We are looking at our computers, waiting for people to show up on the screen like lights coming on. One by one, we join from the West Coast, East Coast, and between coasts in the United States and Canada. We log in from places on other continents and time zones. It is evening here in California where I live, but Living School friends in England and Austria wake up before dawn to be on our call, and those in Japan and New Zealand are already wide awake in my “tomorrow.” It is common to see an early morning riser in Europe sitting up in bed, tousled, with a cup of tea, but ready!
This is our monthly “Zoom” conference call. All of us were in a small group in the first cohort of the Living School. But this informal group did not begin until we a year or more after we were “sent” from the Living School. I don’t even remember how it started.
The group size varies from 3 to 10 on any given call, as peoples’ lives are full. But what remains is the sense of camaraderie and support with each call. There is no blame if you can only show up once in a blue moon; the “welcome back” is sincere.
We support each other on the contemplative path. In our check-ins, we often share where we are spiritually and what we are pondering, reading, struggling with, wondering about. We are “Anam Cara,” spiritual friends rather than social friends, and, as such, can reveal things that sometimes people in our daily life might not understand. We find ourselves surprised by what is evolving at times within us, and sometimes a bit disoriented and questioning. Some belong to regular churches and some never attend a church.
Sometimes a candle is lit to begin our conversation and then blown out at the end of our call. Sometimes we forget that and just jump right in. We are less sendees of the Living School in any formal sense and more a far-flung group who remind each other that we are not alone on this path. I find myself looking forward to the call, knowing that once I sign off, I will feel closer to myself, to these friends, and to the gift that is my life. As some like to say, “We are just walking each other Home.”