Dear Friends,

It has been 8 weeks since we began responding as an organization to the threat of COVID-19, with significant alterations to how we go about our work. At that time, an already-scheduled visit and podcast recording with Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche proved to be auspicious. As a valued spiritual teacher, Rinpoche provided welcome words of inspiration and guidance on working with our worried minds while making practical decisions to ensure safety. (See Windhorse Journal entry #054 – “Taking Care in Pandemic: Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche’s Reflections on our Mental Priorities”.) Indeed, what can be drawn upon is one’s life force—called  windhorse (Tibetan: lungta) in Shambhala teachings: the unlimited energy of basic goodness and inherent wakefulness. And it’s at the heart of the following podcast discussion.

This offering brings together—in a virtual format—leaders of Windhorse Community Services and its sister entity, Windhorse Elder Care, to reflect on how they have managed since then. Polly Banerjee Gallagher, Jack Gipple, and Stephanie Kindberg—joined by moderator Chuck Knapp—share on both personal and collective levels what has become clearer. Among the lessons is an awareness of the vulnerabilities in common with our clients and, as Rinpoche had pointed out, an opportunity to see our tendencies. Too, the synchronizing of body, speech, and mind—what we hope to help our clients achieve—has proven to be a crucial personal endeavor for those entrusted with leading others through vast spaces of the unknown. And for entities whose mission and method is relationship, figuring out how to maintain connection from a place of isolation has been a significant challenge. Perhaps their insights will inspire you to navigate your own circumstances with a greater sense of purpose and hope.

Wishing you solace in this time of uncertainty,

Lori S. Heintzelman