By Darshan Kaur
Yogi Bhajan often said that our longing to belong is a gift; that this unique desire is really just a yearning for Oneness with the Infinite. We experience the longing to belong in so many ways: wanting to fit in, wanting to be a part of something, wanting to do our part with others; and we search for commonalities—in groups, religions, neighborhoods, communities.
Community spells togetherness, and ‘together’ comes from the words “to gather.” Like, ‘family,’ community is about the gathering of people who share something, whether it is blood lines, hobbies and other interests, or a spiritual path. What I have always loved about our spiritual family is its diversity. People from every walk of life, from all over the world all come together in prayer. I am not sure if there is anything more profound, or life-altering in existence than that.
Our interactions in community are with a large group of individuals, generally in a work, living, or common interest setting. And these activities create the cozy, warm feeling that we associate with belonging to a larger purpose. We can find the fulfillment of ‘longing to belong’ on many levels and in many types of relationships, but relationships in community also serve a larger function in creating a structure in which we can live and share our personal values.
Within spiritual organizations the drive for community is very special, because it is joyful to find a place to share spiritual values and beliefs with people who share the same spiritual practices.
The Guru tells us that spiritual community is actually a necessary component on the road to our own awakening. Through spiritual community, we receive encouragement and understanding of like-minded people, who really “get” what we’re going through and can inspire us to keep going. Also, spiritual community can become a pressure-cooker of sorts, where we learn to develop infinite tolerance and patience. Guru Nanak tells us in Japji, that it is this kind of patience that actually holds the world in place.
Communication, support, serving together, building community together—all are important ingredients to make spiritual community work. Spiritual organizations come into existence to honor the longing to belong and to serve as a merging point, while also showing us that merging with the Infinite is the ultimate in belonging.
Darshan Kaur Khalsa worked for Sikh Dharma International for 11 years, first as the Deputy Chief of Staff and then as the Director of Dasvandh. Her current venues are: Money Girl Consulting, Your Path to Prosperity Courses and Freelance Writing. She is a happy mom, writer, musician, and entrepreneur. She is the co-creator of Aquarian Wisdom Calendars and the Yogi Bhajan Every Day email service. For courses or consultations Darshan Kaur can be contacted at: [email protected]