As Bodhi transitions into it’s next greatest self, we find ourselves at the beginning of a new state of consciousness—ready to break through into our next greatest expression. We join together during this time to consciously declare Building the Beloved Community.

As Rev. Gaylon McDowell said this past Sunday, “the transformation of any community begins with the individual.” It is in that knowing that we do the work within ourselves first, as individuals of a community committed to the idea of Oneness, Love, Peace and Unity. We come together to “Discover Our Spiritual Wholeness”—wholeness meaning to be complete, to lack nothing.

reverend gaylon mcdowell at bodhi spiritual center chicago - cropped

Sunday afternoon we gathered for our Quarterly Conversation to take stock of our consciousness. We met not to make where we are as individuals or as a Community wrong, but to be willing to honestly assess our current state. In getting related to where we are, we become at choice to allow for transformation, to allow for God to have its way in our lives.

Rev. Gaylon McDowell told us this past Sunday:

“We cannot outperform our consciousness. You can’t outperform how you think and how you feel.”

Every single one of us has come together and created what we currently have both in form and in consciousness. Where we are in Community Contributions, in Sacred Service Hours and in our financials is not indicative of who we are in consciousness, but rather where we are in consciousness.

We give great gratitude for the 650 hours of sacred service that is generated among the 128 community members each month. We give great gratitude for the $536,000 of income we have received this calendar year. And our community members and leaders are saying “for us to be who we are here to be, we must grow beyond where we currently are.”

“For us to be who we are here to be, we must grow beyond where we currently are.”

Our Sacred Service Leaders told our Staff, “we must grow to 210 Sacred Service members generating 1300 hours of Service each month.” Our Core Council declared, “we must grow financially from our $284,000 of remaining forecasted income this year to $400,000 in income through the end of the year.” What we know is that there is nothing to “get.” All that we need is within us and within our Community. This declaration is simply that we have eyes to see that which is already here.

For us to fulfill on our commitment to Reveal Love, Honor All Paths and Celebrate Life, we must rise up and say it matters!

Together we declare a renewing of our minds. We declare that it is time to transplant the Divine Idea of Bodhi into new and fertile soil. In the process of transplanting, we are confronted by our old beliefs, thoughts and feelings. Our old ideas will create commotion in our new and fertile soil. As a Community, we are in a process of cleansing and birthing our new life—not from anything old or bad, but birthing our next greatest Self.

“As a Community, we are in a process of cleansing and birthing our new life—not from anything old or bad, but birthing our next greatest Self.”

We will move through the waves of this time not afraid, but evermore convicted about why we exist. We have come to reveal the kingdom of God that is already within us. We have come as a beloved spiritual community that affirms all people can share in the wealth of the earth.

These are bold declarations and so it is easy to wonder how will we do that.

We will do that by returning to the spiritual principles and laws that birthed this Community. We will do that by fostering experiences and opportunities that allow for intimacy and belonging. We will do that by reinvigorating Small Group Life such that current, new and returning community members can experience meaningful spiritual connection beyond Sundays. We will do that by birthing powerful Bodhi Ministries that reveal Oneness and Abundance for the people of Chicago and beyond.

We as a Community have come for great things! Together in love, in consciousness and in the renewing of our minds will we intentionally activate the Spirit of God within and demonstrate in form all that we are here to be. I look forward to rolling our sleeves up and doing that work together. It is truly my honor and privilege to call Bodhi my spiritual home.

Lola Wright

About Lola Wright

Lola Wright is the Spiritual Director at Bodhi Spiritual Center.


  • Avatar Anne Rossiter says:


  • I love this message that reminds us that we must become the change we wish to manifest in the world. Thank you for all you do 🙂

  • Avatar Lola Wright says:

    Thanks for all YOU do!!! Collaboration, cooperation and community now that’s a sustainable future!!

  • Avatar Michael Pietrzak, RScP says:

    Perhaps — just perhaps — the community is telling the leadership that the direction is not consistent where it wants to be. The most major events of the past 4 or so years have occurred without community input. The name was changed — and announced without notice. Then the Center was moved from Lincoln to Magnolia — without community buy-in and support. And since we have been at Magnolia — there has been struggle. Prior to that — growth.

    Events are scheduled … then cancelled. So … why would the community plan?

    Unrealistic goals that are in contrast to trends are set — and then not realized. The result: a community that retreats.

    It is indeed interesting that many of the images of the people “celebrating” that are captured on the website are not even at this Center.

    My recommendation is to return to the principles that built the Center. If you REbuild it … they will come.

    This said, the start is to adhere to the original bylaws which are legally binding documents which call for annual election of board members. Opening the board to the community is a first step is rebuilding .

    Are we willing?

    • Avatar Lola Wright says:

      Michael, thank you for always chiming in passionately! I don’t agree with all of your points. I would love to have a conversation in greater detail. Bodhi is up to great things. We are really excited about where we are and where we are headed. Feel free to give me a call anytime!

  • Avatar Chicago says:

    Hopefully with Mark gone this isn’t going to turn into the Lola show. Please, let go and let God as decisions are made about the future of Bodhi.

    • Avatar Lola Wright says:

      I so appreciate your concern about the future of Bodhi. I really hear you. My deepest desire for Bodhi is that it be a place of collaboration and cooperation in service of our Purpose. In doing so we will celebrate the unique gifts, talents and contributions of our Community Members. There are many opportunities for community involvement during the Sunday Celebration Service and beyond. I look forward to engaging our Community in those opportunities.

      As an organization we have an agreement to respond to communication/comments/suggestions that have a known identity including an email address or phone number provided. In the spirit of open dialogue and in the spirit of informing blog participants of our agreements I wanted to respond to your concern.

      Much love,


  • Avatar Denise Maple says:

    Big thank you to Lola and the Spiritual Council for stepping up in our time of need. As we go through this transitional period, I am relieved to know that we are in good hands with our Sunday service and beyond. I look forward to seeing what the future hold for our community. If we all work together and pitch in, we can do great things.

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