Discussion Questions, Storytelling, Sharing

  • In Africa, the Xhosa tribe has a saying, "I am because we are." Share a story about a community where you have felt this way.
  • What do you look for in a community? What do you expect to give in return?
  • What blocks or obstacles most often keep you from feeling that you are one with others, especially those living in other countries?

Imagery Exercise

Eknath Easwaran suggests a spiritual exercise that he calls "Watch Your Family Grow." The idea is to extend the reach of your love to include more and more people. That is also the intention of the following imagery exercise. You can do it in two ways. First, while sitting, eyes closed, imagine yourself doing the suggested directional turns. Second, while standing, eyes open, physically turn your body for each part of the exercise.

Face the East. See the people of the East. Notice the shape of their eyes and the color of their skin, their clothes, their stance, their expression. What are they saying to you?

Face the South. See and observe the people of the South. What message are they sending to you?

Face the West. See and observe the people of the West. What are they knowing that you need to know?

Face the North. See and observe the people of the North. What are they saying to you?

Journal Exercises

  • Write about a time in your life when you have felt lonely. And a time when you felt part of a community.
  • Recall a conversation during which you felt separated from someone else. Write down the script in your journal. Then change your own and the other's responses until you no longer feel separated. You may also do this in the form of an unsent letter.