by Marcy Heller

I would like to pose a question to all of you – what is it that drew you to a spiritual life?  I would love for you to ponder that question and if it resonates do some self-inquiry and email or text your answers.

Whatever that reason may be as Ram Dass (one of my favorite teachers), was always writing, “We are all here to walk each other back home!” And, as sure as there is a journey home, there is also the road we are traveling now.  For myself, the journey of Awakening now helps me to connect to my deepest needs and longings.  I have an insatiable hunger for whatever can assist me in becoming free!  Free of what, you ask?  Free of myself. Remembering who I truly AM and not what my mind continues to tell me! As one of my famous teachers has imprinted on me, “If you’re in your head you’re dead!”

In Jack Kornfield’s book, ‘After the Ecstasy, the Laundry’, he writes, “The encouner with suffering that leads us to seek an answer is a universal story. Heavenly messengers come in some form to each of us, calling us to seek a wholeness missing in our lives.  They come not just as our own struggles, but in the sorrows of the world.  These have such a powerful effect on our hearts that any day’s news could break them open.”

Even though the world situations may feel heartbreaking- do not despair.  Remember, the transformative power of healing is in sharing. To quote Brene’ Brown from her brilliant book, ‘Daring to Be Brave’, “I can only conclude our world is in a collective spiritual crisis. Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.”

With the state of our world, the poverty, forest fires, hurricanes, upcoming election, hunger, global warming, racism and pandemic (to name just a few) are the heavenly messengers for us. They are our teachers that demand we awaken!  For many of us our very suffering – feelings of not enoughness, deficient or disconnected can also be the most fertile ground for awakening the Buddha in us. It brings us to our knees in gratitude to acknowledge the insights that are life changing.

If nothing else this pandemic is showing us all to cultivate more love and compassion for ourselves and others. Those of us with a wise heart bring so much more compassion to all the hearts and souls they grace. A study at Stanford University years ago, compared those psychologists who worked in a detached way not revealing anything about themselves with those who shared some of their own difficulties and woundedness. The wounded healers fostered the greatest healing in their patients. Through my own practice, I have learned the more vulnerable I am, the more others trusted me and consequently, were able to go much deeper into the work. The Buddha says, “You can search the tenfold universe and not find a single being more worthy of loving kindness than yourself.”

Bryon Katie is famous for “The Work”, and it is just that. It requires us to do the work if we want to be free from our own suffering.  According to Katie, (everyone calls her that), there are 3 businesses. Ours, theirs and G-ds! The more we are at peace with ourselves and with what is, the more energy we can use for our own business.  When we stop trying to control, change or want things to be different then the way they are we have so much more energy within ourselves to work with with for our own growth and evolution. When we can be content and loving with what is we become the love we have sought from others all along.  As they say in Zen, “Where do we wander in search of it, when it is standing in our own backyard!?”

Lorna Bevan’s forecast for September: “The next weeks are likely to be chaotic. You may feel overwhelmed at times by the continuous dismantling, the crashes and clashes. But there is purpose to this time. And it is all about reconnecting you to your Agency through a new Superpower –the power to create outcomes when you don’t have direct influence on events.Since early March and the global Stop and Desist Order of the pandemic, the physical restrictions and the financial, emotional and mental effects have installed a sense of powerlessness/helplessnessin all but the most resilient. September marks the turning point when you remember that you are at Cause, not at Effect, that, no matter what is going on around you, you always have choices.Although intense and challenging, these last few weeks can yield tremendous rewards in your inner growth and self-empowerment. Itis going to be a month of Personal Re-orientation at all levels-physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.Frame it as a sorting/re-ordering aligning you with the new Resonant Timelineswhich are all about living from Self, Core and Personal Power as the old time lines and bandwidths continue to collapse around you.”

Right now, as I celebrate my incredible connection to many of you, it brings me to my knees in gratitude. Even though many of us have been divided from each other in many ways, this pandemic has brought us all together. No one, whether it be religion, politics or location is exempt from this experience. It seems that we are showing up for one another in ways that acknowledge our deep love and connection.  These are the cornerstones that are helping us all move forward with grace and equinimity.  May you all enter your own sacred space, trust your Heart and cultivate your love beyond your fear.

For now, I want to leave you with these thoughts from the Buddhist teacher, Tara Brach, “The only path that can carry me home is a path of self-compassion. Radical compassion means including the vulnerability of this life all life in our heart. It means having the courage to love ourselves, each other, and our world. Radical compassion is rooted in mindful, embodied presence, and it is expressed actively through caring that includes all beings.