Giving thanks, offering healing: in practice

Offering our thanks is healing itself, for our own hearts, and the world’s Great Heart

Dear Readers ….

May this day find us each and every one with an abundance of blessings received and equally abundant impulses to pay them forward.

May we feast on a bounty of kindness for our troubled world and our own aching hearts.

May we breathe life into ancient wisdom stories, take instruction from them, and welcome opportunities to join hands with strangers within and without.

May we resolve to understand where we have come from, on whose tribal shoulders we stand, on whose tribal lands and graves our lives are built, and pursue paths to Truths and Reconciliations for the healing of human sorrows.

May we summon our will and our willingness to participate in the ways our Mother Earth reveals she is healing Herself.

May we yield to the solace of Mystery, our incapacity to understand and make meaning.

May we grant ourselves and one another permission – whether to recoil in incredulity or numbness or shed tears as we cry out to the Mystery,  in hurt, in love, in anger, in grief, in fear, in relief.

May we pursue and accept responsibility for the power to do and be good with which we have been gifted by the Mystery.


An invitation to practice: 

Contemplate your yearning for personal healing and for healing in the world, and how they are irrevocably one, like the palm and back of your hand. Journal a bit, or let a poem write itself through you. Leonard Cohen’s beautiful lyrics and melody in Come Healing help me sink into this contemplation.

Take a walk – around your own block or in a favorite setting. Be attentive to your environment, and pocket with thanks a few natural objects that capture your attention – twigs, stones, moss, dried plant stalks, broken open nutshells.

Back home, lay your found objects down, and gather bits of broken pottery or glass, a bead or two, yarn or twine, clay or duct tape for threading and binding them together.

Sit quietly as you infuse the items with your healing intentions and compose an offering with these found natural and household items.

Give yourself uninterrupted time to be leisurely, and make arrangement with your family/housemates as necessary. (Any animals in your home are likely to sniff you out in this activity to join their energies with yours!)

Choose any altar – in your own home or in a place in your town or countryside in need of healing, or in the hands of a friend or colleague in need: place your offering in any one of these gracious laps of the great Mystery.

Photos and words of reflection on your experience are welcome!


This practice will yield fruit, whether you are able to set aside a block of time to follow all the steps from beginning to end, or whether you do it in stages. If the latter, take time to reconnect with your healing intentions at each step – and follow and trust your own process as it shifts and deepens,  becomes more specific, or changes direction.

Note: This practice is adapted with gratitude from a healing ceremony that two of my healing colleagues and I channeled/designed for A Society  of Souls’ biannual gathering in July, 2018.


P.S. I have been peering into the “dark light” these last number of months, while a life of practice’s blog has gone dark. Thank you, dear readers, who have in one way or another blown on the embers, letting me know you missed it! Look for posts to appear twice a month.


Forgiveness and Fore-giveness

Fore-giveness is a profound kindness built into all of life – you could say we are made of it, and that it is the juicy and sweet seed of our own capacity to forgive.

Fore-giveness shows its Holy Self in those fleeting moments when I know who I am, where I stand, in whose company and in Whose presence. Receptive and responsive to the unique gifts of that brief measure of time.

I call these fore-giving moments, made of honesty and kindness, wisdom and understanding. They have a way of letting errors, insults, woundings, achievements and attainment each be just themselves. They leave me empty, fault and faults forgiven – and also entirely responsible and with the capacity to repair.

I understand these alchemical moments to be expressions of  a pre-existing and eternal character of the universe we humans inhabit. A compassion that precedes us in time, rank, and position. A kindness great enough to hold even the grudge I am not ready to release.


Yom Kippur at the Holy of Holies

by Sara Eisenberg


once each year

a single-hearted woman


a single seed

of every type,

drops each soundlessly into

a clean linen pocket:

tov mo’ed.


she stands on holy ground,

around her ankle

a twine of bright ribbons

woven by her intimates and

on which they gently tug,

pull her back from the edge.

they whisper

“forgiven, pardoned, granted atonement.”

they sing

“enter the year!”


she slices wide a pomegranate,

they feast on sweet-tart arils

while the juices run.

Read more about honesty and kindness:

When receiving becomes a gift

The general rule is: If you open a gift in the presence of the giver, then your verbal thanks are sufficient.

Emily Post

I checked my email one last time just before boarding the first leg of my flight from San Jose to Baltimore. There was a single new message, an apology from a long-time colleague who I hold in great respect, and with whom I had been in disagreement for some months. His words, “I feel sorry that I hurt you,” were neither casual not formulaic. And yet I struggled to take in his words, to actually receive the gift, the shift in relationship, that they held.


I wanted nothing more than to be able to simply open his gift, stand alive and in his presence across the geographic distance, and heartfully respond “Thank you.”  Except that wasn’t true. My feelings were varied, complicated, turbulent. 


Our relationship deserved more than a few words hurriedly sent off in response to his. For the many hours of flight and baggage handling, arriving home in the wee hours of the morning to a week’s worth of mail and tasks waiting for me, I struggled mightily to stay put in the gap between how I wanted to feel – generous, connected, forgiving, and the way I did feel: angry, small, closed, steeled.


Eventually…by the late afternoon hours, I recognized an old and familiar theme: fundamentally, essentially I was disappointed. I understood that I had burdened his words with a lifetime of disappointment, and I was able to respond to him:

I had to sit for a long time to be able to take in your words – “I feel sorry.” I have been waiting forever for God or Reality or Someone to say “Sara, I am so sorry…” It has taken me hours to let all the weight of the past roll off, and receive these as just your words.

The following week we spoke at length by phone. There was no barrier in our exchange. We each talked about our struggles and vulnerabilities and responsibility.  We did not “solve” our disagreement. Yet it was, from both ends, the most undefended conversation we have had in our twenty-one year relationship, both friendly and respectful, amends without glossing over, full of the nourishment and beauty of receiving, of being in friendly and respectful relationship.


Who in your life is waiting for you to receive their words, their heart, their being, just as they are, and just as you are, without glossing over?

What holds you back?