I would love to write a blog today that sweeps people away with positive intrigue. I would love to simply skip over any mention of the Paris attack and make this blog all about the love that I have found here. But the truth is that life contains both suffering and joy. And as we see time and time again, one so often gives way to the other.
The phone buzzed incessantly as the text messages came flooding in. The aggravating hum of it pulled me out of the covers. Message after message to the tone of “Are you guys ok?” and “We are worried about you, call us to tell us you’re alright”. One of my community members logged into a news channel and shook his head. A tone of shock was carried by the foreign sounds of the French news anchors. We arrived in Paris the afternoon before the terrorist attacks occurred. We had spent the night with an energy healer in the French countryside, cocooned in his healing room; surrounded by crystals and other various spiritual relics. Unlike usual, I did not spend the night out of body that night. Instead, I spent the night spinning in the darkness of the room in a profound state of healing, restoration and purification. The news did not come as a complete surprise though. I am used to this. I am used to always being placed in the “right place at the right time”. But I shook my head both at the violent ways of the world and at the fact that it was no longer a mystery why we were called so many months ago to do Western European workshop in Paris on the 15th of November.
When we made our way into the heart of Paris, it was like entering a war zone. Ravens were everywhere, their feathers molting with the change of season. The streets of Paris, usually a frenzy of motion with people as far as the eye can see, were virtually empty. Dark gray clouds and wind graced the streets with desolation. The people of Paris, asked by the authorities to stay inside their houses, hid inside their apartments in a state of terror and doom. The hotel my event coordinator and two volunteers were staying in, was raided. And all gatherings were declared illegal. Before we knew that, we had already arranged a meeting in a park with whatever Tribers could attend and another one with the volunteers. The park was closed off by police with machine guns. So we made our way to a tiny strip of green by the Louvre. I made the executive decision to call people together instead of sink into the segregation and fear that had overtaken the city. When we announced the Paris meet up, we received hate mail from various Parisians, calling me arrogant and American. Messages telling me to go back home and telling me how disrespectful it was for me not to cancel the workshop out of respect for the people who were killed. It felt bad to hear, but one of the inevitable hard parts about leading people at this particular point in time on earth is making decisions that not everyone agrees with. Canceling the workshop would have been like canceling a peace vigil. It is a dishonor to victims to cancel healing events that are designed to soothe the human soul. I did not come to Paris as a spiritual teacher to sit in a hotel room and let the city marinate in panic.
The morning of the event, the venue confirmed that the workshop was a go ahead. A small miracle. Every other gathering in Paris had been cancelled. Venues had been told to close their doors for at least a week. And yet, like a window opening when all doors were closed, the synchronization workshop was allowed to go on. Given how many people could not attend the workshop (either because their fear caused them to cancel or because closed boarders had disallowed their entry) we had a turn out that was much larger than expected. It was the most heart-centered workshop I’ve ever conducted. An audience raw with the impact of grief made for an unparalleled openness. I asked everyone to change seats so they were sitting next to complete strangers to get everyone into as vulnerable a space as possible. The first man on stage was a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda. His presence was a perfect vibrational match to the goings on in Paris. I decided to take an hour and a half to pair people up and have them do the connection process with one another. It created such an intense pulse point within the collective conscious that I was having a hard time actually seeing the individual people through the energy field. The sun broke through the clouds outside and it was as if the world began to mirror the bigger picture of human connectedness. A connectedness that carried on, flavoring the night.
Yesterday morning, I boarded a high-speed train traveling three hours South East to Aix-Les-Bains. At noon, while we were on the train, all of France had a minute of silence for the victims of the attack. I closed my eyes for that minute and was flooded by the coldness of the grief the people here are feeling.
In times such as this, there is no better tonic than togetherness. There are victims on both sides of the gun. This is always the story without exception. We must cultivate understanding for the internal hell that causes people to behave the way they do. We must also cultivate understanding for the hell that is created in those who suffer at the hands of people who inflict violence on the world. Without this understanding, we cannot alter the causation of such events; we will simply go on tinkering with effects. This will change nothing. The real change must happen at a much deeper level. To end violence in the world, we must be willing to end the violence within ourselves. To end the isolation in the world, we must be willing to end it within ourselves. It is by taking the risk to love that this world will be transformed. And loving is always worth the risk.
Let us always meet each other with a smile. For a smile is the beginning of love. It is an opening within us that indicates that the heart has seen what the eye has not. It is an indication that love... has found us.