“If spirituality is to be authentic, it is not going to be disconnected from the realities of all of our lives—from your day-to-day life and from our collective life. Even our realization, our awakening experiences, our revelatory moments—they all, in their own way, seek to be grounded in the embodied soil of our own humanity.” ~ Adyashanti

Welcome to the Summer 2020 issue of the Peace Room Project Quarterly, Open Gate Sangha’s quarterly publication to support our Peace Room Project. In this issue, we are publishing many of the personal stories members of our sangha have sent in to share what they are doing to embody, spread, and encourage peace during these turbulent times.

Our call for stories of Peace and Love in the Time of Coronavirus was met with robust enthusiasm, and this outpouring of stories is as diverse and varied as it is heartwarming. We hope you’ll enjoy reading these personal stories of retreat and rejuvenation, community and sharing, and heartfelt expression.

In this issue, you’ll also find a complimentary guided meditation , a quarterly contemplation, and a short discussion of Manjushri, one of the most celebrated sacred figures in Buddhism.

We hope this publication will serve to inspire you to bring more peace into your life—not only through the teachings of Adya and Mukti, but also through the experiences and good work so many of us are doing every day.
You're in the Way
by David Michelson
Content Development & Online Program Manager,
Open Gate Sangha

“We can’t arrive at who we really are, because we are who we really are.” ~ Adyashanti       

 I n 1997, I was meditating in a ten-day silent retreat in Bodhgaya, India, the holy place where the Buddha realized enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. The retreat was quite a memorable experience for my first silent retreat.
First of all, the building in which we stayed and meditated was under construction. Despite the western teacher’s best attempt to negotiate that there would be no construction during the retreat, somehow that communication didn’t seem to land—each day we sat . . .
Peace and Love in the Time of Coronavirus ~ Stories from the Sangha
Turning Tragedy into Grace
by Cenk Matalon

Two weeks into the pandemic, I was up in my head—hiding from personal and collective fear, overwhelmed with every logical argument that was available to me: Those who died from the virus are the elderly—I am young and fairly healthy. There are still no verified cases of virus in the small town I live in. I am safe safe in terms of employment and have nothing to worry worry about.

Then it hit me. . . .
Creating a New Way of Living
by Mei

In January, before the coronavirus arrived in the UK, I handed in my notice to one of the best jobs I’ve had in a career that didn’t align with me. At the time, I was the sole person where I lived working from home, due to a special transitional agreement with my employer. Then, everything changed. All my housemates began working at home. My whole office became virtual. On the 27th of April, when I went into the office to hand . . .

Ending the “More Machine”
by Amita Schmidt

In Hawaii, the coronavirus shut down the whole tourist industry overnight. Suddenly one evening, the world of 24/7 lights, action, luaus, activities, and partying vacationers came to a screeching halt.
It was eerie to walk past miles of big hotels and see only empty, dark buildings. I felt as if a giant machine, the machine of “doing” and “more,” had stopped. In that moment I . . .

A Warrior Emerges
by Susanne Suermondt

In the garden behind our house, my husband built a studio, which I now use to practice yoga and meditation. Once a month my fellow students from the yoga school would come, and we would meditate together. It was lovely. During these times, we would experience deep peace, love, silence, and “just being.” We would radiate light to the world.

Last Monday the students did not come, due to the coronavirus crisis we’re having right now. We did meditate together as always, but everybody stayed at home—which, we . . .

by Janice Coyle

I remember coming here from radiant light and incomprehensible bliss to find myself in a strange land. I come from Home to venture into adventure itself—consciousness seeking experience, I guess. But “here” now drowns in drama and sometimes ushers in forgetting and worry that I’ve left Home again.

Or have I? Maybe Home is everywhere and everything. Paradoxically, the life of experiences brings recognition finally of what I am beyond experiences. Events of . . .

