Course Community Meeting Guide

Lifehouse Body & Soul
Course Community Meeting Guide

Meeting Facilitator:
Welcome to the Lifehouse Body & Soul Course Community. We come together as equals to learn and grow in the Light of a Higher Power. My name is _________.

Let’s start by speaking the Serenity Prayer. Anyone who wishes may join us:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace,
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will,
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him,
Forever, in the next.
Thy will, not mine, be done.
-Reinhold Neibuhr

Meeting Facilitator:
Let’s take a moment of silence to honor this present moment and come home to ourselves. You might begin with a deep breath, and use this opportunity to pause, open, and relax.
(Sit in silence).
Thank you for that beautiful moment.

We’ll begin by reminding ourselves of Our Purpose, reading one paragraph at a time. If you do not wish to read, feel free to pass, and we will move on to the next reader. _________, will you start reading for us?

Our Purpose
We come together to find a clearer connection to our souls: by practicing mindfulness, healing our traumas, sharing our stories, and improving our relationship with our bodies, our God, and ourselves. Lifehouse Body & Soul is a spiritual program above all else. Everything we do aims to connect us to the Divinity within and around us. We ask God’s presence to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to the specific things we need to see, hear, and understand today.

Our collective purpose creates an oasis where we learn to view our whole selves through the lens of an essential Truth: We are each Divine beings experiencing life through limited bodies and minds. Let’s pause for just a moment to sense the Truth of this statement.

This pause is meaningful because the world often conditions us to forget our spiritual home. We can find ourselves building resumes and playing roles that misplace our true identity. Maybe we search for worth by pleasing others or achieving outcomes. We might be afraid to show weakness or ask for help, feeling a constant need to do more, be better, or somehow arrive at a point of completion. This relentless pursuit of “enough-ness” leaves us overwhelmed and depleted. When we are caught in fear-driven striving, it cuts us off from our hearts. Over time, we may put up walls or reject parts of ourselves that we deem “not pretty.” Eventually, so many of us wake up and realize we have lost the ability to feel at home in our own lives and bodies.

We come here to answer the longing within us for something more. Our challenges, in whatever form they take, become the instrument for our personal growth. Pain and struggle serve a purpose: they can awaken us to our great need for healing and a Healer. We learn how to find this Healing Power at our center each day through movement, mindfulness, and meditation. This Daily Practice helps us find the present moment, which offers a miraculous and simple way to return to sanity, to make peace with our past, and to live without a sense of crisis.

To find this state of presence, we must put our bodies in their proper place–not as objects whose attributes determine our value, but as sacred vehicles through which we experience life. As we come home to our divine essence again and again, we realize that our body can be our most valuable tool of spiritual discernment, and we begin to honor it as such. Our perceptions change. Our fears subside. Over time, we can come to know through our own experience that the peace and wholeness we long for already resides inside. Our greatest teacher is already there: it is God within us. To find this connection, we create a path home to our hearts by clearing space, again and again.

Clearing space for the Divine is, in fact, our exact intent. Our program gently unravels us–our strongly-held opinions, our tightly-clung-to identities, our way of seeing the world. Our Coursework offers principles and practices that can help us identify and remove the limiting beliefs, faulty mindsets, hidden traumas, and self-defeating behaviors that have built up throughout our lives. Our Daily Practice brings us into our bodies to experience the presence, peace, and divine connection that is possible when space has been cleared.

This process is vulnerable and bumpy for all of us, but we are in a safe place to be seen in our raw and real humanity. We are stepping into a great awakening, creating space for God to shine Light into our lives. We journal, we pray, we practice, and we reach out when we need support.

As we find our spiritual center, we begin to realize that nothing outside of us can complete us. Our inner state of being shapes our happiness far more than our outer appearance or circumstance. Likewise, no one else can tell us our next right step. Our teachers are simply fellows on the journey. They gently guide us to remember what our own soul already knows. Together, we create a safe space to explore, share, grow, and learn from our own experience, focusing on the journey instead of the outcome. As we live with God at our center–aligned in body, mind, and spirit–we can come to truly honor, accept, and love every part of ourselves.

