If you’ve landed on this website, chances are you’re a spiritual explorer, as am I. I hope you’ll look around, and if what you find here resonates with you, perhaps we are meant to travel this journey together.
First, let me tell you a little bit about how I landed here, starting with the photo you see here.
That’s me, kneeling in the labyrinth. It was 2010. I was in Denver, staying with my mother who was in hospice. About the time I learned of her cancer diagnosis, I also learned—through a series of dreams, synchronicities and intuitions—that it was time for me to leave my vocation as a pastor. It was time for me to step onto an unknown path.
I went to the labyrinth that day because I was facing monumental losses—that of my mother, my vocation, and my spiritual community. I needed guidance. I needed reassurance.
When I got to the church, a photographer from The Denver Post told me they were doing an article for an upcoming workshop about the labyrinth, and he asked if he could photograph me walking it. I wasn’t thrilled—this was an intensely personal moment—but I agreed.
As I traveled the labyrinth’s twists and turns—reflecting on how my life was about to change in ways I couldn’t foresee—it reminded me that life is not linear. It takes us in one direction, and then another. But I understood that this path, confusing though it seemed, would eventually lead me to my own center—a place of stillness, serenity, peace.
All that was required of me was to place one foot in front of the other, follow where I was being led, and trust that a greater wisdom was at work.
When I reached the center of the labyrinth, I knelt down and touched my forehead to the floor because I wanted to convey with my whole being my willingness to say yes to the unknown future that was before me.
A couple of days later, my gesture of spiritual surrender appeared on the front page of the newspaper. I’m taking it as an instruction now to share my spiritual life more publicly.
Getting through the Fear
I won’t lie to you. The way ahead of me proved to be anything but easy. Without a spiritual community, without a vocation, without the anchoring presence of my mother in my life, I felt profound loss and fear. At times I was convinced that life had led me to a dead end.
Yet somehow beneath the grief and terror was a deeper knowing that all of this was necessary. I was undergoing a rite of passage. Every obstacle to the true Self was being dissolved.
One night I had a dream. I was with a friend. We were on the top floor of a skyscraper, about to step out a door. Outside was a cable suspended so high we couldn’t see the ground. We would have to make our way hand over hand. As I was about to step out, a fierce wind blowing in my face, I turned to my friend and said, “Don’t look down!”
My sojourn through that time of loss and fear was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And it is an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. It taught me the importance of not looking down, of not listening to the fear—not only because it wasn’t useful, but because it wasn’t true. It was simply my imagination conjuring catastrophic scenarios. I also discovered that courage isn’t fearlessness. Rather, it is the art of being afraid.
That harrowing time taught me about trust. It forced me to go deep into that Reality in which all would be well—no matter what happened.
Living from the Heart
I’ve been on some steep learning curves these last years, some having to do with inner transformation and others with more mundane matters like websites, writing, publishing. Along the way I’ve heard all the advice, about how if you want to “succeed” in this world you have to identify and dominate your niche, compete, have a plan.
But all of that is the approach of the ego that sees itself as all alone, having to fend for itself and fight for its survival. It’s a world I’ve grown weary of, and so I’m pulling off that I-way to travel the scenic roads of the heart where surprises await. From now on I’m living my life as a heartist.
What’s a heartist? Someone who knows true wisdom is accessed through the heart, not the rational mind. Someone who honors the inner promptings, even if they seem to make no sense. Someone who can simply take the next step without having to know the outcome. Someone who understands that we aren’t separate entities acting out our lonely parts on the world stage. We are aspects of a timeless, vast Reality that is able to guide us once we let go of our fearful ego-based lives.
The Old and the New
Several months ago I told my subscribers I was about to take down my old website along with all of my previous blog posts, because I saw myself headed in a new direction. I’ll just say, I got some push back. People didn’t want that content to disappear. So instead of removing them, I archived the old posts, and some I will highlight as GuidePosts on a page of their own.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the archives. There were two posts that refused to be categorized as archives. I’d entered the change and clicked save, and the processing icon just went round and round. I canceled and tried again, and again. Same result. These two posts just wouldn’t be tucked away out of site.
What does a heartist do with a situation like that? She understands that this is an instruction. The themes of these two posts are in alignment with a greater intention behind this website, and they will remain as active blog posts. The two posts are One Christ Is Not Enough, and the other is Praying for Rain, written by my good friend Lawrie Hartt.
Exploring Our Capacity
Many years ago I heard Tex Sample give a sermon. Tex is an expert on church and society, and a renowned storyteller. He’s a very down-to-earth kind of guy. In his sermon he told of how he’d been puzzling over the allure of pickup trucks. What is it about pickup trucks that so many people find so appealing? So he asked his neighbor why he drove one. The man thought for a moment, then said, “I have capacity.”
That’s what I intend for this website to be—something that helps us realize, explore and activate our spiritual capacity, because I believe we humans have capacity we haven’t even begun to tap.
We have the capacity to awaken from the ego-dream of this world. We have the capacity to participate in cosmic consciousness. We have the capacity to be co-creators of the story that is unfolding on this planet. We have the capacity to reunite ourselves with the All from which we arise. We have the capacity to heal, to forgive, to break the chains of the past and set the future free.
Life on the planet needs us to activate our spiritual capacity. Now.
I suppose you could say this new website is my pickup truck. With it I have the capacity to host podcasts, offer online courses, facilitate community forums, and of course share my writings. I don’t know yet which, if any, of these will come to the fore.
What I do know is that I will soon be publishing a memoir that shares my journey of coming to see that much of Christian belief has been shaped by the consciousness of ego, concealing from us the the very truth about ourselves Jesus was trying to convey. Stay tuned to find out more.
And what’s beyond that bend? I can’t say. All I know is I’m ready to follow where my heart leads. I hope you’ll join me on the journey.
P.S. I’d like to thank my friend Sara Steele for the logo image featured on this website.
P.P.S. If you’d like to be included on my newsletter list, please fill out the form below—and watch for your copy of the guided meditation my very talented spouse, Kip Leitner, and I recorded. I’d like you to have it to support you on your path.