We must heal
ourselves first individually, which will empower us to then heal our
relationships, families, communities, states, countries, and finally,
globally, or world healing. We cannot aspire to achieve peace on the
global level if we ignore the basic foundation from which it is
birthed, the people and the souls who
create it. Peace can only be accomplished through the uniting of the
mind, body, and spirit, consciously choosing to operate from love and
trust, as opposed to fear and distrust, and living these principles,
the most important of all those principles being forgiveness, of self,
and others. None of this can be accomplished
in a world devoid of Spirit, because how, as a human being, do we face,
feel, and heal pain that is so old, so familiar, so great, that the
mere fleeting thought of feeling it sends us reeling? How, as a human
being, can one understand and forgive torture, rape, murder, lies,
deceit, betrayal, disaster? Take a look at the
world today, we aren't, and we don't, it's "an eye for an eye and a
tooth for a tooth", not, "forgive them father, for they know not what
they do." The answer is through our spirit, and our relationship with
the Spirit that created us - God, Buddha, Goddess, Universe, Allah,
whatever word one connects with - to name this miraculous energy of
which we are a part. Healing becomes much easier when we involve our
whole self, because as a spirit, there is an entirely different realm
of healing from and understanding these horrific events and the smaller
scale, yet just as debilitating, incidents of physical, mental,
emotional, spiritual dysfunction, abuse, and violence. Teaching,
learning, and living by the union of the relationship of mind, body,
and spirit is the only path to ending the vengeful ping pong match of
terrorism and violence between countries and individuals, opening the
door to our hearts and healing, providing access to incredible and
profound information and wisdom in a way that is not possible when we
operate only from our human being, and don't
include our spiritual being.
Peace requires the action of thinking, feeling, acting, speaking, from the wisdom of our soul, even when it is frustrating. We are human, and we must feel, and express our feelings. But it is what we do with them, how we express them, and how we resolve them, that is the key to our peace, and this is where we must support each other.
Violence occurs when three principles are active: living in a fear based reality as opposed to love, believing that we are separate from each other, and being unaware of our spiritual connection. Fear and separation are the backlash of an era in which people have forgotten their deep rooted connection to the earth, the stars, the planets, each other, the universe. We hide our most core selves from each other for fear of getting hurt, and being rejected; we do this with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, communities, etc., eventually becoming, yet again, global. Whether it is peace or violence, it begins inside of us, and extends outward. We have lived long enough in a world in which we know all too well how to extend our fears, putting up our walls of protection. It is time to remember who we are and where we come from, it is time to embrace our true identity as a spiritual being having a human experience, a human that knows integrally, the innate and profound power of the triad being, the individual who embraces the marriage of mind/body/spirit, obtaining empowerment and self confidence from the internal sources of the heart and Spirit, as opposed to the currently more prevalent (and misguided) method of seeking empowerment via external methods, such as title, profession, intellect, finances, etc.
With this level of assimilation of the very matrix of our individual and collective existence, we can halt the cycle of violence, removing the illusion that we are separate from each other, uniting together and affirming our interconnectedness, rendering us incapable of committing the violent atrocities against each other or any creature with which we share this earth that is our home. As Troy Chapman, currently incarcerated, says in his essay, Through My Enemies Eyes, "I developed the ability to see things through the eyes of my enemies, and saw in them the same fear that had so long governed me. The same confusion, the same grasping for security, the same hunger for love. I saw their humanity, and this ruined me as a warrior.... I realized I do have a choice. Indeed, the freedom to choose how to respond may be the total freedom we have."
Troy comments on a concept that is vital to understanding ourselves, which is the first step in harnessing the potential for healing and peace: he saw his enemy's humanity: fear, anger, confusion, loss, pain, and the desire to be saved from it. In order to achieve world peace, we must begin with our own inner peace, and then extend to our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and finally, and most importantly, our enemies, the knowledge and understanding that as we suffer, that is how another person also suffers. As we want to be soothed of our hurts, so do they, and they never were, and this is where we humans get lost, and then get violent. When we can connect this information in our mind, body, and spirit, we can then relate their experience to our own, thereby forging the ability to have compassion, empathy, forgiveness, a desire to connect with another, and be a part of a healing process as opposed to a spiteful, vengeful process.
