary life.
The core strategies of Sacred Space include:
1) a radically accessible network of large and small group models of gathering (social architecture for the compassion movement), 2) a 10-week course on building the skills of compassion (education and shared linguistic for changing culture), and 3) spiritual direction and coaching support for behavioral change (evidence-based change science).
1) To be a place where relationship to self, ultimate reality, others, and the natural world is actively and intentionally nourished through the learning-teaching of spiritual practices, especially those of a contemplative nature 2) To make wisdom traditions more accessible in common life, offering more formative narratives to people than the consumer story 3) To make information on spiritual development more accessible to the public 4) To teach deeper ways of relating, listening, and thinking 5) To equip people with tools for spiritual growth and meaning-making 6) To make live, personal care through coaching and spiritual direction more accessible in modern life 7) To increase and normalize contemplative mind in society 8) To help people think globally and act locally toward the end of contributing to a more just and compassionate society; to inspire service 9) To build local spiritual and social capital needed for social change
A Sacred Space gathering functions to:
• Build bridges with existing spiritual and faith-based communities in local areas as their leaders are invited to share their autobiography, practice, and needs of their community. • Serve as a compelling showcase of life’s meaning, aiding in the rescuing of the human imagination from the consumer mindset. • Support the cultivation of an integral perspective and transformative leadership that are needed to address adaptive challenges of our day. • Build inner and social capital for regional change as a public regularly practices coming together as one • Help the general public meet their spiritual needs in a nonsectarian, non-dogmatic way