Updated: Feb 14, 2019
Buddhists have a holy day to celebrate their spiritual community! And it is coming up soon. According to the wonders of Google – it is February 19th, this year, although the date varies for it is based on the lunar calendar.
On Sangha Day Buddhists celebrate both the ideal of creating a spiritual community, and also the actual spiritual community which they are trying to create. (BBC)
THE IDEAL OF CREATING A SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY. And the actual, because the actual rarely reflects the ideal.
(Do you ever find yourself looking at different world faiths, thinking “I could use some of that”? I think I’m having one of those moments.)
Who is your spiritual community? How are you connected to those people that you consider a part of your spiritual community? These are issues that I reflect on regularly, living in a home where faith has been encouraged inside a traditional Christian-centric family.
What happens when your spiritual journey takes you outside of that traditional definition that still exists inside your family? What happens when your spiritual community differs drastically from the one your family has raised you to honour?
The answer to me is simple, you expand your circle of honouring. You respect the community that raised you to be curious, to seek the spiritual path and you honour that in whatever way you see fit.
When I was baptized I was blessed with three godparents and a community of friends that have stuck together through it all. They would be undoubtedly abashed to hear that I think of them collectively as my Fairy Godparents, but there we have it.
These individuals made a commitment to me to accompany me on my spiritual journey and they have completely held up their end of the bargain. When I was young and rebellious, they held me in their prayers, and were there when I needed them. They supported me as I grew up and took on difficult jobs, but ones where my heart was engaged.
It was these people who stood by my side as my father was taken from us by cancer, and it was their prayers and support that saw me through my own struggle with cancer.
When I was sick and too tired to deal with the pressures of this world, my spiritual family came in and helped clean up my world, never passing judgement, just making it better.
I am so grateful that they are there for me in special ways everyday too. Whether it be a random note or email, or visit, I am always grateful for their offerings. They are all devout in their faith and it doesn’t matter to them that we find our ways to faith differently, what matters to them is that I find MY way.
With this foundation, what a structure I can build. My faith is HUGE, it is LOVELY, it has ROOTS that reach out in every direction, feeding on nutrients from the very world that sustains us.
This is what I am reflecting on as I reflect on my spiritual community…. And oh how it is growing. I am so pleased to be reaching a place where I can connect with people who “get it” and honour my journey. This is what I look for in my spiritual community, and I agree with the Buddhists who believe that it is worthy of celebrating. Everyday.