I first read A Gradual Awakening by Stephen Levine on a long flight.  Wherever I went it was long enough to consume his entire story in one sitting.  Soon after I found my way through everything he wrote.

Years later his son, Noah Levine, began teaching and writing and I fell deep in love with his work and got involved in every way I could with his recovery movement, REFUGE RECOVERY.  I have never witnessed a more powerful example of the benefits of a spiritual life than inside a refuge recovery meeting.   We’ve now started 2 weekly Refuge Recovery groups in Illinois and many more have started all over the world– so many people are touched by this work the impact isn’t measurable.

The work Stephen began will carry on, proof that a simple seed can grow food to nourish the entire world.

Stephen passed away at home January 17th.   His wife Ondrea announced “Stephen was 78 years old. His heart has gone to God. His light is left here with us.”

The world has lost an incredible teacher– thankfully his work will remain and continue to impact us all.

Safe Journey noble friend.


July 17, 1937 – January 17, 2016

“When our heart is broken searching for a meaning and purpose leaves us wandering and bewildered.

As life changes meaning changes. What was ordinary becomes precious. What was interesting seems dull.

Nothing at last reveals the reason we seem so often to be suffering.
It is so painful to open that fist cramped closed about the heart. We peel back the grasping one finger at a time. Slowly our natural mind returns.

At first there is a great tearing away and the long breaking-through of every certainty. All explanations and prayers seem fruitless. It doesn’t even make sense to make sense anymore.

In time measured seemingly in eons rather than months or years the heart begins somehow to mend as it remembers all the love that yet remains. The mind reappears as if from behind an eclipse. Limitations fall away one at a time. We find ourselves lost and found in an unpredictably terrible/beautiful world. There is no choice and no control, the clamorings of the heart are torn open to healing.

Beyond what is normally accessible to ordinary awareness we find a nearly overwhelming mercy and generosity, an enormity in which everything, even our suffering, seems to be unfolding “in almost a sacred manner”.

We rise between realms, no longer losing our bearings in what once may have seemed the dark night of the soul, guided by the beating of the heart as it sounds the depths of the infinite.

The light of awareness enters niches and crevices long since abandoned to shadow. We find ourselves once again at the entrance to the world and once again bow to life.”~ Stephen Levine