Today I attended a Leadership Transition Ceremony for Veteran’s PATH. Eleven years ago, my friend and teacher Lee Klinger Lesser and her friend and a Soto Zen Buddhist priest and teacher Chris Fortin created a program Honoring the Path of the Warrior which is now Veteran’s PATH.
I wish I had words for the depth of love in the room, the sharing of open hearts and tears of gratitude, love, healing, and peace.
Years ago, when I first met some of the vets I was struck by their integrity, honor and stance. They were part of the Sensory Awareness workshops in which I participated and they brought a sense of service, and I learned more of what is required of those who defend freedom in the world. I learned of their wounds, and perhaps in that, understood more of what my father experienced during World War II, and what my grandfather endured in World War I. I understood warriors share a bond.
PATH in Veteran’s Path stands for Peace, Acceptance, Transformation, and Honor.
Charlotte Selver, my first teacher of Sensory Awareness said:
“If you have two things – the willingness to change, and the acceptance of everything as it comes, you will have all you need to work with.”
These words guide the veterans, as do Charlotte’s words, “A moment is a moment.”
I share the creed of Veteran’s PATH. May it guide us all.
Veteran’s PATH Creed
I live a life of meaning, purpose and joy.
I practice meditation and mindfulness with discipline, commitment and curiosity.
I cultivate an attitude of generosity, kindness and service.
I contribute to the safe and welcoming community of Veteran’s PATH.
I value the importance of each moment. I know this moment matters and I commit to make a difference now.
I use difficulties and challenges as opportunities to learn.
I will not turn away from my inherent wholeness or the wholeness of others.
I will use my own healing to support the healing of others.
I will use my energy, heart and spirit to ease suffering and cultivate compassion and connection.
I journey forward on a PATH of peace, acceptance, transformation and honor.
We are approaching the end of the year, which is a time of presents and presence. It is a time to give. If you’re looking for a place to give to heal the world, I suggest you check out Veteran’s PATH. We heal together, and as those in our military are trained, we leave no one behind.
Check them out at: https://www.veteranspath.org