Sara Eisenberg is a healer, herbalist, activist and elder. A life-long learner, Sara draws on her many years of questioning, practice, training, and experience as a guide, facilitator and educator in community, academic, and spiritually-based settings. She is the founder of A Life of Practice, her online home where she integrates her work in Nondual Kabbalistic Healing, Herbal Medicine and Radical Inclusion with A Life of Practice©. She meets with clients in her Baltimore office and online.
In Sara's Words
The cicadas’ chitter rises and falls, a neighbor plays a mellow riff on his guitar. I look out into the garden where trees are fruiting with apples and figs, where echinacea, calendula, and wood betony are in bloom, and the yarrow is ready to harvest.
This is the place that supports me when I must face a five-story fear, figure out what question I need to be asking or capture an inspired moment. When I want to send words of consolation to a friend or blend the truest herbal tea for a client, or prepare for a bi-monthly talk with my healing tribe, I step into this place that supports me.
Or I look up into the faces of family members and teachers, a yarn-painting of the Blue Deer – my muse – who reminds me that the same life that runs through my family, teachers, garden, tribe, even enemies, runs through me.
Or I run my fingers across the surface of a feather, or I palm a stone or sliver of driftwood smoothed by waves that were driven by wind, weather, and moon.
When I must break through my dull senses, pre-occupations, a breaking heart, a nagging back pain, a raft of self-judgment, the bad taste of my own irritating words and all the other ways I resort to staying safe and asleep, I summon honesty.
And then I must invite kindness to come on out from under its trembling leaf and stand by me.
Some days I am up for a lot more honesty than kindness, some days the reverse (in which case I may just lose myself in an absorbing novel), and some days I am not much up for either one.
I keep a small post-it note on my bedside table that reminds me to feel-say “Thank you” every morning, because I do not wake naturally into gratitude for breath, spouse, health, roof, running water, the whole order of my physical world that has not been upended while I slept.
During my morning shower, I plant my feet, weight balanced on all four corners, pelvis under and forward, core engaged, shoulder girdle engaged. My body aligns and energy rises up through legs, hips, and spine. I breathe into my back body reminding myself I have one, reminding myself a lot goes on I don’t “see,” reminding myself there is Someone Who’s got my back.
Before I eat breakfast, without exception, I put down fresh food for Lilah, and then I ask my body what it needs.
And this is just the morning.
I’m always arriving.
It’s ALL a practice.
IN MY 70 YEARS, I’VE LEARNED TO TRUST MY LONGING, STRUGGLES, ARRIVALS AND DESTINATION AS ONE THING.
Of course, it wasn’t always this way. When I was quite young, I was solitary and lonely. I pined for and was also terrified of affection, companionship and intimacy. As an adult I trod many paths in an effort to solve this sorrow: family life, a gingerbread business, prayer, meditation, community organizing, public policy. I was also driven by a hunger and a determination to get inside the mechanism of what makes things work: laws of nature, biology, ecology, of physics and metaphysics, and so I studied astrology, kabbalah, systems theory, change management, group and organizational dynamics. In journal after journal I documented my travels and travails.
In my 50’s, I was a spiritual seeker, meditating every day and reading from the teachings of the Eastern spiritual path I had chosen. These things brought many spiritual experiences and some quiet to my mind. But what I still yearned for was to feel like I was living in my life, not just observing and reporting on it. I was torn between trying to live a divine life and transcending life, not realizing I didn’t know how to actually live the life I had.
Then I met Jason Shulman, someone who knew how to be a human being, imperfect and kind.
I call this time in my life my period of Greening Up: learning to live in my body and in my life.
All of life became a practice to see what was right in front of my eyes or at the top of my mind. I gained insight into the ways I kept myself safe, defended, withheld, and frozen. I learned to be grounded in my body and in the medicines of the earth. I began to take more and more responsibility for my thoughts and actions. I learned to relax, to let in other people and move with the movement of life. In short, I became myself.
Greening Up drew me into formal studies of Nondual Kabbalistic Healing with Jason, founder of A Society of Souls. I also earned a Master of Science degree in Herbal Medicine. As a kid, playing in the empty fields that dotted my neighborhood had been one of my great joys and freedoms. I learned how the same patterns that promoted healing in plant life also manifest in our anatomical structures and physiological processes, and how the chemicals that plants make for their own protection and well-being support our own. I learned to closely observe the natural environment around me and my own sensations, and then the workings of my clients’ bodies, and to match them with their plant allies. I was drawn especially to herbs that calm, nourish, and rejuvenate through their actions on the neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems, and launched my practice with that focus: Restorative Herbals. I have seen how profoundly these herbs can reset baseline functions for mood, energy level, and resilience to life’s pressures, insults and injuries, and how deeply they support the resolution of trauma, and our psychological and spiritual healing.
Now I am coming up on twenty years of study and practice within my healing community, A Society of Souls, and nine years of integrating my herbal and healing skills.
Now I can open-heartedly offer what I have most wanted to receive. This one life is laced with paradox. I have learned to work within and welcome the gifts of my limitations. Through this nondual practice, I’ve learned to trust my longing, struggles, arrivals and destination as One Thing.
Through my work, I am drawn more and more deeply into inhabiting both my own singular and flawed humanity, and our shared humanity. I walk through life not more perfect, but more human, understanding that there are temporary refuges, but there is no end to healing and awakening.