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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Spiritual Café as Diverse as Coffee Selection
Twenty-one diverse people gathered at Serious Coffee in Courtenay on Sunday, March 27 to discuss the topic, “The Nature of True Religion”. The open forum began with all of us sitting in a large circle group, each of us sipping or holding a cup of our favourite beverage. The icebreaker began with our telling of our religious experience and how it affected our life. There was talk of Abrahamic religions including Baha’i faith, Christianity, and Gnosticism, Indian religions including Buddism and Hinduism, East Indian religion including Confucianism, and Aethism.
The larger group broke into smaller groups of four and sat at round tables to encourage participation, eye contact, active listening, and a sense of community. The questions at each table were “What is true religion?” and, “How can we know?” The lively discussion brought out the best in each of us. I witnessed hope, love, curiosity and respect. Even when the moderator suggested we take a short break, no one moved from his or her chair and the discussions continued. At the end of the first session, two participants from each table moved to another.
The question at the last session was, “How is humanity influenced by true religion?” Once again the members opened up their minds and hearts and expressed themselves eloquently in light of the spiritual environment.
At the end of the two-hour gathering, we locked our new friends in hugs and handshakes and wished them well until we saw them again.