Compassionate Heart Interspiritual Community is a Healing Place
Personal and Spiritual Healing
We live in a time of unprecedented stress on every level, and the impact of that stress can be devastating. Whether we are looking for help in making choices in our personal lives or careers, coping with changes in our health or that of someone close to us, struggling with the roller coaster that is raising children, seeking or maintaining a primary relationship, or any of life’s other issues, it can help to see that every problem has many dimensions. The often neglected dimension is the spiritual impact of our problems. We fully endorse traditional medicine including psychiatry and psychotherapy. There are problems that your spiritual teacher simply isn’t qualified to address. If you break your leg, prayer may ease the pain but only a cast will repair the physical damage. There are, however, alternative healing modalities that often complement traditional medicine.
We have learned that alternative healing is an effective method of relieving pain on many different levels, and find it to be completely compatible with every spiritual and religious belief system. Contrary to what some believe, energy healing is an ancient tradition, not some new development that came on the scene recently. In our scientific and rationalistic age we have often ignored the wisdom of indigenous and Earth-based traditions because they cannot be measured with the tools at our disposal, but anyone in physical or emotional pain will tell you that relief is welcomed with open arms regardless of whether or not it can be measured!
Healing in Community
We live increasingly isolated lives. If we have an attached garage, we may never see our neighbors except through our window panes. We are also an increasingly mobile society, with people relocating frequently. Did you know that before the invention of the automobile the average person never traveled more than twenty-five miles from where they were born? Things certainly have changed! While it’s possible to build wonderful and very real friendships on social media, sometimes there is nothing quite like being able to sit in the same room with someone and share our stories. There’s nothing like a hug when we are feeling down, or a heartfelt conversation over a cup of coffee or tea. At Compassionate Heart, we believe that building community brings with it opportunities for wholeness and healing. That’s why, in addition to meditation groups and devotional Satsang (spiritual community) gatherings, we offer support groups and social opportunities.
Religious and Faith-Based Violence
Compassionate Heart is part of The UAC, an Interspiritual Community that recognizes the validity of all the world’s great spiritual traditions and serves people from all spiritual and religious traditions – and those with no spiritual background at all.
As strange as it seems, the argument can be made that most of the wars fought throughout human history were the direct result of differing religious beliefs – differing beliefs about how the world works and what needs to be done to set it right. The events of September 11, 2001 quite literally brought this issue home to Americans, and American response has ranged from wholly inadequate to profoundly tragic. A new paradigm is needed, and The UAC is leading the way in reforming the way we understand different faith and belief systems.
The major world religions were developed at a time when tribal consciousness was predominant. If you weren’t a member of my tribe, you were automatically suspect and a threat to my continued existence. Religions quite naturally incorporated these predominant beliefs and sought to reassure members of our tribe that we were the only ones loved and favored by God. Today we can see the error of this way of thinking because many of us have evolved beyond it. It is absolutely contradictory to believe that God is somehow responsible for the creation and existence of everything and everybody while at the same time believing that a being advanced enough to be worshiped would loathe some of that creation while loving another part of it. In The UAC we recognize that if we are to have peace we must have interreligious understanding and cooperation.
To this end, we are the founding member and developers of a program called UAC Interspiritual, a network of spiritual communities, clergy, and teachers whose spiritual walk has been enriched by the understandings of diverse spiritual and religious traditions that complement our spiritual journey. We see and appreciate the common values shared by all the great traditions, including but not limited to love, compassion, empathy, peace, prayer and meditation, service, and healing. In a world that is becoming increasingly pluralistic day by day, we recognize the responsibility we as spiritual leaders have to facilitate conversation, cooperation, and mutual understanding. This makes Compassionate Heart a place where all people are truly welcome!
Our Cities and Families
Pioneering psychologist Abraham Maslow defined the three basic human needs as the need for food, clothing, and shelter. It seems that in our cities today none of these are guaranteed. As we struggle to raise our families in difficult economic times politicians keep saying that there aren’t enough resources to go around. Despite this, we never seem to lack money to go to war or create a new law enforcement program. Does that money come from a different source? Of course not. In truth the money that we as a society dedicate to violence has a direct impact on our ability to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate our young people. How will we continue to pay our bills as a nation when our young people lag so far behind in education that they are virtually unemployable and therefore cannot pay taxes? What will be the long-term consequences of the foreclosure crisis of the last six years? How many boarded up homes and businesses will it take before we realize something has gone very wrong, indeed, and that the things that have gone wrong are caused by the choices we as a nation make? Perhaps most importantly, what is the impact of all of these things on our children and families?
We live in a culture replete with violence, from our entertainment forms all the way down to our streets, and we support a government that exports violence throughout the world. Our children play violent video games wherein they kill other people without consequence and we sit by dumbfounded when they act out violently against one another. Businesses have fled our urban areas, lured away by tax breaks in suburban areas or cheap labor overseas. The result is that our urban population cannot access employment opportunities that pay a living wage. Parents work two and three jobs just to get by and their children are home unsupervised. Feeling unloved and unwanted, they turn to the streets and violence for the rites of passage and feeling of belonging we all need. Alternative economies such as drug trafficking develop where there are no legitimate employment opportunities. Our response to that has not been a response of real reform or compassion but rather, unsurprisingly, a response of violent law enforcement and pandemic incarceration.
The solutions to these problems are all community based! As each of us works on creating wholeness in ourselves, we naturally share the skills we have learned with those around us. Saving our communities is absolutely grass-roots work, and it can start for you at Compassionate Heart!