Longing for communion

William 2

This morning I was drawn to play my guitar, and became a bit lost, or found, in the beautiful melodies and driving rhythms which emerged. The moment became sacred. A sense of oneness arrived. For me, this pattern of experiencing the longing for communion has been around all my life. It seems to be the nature of a mystic to keep returning into True Home day after day, alone and with others.

In everyone’s personality there are innate patterns which move us, referred to as archetypes by Dr. Carl Jung and others. One of the archetypes which expresses itself in me is the Orphan/Regular Guy/Everyman. The core desire for this archetype is said to be connecting with others (and in my case with the Divine). The goal is to belong. The greatest fear is to be left out. The weakness is the tendency to lose oneself in an effort to blend in. And the talents include empathy and a lack of pretense.

Union with the Divine is referred to as the essential goal of all true religion by Richard Rohr in his book, Immortal Diamond. That is probably not the message most religious people grew up with. But I have to say the shift away from a belief-based religion and toward an experiential religion has been exceptionally important for me. I believe the diverse people who find their way into the groups, classes, workshops, and retreats of our School for Contemplative Living are also drawn into this direct knowing in experience.

I wrote many of the stories of Monks in the World to depict this common longing for communion as it is uniquely expressed in each person who joins us on the contemplative path. So I heartily recommend the book for anyone who is seeking this communion with the Divine in community. I want to encourage you that this life is not only possible, but our destiny. And our stories form a group spiritual memoir that hopes to express the call saying, “You too can walk a contemplative path, and find the longing for communion satisfied a little each day.” When I sign it for friends I usually just say, “Come walk this Way with us.”

I welcome your responses.


About soulcare4u

I am the author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic World, published by Wipf & Stock and available through Amazon.com; and of a blog on Wordpress.com, "A Contemplative Path." I serve as the founding spiritual director of The School for Contemplative Living (www.thescl.net), adjunct faculty of Loyola University, and as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in private practice.
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3 Responses to Longing for communion

  1. Max says:

    Thank you for doing what you do, William — or maybe it’s better to say thank you for being who you are, or embracing who you are? In any case, your witness and your efforts are changing many lives for the better, and I am grateful.

  2. Russ Thames says:

    Bill, glad to here of your connection with music. I play piano and drums and my experience is very much like yours: it’s a connection with the Bealtes or Dylan or Ludwig van Beethoven or Bach. The music is a prayer of sorts, from one or more people to the whole world, connecting everyone who hears the music. Music touches our emotions so easily, it’s like love.

  3. Stephanie Smith Hammontree says:

    I have always found traditional prayer–sitting and praying for country, leaders, church, and the “prayer list,” to be exceptionally difficult . For me it is a discipline, not a joy . Therefore, embracing and immersing myself in the contemplative Christian lifestyle has brought my soul relief! I no longer wallow in guilt about not praying for the starving people in India today–because God knows my heart aches for the hungry everywhere–Now, my times of silent, open communion with God and all that God is are cherished moments filled with joy and peace–
    And sometimes I still do pray for starving people–

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