Tag Archives: Jaiya John

Each Morning You Awake…

Each morning you wake and begin your inner story about the day ahead.  Much of this story is a repetition of the thousands of stories you have spu in your life. What if you could birth a new story, completely untouched by your old stories?  Would it take you somewhere you have not been before?  The beautiful thing about you is that you are a storyteller.  The challenging part is that we are not immune to our old stories or those others tell.

Bless you for being a storyteller.  May your heart’s desires write the fresh new script for your mind to direct and your behaviour to act out.  May the performance be so moving that you decide to write a new play each morning.  The seats are sure to be filled with patrons like Healing, Wonder, Discovery, and Renewal.  The sellout streak will never end.  And friends will wonder how they can get a phenomenal life like yours.


From Fresh Peace:  Daily Blossoming of the Soul by Jaiya John


 A story of overcoming fear in your workplace, and in your heart. Excerpted from Jaiya John’s new book of healing, Your Caring Heart: Renewal for Helping Professionals and Systems. Online where books are sold.

Harriet Tubman was a baaad woman. She didn’t play. One story I appreciate telling about her (creatively adapted, of course) is a story of leadership. So, the story goes that Harriet and her people had been discussing for some time the idea of breaking away from their plantation and finding freedom. Now, freedom can be a very frightening idea to a slave. Sure enough, as the designated night approached in which the group would escape the plantation, the people began to voice their concerns. Their fears.

Many of these people were menfolk, and Harriet being a woman, was used to the challenges of being a female leader. Folks started in with fear talk: “Now, Harriet, this freedom thing of yours sounds great in theory, but I don’t know if it is realistic. Look at our life. We have so much to deal with. So many bad things could go wrong. I don’t know if we have time for this freedom thing. I need to get back to my work or Massa gon’ whup me good. I can’t afford to lose my job. How much work is this freedom thing going to require?”

Does this litany of fear talk sound familiar to you? If so, it is because, bless us all, the slave is alive and well in our society and work. It is a spirit of self-oppression that burrows deep into people and groups, rendering their idea of reality as one of impending doom.

 Harriet listened respectfully to her people. But Harriet knew fear. It was in the nature of being a slave. In fact, her people harvested fear more than they harvested cotton or other crops. It was fear that they brought home to their slave quarters. Fear that they ate together for dinner. Beds of fear that they slept on. Dreams of fear in the night. Fear was their sunrise, their clothing, their daily industry. So, Harriet, she knew fear. And she would not let it get in the way of freedom. On a night absent of moonlight, Harriet gathered her people down by the riverbank. The murmuring water would be their chaplain for this freedom service. The people were now terrified. They risked death, dismemberment, whippings, dogs tearing at their flesh. They risked disappointing their overseers and their masters. They risked losing their precious jobs as house slaves, for few wanted the backbreaking life of a field slave. They risked being sold. This entire river of fears was now pushing up their throats, coming out as angry resistance to freedom.

 Harriet wasn’t sweet. She was fire. A woman, slave, nurse, social worker, leader, healer in those times had to be fire. She used hers. Lifting her sawed-off shotgun, she pointed it directly at the men challenging her leadership. Harriet said these words: “I understand, my people, the ferocity of your fears. But we have been slaves far too long. We have lost the taste for freedom. But here, under cover of this black night, I’m fixin’ to make an executive decision. Those who choose to stay in this life of suffering may do so. Otherwise, whoever wants to have freedom sing in their bones and dreams tonight, follow me. Tonight, my people, we fixin’ to be free.”

 In every group of human beings who care deeply to do this healing work, in the right way and spirit, there must be those, of any title, willing to walk the group through their long night of fear into the astounding daybreak of freedom. There is no other way than directly through our fear. We should do this now, good souls, before we further lose the taste of freedom.



“But what is self Love?” she asked.

And Love answered:

“When your sacredness becomes your deepest song.”

