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Here's an idea for connecting with people a little more personally this year...
sent in by Austin Repath, Toronto

One on One: Breakfast Connection

I'd like to offer an exercise of connecting that is so simple and direct, that I feel almost embarrassed to claim it can be an experience both human and divine.

Many mornings since I retired, I’ll meet various close friends in a restaurant for breakfast. Over the years this has evolved into a ritual, something much more and much deeper than I could have imagined. We meet one on one, in communion over our bacon and eggs (or muffins & rice pudding). I confess I shape the conversation, and most who sit opposite me seem willing to follow my lead.

Rants of any kind - about bosses, mates, government, whatever - I limit to one minute, a bit longer if they are fun or amusing. No discussion of politics or sports, but weather is allowed. If they have a personal connection, movies are more than acceptable.

Mostly we drop into the dimensions of our lives, sharing back and forth the pain, the richness, the meaning, the purpose or the lack thereof, whatever we are about at this moment that’s important to us. In most cases, we find ourselves in a rich place of sharing, a time that is real, human and caring. It is a place where we’re safe, and can bring as
much of ourselves as we’re in touch with to the table, which is made sacred as a result.

Here is revealed and shared the mystery of our lives. For each of us it is a moment of human connection, and more often than not an experience of opening to the divine in each other.

Over the years, the routine has become expected, anticipated. Every four to six weeks, I phone each of them (I'm now up to about 25 people in my 'breakfast club'), and we arrange a time and place to meet. If I don't call, they do, wanting to know when we can get together.

Why not try it -- with the commitment to make it more than chit chat. Key to the exercise, in my mind, is that it be a one-on-one connection, with both of you open to the parameters mentioned above. Breakfast to me works well because people are fresh, the venue is cheap and commonplace, and the bacon & eggs, coffee, toast or pancakes sort of like the bread and wine of another age. Should you like to practise or experience the exercise (and you're in the Toronto area), email me... and we'll have breakfast.

Austin Repath


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