We are Pilgrimage… a virtual interspiritual village
We are a community of diverse people who are all commited to becoming more personally activated, more relationally present, and more socially engaged. We are grounded in our own present experience [which is different for each of us] and seek to fullfill our own purpose [not only different, but dynamic] but we are all on the road together. We need each other. We support each other.
We meet virtually. We are connected online through this web site, through a conversation and community portal, by email, and by meeting by video conference. We are physically centered in St. Louis, MO, but we have members throughout the gobal village on planet Earth.
We are spiritual. Everyone is. Everything is. And we access and speak of our spirituality through myriad religious and poetic languages. We eschew uniformity in favor of diversity. The more perspectives the better.
Virtual Interspiritual Villages
Faith communities are increasingly connecting through the Internet. Web sites, email, social messaging, video conferencing, texting… these are ways that communities form and maintain themselves now and into the future. Sure, we will want to get together in person as we can. But mobility difficulties and the space-time continuum make it such that the in person gathering will be the exception.
The modern ecumenical movement in now over a century old. But interspirituality, the ability to meaningfully draw from the resources of multiple spiritual traditions, is something that has arisen in the last half century and is exploding for many reasons. Connections through the internet allow us to easily access teachings that would have required people to travel long distances or pour through dusty tomes to find a few years ago. Strictures against knowing or practicing outside of the traditions of one’s birth are crumbling. People with no religious affiliation or formation undertake Ignatian spiritual direction or fully participate in week-long meditation retreats of Buddhist or Hindu origin. While there are good reasons to pick a specific discipline and to go into it with depth and devotion, such a commitment doesn’t preclude adding from other resources.
It is hard to find the right word, and thus the right metaphor, for a virtual community. The usual words like church or congregation or sangha are religion specific. We sometimes use the word tribe which evokes ancient and indigenous images. But village seems to work best. We have in recent years heard that “it takes a village” to create some sort of shared good like raising children. Villages have semi-permeable boundaries. Some live close to the town center and some are rural neighbors. Everyone has a role but not everyone is on the village council. And folks come and go. Migration is not only normal but healthy for the various villages that experience a kind of cross-pollination of ideas.