Bamboo is a community that is open to all those who are interested in living in deep connection with others and with all of creation. Based on the notion of being “contemplatives in action”, the Bamboo community affirms life, charity and justice through three fundamental principles: living simply, solidarity with others, and contemplation.

Bamboo has its roots in the Ignatian tradition and is open to all those who are looking to live an integrated life and have a desire to connect with others in that effort. An example of networking to share the richness of the Ignatian tradition and also to encourage connectedness among people across faiths and cultures, we asked Julie Edwards, one of Bamboo’s founders, to share her thoughts on the beginnings of this community.

Ignatian spirituality speaks to that - to our shared identity as creatures, with everything being gift.Bamboo was stimulated in me some years ago when I realised that I was seeking a stronger type of commitment within the Jesuit world. As I reflected more on this I realised that I was drawn to something broader than a commitment that would sit 'inside' the Jesuit structure - yet Ignatian spirituality is a strong base and nurturing point for me. I also think it has the capacity to speak to so many people outside the formal structures of religion.

Most of my life I have been drawn 'outside' my fundamental 'homes'. For example, I am a committed Christian/Catholic, yet my husband is not; I have always been drawn to spend time with people (and have deep relationships with people) from all different sorts of backgrounds and I find this very life giving.

For me, Ignatian spirituality speaks to that - to our shared identity as creatures, with everything being gift.

When I participated in the Ignatian Immersion Course in Manresa in 2012 this Bamboo initiative fell into place - the needs of the world, the understanding that as church we are often not 'there' with others in their searching, that many people are actively seeking but don't have, for example, the gems of the Ignatian tradition to draw on and support them. All of this led me to start exploring the idea that is Bamboo. There has been a group of people around the world refining the concepts, testing processes. We launched Bamboo’s website and various social media to make it more accessible to a wider group of people. The cross culture, cross faith aspects of Bamboo are very important.

I have no idea if there will be any real interest in Bamboo beyond a few people - but I think it has the potential to speak to people inside and outside formal religious structures and also to those who might once have been 'inside' but find themselves now 'outside' and a good pathway for young adults who are searching.

For more information about the Bamboo community, check out:  http://www.bamboocommunity.com/

This post was written by Julie Edwards, a member of the group of promoters of the Bamboo Community. 

Photo from The Bamboo Community.