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Audio Guide

How This Works

The Nearness is an 6-week journey to nurture your spirituality. Listen below to hear each week’s mini-episode as you prepare for your small group gathering.

If you have any questions, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

EPISODE 11
Celebrations + What Comes Next

What’s happening now that this pathway has come to an end? How did the mutual aid pilot go? And what’s happening on New Year's Eve? Check out this closing episode of our first Nearness pathway with Casper to find out more. 

If you’d like to share The Nearness with a friend, please send them this link: https://www.thenearness.coop/share

And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you! 

Episode 10
Preparing for Week 8

In preparation for our final week in this first Nearness journey, we review the spiritual principles that grounded our time together and celebrate all the progress we’ve made in nurturing our spiritual lives. 

Although this journey is coming to a close - there is much more to come! A new introductory journey starts in January, so we hope you’ll share that invitation with friends who might be interested. And we’ll also launch the next Nearness journey for you to explore. Please fill in the survey you’ll soon receive to share what you’d like that journey to look like! 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you! 

To learn more about the spiritual principles of The Nearness—check out this blog post.

Episode 9
Preparing for Week 7

This week we prepare for a text study practice and seek to learn about the pacing of spiritual growth from Corita Kent’s artwork. 

Casper also shares a note about avoiding hurt in our small groups and celebrates that there’ll be an invitation to continue together after this first 8-week journey :) 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you! 

Episode 8
Preparing for Week 6

What are the two components of gratitude? How do we talk about the things that matter most? 

In this episode, we get a glimpse into the science of gratitude and invite one another to explore what words we might use to touch the sacred depth that is at the center of our lives. 

There’s also a heads up about DMs in your Geneva to ask for your feedback to the journey so far :)

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you!

Episode 7
Preparing for Week 5

What do you do after a vulnerability hangover? And why is commitment so countercultural? 

In this episode, we’ll dig into these questions and talk through why returning to our core practices are so enlivening in this shared journey. 

Check out the Bonus episode to learn more about the newly launched Mutual Aid Fund, too! 

Remember, we’re always eager to hear how you’re doing along the journey so far, so if you have feedback, any questions or want a quick chat, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

Episode 6
Preparing for Week 4

It’s Week 4 and time to prepare for your Nearness Circle. Just like last week, you’ll focus on two reflection questions - a gratitude practice and a gentle accountability practice. 

In this week’s episode, we’ll dig into a beautiful wisdom quote from Henri Nouwen to help us show up for one another. Here it is: 

"When we honestly ask ourselves which people in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

Remember, we’re always eager to hear how you’re doing along the journey so far, so if you have feedback, any questions or want a quick chat, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

Bonus
The Nearness Mutual Aid Fund

Our spiritual lives aren’t separate from our everyday lives. That’s why we’re creating a Nearness Mutual Aid Fund for the month of November. 

Whether you can help out or whether you can use some help - we hope you’ll participate in this project. Check out this bonus episode to learn more and use the forms below to join in. 

The Nearness exists because so many of us are exploring our spirituality alone, and we know we need company. A mutual aid fund is a powerful way to embody that commitment to show up for our spirituality in a way that we can’t do by ourselves. We need each other! 

If you have any questions or want a quick chat, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

Thank you :)

Form to request financial support

Form to offer financial support

Episode 5
Preparing for Week 3

It’s Week 3 and time to prepare for your Nearness Circle. You’ll focus on two reflection questions—a gratitude practice and a gentle accountability practice. 

This week’s format will be pretty consistent for the rest of your time together in this Pathway—so very soon you’ll be a total pro! 

You’ll also spend a little time reflecting on your small group covenant.

If you have any questions or want a quick chat, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you

Bonus
How to Host

Are you hosting your next small group gathering? Then listen to this mini-episode to prepare you with everything you need for a meaningful Circle. 

But remember, beyond the tips and preparation, all that we ask if that you show up having reviewed the Guide Sheet and help your group move through it : )

If you have any questions or want a quick chat, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

Episode 4
Preparing for Week 2

It’s Week 2 and time to prepare for your Story Circle. The purpose of this gathering is for you to reflect on your own spiritual journey so far and get to know your fellow small group members in a deeper way.

Listen to this episode and plan to spend 20-30 minutes preparing for your small group gathering. Try and think of a few pivotal moments that have shaped your spiritual life. How old were you? What happened? Where were you? Alone or with other people? 

In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with false desires for power, fame, wealth - these stories remind us what really matters in life. Thanks for being part of this journey together!

If you have any questions, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

Episode 3
Preparing for Week 1

Prepare for your first small group gathering by listening to this mini-episode. You’ll hear from Casper about:

  • How to use this week’s Guide Sheet, 
  • How to think about your intentions,
  • What your small group needs to thrive.

If you have any questions, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

Bonus
Meditation

This bonus episode features the short body and breath meditation which each small group gathering will start with. Find a place where you can take a few minutes to connect intentionally with your body and breath and try to exhale slowly with each breath.

We’ll be back on Monday, October 10th with the next full episode to prepare you for your first small group gathering. 

If you have any questions, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

Episode 2
Covenant

In this second mini-episode of The Nearness, we’ll dive into a key concept that sustains small groups in our 8-week journey to nurture your spirituality. A covenant is designed to hold people in relationship. 

At first, a covenant looks like a beautifully written list of commitments that you read once and never look at again. But a covenant only lives in a community when we return to it again and again, actively reflecting on how we’re living into it. That means celebrating where we’ve upheld it and recognizing where we’ve fallen short.

Mistakes in our community are inevitable, and this covenant is designed to help everyone find a way back to one another after they happen. A covenant isn’t a list of do’s and don’ts. Instead, the covenant below will act as a continued invitation for your heart, one that you will read aloud time and again in each of your small-group conversations. In this way, it will serve as a ritual, shaping everyone over time into the people – and the community – that we aspire to be.

The Nearness Covenant

“We covenant to center ourselves on the sacred:

  • Listening to each other with an open, tender presence;
  • Showing patience as we attempt to articulate our innermost intuitions;
  • Cherishing the beautiful resonance between us when we share our struggles;
  • Refusing to feed or defend our egos, which crave social status, dominance, and praise;
  • Countering marginalization in all its forms;
  • Honoring the richness of our shared silence;
  • And opening ourselves to the presence of something larger than us, which calls us to love others, ourselves, and the world around us.  

Though we travel different paths, may we find comfort and hope in the gift of each other’s company.”

If you have any questions, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

Episode 1
Welcome

Welcome to The Nearness! This is your first mini-episode as you start the 8-week journey to nurture your spirituality. You’ll learn from co-founder Casper ter Kuile about the power of small groups and how The Nearness works.

If you have any questions, reach out to hello@thenearness.coop. We’ll be glad to hear from you.