Spiritual Connection Groups are for those who wish to meet, interact and grow with like-minded people, committed to the realization that the “sound of subtle silence”—the stillness beyond the clamor—is both who we ultimately are and what connects us to each other.
In a sense, the name is a paradox: we are already connected spiritually. But beyond the philosophical fascination with this idea of oneness or even occasional experiential glimpse of its validity, to what extent are we committed to embodying it? And what opportunities are there in our culture to meet those who share our aspiration?
Spiritual Connection Groups are meant to serve as safe places for spiritual aspirants—including “closet” aspirants or those in whom such an aspiration is only budding—to come together on a regular basis (once every 3-4 weeks) and nurture a relationship based on that which cannot be expressed in words. The focus of the work would be the creation of a sacred “We” space, which will nurture and cultivate the realization of our oneness.
Such sacred We space has been alluded to in the scriptures of the world’s major religions. Below are a few examples:
Judaism: “If two sit together and the words between them are of Torah, then the Shechinah [divine presence] is in their midst.” (Mishnah, Pirke Avot 3:2)
Christianity: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Islam: “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves” (Qur’an 3:103)
Buddhism: “Happy is the unity of the Sangha [spiritual community]. Happy is the discipline of the united ones.” (Dhammapada 194)
Hinduism: “May He protect us both. May He nourish us both. May we both work together with great energy. May our study be enlightening and fruitful. May we not have ill feeling towards each other. Om Peace, Peace, Peace.” (Taittiriya Upanishad 2:2:2)
Sessions are 2-hours-long and include guided meditations, group spiritual direction, discussions and text study, and are facilitated by Igal Harmelin. Meetings between group members in between sessions, whether physical or virtual, are encouraged but optional. At present the size of the groups is limited to 5-8 people.