BROOKFIELD — Last month I met Wendy Hilsen-Bernard, a mystic who has studied world religions and has taken Buddhist bodhisattva vows. On the first Tuesday of each month she hosts sacred gatherings in her Brookfield home, and extended me an invitation. Since my goal with this blog to explore Connecticut’s spiritual landscape, I couldn’t resist.
The gathering, she explained, is a place where people can come as they are and “just be human.” People can shed their titles and the fronts they’re forced to put on everyday. No more being a professor, a therapist or a yoga instructor – it’s a time just to be human together. Sounds pretty good to me.
Like in a Buddhist practice, the tradition is to take off your shoes before coming inside. I was prepared for this and wore my charcoal gray dress socks, so I could be fashionable. Hilsen-Bernard, who goes by Wen, had fuzzy socks at the entry way in case anyone had cold feet. I was the first one there and took a seat on her soft, brown couch. Wen sat on the floor behind her harmonium, crossed her legs, closed her eyes and began to meditate. As people slowly came in, they did the same thing. There was no greeting one another, no introductions, just silent meditation, which isn’t quite what I was expecting.
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