a Time to heal

On the cusp of the biggest election of her lifetime, Ginny Whitelaw talks about facing into difficultiesNovember 2020

Memorial Sculpture “A Time For Healing”, Hürtgenwald, Germany.

I write on the cusp of the biggest presidential election of my lifetime – and I’ve lived a long time.  Democracy itself is on the ballot. Perhaps not everyone who reads this will agree with me, but here is my evidence: we have a President who claims to be powerful enough to Make America Great Again and yet not powerful enough to conduct a secure, democratic election. QED.

An incompetent, charismatic authoritarian would be a problem for our country anytime, but during a global pandemic, it has been disastrous. Concurrent with this election is a rising tide of Covid infections and deaths. “It is heartbreaking to be an M.D. in this time,” IZL alumnus, Dr. Alex Adams shared with me recently. She works closely with indigenous communities where, as painful as the death rate is among Americans generally, it is 4 times higher in some of these communities, losing their beloved elders.   

“What we can do is listen with the sensitivity of a great antenna for when it is time to do our part.”

Ginny Whitelaw Roshi

Between this pandemic and election, we don’t know what difficulties will unfold in this week and the weeks beyond. But we do know how to face into difficulties: the same way we sit on a cushion when our legs are on fire and we want to run away, and yet…and yet, a greater imperative keeps us rooted and unflinchingly present. I wish for you that abundant strength that is not yours alone, but connects you with what is whole and unifying through all of us, that you may heal yourself and all those around you. 

Healing in this regard is not to say you have the answer to social unrest, or the therapeutic treatment that makes Covid go away. Those things would be nice, but many resonating forces have to come together for those flowers to bloom, and we don’t get to control that timing. What we can do is listen with the sensitivity of a great antenna for when it is time to do our part. And, like pumping a swing at the right moment, add our energy when it can add up.

“We may not be able to cure the illness, but we can always cure the loneliness.”

Gordon Greene Roshi

What we can also do is heal the relationships we touch. As Gordon Greene Roshi has said, “We may not be able to cure the illness, but we can always cure the loneliness.” We can undo the false sense of separation by being present and connected ourselves. As we connect with those in anger and pain, they at least feel connected to us and no longer alone. At a deeper level, they may feel our Samadhi, our connectedness and – even if they have no words for it – that bigness in themselves. For a moment, they remember that they, too, are whole, and that the suffering at the surface is but the fodder for more learning, greater doubt, and deeper penetration of the divine paradox of being human.    

Whatever you do, please take care of yourself and use the difficulty of this time well.

~ Ginny Whitelaw


The Science of Global Coherence – Post Election Recovery Webcast

Join IZL CEO, Ginny Whitelaw on Thursday, November 5 at 1 pm ET for a post-election recovery webcast as she hosts Rollin McCraty, director of research at HeartMath Institute and one of the moving forces behind the Global Coherence Project. Rollin will speak on The Science of Global Coherence: What it is, why it’s important and how we can play our role in creating a better world.

Ginny and Rollin will also explore questions like:  

·  how it is that meditation can have an effect at a distance

·  how coherent waves might help “incoherent” people settle down

·  what’s most important in this time if we want to resonate a better world

What will resonate as Ginny and Rollin bring together science, spirituality, and leadership? Register here to receive your ticket to a front row seat in the Zoom room to find out.


Image: “Confidence” by Veronica Figueroa-Velez, after completing ZL2

Last call for Zen Leader 2 / HEAL 2 Registration

Big. Confident. A force of nature. That was Veronica Figeuroa-Velez coming out of ZL2, and with the skills to put it to paper. Perhaps you’re not an artist, but what would you do with less fear, stronger relationships, and a deep sense of connection? Find out Nov 19-22 as you deepen your Zen leadership journey in this ZL2/HEAL2 program. It’s a rare weekend opportunity to train with Ginny Whitelaw Roshi and IZL’s Director in Europe, Cris Nakano. Registration closes Nov 6.  Open to graduates of ZL1 or those with equivalent experience; contact us if you have questions about your readiness to attend. Sessions will be staggered to allow participation across both American and European time zones.


The Embodiment Conference Reloaded – 48-hours of unlimited embodied learning

You can tell when something resonates, when the time for something like embodied learning has come: you throw a conference and 400,000 sign up. That’s what happened a couple weeks ago, and it was great to be among the thousand or so teachers who contributed to it. If you missed it live, you’ll be happy to know that all of the recorded talks from the live conference are free this weekend, Nov 7 and 8. If you didn’t register the first time around you can register here for free.  Upon registering you will receive an email to access the recordings  IZL alum, Stephany Dano anchored the Leadership and Business channel where you can catch my talk on Resonate: The Embodied Way to Make a Difference here.  


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