I went to The Omega Institute over the weekend in New York City. I attended a workshop by Debbie Ford. It was truly a transformative weekend. I cannot really explain it but it was a life-changer type of weekend.
It is interesting to compare these types of spiritual workshops to Christian church and to Buddhist sanghas.
I got the feeling that many of the people who were in the workshop had been to workshops like this before and so it was all happening at a face pace. Basically, Debbie Ford talked and then led the group of about 400 people through a guided meditation and it was incredibly effective in finding answers and guidance from within yourself.
Christian Church is a powerful experience for me but it is a ritual, a community ritual. We come together and perform a worship session as we have our entire lives. We sing songs, listen to a story from the bible and pray for and with one another. Perhaps we take communion. I feel an enormous amount of love and I also feel a spiritual chiropractic adjustment from the holy spirit every time I go to church. It gets me back on track and reminds me to love my neighbor as myself. To me, it feels like a community heart exercise and the best one I know.
A Buddhist Sangha experience is one of peace if I'm rested and sleepiness if I'm not. I come together with others and we are calm and reflective and meditative. I have insights and often they are profound ones. The insights bubble up and reveal enormous amounts of wisdom. I leave more mentally rested, at peace, and also wiser for having done the practice.
At Debbie Ford's workshop, which reminded me a lot of the IFS workshops I have attended at Make You Your Hobby workshops, one actually has emotional and spiritual breakthroughs through exploring their own inner self or inner world. It is very self focused but I do think it can make a person more centered to deal with their own behaviors and thoughts or feelings. We all have feelings and we all have a past. Sometimes I look at some of the things in my past and I just do not understand them. Going deep within yourself can help make sense out of past and present behaviors and beliefs.
All of these different forms of spiritual practice are so valid and beneficial. They're all so different. However, at their root, I really do believe that all roads lead to the same path.