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Prayers for Sandy Hook

Peering into the Woods

This is about prayer, a very different topic for me. One night last December at Hartford Family Institute I sat and listened to one of my mentors guide a meditation where we brought the “highest” or most clear expression of spirit into the room. Usually, when I meditate I engage in a mindfulness practice that isn’t “entertaining” the existence of “spirit” per se or inviting spirit to be with me. So this practice felt quite different and profound.It was beautiful to engage our individual and collective wills to invite whatever expression of spirit felt meaningful and real to us. I was struck by the power of this collective invocation. At one point we were invited to “hand over” to spirit anything we no longer need or something that we want to release. I was profoundly touched by the realness of that moment as I intended to release certain defensive behaviors that I am well practiced in, so that I could be with the purity and the undefended nature of spirit.Flashes of pure moments of connection to spirit came to me as I vividly saw moments of me as a child at temple feeling “something,” something peaceful and unifying and safe. Then moments of connection with the Kripalu community when it was an ashram emerged–memories of darshans and satsangs with Swami Kripalu blossomed in my mind’s eye. And lastly, recent memories of Tibetan meditation practice with Lama MigmarTseten, a Buddhist chaplain from Harvard University. They all felt like sacred moments. But I think the most sacred moment occurred much earlier that December evening, even before the meditation, when Stuart my mentor announced to the group that the faculty was going to “be with” and help bring healing to many of the first responders and medical examiners that were involved in the autopsies and emergency response to the Sandy Hook tragedy. Within days of the tragedy one of the medical examiners had contacted me seeking help. I called upon my mentors from Hartford Family Institute to be involved and without a flash of hesitation they were busy calling and making arrangements to go support these men and women. As Stuart shared with the group what we were going to do in Sandy Hook, he invited everyone to send us light as we “be with” and hold our connection to spirit as we listened to the pain and shock and horror of what they witnessed. This profound tragedy to so many pure spirits, innocent children and teachers, profoundly shakes us to the core and breaks open our hearts. If we can send from our open hearts as much love and light to the parents who have lost their beloved ones and the spirits of the children who are no longer on this earth and all the children who witnessed the horror of that day, we can add a ray of light to this darkness. Given the enormity of this tragic event, I trust the light in every human to take assertive action to prevent the likelihood of this happening again through urging legislative action for gun control, mental health support to individuals who truly need to be saved before they bring others into the hell of their suffering.

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