The way we gather is changing. The number of traditional faith communities continues to decline as we move into a post-religious society. The question becomes, where will we go for support when we really need it? How do we create a new kind of community that transcends religious dogma and cultivates consciousness, curiosity and connection? And is it possible to build that kind of community in the workplace?

Today, we’re joined by Lola Wright, the CEO and Spiritual Director of Chicago’s Bodhi Center, a community devoted to awakening individuals to live their inherent power and purpose. Known as a fierce and loving leader, Lola serves as a lightning rod for individual transformation in service of collective awakening. She is also the founder of Normal White People, a forum created to deconstruct racism among white-identified people, a member of the Chicago Brain Trust, and a featured speaker at TEDxChicago 2019.

Lola begins by sharing her take on what community looks like in modern society. She describes the intention behind the Bodhi Center, explaining how its philosophy of Oneness differentiates the center from traditional spiritual communities. Lola also discusses the role of conversations that matter and enduring commitment in creating true community and invites us to examine whether our lived experience aligns with our declared values. Listen in for Lola’s insight on creating a work environment where the whole human is welcome and learn why curiosity is essential in overcoming polarization and embracing diverse perspectives.


Themes explored in this week’s episode:

  • Lola’s take on what community looks like in a post-religious society
  • The unwillingness of traditional faith communities to evolve with mainstage societal issues
  • The intention behind Bodhi and how its philosophy of Oneness differentiates it from traditional spiritual communities
  • Why Lola sees conversations that matter as a defining element of community
  • The connection between a transactional society and immaturity around the commitment it takes for community to exist
  • Lola’s invitation to examine whether your lived experience aligns with your declared values
  • The value in creating a work environment where the whole human is welcome
  • Lola’s five core feeling states and how resistance causes negative feelings to grow
  • Lola’s advice on getting to know yourself through daily journaling and the presencing technique
  • The danger in outsourcing your security, approval and control
  • Why curiosity is essential in navigating diverse perspectives



Resources from this episode:


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Quotes from the episode:

“I’m really interested in exploring emerging community platforms in a post-religious society for people who perhaps have left traditional, organized community efforts but still want something that is deep and meaningful and lends itself to purpose and connection.”

“People who are attracted to Bodhi tend to subscribe to what I would call a philosophy of Oneness.”

“For me, what community looks like is the ability to gather in small, medium and large settings and have conversation that matters.”

“The thing that I want for human beings, if ever I interact with you, is for you to know that there is an aspect to your being that has never been hurt, harmed or hindered. That you are whole, you are holy and that you are perfect exactly as you are, no matter what you have gone through, no matter what you have done.”

“People want the goodies of community, but they don’t always want to contribute what it takes for community to exist.”

“When we are deeply attached to things only and always feeling good, we have an immaturity around moving through uncomfortable stages or uncomfortable conversations.”

“Imagine that everything that is occurring on the planet is a reflection of some aspect of your psyche and your consciousness.”

“Is my lived experience a reflection of what I say I believe?”

“For the person that has a willingness to reveal themselves, it actually gives everyone permission to do that.”

“You wonder why your team is not producing? Well, we haven’t created an environment where the whole human is welcome.”

“The part that you’re least willing to afford yourself is the part you’re least willing to accept in others.”

“Being someone who goes out on the skinny branches and starts to take risks—that is leadership.”

“So long as the locus of control is outside of you, that that’s the source of your security, approval and control, you’ll always be at a deficit. There will never be enough.”

“If we are so attached to our self-righteousness that we make the opposite of us the enemy or the other, nothing is possible.”

“If you are committed to being an effective human being that actually does contribute to the evolution of humanity, curiosity is essential. It doesn’t actually matter if you’re right. Your righteousness will get us nowhere.”




How do you create belonging at work?

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