The unimaginable was about to happen—or so I thought. It was a bright, sunny Saturday morning on the Big Island of Hawaii. I was contemplating breakfast when a blaring alarm sounded on my iPhone. Thinking it was a test alert of some kind, I grabbed the phone and read the message: “Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound to Hawaii. Seek Shelter Immediately. This Is Not a Drill.”

My heart stopped.

In disbelief, we turned on the TV and flipped to the Hawaii news channel. The same ominous warning was streaming across the top of the screen. For several minutes, we tried to process the fact that we were about to be vaporized. Those of us who had grown up during the Cold War, with the threat of nuclear holocaust hanging over our heads, knew what to expect. We had been haunted throughout our childhoods with images of the mushroom cloud and the complete and utter devastation that would follow.

Now, after all these years, the unthinkable horror was about to become a reality. Somehow, the “duck and cover” exercises we had been taught in elementary school didn’t seem to apply. After thirty-eight surreal minutes, a second message informed us that the warning had been sent in error. That was plenty of time to contemplate our impending death. It was a gift, in a way. There is nothing like coming face-to-face with your own mortality to jolt you into the here and now. Later, as we drove around, the spectacular scenery of the island appeared even more vivid and alive than usual, in contrast to the barren, desolate landscape we imagined would have remained had the alert been real. Like many survivors of a brush with death, I felt as if I had been spared a terrible fate, and my life from here on was an undeserved gift. I was now living on borrowed time, and that made life infinitely more precious…

I believe that all of us living in these amazing times are on a collective journey of evolving as a species. This is my expression of that journey, and it is my invitation to you to wake up to the truth of your being. I invite you to travel alongside me as we uncover our innate wholeness hidden behind the fragmented stories of our lives. Can we allow the quiet realization of our perfection to emerge—a recognition that the broken parts, the seeming flaws and defects, are intrinsic parts of the totality?

…Like most of our life paths, mine has followed many twists and turns. At one point, it brought me to the doors of a hospice to sit with those facing death. They have been some of my greatest teachers in my quest for wholeness. Working with death and dying is working directly with the great mystery of life. As a hospice counselor, I spent years journeying with people at the edge of life when they are, ironically, more alive than ever—when every moment is precious, to be cherished and fully experienced. But I wonder how we can experience being truly awake and alive in the present without being on the verge of dying. Maybe the answer is by coming face-to-face with the reality that we conveniently try to ignore: that we are on the verge of dying. Facing their imminent death, many of those I worked with reached a state of peace—a state of being fully present (sometimes not until the very end)— that seems to come only by completely surrendering to the flow of life. After all, in the face of death, what other option do we have?

My path has also taken me to temples, ashrams, and ancient caves in India, where I’ve sat with spiritual teachers and been immersed in the wisdom of the yogis. I have long felt a deep connection with this mysterious culture that has been aimed at enlightenment since time immemorial. At one point, I was fortunate to meet a spiritual mentor who translated some of the profound knowledge and practices of India for my Western ears. Our penetrating discussions over the years have helped dissolve many misconceptions and naïve notions about spiritual awakening and opened up vast and rich dimensions of existence—always keeping me grounded in my ordinary, everyday life on this planet…Come sit with me, overlooking the vast ocean, and let’s talk about life. Explore with me the mystery of existence right here and now in the twists and turns of our real and often messy, everyday lives.

Simply Sacred

Simply Sacred