Sanctuary of the Heart

Gifts of Resilience

'Will you be my refuge, My haven in the storm, Will you keep the embers warm, When my fire's all but gone? Will you remember, And bring me sprigs of rosemary, Be my sanctuary, Till I can carry on, carry on...' --Carrie Newcomer Share Reflection

The world today seems to move from one crisis to another. A global pandemic that claims the lives of many; economic and climate disruptions; escalating racial and political tensions; wars that threaten global security. All of this does little to inspire peace in the soul. These are difficult times; but is it possible that our experience of upheaval serves a holy purpose? What if turmoil can awaken new capacities in us? What does it take to participate in building pathways for collective resiliency and societal transformation? Just as redwood trees can sprout a new shoot from any of their branches, and become home to an entire ecosystem of species, how can we come together to be resilient and in service to the sacred?

We invite you to co-create a multi-faith 'Sanctuary of the Heart', exploring gifts of resilience -- gift of uncertainty, gift of grief, gift of the "other" -- with a global community of kindred spirits. Through music, spiritual practices, stories, and renowned thought leaders, we’ll sit in the tension of the challenges we face daily, and trust that the collective voice of the community will be our guide. From this place, we believe that the gifts of adversity may catalyze new insights and skills to thrive in transitional times.

To join us, simply RSVP below and you'll be emailed the details.

Our theme this month will explore how our embrace of uncertainty can help us cultivate resilience.

Uncertainty often feels like a challenge to overcome, but could it also be a gift? IMF reports that World Uncertainty Index across 163 countries is the highest it has ever been -- pandemic, famine, wars, climate change, civil unrest, inflation, elections, and a lot more seems to be on deck. Yet, perhaps uncertainty can also serve as a gift when it invites us to reexamine our old stories, question its underlying assumptions, and allow a new, larger, more compelling narrative to be revealed. Perhaps falling in love with mystery and kneeling at the altar of not knowing can give our questions time to breathe, and allow the answers to find us.

Among the inspirations joining this call: 

  • Kate Munger: For decades, she has sat by the bedside of the dying, to sing songs that help them embrace uncertainty. One of her favorites is a song based on Rilke's quote: "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. Live the questions."
  • Ahmad Karimi: in the closing days of the American occupation in Afghanistan, all he worked so hard for was taken away in a matter of days. Yet he kept looking for the gift in uncertainty, and pioneered a youth movement in Kabul.
  • Chelan Harkin: at 21, she found herself in the cave of Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i faith. The quietude of the barred room suddenly broke by an inner voice saying "Let us Dance, as her own voice filled the resonant chamber with song. "A Great and Mysterious Something had rushed through me. This Great Something was a poem but so much more than a poem."
  • Wakanyi Hoffman: An artist of life who paints the shades of each day as a storyteller, author, mother, global citizen, journalist, and keeper of indigenous wisdom. She honors her roots in Africa by retelling indigenous stories that ignite a celebration of Ubuntu -- oneness and togetherness. 
  • James O'dea: after a lifetime of working at the front-line of conflict zones, renowned author James invites us to remember resiliency not just as "hardi-ness, but also a tender vulnerability that allows our tears to deliver us to human health."
  • Much more -- held by our illustrious emcees in Charles Gibbs and Bonnie Rose, we will invite singing bowl meditation, prayer dedication, alongside interactions with each other during and after the call.

CONTEXT: A few months ago, after a heart-opening 21-day Interfaith Compassion Challenge, Rev. Charles Gibbs echoed an inquiry that many held: what might "Cathedral 2.0" look like?  Many others expanded on the inquiry: could we co-create a "sanctuary" where people around the world of varied faiths, backgrounds and beliefs come together to share a connection with the sacred, learn from each other, and inspire a heart of service?  In early March, on the day of our Mystical Music Pod event with Carrie Newcomer, a war started in Ukraine. That ended up rippling into a moving global prayer event with 26 speakers and musicians -- organized in less than 3 days! -- where James O'dea's compelling words on resilience were particularly resonant.

Floating along those rivers of emergence, new engagement format arose. Every month, a unique theme is introduced through a group call featuring soulful music, spiritual practices, inspired speakers and peer interaction. In between calls, every week, we'll reflect on the deeper questions around resilience and learn directly from one another. Inevitably, lots will emerge in that field of shared connection, and we'll be ready to ride those winds of grace. :)

Artist Jaeda DeWalt wrote: “When we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of the human experience.”  Wherever you are on the “broad spectrum of human experience,” we welcome you.  And while we may not have all the answers to the challenges of today's world, we believe we can rest in the spaciousness where sacred unknowing grows our collective heart.

To join this call, simply RSVP below and you'll be emailed the details for the first call -- and you will also be invited to join our Sanctuary Pod for deeper engagement.