Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

Who am I? Where am I going? Why am I here?

These are the questions that seem to strike at the core of your very existence. They drive you and compel you forward in every aspect of your life: your work, your family, your friendships. You love to have those deep conversations and ask the hard questions of yourself and others.

You hate small talk.

You are inspired by the big thinkers, the deep thinkers,the philosophers and the poets, the ones who demand that you ask the hard questions of yourself. And in the process, you begin to explore your faith, searching for greater meaning. You want to connect with others who are also asking the hard questions in their own lives.

Because sometimes it is lonely on this journey and you yearn to feel the connection of belonging. You yearn to feel the fulfillment of understanding and being understood.

Along the way, you encounter suffering. Deep suffering. Suffering that is your own and others. The horrors of war…Of famine…Of poverty… Of oppression.. They sometimes keep you up at night. How can so many terrible things exist alongside such breathtaking beauty? How can this deep, existential sadness exist alongside this wellspring of hope that burbles up inside you?

This is the paradox of faith and the nonduality of spirit. And you want to not only understand how two opposing ideas can both be true, but also learn how to embrace this new reality of Oneness. To play inside the mystery. To live it.

But how? How do you find or create the spiritual basis for a life that is meaningful to you?

Perhaps you grew up in a particular religious tradition and it didn’t quite fit. (Or perhaps it didn’t fit at all.) And maybe you’ve explored or dabbled with other wisdom traditions, but haven’t quite felt like they work for you and self-help isn’t cutting it. You know there are other options out there, a cornucopia of spiritual practices and religious traditions, but you aren’t clear on how to get started with deeper exploration.

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