The Center for Attitudinal Healing

ATTITUDINAL HEALING IS A COMMUNITY : A Letter from our Executive Director,
Don Goewey

    When the Center began over 20 years ago it was offering a safe place to people who had been left out there in the cold. At that time, there were few if any emotional support systems for people affected by catastrophic illness. People were no longer living in extended family situations as they did just a generation or two before. Communities were no longer closely knitted. So, when someone became seriously ill there were few places to turn for support. Illness, death and dying was largely relegated to hospital rooms where the medical problem was the only focus. There was little or no emotional or spiritual support offered in this setting and little done to accommodate family and friends. Illness and dying was often reduced to an experience of painful isolation with little if any opportunity for people to join with one another and open to a deeper and larger experience. As a society, we came to fear death and dying and to distance ourselves from it. Our modern culture, with its nuclear family and its scientific push, had lost touch with this inevitable part of life, lost touch with its wisdom, and grew to feel inept in the face of it. Something was needed that could fill this void, that could re-create a place of community where those affected by illness or death could come to gather themselves and find support and understanding; a place of safety where they could open up to all the feelings, thoughts and issues that churned inside them and learn to choose an experience that was different than the one fear offered.

    So, some twenty years ago, a voice spoke up inside Jerry Jampolsky and asked him to fill this void, to start a community that was focused on one goal - to experience peace of mind. Since that time, thousands of people have joined him, adding to this community each in their own unique way. Together they developed a community, not just for those who are ill, but for anyone who wants to heal their life, anyone who wants to let go of painful, fearful thoughts and attitudes and experience a genuine sense of peace. Mother Teresa once said that the biggest problem in the world today is "spiritual deprivation". I think that what Mother Teresa is saying is the root cause of our suffering, to whatever degree, is a lack of love. We suffer whenever we deprive ourselves of love.

    When we are willing to love unconditionally; when peace of mind becomes our only goal, then healing is inevitable. By giving and receiving in this way we end the deprivation. When this becomes the relationship that people offer one another, an ordinary community becomes something extraordinary. In such a place we are bound to find ourselves instead of losing ourselves, and to be illuminated instead of obscured. Community is like a mirror; it is a reflection of how we see one another, starting with the next person we meet. When we see through the eyes of unconditional love, the love returns to us, only magnified, and when that light is all around us, we come to see and feel the Self we've been seeking all along. I think everyone wants to belong to a community that serves to increase instead of diminish that sense of Self. That is the kind of community Attitudinal Healing has been for so many people over the years, in so many places around the world. Attitudinal Healing has succeeded in demonstrating the one thing that community is meant to demonstrate: that we are one heart and that heart is larger than any circumstance that seems to block its presence.

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