The Healing Community Centers will help our family to heal and achieve this knowledge and understanding via engaging people in a multitude of experiences, all of which will incorporate mind/body/spirit integration. For example, there will be an extensive array of healthcare practitioners from all traditions of medical care, allopathic/holistic (chiropractic, primary care, osteopaths, mental health, shiatsu, acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, herbology, reflexology, etc.) as well as educational workshops and seminars ranging from art therapy classes, to youth team building to end bullying and gang violence, to exploring and healing from trauma, oppression, depression, violence, rape, addictions, and abuse, through mind, body, and spiritual practice utilizing music, dance, art, poetry, healing circles, drumming circles, support groups, organic gardening, pet therapy, and so on incorporating all aspects of mind/body/spirit therapies/activities/support groups.
All of this bearing in mind the ultimate goal of freedom from the nullifying and endangering illusion of separation and loneliness, which breeds victimization and hatred. Integration of the triad being results in the raising of consciousness, and self empowerment, through knowledge and education, affording individuals a more healthy and functional manner in which to handle the challenges of life, which can sometimes be disturbingly painful, therefore demanding a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment.
In addition, there will also be meditation areas, a lending library, a "take it or leave it" (clothing, etc, if you don't want it, you can leave it here, if you need it, you can take it from here), cafe/bookstore, childcare/elderly care, programs and shelter for our sisters and brothers without a home. There will be outreach services envoys to collaberate with the prison systems, courts, social services, hospitals, educational and governmental institutions, as well as the programs and support services that will be offered at the Centers. It is of greatest importance to have said envoys, particularly in the prisons and courts, as it is here where the emotional, mental, and spiritual wounds of our brothers and sisters are bleeding the most, and require the deepest and most profoundly integrated "treatment plan". If we do not address the root cause of why we, as human beings, commit violent acts and crimes, and implement change from here, we are simply applying a bandaid to a gushing gunshot wound.
Our current method
of holding accountable our family members who have committed criminal
acts, whether it involves physical violence or
mental/emotional/psychological violence and
dysfunction, is ill equipped to incorporate the breadth and scope of
true healing, and is aimed more at assigning a consequence for a
behavior as a means of preventing the behavior from occurring again. An
approach that works well for mentally, emotionally, psychologically
spiritually capable individuals, but let us remember,
a brother or sister who acts on a level of abuse, is not mentally,
emotionally, psychologically, spiritually capable, and in fact is
suffering on all of these levels, and needs help, desperately. Holding
our sisters and brothers accountable for their actions is important,
and necessary, but does not address what brought
the individual to such a place of imbalance and dysfunction in the
first place, and is therefore not achieving the greatest potential for
preventing the behavior from happening again. Addressing the root cause
of the behavior, in combination with assigning consequence, is the only
way to ensure, or at least attempt, to prevent
it from occurring again.
If we do not look deeply into our hearts, minds, and souls for what will be the most powerful solution to the dysfunction and violence that exists in our world today, and take the necessary steps to act upon this knowing, we will only continue to hurt ourselves. By allowing our sisters and brothers to stay in their pain, not only are we negating our responsibility as healthy family members to help those of our family who need it, but we are allowing for our own potential victimization, at the hands of their dysfunction and subsequent perpetration. We are all connected, and therefore those of us who are blessed with mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual health, must act on behalf of the members of our world family who are not. In helping them to heal and rise above their pain, wounds, suffering, and ensuing imbalance and perpetration, we also help ourselves to then not become a potential victim of their dysfunction, thereby continuing the cycle of pain, suffering, fear, distrust, and violence. As well as, simply put, the room is always brighter when more light bulbs are turned on; the more we help each other to heal, the higher the vibration of light, love, and peace, and the closer we are to accomplishing critical mass, and transitioning into living in a peaceful world.
