Spiritual Renewal Week, 2015: We had just heard wonderful news for our neighborhood clinic, and for the thousands of often indigent county residents who depend on its medical care. After 10 years of unsuccessful applications, the Clinic had been awarded the Holy Grail of federal grants, one that would mean the difference between a day-by-day struggle simply to survive and the kind of financial stability that would allow the Clinic’s full attention to go where it belonged, to patient care. When Dr. Peter, Sierra Family Medical Clinic’s founder and lead doctor, stepped onto the speaker’s platform, the hundreds gathered for the week rose in standing ovation. Dr. Peter crossed his hands over his heart, turned toward the altar, and raised his hands, offering the energy and love pouring out from all of us to the true source of these blessings: God and Guru. Then he turned back to the audience and asked those who had ever served in the Clinic to stand, thus gratefully acknowledging the hundreds who over the years have acted as divine channels for the Clinic’s mission.
Behind these simple gestures lies the secret of the spiritual (and now material as well) success of our beloved Clinic—shared service and devotion to God and Guru. Swami Kriyananda saw the Clinic as a vehicle for cooperative healing—the providers and Clinic staff consciously acting as channels for the Divine, consciously serving the Divine in each patient, consciously working with each patient to encourage him to participate as a soul in his own healing: God serving God.
The saga that has culminated in the “330” federal grant is one of profound dedication, of carrying on in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Even when the financial picture became so bleak that it seemed impossible to continue to keep the doors open, those serving in the Clinic kept faith, struggled forward one step at a time, kept caring for the patients, kept their spirits high and their attitude one of cheerful readiness to give succor to whoever walked through the door. No one was turned away. When money was in shortest supply, many of the devotee staff members set their paychecks aside, uncashed, in faith that better times lay ahead—that even if better times did not lie ahead, their duty and their joy was to continue their service.
“Yata dharma, sthata jaya”—where there is righteousness, there is victory. These sacred Sanskrit words capture the spirit that has sustained the Clinic from its humble beginnings. Where there is right action, a spirit of discipleship, a spirit of service and attunement to the Divine, there God’s grace can flow freely, God’s will can be made manifest, the impossible can become the reality. Especially in the last few years, even as the financial challenges have only become more formidable, there has also come a strengthening of the Clinic’s spiritual magnetism, an infusion of selfless and devoted energy. Where positions of responsibility have become available, those asked to fill them have been, wherever possible, devotees. At the same time, another group of devotees, some already working in the Clinic, others outside but deeply committed to the Clinic’s mission, have followed their guidance to bring more fully into the battle the devotee’s great weapons of affirmation and prayer. Each Wednesday at 6pm, even as lingering patients were still being seen, the assembled prayer group would walk through all the rooms, performing arati, drawing Master’s blessings, drawing strength and courage for the hard-pressed staff, shining God’s light everywhere in this temple of healing.
How the Divine Abundance has responded, beyond any reasonable expectation, is surely inseparable from the prayerful energy rising from the Clinic—a divine blessing on receptivity, devotion, gratitude, commitment above all to service and attunement to God’s will. Soon after the news of the award came, the initial (joyful) shock gave way to gratitude, and the prayer group gathered once more, this time for prayers of thanksgiving for everyone’s support and especially for Master’s grace, and for his inspiration, which has guided the Clinic’s staff all these years to serve the highest in everyone who walks through the door: “Great Gurus, Master and Swamiji; We thank You for Your light which blesses this Clinic—bringing joy, creativity, and all the resources needed, for the highest well-being of the staff, and all those touched by the Clinic. May Your power uplift us. May we share Your healing light with all.”
In divine friendship,