By Maris Könning
For many, many years I have avoided groups and communities, living almost outside of society. When I started my ASOS training five years ago, I did that also because my dear friend was in the group and I could hide behind her back. When I came from Europe to the ASM in the US because the theme of the ASM was the MAGI, which I love, I thought about meeting all those new people as something I could handle and would survive.
And here I am now, writing about my dream for the community!
Not only did the training lessen my fear and gave me much more trust in others, myself and life, I also came to see the importance of a community for my wellbeing and that of the world. Maybe we can survive without a community, but we can’t blossom, thrive and grow without one to support and challenge us. I also came to see that, to live in a world with so much chaos, separation and violence we need the nondual work to stay whole and healing and to help the world heal.
We need a community that is supportive. A place where we are encouraged to go our way and where we are able to fall back to. A container that makes it possible to accomplish things in the world. We need like-minded people to talk with, to be fed and to struggle with to develop ourselves and the work. We need a place where we are embraced as we are, where we can build nourishing connections and are able to find our way in healing ourselves and the world.
My hope is that we are able to build a community that is safe. Not safe because it is predictable. Not safe because it is avoiding and preventing being hurt or getting into conflict or other troubles, but safe because it includes and welcomes all of that. A community that encourages real connections that include disconnection. A community that is willing to embrace every difference and difficulty and see the beauty in it. A community that is built on taking responsibility for our self and letting others be exactly who they are. That sees troubles and conflicts as chances and as opportunities to heal, to enlarge our awareness and to open hearts. That enlarges our ability to see more and more of the wonder that life is.
My hope is that we can build a community that is a Healing Presence in the world. Our world suffers so much from separation, exclusion, fear of the unknown and choosing one side in opposition to the other, resulting in violence against ourselves, each other, our planet and life itself. It needs exactly what our work has to offer: connection with yourself, each other and life as it is. Inclusion instead of exclusion. An open heart to all we are and all there is.
I would love to see a lot of small and big activities. Big meetings, with many people in the US and Europe, smaller meetings in person and online, practice support groups, discussion and development groups, forums on the internet, courses, newsletters written by almost everyone, hundreds of people taking all kinds of initiatives. It will be great to create together events for ourselves, for other people and for the world.
In my ASOS class I found a group of friends.
When I came to the US I found a group of unknown people that welcomed me, were interested in who I am, and, to my big surprise, where I felt I belonged. So far away from home with almost all strangers I found that there was a place for me. I felt that there is a community where I belong, however I am, whatever I feel or think or do. A home.
My dream is that all that are touched by our nondual work find a home in our community. That all feel that there is a place for them and that they are need.
Read the article about community from Jason Shulman. You can find it on our web page CLICK HERE