Meeting Facilitator:
Welcome & Check-ins:
At Lifehouse Body & Soul, we meet with our Course Community each week and share openly as we feel ready. Participating in this Community helps us internalize and understand principles that can help us heal and grow. Daily Practice gives us the chance to apply, experience, and practice what we learn. Daily Practice and our individual Coursework can help us find the inner space of alignment, peace, and divine connection we call touching home.

Let’s introduce ourselves by first name only, and check in on how often we have touched home in mind, body, and spirit this week, if we have Reached Out to someone from our Community for support or to surrender, and what our serenity level is today. I will begin, and we will continue left around the circle (Add contact check-in after Week 4).

My name is _______.
This week, I have been able to touch home ______ days.
I reached out _____ times, and my serenity level is at a ____ today. (Go around the room or popcorn to another Zoom participant)

Announcements/Business:

Reading & Discussion:
Today as we study, let’s remind ourselves of Mindful Communication.

We want to:
Practice Self-Focus: speaking only from our own experience using “I” and “me,” not “you” or “we”–not giving advice or speaking as an authority for the group.
Refrain from blaming or shaming self or others: sharing in the spirit of honest self-reflection, vulnerability, and applying Course principles in our daily lives.
Move Up/Move Back: mindful of how often and long we speak, “moving up or back” to create space for all to participate.
Practice Active Listening: clearing our minds while others share so we can be fully present.
Honor each person’s spiritual path: freely sharing our spiritual experiences, but not proselytizing. All spiritual terms or titles are welcome.
Ensure Safety: raising our hand if we feel unsafe with what is being said; the person speaking may then change the subject or end sharing.
Respect Confidentiality: not repeating anything shared outside of our Community.

This week, we study Week ___. We’ll move around the circle and read one paragraph at a time. If you do not wish to read, feel free to pass, and we can move on to the next reader. We will read the entire chapter first and then discuss until _____ (55 minutes after the meeting start time). ________, will you start reading for us?

Giving Voice:
Now it is time to give voice to our personal experience, our changing perspectives, and the ways we are witnessing a Higher Power at work in our lives. Again, let’s practice mindful communication. We also refrain from cross-talk, meaning we don’t interrupt or comment on others’ shares. Let’s keep shares between 2-3 minutes to create space for all to participate. We will close the meeting at _____ (85 minutes after the meeting start time).

Namaste:
It is now time to close the meeting. Before we leave, let’s take a moment to appreciate the essence of Namaste we feel together: that the Light within me recognizes and honors the Light within you. In this place, we are One, we are the same. You might also consider setting an intention for the week ahead. (Sit in silence for one minute)

In closing, will someone volunteer to read The Gifts of the Practice?

The Gifts of the Practice
As we practice with an open heart, we begin to recognize heavenly gifts trickling into all aspects of our lives: mind, body, and spirit. In moments we used to obsess or rage, we can more easily detach from the crisis and feel our feet underneath us. Where we used to think of God in purely conceptual terms, we now find ourselves sensing His presence–around our heart, through our breath, even in our fingertips. As we relax into His warmth and Love, we lose our need to impress or be approved of. We stop comparing ourselves and start trusting the inner guide we feel inside. Instead of looking in the mirror with a critical eye, we start looking simply to see our soul. We find space to accept all that we find there and all of our experience: the pleasant as well as the unpleasant. We lose our fear of failure and stop trying to prevent pain, knowing it can become the vehicle for our growth and progress. Our world transforms from a rigorous test to a magical playground, and we recover a sense of joy–a lightness in living. One day it dawns on us that we are more willing to take risks, play, and be uncomfortable. We are more willing to be fully alive. We begin to sense a tangible connection with everything around us, and our compassion explodes. We find it for ourselves first by creating space to feel safe, heard, and cared for, and discover that when so nurtured, compassion naturally spills over to others. As we come to know and understand every part of ourselves, we find we have nothing to hide: we are glorious and breathtakingly beautiful in all of our imperfections. From such a grounded, open-hearted state, we can give and receive love like never before. Gratitude overflows as we bathe in the richness of a mystical world our eyes can now see: a world where pieces of God are interwoven into every breath we take, every step we make, and every person we see. All these unmatched offerings: a simple result of discovering and accessing the Divinity all around and within us, one moment at a time.

Let’s close our meeting with prayer for anyone who wishes. Would anyone be willing to pray for us?

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