Dr. Jaiya John has served organizations, agencies, schools, and initiatives globally for many years. He is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, consultant, book author, poet, spoken word artist, and youth mentor. Jaiya is the founder of Soul Water Rising, a global human mission that has donated thousands of Jaiya’s books in support of social healing, and offers scholarships to displaced and vulnerable youth. He is a former professor of social psychology at Howard University, has authored numerous books, and has addressed over half a million professionals, parents, and youth worldwide. Jaiya is a National Science Foundation fellow, and holds a doctorate degree in social psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. As an undergraduate, he attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and studied Tibetan Holistic Medicine through independent research with Tibetan doctors in Nepal.

Soul Water Rising  |  jaiya@soulwater.org  |  soulwater.org

A Heartwarming Holiday



Holy is the breath of each sacred day, rising through the mist of Creation into the bright plains of sunlight, coursing through human bones and being, consecrated in circle of family, friendship, community; penetrating soul in baptismal rivers of faith; ships of endurance, fleets of fortitude, sails unfurled in gracious carriage winds, moving on seas of kinship and courage; generations told in story, ancestors recalled by the fire, lanterns of Love glowing against towering night; landscape of children in flowering of joy and laughter; women by the water, blessing and being blessed; men under aged oaks, recalling, recanting, rejoicing in language of bravado; elders gazing their kin through windows of tears, tears or gratitude, thankfulness, wonder and awe; awesome cleavage of time through dreaming and vision; drum journeys opening new paths in sky; many drums speaking one tongue of soul desire; particles of fire, flame dancing, burning of gloom and regret into hope’s house illuminated; tribal reunion sentried over by eagles drafting; kin dancing, raising dust of ceremony, raising a people’s One spirit, ressurecting relationship: those bindings of life’s sacred web, strands of earth and water, fire and sky, woman and man, child and grand, now and then, here and soon; monsoon of how we Love, soaking singularity in ocean of spirituality; breaking bread over the long table, pouring healing juice, making truce, strong hearts surrendering to Greatness, tears in the water, Holy in the house, bowing to this Vast provision of life and living, this Constant Giving; seeing the Truth that sets us free: Thanks is giving. Thanks IS Giving. Feast table is full and flowing. Harvest is here, as always… ripe, roasted, baked, browned, blessed. Thanks is served. Eat plenty. Eat plenty.

Warm Wishes,

Soul Water Rising

She Wanted Peace…



She wanted Peace.  So she played beautiful music, painted beautiful expressions.  It was not enough.  She went on long walks.  Gave away possessions.  Smiled more.  Stopped multitasking.  Not enough.  She bought more reverent clothing.  Read spiritual books.  Spoke spiritual words.  Not enough.  She changed her relationships.  Attended classes.  Cut her hair.  Improved her diet.  Attended worship.  Found a new job.  Travelled.  Came back.  All of it, not enough.

Then, one day, she looked inside herself, the place she had run from all her life.  She found two Truths: the concentrated ego of suffering and fear, and the simmering ember of Peace.  Realizing that Peace was a seed already inside her, she decided to try something new.  She decided to Love more.  Herself.  Others.  All things.  In every moment.  She opened.  The ocean inside came out.  The ocean outside came in.  She dissolved in two oceans.  Became immeasurable Lightness.  She found Peace.

Love is the sunlight that awakens the seed of Peace.







