My Dear Friends,

I want to reach out and express my love and concern for you all. When I think of all of you that I have interacted with at retreats, intensives, teaching meetings, internet courses, gathering groups, and evening talks over these many years, I am reminded of your great love and dedication to realizing the spiritual nature of all beings. I also think of those of you from around the world that I have not had the good pleasure to see at an Open Gate Sangha program, but who have watched videos or listened to teachings on our website, YouTube, Facebook, or other forms of outreach over these many years. My heart feels wide and outreaching when I consider the great sincerity, dedication, and courage I have witnessed in so many of you over the years in response to the inner call of your Spirit.

My teacher once said, “It is one thing to be free in the formless, but we must find freedom within the world of form as well.” And here we all are, conforming the form of our lives to the realities and necessities of this worldwide virus. I have revisited the words of my teacher many, many times over the years and have found that the wisdom contained within them continues to reveal new vistas of freedom and meaning. While the current challenges we are all facing limit us in the forms our lives are taking at the moment, there is also the possibility of being anchored in an inner resource of peace and compassion which can be expressed in our daily lives and actions.

To give yourself a little time each day—when you can direct attention to the quiet foundation of your being, to the inner I Am that we all share in common, free of any self-image or idea—is a great balm to the Spirit and can reconnect us with that living touch of eternity within. And to breathe into and out of the heart center, while listening and feeling into the inner peace and stillness just underneath the mind’s narrative, can raise the Spirit into consciousness once again and calm the restless mind. But there is no better antidote to fear and anxiety than to reconnect with the Heart within all hearts. To remind ourselves that we do indeed care for one another deeply and that our caring is the ground of our compassion and well-being, is to assert the goodness of our collective Spirit in the midst of life’s challenges. The world needs our hearts, and our courage, and the light of our being. Here and now is where the outer world can meet the freedom and compassion of our inner Spirit.

Our relative human nature contains so many paradoxes and is comprised of the opposites that make up all of life. We all know love and fear, calm and anxiety, strength and weakness, clarity and confusion, perfection and fallibility—we don’t need to deny or repress this aspect of human psychology. Indeed, as we embrace the full measure of our psychological complexity, a greater balance comes into being—a balance which can open our consciousness beyond the play of opposites to our true nature, that mysterious Ground and source of being from which our human psychology arises. While our true nature is a unified wholeness, forever beyond the play of opposites, it is also fully present within them—and as them—providing them with balance, grounding, and direction.

It is now so very important to be dedicated to our inner presence of being and the peace that is always awaiting our attention and acknowledgement—not just for our individual peace of mind, but also for one another. The more we are reminded of the great resiliency that exists within the heart of humanity, the more that we can embody, relate, and act from the Spirit of love and compassion that resides within us all. Perhaps, through encountering this current challenge, we will all be reminded and reoriented toward what truly matters in life. Perhaps we will reassess the depth of our commitment to what unites the human heart and let go of serving whatever does not contribute to the better angels of our nature.

So I am compelled to reach out to each of you, from a wide heart, and encourage you to stay connected to your Spirit, to that quiet and formless Presence that is our true nature. While we may be limited in our outer lives for a while, our Spirit and our love are without borders and connect us with one another in a deep and intuitive way. Spirituality is indeed connected with our daily lives, for it reveals the very heart and true nature of our being, and of our lives, and of one another. And it reminds us each to be now what we truly are, for the benefit of all beings.

We (you and I and Open Gate Sangha) are a community dedicated to the spiritual welfare of all beings, and perhaps, in the quiet spaces inside yourself, you will intuitively feel and receive the support of this great fellowship of lovers of truth and peace from all around the world. Mukti and I, and all of us at Open Gate Sangha, are holding all of you in our hearts, and in our prayers, and in that inner place of peace beyond all understanding.

With Great Love,

March 24, 2020