As two exquisite doves gracefully landed in my backyard garden this morning—a morning of prayer, of tears and of sorrow, fueled by guns and by fire and by news of another tragedy—my heart soared across the world on a memory.
On my first visit to South Africa, I stood with Ela Gandhi on the front porch of her grandfather Mahatma Gandhi’s home in Phoenix Settlement. There, in a quiet moment taking in what I could of that history—the light and power of nonviolence and its impact in our world—two doves landed in the small tree next to us. It moved me deeply as if they had landed in my heart.
Many years later I returned to South Africa, and again to Phoenix Settlement with Mrs. Gandhi. Once again, I stood on that porch with her. Once again, I looked out on the vista before us with the tree as a silent witness at our side. I asked her, “Where are the doves?” She replied, “I haven’t seen them. They have gone.” They were nowhere to be seen. But as we stood there together in the silence, they returned.
The two dove messengers in my garden this morning reminded me: when you cannot see the way forward, do not despair. Stand in the place of not knowing. Inspiration will come. A vision will come. Healing will come. Do not lose heart.
Let us bring our energy together now and in the days ahead.
I’ll be with you on Sunday for worship Satsang at the Center at 10 am where I’ll share about the power of standing in the gap of not knowing. In the afternoon, we’ll meet Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena who has built an oasis of peace in a rock desert in Ladakh (more info). On Tuesday night, November 13th, join me at 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley as I participate in a conversation about leadership in turbulent times with Ela Gandhi and Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and best-selling author of America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America (more info). The following Sunday, November 18th, I’ll meet you at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose for an afternoon with Mrs. Gandhi (more info).
Ela Gandhi has traveled here from South Africa to be with us, vision with us, and inspire our way forward. Let’s be a flock of doves who greet her, learn from her, and carry the vision of faith, hope, and radical empowerment to others.
Heart wide open,