I am enjoying the conversations we are having on Tuesdays for the Lunch and Conversation gatherings. One topic has really stuck with me… how the act of sitting around a table to eat with others has changed. Also, how the act of eating together is a practice of non-consensus.
The contemplative practice of sitting with another who has different ideas and staying in the uncomfortable place of not coming to agreement but coming together is lived out around the table. One person is on a high protein diet, another a vegan, another is lactose intolerant, another is gluten free, etc. All of it stirs up emotions of belonging, separateness and judgement.
The community table has become a wonderful place to sit in our own stuff ("Is there something wrong with me that I don’t want to participate in their diet?" Or "They are judging me," "I’m always the odd one," etc.). It is a beautiful place to discuss differences and practice letting them go for the sake of connection AND at the same time staying in our own truth. If one is gluten intolerant, they are not going to eat something with gluten just to make everyone happy. If the group chooses to stay in this place of connection, there is a time where the bigger picture of why we have gathered comes into play. Everyone learns about each other with a sense of curiosity. There is a higher sense of respect and the whole paradigm shifts to something bigger regardless of whether anyone changes their dietary patterns. This is the place where the Divine/God shows up and something amazing beyond ourselves is created.
This practice can be taken into other places in life where there are differences. The act of being around a table can create the space of curiosity in other places too. The space that allows us to honor our own knowing and at the same time allows the other to have their own knowing for the sake of coming together. This act can change systems in the world. It creates a place where dialogue can truly create something new. If I don’t NEED you to convert to my side, then I can state my truth without the sense of winning or losing. Without a sense of objectifying another human being.
In the space of a small blog all the complexities of this will not be discussed or worked out. If you’d like to continue the discussion, stop by Lunch and Conversation on Tuesdays. Or bring it to a table in your own home or community. This week practice coming together with curiosity. Notice all the thoughts that want to pull you out of it.
May you find delight in those around you and in yourself.
May you find God in the uncomfortable.
May the connection of Love be your guide as you stand in your truth with a curious heart.