The Healing Community Centers are an international franchise (and will be strategically placed in both rural and urban settings) since all of us need community, very few have it, and we do not currently have a global organization dedicated to our entire world family providing physical, mental, emotional, spiritual healthcare, support, and skills needed to achieve individual peace, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, religious/spiritual practice, etc. We have the Red Cross, a United Nations, a Peace Corps, etc., we have international organizations that assist in disasters, post war tragedy, and attempt to unite countries and cultures to uphold the concept of peace, but we do not have an organization known throughout the world as a safe haven, always available with open arms, dedicated to providing and teaching our world family the "how to's" of attaining peace. So how is it that we can expect to achieve a united and peaceful world, when we are not providing the tools to accomplish this? It is a sad mark of our times that you can go most anywhere in the world and know that if you need a quarter pounder with cheese you can find a McDonald's and get it; but if you are depressed, sad, scared, suicidal or alone, with no family or friends, and need help, chances are, you probably won't get it. We live in a world where we can always find a cheeseburger, but where do we go to find someone who cares?
Costs will be according to socio-economic capabilities, utilizing sliding scale and barter, as well as significant outreach, grants, and fundraising so that truly all people will be aware of and have the opportunity to access the Centers, not just those who have the privilege of information and finances, because peace does not discriminate based upon income.
The cultural differences in how this will be accomplished is not an issue, because at the heart of every country are the hearts of people, and what every person needs, is to be understood, and loved. Each Community Center will however be created by the people of that community, to be in alignment with it's particular geographic location, incorporating the ideas and practices specific to that community, essentially becoming "user friendly" by offering services and programs that are safe and familiar to those that would utilize the facility. While those of us fortunate enough to be involved in raising the consciousness understand the great and wonderful diversity in mind/body/spirit traditions and practices, it is important to note that the path to healing and raising the consciousness must be nurtured gently, with patience, compassion and understanding, which means speaking the appropriate language for that community. For example, the structure, services and programs offered at a Healing Community Center in Arkansas, U.S.A., may look very different from that of one in California, which will look different than that of one in Yugoslavia, Africa, etc. It is important to create an environment that offers a baseline of safety and familiarity to set the foundation for trust, growth, transformation, and peace building.
Part of healing the wounds of our world family is healing the glaring inequality of appropriate compensation for employment, as well as promoting the opportunity to mend the separation of work and heart. True balance of work is when people do what they love, love what they do, and incidentally, get paid for it. It makes no sense to create a center for balance and healing, yet then have the staff be imbalanced because of being overworked and underpaid, the antithesis of what we are working towards, and it is time that we all, as a world family, made peace making a priority by investing in it. Monetary compensation, vacation time, and employee retreats will be abundant, providing the necessary time to nurture and attend to emotional, mental, psychological, physical, and spiritual health, creating and maintaining a healthy and strong organization. An organization is only as strong as those who create it, therefore the Healing Community Centers must be very strong, guiding, supporting, and nurturing our world family into harmony and health, leading by example and role modeling health and healing, "walking our talk" and practicing what we preach.
This is our purpose, to assist in re-establishing a world in which our human family remembers that we are a unified spiritual family, having a human experience; that it matters not the color of our skin, what country we are from, what our faith is, what we eat, how we dress, who we marry, how much money we make... for we are all One. It is our desire and intention to bring back hope where there is none, joy where there is sorrow, peace where there is pain, to replace in the hearts of all, love instead of fear. The answer to this lies in the birth of consciousness and the subsequent activation of living as a spiritual being having a human experience, consciously connected to our own spirit, the one that created us, and all others, as One. The Healing Community Centers will be an instrumental force in assisting in this process, forging elevation of consciousness, empowerment, respect, healing, compassion, empathy, love, forgiveness, dignity and harmonious community with all peoples and beings, bringing the blossoming of a new world.
May you have the Power of the Wind, the Peace of Love, and the Joy of Light.
Founder, Visionary, The Healing Community Centers
"Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." Mark Twain
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood" Marie Curie