It’s been a bit like this for me over the last five years or so. I could blame meditation, the death of my eldest brother, mid-life crisis, a career change or any number of other things. But what caused it is missing the point. The point is that I have started to discover that there is more to reality than science alone can explain. There is more to life than ‘head and heart’ – though they are great and valuable.
For me it started as a growing realisation that I had a purpose and that I had not been living that purpose. My life would only have meaning if I aligned my day-to-day living with that purpose. I am not here simply to earn a living – I am here also to be of service to something: a better, kinder, more equitable future.
Something else happened along the way. As I slowed down, I began to let in more – more of the natural world, more of the people around me. I began to become more connected. And as I became more connected I began to be amazed by it all. I saw things afresh. Complete strangers became fascinating, beautiful. Stars, flowers, trees, sunsets all captivated me.
And when this starts to happen, reality truly shifts. Let all this stuff in and you cannot go on as before. You start to care for the stuff, care about stuff. Dare I say it, everything becomes sacred – by which I mean it deserves to be treated with care and wherever possible to be nourished.
This is how I came to what we at Oasis often call the transpersonal side of life. Transpersonal psychology studies those aspects of living beyond the self – this bigger sense of connection to other people and to the world. I am fascinated by this and spend more and more of my time in this realm. I have seen great things happen when people get in touch with their own sense of purpose when people and organisations find a deeper meaning when we trust our intuition and gut feeling when we reach out to someone with love and compassion.
A small group of us in Oasis have been exploring the role of the transpersonal in our lives and work. We are ready now to offer a couple of opportunities to anyone else in the wider community (and the general public) wanting to explore these issues.
Towards the end of November, we will be staging a Death Café. This is a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a safe space to talk with others about any and all things related to death and dying.
Then on the first Sunday in December, we are starting a monthly series of open meetings to explore the transpersonal. This will be very lightly facilitated, providing space for reflection, chat and discussion around issues of meaning, connectivity, and all things to do with the less tangible aspects of our existence.
It felt like a bit of a risk putting these things out into the world. It is hard to know how to position them. They are about taboos and things that are intangible. They are about spirit and soul but not about any particular brand of religion or faith. They are about lightly touching on aspects of human life that can sometimes be difficult, a little raw – as well as often joyful and affirming.
In the end, though it was an easy decision. For me, it felt right and timely to honour a growing internal need to connect with others around these issues – and to provide a space for the growing number of people I meet who want that little something more in their life.
People call this by different names – mindfulness, the transpersonal, spirituality, meaning – the names don’t matter. What it’s about is embracing that felt sense that there is something more. This is when the cracks start to appear and as we know, the cracks are where we catch a glimpse of the future.