A Heart and Mind Community is an in-depth, step by step process of growth and spiritual formation for an individual and a small community.
By Spirit’s grace, our collective efforts, shared resources and fervent prayer, we believe that Heart and Mind Communities are helping to birth Christianity anew.
We also believe that this birth must be sheltered, and that our efforts need to be founded upon personal and communal growth, refreshed traditions, recovering The Great Journey’s map, and bringing all of these aspects together in sound spiritual formation experienced in a communal setting.
We are committed to transforming Christianity one heart by one heart, birthing Christian practice anew and changing ourselves as we change our world.
A Heart and Mind Community traverses the inner landscape of transformation using The Four-Gospel Journey, an inclusive and non-dualistic worldview.
A Heart and Mind Community:
As each person in a Heart and Mind Community is undertaking a personal journey of transformation, participants are usually named pilgrims.
The intent of a Heart and Mind Community is to provide both individual and small community growth and transformation, based on a ‘here and now’ experience of Jesus the Christ, in a free, safe, contemplative, and prayerful environment. This process requires un-learning, re-learning, and depth formation in living the four paths. As a result, while this experience has an element of education and scripture study, these are not its primary focus.
There are a growing number of online communities across the world, some are comprised of people who live near each other or who live in similar time zones, while others have members spread across the world. One community has pilgrims from the UK and various U.S. States, all the way to Hawaii. Another community has members in Australia and China.
Whether online or together in person, a Community is (convened/facilitated) by a pilgrim (participant) who wishes to take on this role. Whilst a convener has additional responsibilities, the expectation is that she/he/they will fully participate in the community.
The usual process for an online Heart and Mind Community is that Annie serves as the Convener for Guide One. During that time she is mentoring someone in the community to take on the role at some point during Guide Two. Additionally, Conveners gather online once a month with Annie for their own continuing formation and support in their role.
The Heart and Mind Community: Convener Text contains the script for the entire process. The Text (292 pages with supplemental materials) provides both structure and directions, so that with desire and some preparation, a person may be at ease in the role of convener.
To inquire about convening a community and/or purchasing the Convener Text, contact Annie.
To help Conveners prepare, we offer a series of free training videos, online mentoring with Annie and a monthly (online) support gathering. These are offered at no additional cost.
A Heart and Mind Community requires that every pilgrim commit to the core foundational practices of In Freedom and Safety and Welcome of The Other.
Equally, Heart and Mind Community asks that each pilgrim:
* Sadly, if you live outside continental U.S., a payment is required for shipping. Or if you wish, you may receive a paperback copy of Heart and Mind at no additional cost.
A commonly expressed concern when considering becoming a member of a community is “Do I have what it takes to be a part of this community?”
This anxiety is natural and suggests that the journey being embarked upon is that of a true pilgrim; A pilgrim is an individual who walks an outer or inner sacred path with the purpose of finding more vitality in one’s interior life and ability to respond to one’s outer circumstances.
Moment by moment in each Gathering, it is for you to discern how much and what to share, or even whether to share at all while practicing In Freedom and Safety and Welcome of The Other. The Convener will ensure that sharing does not veer from everyone’s stated intent to practice the holding of a safe and free space for self and others.
At the outset of a new community, you naturally may be concerned that you may not get along with the others, particularly if you have not met previously.
Heart and Mind Communities recognize that to create a community built on individual authenticity and shared harmony is a new frontier in human history.
The practices of In Freedom and Safety and Welcome of The Other provide a foundation for respectful, non-judgmental relationships to develop. Each pilgrim undertakes their own journey of spiritual formation, witnessed, and held by others who are also undergoing their own journey. There is no intellectual argument during the Gatherings, but rather deep listening to and welcome of self and others.
In all areas of life, trust needs to be earned. A Heart and Mind Community is no exception. During every Gathering, you are responsible for discerning whether to respond to a question and which thoughts, feelings, or sensations to share. If a feeling of discomfort or excessive vulnerability develops, you are encouraged to pull-back and share less. As a sense of trust develops, you are encouraged to deepen your sharing and express your own authentic voice more fully.
Communities have said that they are both amazed and comforted by the speed at which trust develops and the freedom each feels to “be themselves” in the Gatherings.
The Gatherings have been carefully crafted by Alexander John Shaia and an international team of ministers and spiritual directors. The sequence is designed to provide a gradual and step by step process to ensure growth and transformation. Using the Four-Gospel Journey, the process steadily encourages you to move from listening primarily to external authorities, to discover and live from your own authentic internal authority.
Imagine ice-skating competition built on two differing performances. The skater must first demonstrate technical proficiency, known as one’s compulsory performance. Then that technical ability is woven into each skater’s creative expression known as ‘free-form.’ The skater’s technical ability evidenced in learning structure and discipline enables the skater to then perform in an original, creative, and authentic way.
The final Gathering within each of the six Guides offers time for journaling, painting, drawing, collage, music, poetry – as a way to grasp and integrate the meaning/learnings for each pilgrim in a non-judgemental and creative way.
Every Gathering includes several ritual elements or symbols which may initially be unfamiliar. Each symbol is intended to offer an opening for deeper awareness of self, others and the Divine.
You are invited to “give it a try” over the Gatherings in Guide One. See how these elements feel to you, and what they may or may not mean to you. As Guide One ends, then is the time to discern if you wish to continue to use these elements.
No. A Heart and Mind Community allows for a gradual progressive reading and internalizing of one’s own journey over the four paths.
Speak with one of our team and ask about joining a community or how to become a convener and create a community.
Quadratos Journal & Bookmark Set
Each participant receives the hardcover book, Radical Transformation, a handcrafted Quadratos Journal and a set of five Quadratos bookmarks. These are the essential elements you need to walk The Heart and Mind Journey.
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