The Greatest Gift We Can Give
by Misa

I love this time of year when I enter home retreat online with Adyashanti and the sangha. It is a time of intentional practice and silence, a time of committed immersion. This year, it is in the worldwide context of the coronavirus.

For each of us, life delivers us eventually to what Adya describes as the “deathbed virtues”—those values that connect us to the deepest parts of ourselves and influence our effect . . .

Finding the Inner Ocean of Peace
by Rosemarie Maio

During these difficult times that we are all facing with COVID-19 spreading all over the planet, my life—as many lives—has taken a deeper turning. Like a boomerang, I found myself going inward, in isolation, a retreat away from the usual routine—a routine that saw me teaching yoga classes around London, meeting people from all different backgrounds in leisure centers, and helping them to push themselves with growing . . .

From Quarantine to Freedom
by Joel

I am a small business owner, a chiropractor, and I find myself driving to my office after a statewide mandatory quarantine has been issued by California’s Governor Newsom, and I am contemplating the reality that COVID-19 is having on my business. About 90% of my patients have stopped stopped or paused care, and I will be losing money for the foreseeable future with a likely outcome of me going out of business altogether. . . .

Finding Blessings in a Worldwide Wake-up Call
by Karin Roberts

Yes, I’m feeling deep sadness for so many people. Yes, I miss seeing my two young grandsons so very much. Yes, I get scared at times and anxious about our retirement savings in the stock market—BUT—this time of cocooning in my home has had many blessings. 
In the past, I have resisted doing quiet things like meditation and yoga on any regular basis. I haven’t taken the time to slow down, even after I retired . . .

The Value of Heartful Prayer
by Sajjana

From time to time, we are delightfully reminded by Mukti about the value of heartful prayer, which has been practiced in the East since time immemorial. One thing I’ve been doing for some time now is the daily chanting of and meditation upon the following two ancient Sanskrit mantras, some version of which may sometimes be heard . . .

Being Present with All that Is Happening
by Karen Meyer

I am sheltered at home with some of the symptoms of COVID-19. I have been ill for the last five days and gone through many different feelings. My greatest concern is that my husband, who is 82 years old and has leukemia, may contract the illness from me.
Aside from taking all the recommended health precautions—sanitizing, no physical contact, etc.—I have taken this time to deepen my spiritual work. I am spending . . .

Are You Ready to Live in the One Reality?
by Iwi Liss

The language school, where I teach, has been closed. Coronavirus is spreading rapidly in our little country, and even the important information about layoffs at our workplace has been put on hold. I experience headaches and a certain amount of tension in the body just thinking about all this.

So, that’s the very personal, little story about the human Iwi. There are also other stories—more pleasurable ones—such as the one about having plenty of time from now on and . . .

Pink Moon Rising
by Stephen Rowley

Word of the Pink Moon rising quickly spread on our semi-rural lane in the Pacific Northwest. Texts began to fly, and soon my wife and I joined our neighbors and their three sons, two of whom were home prematurely from college. We brought homemade banana bread and a special bottle of port we purchased in Portugal last October. They supplied local merlot and faded green plastic Adirondack chairs, which were placed six feet . . .
C oming Back to Community
by Jean Broussard

My story of peace manifesting during these times has been pretty remarkable in terms of how I feel and how the world community feels right now.

Early in the outbreak, many people gathered by the foothills of the mountains of Colorado to watch the moon rise. It was almost surreal. Seeing people conglomerate in times like these—while I’m sure some were exercising more social distancing than others—was a . . .

Circle of Practice
by Karen Schembs

My friend Linda found herself in a hostel in a small town in Peru when the virus shut down travel. She had meditated with a group in California for years, and she knew, from her body work practice, others committed to practice. She had also connected with people during her travels in South America who were meditators. She had us all get the Signal app and formed a group for us.
Each morning at 8:00 a.m. and every evening at 6:00 p.m. there is a small ding . . .

