Part of the mission of the Spiritual Naturalist Society includes helping to grow Spiritual Naturalist community – both online and local face-to-face communities. This includes helping to promote and provide materials for existing local groups interested in naturalistic contemplative practice, as well as encouraging new local groups both independent and chapters of the Society.
But our mission also includes simply helping to facilitate individuals everywhere to make connections and communicate with others in their area, even where a formal group has yet to emerge! We do this, in part, through the formation of SNS Local Hubs – email lists and social media groups in major cities and other areas wherever clusters of our members arise (click here for a list of current SNS Local Hubs). This makes it possible for you, the people in an area, to initiate your own activities and events; and possibly even the grassroots emergence of new groups.
Here are some ideas for you and everyone in your Hub!
Post a message to the group letting everyone know your name, what drew you to Spiritual Naturalism, what you’re hoping to get out of a Spiritual Naturalist practice and group interaction, and so on. You can even share other interests and hobbies and see if anyone else in your Hub might have something in common!
Start a Conversation
You can post an interesting conversation-starter to the group. These can be social, asking people about their interests and sharing about yours. They can also be on topics related to Spiritual Naturalism. Those who are interested in reaching out to other Spiritual Naturalists are likely as interested as you are to learn from one another and share!
Invite folks to coffee or drinks
Is there a local hangout you like to frequent? Next time you’re planning on going, why not let other SN’s in your area know. It might result in a fascinating conversation over coffee or drinks.
What about movies, bowling, or other activities?
There’s all kinds of fun things to do and you may as well share them with people with whom you share an interest as fundamental as your spirituality. But it’s really up to you to get things going. No harm in welcoming others along!
Once you have gotten to know some people, maybe you could invite them to your home for a group dinner some night? As always, use caution and good judgment when meeting strangers. But when done right, new people can emerge as some of the best friends.
Spiritual Naturalist activities
We are all complete human beings and enjoy many of the fun things listed above. But what you all share in common is an interest in naturalistic spiritual and contemplative thought and practice. It could be that others in your Hub would like to have a group meditation sometime, or perhaps enjoy some art or poetry, or a drum circle, rituals, a festival, or other communal practices with a contemplative dimension. These kinds of gatherings can be even easier if you’ve already made some friends in a less formal setting. Even a simple moderated discussion on a pre-selected interesting topic can be enlightening and fun.
The key thing is to start simple and easy, practice what we preach by treating everyone with respect and loving-kindness, and have fun! We at the Society would love to hear about what you’re Hub is doing, when you get together, see pictures, and so on. Please contact us these things as they could help inform and inspire local friends in other areas when we share them with all of the SNS membership!