The Coven - A path to spiritual development
A coven is a group
of like minded people who come together in the name of The Spirit
for worship and sharing of knowledge, help and support. Spiritual
harmony, spiritual development, self help, perfect love and trust
are the basic goals of the coven. The relationship between the
members is much like that of a family - loving, trusting and close.
The rules that are applicable for a harmonious family life are
very much applicable here too.
Every family has
two heads - the father and the mother; one who is supportive but
a strict disciplinarian if necessary and one who is tender and
loving. All family members treat each other with courtesy and
respect. While squabbles and arguments are common, rules must
be followed - no unwarranted attacks, no name calling, no physical
injuries or bitching. Those who initiate and those who participate
in squabbles must apologize and make up without calling in the
authority figures and reunite with tenderness and love.
The family members
are at different stages of development - physically, mentally,
qualifications wise and spiritually. This does not make any member
lesser than the other in any way. Every member is loved and accepted
for what he is and all must keep in mind that they too were once
young and callow. The younger ones get their knowledge and information
from elders by being observant, respectful and open minded. The
same should be the unwritten rules of the coven.
Rules are laid
down by the elders of the family to delineate and define boundaries.
While certain amount of flexibility is necessary, without rules
chaos prevails. Generally the younger ones protest and baulk when
rules are imposed. They don't understand that rules are enforced
for their well being, protection and/or as a part of their education.
At such times it is best to ask for an explanation instead of
screaming and getting confused.
ample chances to practice many spiritual adages whilst dealing
with the group:
the truth but speak sweetly. Do not use truth as a weapon to hit
or hurt but speak it gently, kindly and compassionately. Truth
is beauty, it is a balm to heal sore wounds and it is loving and
tender. Truth is uplifting. It is never a weapon to slay anyone
self-centeredness. We rarely feel the pain of others when we are
self centered and egoistic for our attention is centered towards
ourselves and we do not feel compassion for others. The more we
dwell on others, the more we feel their needs and pains. Each
time when we grieve over the hurt caused to someone by our words
or actions we learn essential lessons in life far more valuable
than a college course. We receive our credits when we realize
we have hurt someone and immediately change our behavior to heal
the wound and not repeat it again.
patience with cheer and goodwill towards all. The coven relationships
give ample opportunity to bear patiently the unprovoked attacks,
the petulance and the tantrums of others. This is done knowingly
and willingly, not blindly. It is consciously keeping our eyes
on the core of goodness in others and treating them with love
and courtesy. It teaches us that the only way of making others
more loving is by being more loving ourselves.
times when we practice the rule of kindness and courtesy towards
Tom, he may not even be aware of our efforts at kindness and compassion
towards him. It can be quite frustrating when we tap on his shoulder
and say: Tom, I have been kind to you since last two weeks! And
he looks up and says: Duh!! Tom is sunk in his selfishness and
does not see beyond his nose. Practicing such self restraint may
not benefit the self centered Tom, but it will definitely benefit
us - those who practice it. It makes our will power and good intentions
stronger and helps us overcome our lower selves.
go of rigid views and expectations from others. Most of the time,
when we interact with others, we expect them to speak and behave
as per our inner views and expectations. We do not hear what they
say but are put off when they don't match with our inner expectations.
We relate with others, not for what they are but for what we think
they are and then get annoyed when they insist on being themselves.
Makes for an interesting A Midsummer Night's Dream.
not anyone lest one be judged, and badly too at that!! Each of
us sees the truth and reality from the levels we are in and we
are sometimes not able to see the other's point of view. Yet each
is right in his stand for that is his reality, so passing judgments
or name calling is not the solution. Understanding the circumstances
of the other with compassion and love helps to give a loving smile
and when the time comes, a healing hand too.
knowledge and experience bring about humility and modesty in self
and speech and the purity of The Spirit does not reflect in arrogant
and egoistic minds. The right way to approach a teacher is with
respect, open-mindedness and trust. Else the learning process
will be incomplete and unrewarding. This is not blind faith but
the essential reliance on the teacher to help and teach.
with the family in a coven also teaches the art of saying NO to
an attitude which is harmful or destructive. Loving the family
members is not agreeing to all their desires and needs!! But the
opposing must be done tenderly without anger or condescension.
And one must never react in the heat of the moment.
event, every minute of interaction with others in the coven and
in life is an opportunity from the Spirit for self improvement.
When the Spirit taps us on the shoulder and says "pay attention
" we must pay heed; else a brick will be
heaved at us leading to a lump on the head.
· The creeds
of spiritualism are practiced in the rooms and halls of the family
home; here in personal meetings and on net and not in the caves
of forests or mountains. It is not glamorous to deal with irritation,
egoism and anger on daily basis but it is infinitely more rewarding
to do so. We need to live in harmony with those around us right
now to bring out enormous inner toughness.
· By nourishing
the family, we nourish both the persons who were helped and ourselves
too. We realize that we are not a selfish, separate fragment but
an integral part of life.
Trifles make perfection
but perfection is no trifle - Michelangelo. The coven is an extended
family of fellow brothers and sisters in spirit and it takes great
love and labor to nurture the relationships and develop the potentials
of the self and family. Family relationships are The Spirit's
way of teaching mankind about the development of finest qualities
of character. When we extend this caring and development to all
of the community and later on to the nation and the world, we
truly walk The Path well.