How We Are Manifesting More Peace and Love during the Pandemic
by Susan

Five other women and I decided to meet on Zoom once a week or more. We are engaging in heart-centered, surrendered, unified meditation. We are all participants in Adya’s retreats and participated in the recent online A Revolution of Being  retreat.
As we manifest peace, calm, and centeredness, that peace can transmit out into the . . .

Turning to the Treasures in Our Hearts
by Chitartha

I am writing from South India where two of us, one German and one Dutch, are locked down in a house close to nature. We can go out for nature walks, and when we meet locals on the way, there is always a wave and a smile and a happy “good morning.”
I have always been an internet worker, so now I use the internet to send inspiring . . .

Out of Many, One
by Jaime A. Pineda

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
The statistical models used to estimate the number of coronavirus infections, and resulting deaths, assumed that only about half of the US population would follow the physical distancing guidelines. Surprisingly the vast majority of Americans took heed. As a . . .

Finding Connection through Small Kindnesses
by Cheryl

Before the isolating constraints of the COVID-19 virus, I lived and worked alone. Mostly, I do solitude well, feeling any sense of loneliness in the evening, feeling into the emptiness when purpose and pleasure are set aside for the day. So the current constraints are not significantly different for me now in terms of habit, even if radically different in terms of the wider social, economic, and health spheres surrounding me. I have lived . . .

A Call to Action: The Time Is Now
by Danielle Conroy

I had a recent conversation with my oldest friend, Dr. Gull Herzberg, wherein he described the powerful actions he and a small group of fellow citizens of the Shire of Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia, have taken in the last three weeks in response to COVID.
They recognized they needed to come together to get ahead of the pandemic and took action. As a group, they leveraged a collective learning mindset and . . .

Chopping Wood
by Elizabeth Myhr

The cold, damp rounds are heavy on this cold, wet morning. Inside, dry island Douglas fir, tight-grained, tough to split. Stubborn.
The weight of the maul in my hands. Its balance before it strikes the first log. The wild crack as the stored energy in the wood blooms.
I breathe oxygen from the trees while I work. I give them back from my lungs their air. . . .

by Susanne West

Distancing from
the eagerness for touch
the barking mind
clamoring for what was
Distancing from
the lies of separation
shiny promises of the world . . .

Shelter in Place
by Karen Motan

For now, you have lost the crowd—
and I am sorry;
you have lost the dinner party,
the raucous concert,
the busy streets, and church services.
Instead you are cloistered in with your strange and unkempt family—
pulling out dusty board games . . .

Maybe This . . .
by Julia Horn

And the day came when collectively and all at once, humanity was ready to crack wide open and heal its most primal wound— that of being birthed into separation . The violence of that moment—of vulnerable hearts and lungs gasping and grasping, of being torn away from what was comfortable and kind—had been lying dormant in the ocean of their . . .

Poems Want to Be Our Allies in This Time of Pain and Possibility
by Susanne West

Poems want
to be found
to give the mind an ocean
to lead us
to the mystical ordinary
songs of the spoons
bees’ chants in the honey . . .

by Sarah Siegel

Fear says
“What if this
is the end of the world?”
Love asks
with a tender and open smile
“Oh, my precious child,
what if this is the beginning?”
Don’t lose hope
Don’t let fear harden you . . .

Calm and Expanded in the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Tarnie Fulloon

For a few moments, the world was perfectly calm.
I was driving my car up the hill toward home, noticing the lush green trees, hearing the whoosh of my tires on the road, and feeling the calmer pace of my life when I was was younger.

I was driving my car up the hill toward home, noticing the lush green trees, hearing the whoosh of my tires on the road, and feeling the calmer pace of my life when I was was younger.
There was a wonderful feeling of relief around me—few cars, no rushing, no feeling . . .