nepal woman

Bhaktapur. Kathmandu. Lamjung. Shermatang. Lean closer. Can you hear the soul of Nepal? It whispers. Cries. Prays: Our heart lies buried in the rubble, in stones turned to sand. Oh, humanity, come to our time of fire! Lift every stone. Lay your hands upon our valley. Dig with us. Dig as we retrieve our country. Our dal bhat of memories that have always filled our bellies and strengthened our resolve. Dig, as we retrieve our families. Our stories now loose in the Himalayan wind. When the ground shook, it took. Our breath. Our floor. Our ceiling. Now the sky is everywhere it is not supposed to be. Where have our rooftops gone? Even mighty Everest has sloughed its skin. In the dust, we search for kin. For friend. For then. The way it was. Now, our mothers cry sacred lakes of tears. Fathers wield their hurt in spears that have no landing place. What is this blistering of our souls? In the holiness of our bones we ask, who will rebuild our temples? Our shrines? Our holy places? The gardens where we gathered?  Now we hear our valley whisper through the dust: Grace will bring up what has been laid low. Sure as the silence of the leopard stalking in snow. But we are frightened. Where is Shanti, our willow of Peace? What will become of our Samjhana, our tribal memory? The world is upside down. Reality unzipped itself, surrendered its tectonic shelf. Our dud chia has soured, become butter tea. Strange fruit hangs from the banyan tree. Gather. That’s what we must do. What we must be. Gather in tea houses. In streets and fields. On glacier tongues and river sheets. Earth has opened, pouring us into each other. Now we are, in this seasoning of our grief, a great ladle of Tibetan stew. We Namasté on the same ground that swallowed us. We bow down to what has fallen down. Look up at what will make us rise again. We are splinters dreaming of being a tree. A valley whistling bansuri flute song, harvesting wind. Wind Horse bucks and snorts and grazes, near. We smell its musk, and fathom: We again shall drink from the brook of Peace. We perform sky burial ten thousand times. Sky buries us in Mercy, fills with great flocks of prayer flags, migrating to our truest temples and shrines: the one beating of our Nepali heart. We will need time to sleep. We need pani, pure water, in this time of the great earth monsoon. Oh, Holiness, break through the rock and pull us into light! Sing us songs of safety. Cradle us through the night. Someone wake the pahelo sun, our children need their hope. Put the world back together. We want to walk on solid ground. Our valleys run with sorrow, and yet our children… our children expect to eat and drink and bathe and breathe tomorrow. They are the vines to which we must hold. Their gossamer eyes tell the sacredness of Hope. Of grace on the bellies of prayer wheels. Of grace on the lips of singing bowls. Ek. Dui. Tien. We begin our count from scratch again. Pokhara. Banepa. Gorkha. Lalitpur. Helambu. We breathe with you.



April 28, 2015

Jaiya John






by Jaiya John 


THERE IS A CHALICE from which all souls may freely drink. It is called Joy. It is filled with Love and Compassion, yes, and also with those subtler tonics of Laughter, Humor, Levity. It brims with Hope and Faith, Truth and Honesty, Nakedness and Humility. It is rich with Honor and Grace, Kindness and Tenderness, Gentleness and Caring. Joy listens compassionately, without judgment. Joy speaks Lovingly, with a tongue of blessing. Joy is sweeter than sugar, truer than ideas, fortified with the passionate spark of life.


Joy is so much more than happiness. To be joyful is to be most fully, absolutely alive. Be assured that Joy is the radiance of Love. Love’s very persona is Joyfulness. Joy is the residue of your daily choices to live. It is not enough to endure life. We must en-joy life. Which means, to infuse life with joyfulness. Purposefully. Intentionally. Willfully. Joy is not passive. It is active. Activate your effervescence. Ignite your embers. Tend the fire of your Joy.


As you make Love, make Love joyfully. As you sleep, sleep joyfully. Wake with joy in your eyes. Grieve openly, with Loved ones, in Joy’s comforting embrace. Joy resides inside beautiful memories even as it honors painful ones. It chooses to live in a house of Hope and Faith and Promise.


May your Cup of Joy, so overflowing and illuminated, satiate many thirsts. May it be Holy, Sacred, Divine. May you pour it out always, to all souls, and unto yourself. Joy resurrects Beauty. It breathes life into Passion’s Flower. The Light of your life wears a jewelry. That jewelry is Joy.








I find my Sacred Lake. I call my ancestral tribe of sacred servants: All you healers, mystics, medicine women and men, teachers, nurses, doctors, shamans, holy ones, warriors. All of you who pour out your blood on the fragile grass of lives, who surrender your comforts for the chance to comfort a soul in despair. Together, this healing prayer, we share:

 I care… to be human… I won’t let this mantra leave me. I won’t let this moment take me, break me. I am ember waiting to be flame, waiting to warm these shivering masses. Oh Grace, ignite me again.

My heart is so many things: a lake rippling in the breeze, panting for shore, for safety, security, mine, theirs. My heart a dream of how beautiful this world can be. My heart the suffering of vulnerable ones huddled on the Trail of Tears. My heart an open valley, the lushness growing there, families gathered, verified, dignified.

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