Visiting someone's spiritual home
Today people weave together values, beliefs, meanings, and practices from many sources to shape their spirituality. We can’t make assumptions based on broad identifiers like “Christian” or “spiritual.” I’ve learned that respect and curiosity are more important than knowledge about particular religious/spiritual beliefs or practices. I’ve also found it helpful to approach a spiritual conversation like I’ve been invited into someone’s spiritual home.
When we visit someone’s physical home, we don’t rearrange their furniture because we’d feel more comfortable with a lamp by the sofa. No, we respect how they have set up their space. The choices we’ve made in our home aren’t threatened because we don’t have to live in this space; we’re just visiting. Similarly, we can respect another person’s spiritual values, beliefs, meanings, and practices without rearranging them to mirror our spiritual home.
Although we can feel reassured by noticing broad similarities (I also have a chair!), focusing on similarities can lure us into making assumptions about what else we have in common. Curiosity means noticing the details that make this person’s home different from our home, like color choices, artwork, or family photos. Genuine curiosity about spiritual differences builds trust and improves our chances of being invited to explore more private spaces in someone else’s spiritual world.
Examples of spiritual curiosity include:
What does soul mean to you?
Please say more about your belief in karma.
How do you practice mindfulness?