From a Novel Completed during the Pandemic
by Oriane Livingston

Starless space. A faint pulse gradually animated the vertiginous dark void. The sound of the beating heart grew louder. Suddenly, light broke forth in the cosmos and the first photon was born, a shining spark of energy spreading light in darkness like wildfire. A myriad of newborn stars fused in the vast nothingness, giving birth to our sacred universe.

A white eagle traveled full speed through billions of galaxies as if eager to accomplish to accomplish an urgent mission. He drifted above the spiraling disk of the Milky Way . . .

What is Your Story of Peace?
Invitation and Guidelines

How are you manifesting more peace and love in the world? In what ways are you practicing peace and bringing more love and wisdom into your daily life and the lives around you?

Please consider sharing your experiences of practicing peace and bringing more love and wisdom into your lives and on our planet. We hope that highlighting and giving voice to the peaceful movement among us will hearten us as we encounter the events of our daily lives and will help us sow and grow the seeds of peace, love, and joy.

If you would like to contribute a story of peace for consideration to be published in the Peace Room Project Quarterly, we welcome short submissions of 200–500 words (sorry, no videos will be accepted at this time). By submitting your story of peace, you agree to allow it to be edited as deemed necessary by the Open Gate Sangha publishing staff. Let us know your full name (for our reference), and how you would like your story to be signed. Not all stories will be published.  
Email your submission to Publications .

 Thank you, and we look forward to hearing your story of peace!
Sitting in Silence
Meditation Mondays

Join us and our friends from around the globe on Mondays at 2:00 pm Pacific Time for 25 minutes of silence. As we sit together on Mondays, no matter what time it is for you locally, we are connecting with others from all over the world and adding to the possibility of peace in our world.

This quarter s free guided meditation, The Practice of Self Giving, is available for downloading. Remember that there is also a link to a guided meditation available Mondays on Adyashanti’s home page.

Join us and be part of the great wave of peace that the Peace Room represents for all of us!
Quarterly Contemplation

You are not your story.
They are not your story about them.
The world is not your story about the world.

~ Adyashanti
How Your Generous Donations are Used

Open Gate Sangha’s Peace Room Project was developed in 2017 to build a new, larger studio in which to video and record our broadcasts and to hold our online courses and programs. The vision we held—Building Community through Peace—was met with an amazingly generous outpouring of heart, artwork, and contributions from our sangha. The studio is finished, and last year alone it was home to many free broadcasts, Adya’s 2019 online retreat, and Mukti’s most recent online course. This year already there have been a number of free broadcasts, and Adya’s 2020 online retreat has just begun.

As we focus on our Peace Room projects for this year, we invite you to join us in spirit or, if you are so moved, through a donation. Below are just a few ways we use your generous gifts:

  • Offering scholarships for online retreats and courses
  • Making free audio and video teachings available
  • Broadcasting Adya’s and Mukti’s teachings to our world sangha
  • Providing support to our Gathering Hosts and bolstering efforts to grow our Gatherings community

We thank you for your support and for being a part of our sangha, and we wish you the very best this year and beyond.
About Our Teachers

Adyashanti and Mukti are spiritual teachers based out of Northern California. Both teach throughout North America and Europe, offering talks, weekend intensives, silent retreats, online live video broadcasts, and online retreats and courses.

Open Gate Sangha supports the teachings of Adyashanti and Mukti by making them available to all sincere students who yearn for peace and freedom—those of any race, ethnicity, ancestry, gender expression, national origin, disability, size, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background .
Volunteering: If you are interested in volunteering for Open Gate Sangha, please read more on our Service page and fill out our online form.
About Unsubscribing or Forwarding Emails:  If you click “Unsubscribe” at the end of any email from , you will not be able to receive any emails regarding either Adyashanti’s or Mukti’s programs (even if you are registered for a program). Also, if you forward any email from to someone else and they click on “Unsubscribe” at the end of the email, they will be unsubscribing your email address.
Open Gate Sangha provides access to the teachings of Adyashanti® and Mukti.

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