Other Spiritual Communities
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Other Spiritual Communities
I'm spiritual, currently non-religious (though raised
Presbyterian) and I would like to find a spiritual community that
feels comfortable to me. I'm open to different paths, but would
prefer something not overly dogmatic and also not too new agey.
(I don't think the Religious Science churches are a good fit for
me.) Music would be a plus, but it's not essential. I live near
Piedmont and would like it to be an easy drive. I also would love
to find someplace that has a service during the week. Got any
Try Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
(in Alameda). We
don't meet mid-week, but our worship service is at 4:00 p.m. on
Sundays, a time many find very appealing. (And many stay for a
shared supper after the service.) We have 45-70 people at our
services. And you'll love the music! Check our website:
http://uuliveoak.org/index.htm. UUs are definitely not new age.
(Emerson, Thoreau, John & Abigail Adams were Unitarians.) You'll
find that UUs walk varied spiritual paths to find meaning and
purpose in our lives. But we are united in our belief in the
worth and dignity of all people, and the obligation to express
our faith through acts of justice and compassion. It's not
mid-week, but not the traditional Sunday morning either.
It's not clear if you are looking for something Christian or
are open to other faiths and traditions.
If you are open to non-Christian traditions, you might look
into local Buddhist sanghas (communities that practice
together), synagogues (especially more traditional or orthodox
ones, which will have at least daily morning service; some
more ''liberal'' synagogues may also have some sort of week-day
service), or mosques. Of course, you'd need to connect with
the appropriate faith leader to orient you, but maybe you'll
find a new spiritual home.
Also, many people like Siddah Yoga Center in Oakland as a place
for spiritual exploration and practice. You local Catholic
church may also offer services or other spiritual practice
Our congregation, Epworth United Methodist Church, does not
fulfill all your desiderata (no mid-week service except on
special occasions, a bit far from Piedmont), but enough of them
that I thought I would recommend a look-see. We are a welcoming
community with a wonderful pastor and choir, modest in size, very
warm and progressive. Not dogmatic, far from it. Here's the
website: http://www.epworthberkeley.org/ If you're interested,
I'm happy to answer any questions.
This might be a strange place to look for this, but I'm longing to find someone who will give
me individual guidance in following my spiritual path. I resonate with Buddhism and yoga but
I feel I would grow much more in a one-on-one setting than I've found at the local centers.
Therapy has really worked for me in growing in emotional ways and I wonder if there's a
spiritual equivalent to that kind of intense relationship. I want someone who is not from any
Judeo-Christian (or other) RELIGION, but rather someone who is intelligent, reality- and
experience-based (not faith-based or God-based) who would challenge me to see beyond the
mundane world in which most of us usually function.
Inspirational teachers for me have included Ram Dass, Pema Chodron, the Dalai Lama, and BKS
Iyengar. Any suggestions?
If you have a teacher yourself and would be willing to talk to me about him or her, I'd love
to have some contact info from you.
I'd like to tell you about my spiritual teacher, Joan Sutherland. She is a Buddhist teacher in a
contemporary Zen lineage. I've worked with Joan for over ten years and she is fabulous, extraordinarily
wise and smart and compassionate.
Working with her has truly changed my life. Joan lives in Sonoma County, and has daylong retreats about
once a month. She is also available for one on one conversations (phone or in
person) at other times, and the group does some longer meditation retreats. Joan has a web site
Good luck in your search.
You may want to check out the Vedanta temple in Berkeley -- they have a swami or two there who can give
you personalized instruction. I really like the Vedanta philosophy because it reveres the divine, but
also tells you to be pragmatic and to keep your feet on the ground!
Lisa in Oakland
I warmly recommend meditation called Sahaja Yoga, it has made my life a lot more
balanced than it was before. They have free introductory classes in Berkeley every
Monday 7 pm - 8:30 pm at
2029 Durant Ave, (cross st., Shattuck),Berkeley 94704. You can drop in any Monday.
To find more info please visit http://www.bayyoga.org/. I truly recommend to go to
try out this
experience- then you'll only know what it is about!
I'm a mother of a 16 month old and am searching for a spiritual
community that is earth based in its nature. (ie. goddess
centered, celebrates the sun and moon cycles) I have found
that these kinds of groups are very hard to find and very
diverse in nature. You can get all types. I was once active
in a women's spiritual circle, but most of the women have since
move away. Can someone recommend a place to go and search?
Are groups posted somewhere? Are unitarian church along this
line? I really want to start introducing my daughter to these
different holidays, and they're so much more meaningful when
done in community. Any suggestions?
No-I'm-Not-a -Wacko Earth Momma
Try www.circleround.com. This is the website for a book called
''Circle Round'' which is about sharing goddess/nature based
traditions with kids. Great book. Written by three local women.
On thier website they have listed under events, some local groups
that might interest you. I've never checked them out as that
isn't my scene, so I can't say anything about them. But you might
like the book.
Dear Not a Wacko -- The Unitarians in Oakland used to have a
Sacred Hoop group that did family ritual, but it's kind of faded
away. Check in with Ancient Ways, the store on Telegraph at 40th
or 41st, they are in touch with lots of folks. Blessed be.
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