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I’m a member of the Integral Center.  The morning the building flooded I walked in as I do nearly every morning to sit Zazen.  Something smelled… suspicious when I walked in.  Damp, musty, dank.  With the torrential rain from the night before fresh on my mind, I walked downstairs, and came toe to toe with a few feet of water.  I grabbed my phone, dialed Robert (the building director),  fed him the less than pleasant news, and headed back upstairs to do my meditation.

I’ve spent many hours over the last couple of months hauling shit-soaked items out of the flooded basement, disinfecting the salvageable items, and helping alongside a team of people putting together this fundraising campaign.

But why?!  Why is this building, the work that’s done in it, and the community it houses, worth my precious time and energy?  And your donation?

Because of this:

Last week a new romantic relationship that I was excited about and eager to continue, came to a crashing halt.  I felt heartbreak, grief, confusion, anger, sadness.  In the past, when I’ve been faced with these particular experiences, I tend to withdraw; to lick my wounds, heal myself, and reemerge, shiny, polished, and whole.

This time, I decided to try something new.  I asked for help.  Thursday morning I sent out a Facebook message to several of my closer friends in the Integral Center community, asking if they would join me that evening to offer support and love.

And, wouldn’t you know it, they did!  These friends rearranged schedules, missed things, found child care, and carved time out of their busy lives just for me.  Just.  For.  Me.  I couldn’t believe it.  It was the most precious gift, and the perfect salve for my aching heart.

Through the practices done here, the community that shows up, the transformation and growth opportunities, and the relationships that form out of all of those, I’ve learned that I don’t have to take care of myself.  People want to be there for me, I just have to give them the opportunity to be.

In the growing epidemic of isolation, the Integral Center is like a lighthouse, shining love and connection out across the world.  And I mean this literally.  People come from all over the world to be in and to learn how to create the kind of community that we’re creating.  The kind of community where people can be fully themselves; where people can ask for help and receive it; where people genuinely and deeply care about one another; where people can struggle and mess up; where people can show up however they are, without having to cover up, or hide what’s going on for them.

It’s real.

It’s alive.

And it makes real, visible differences in people’s lives.

In my world, that’s something worth supporting, however I can.

Here’s how you can help:

visit the crowd funding campaign at IndieGogo, and donate.  Even small donations, $5, add up.

Watch for updates from the Integral Center website (integralcenter.org) and the facebook page.

Spread the word!  Share this with friends, family, neighbors.