Heart Wisdom News | Awakening to the Heart

Heart Wisdom News

Gardens are Blooming & Hearts are Full...

It is the beginning of July and we are looking forward to starting up our Awakening to the Heart schedule again!


Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary's gardens are blooming and Norman is now rehabilitating at home, 6 weeks after having a stroke. He is feeling energized and excited about participating in our heart-centered events.. We are both grateful for our loving community and all the support we have received over the past several weeks. Although he is unable to get around independently, Norman will be able to easily get down to the yurt via an old golf cart that has been used off and on here at the farm. He is looking forward to offering Satsang on August 3rd ~ Join us in the sacred space of kirtan, meditation and a special Satsang with Norman at BodhiHeart Yurt. Cynthia is also very ready to lead Community Kirtan again on August 11…!


We are looking forward to celebrating with Johanna Beekman on Sunday, July 14, in less than a couple of weeks! Please join us for her special Soul-full Kirtan, followed by a Community Potluck 
and an evening of
Lullaby Yoga

Please share with others, since we have not had a lot of time 
to promote this very special event over the past month. 

We need help setting up for the Kirtan, Potluck and Lullaby Yoga
(in exchange for scholarship)
If you are interested, please let us know! 

July 3, 2019_Diana Rose Garden

Goddess Diana watching over her Rose Garden

July 3, 2019_Labyrinth

Metta Labyrinth—a path for finding one’s center and peace

Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary Bear Family

Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary Bear Family
in the Southeast Field munching on wild blueberries

Bear Family

Feeling Blessed & Moving Forward...

We feel so blessed with all the love, healing energy and support we have received these past several weeks. And, we are now moving forward, ready to continue with our planned events this summer at BodhiHeart Yurt and Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary!

Norman will be returning home to Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary on June 25, 2019, a little over one month after having a stroke that has created limitations for using the right side of his body. In just 3 weeks, he is already walking with assistance of a cane for short periods. There has been a continual gain in the strength and use of his right leg. For now, he will be mobile by also using a wheelchair. His right arm is slowly waking up. There is still much therapy and rehabilitation ahead and he is working diligently with great determination and positivity. Norman's speech was originally affected as well, but he is now able to speak more fluently by relearning how to speak using his breath and being very conscious in how he enunciates his words and uses inflection. Norman’s mind is sharp, his spirit is strong, and he is looking forward to giving his next Satsang, which is scheduled for the first Saturday morning in August!

A Bump in the Road…


We’ve hit a bump, but we are still on the journey….

We are sad to say that we will need to put a hold temporarily on our events.

Friday, May 24th, Norman had an ischemic stroke. It was very unexpected, of course. Through various tests, we found out his large vessels and heart are in very good shape, but he had a stricture of the tiny blood vessels in an area of his brain, not caused by a clot or bleed, but by being one of the rare persons that may get this in his age group. It has been a whirlwind the past few days. We feel blessed to have gotten over the life-risking part of this. His speech has been affected and he is unable to use the right side of his body. He is very alert and determined to do whatever he can to talk clearly enough to communicate well (especially to give Satsangs!) and be able to walk down to the yurt on his own. We are now in the process of planning for his rehabilitation and it is very unclear at this point what that is going to look like.

In about a month, we will re-evaluate if we are able to hold any events in July. We both want to be able to continue with our vision and offerings. It has become part of the fabric of our lives and very meaningful to us. Please hold us in your hearts and send healing energy to Norman when you can.

We invite you to visit, receive updates on Norman’s progress, and offer works of love and support if you would like through the following link:

Site Link: www.caringbridge.org/visit/normanshealingjourney

Site Name: normanshealingjourney

A Sweet Day of Silence and Sacred Sound...

Kwan Yin in Snow

On February 16, we held our first silent meditation daylong retreat at BodhiHeart Yurt. Our time together was spent with silent meditation sittings, Satsang and spiritual inquiry/dialogue with Norman, and Kirtan led by Cynthia. A sacred time for all who were there. 

We are looking forward to our next retreat at the end of September, when we can also include time walking Metta Labyrinth in meditative silence.

An Afternoon of Love and Grace...

At the end of January, a Kirtan Workshop and Kirtan sponsored by Scott Whitmore, Outreach Director of the Call and Response Foundation, was held here at BodhiHeart Yurt with about 25 open-hearted  individuals. The afternoon and early evening was full and bright, with snow softly falling around us. What a special event it turned out to be! Scott Hari Whitmore and Evan Bushnell (Muid) offered such love and grace through their teaching and leading beautiful chants. Rasa Lockhart also offered us her special presence and Kirtan support through her percussion expertise with bells and tamborine!

Below are some memorable pictures of this event.





2018, a very good year...


Our Winter Solstice Evening was so warm with light and love, while the rain poured outside! We gathered around lighted candles in BodhiHeart Yurt and then around the fireplace in “the Cabin”, honoring the darkest night and the return of the light. What a sweet time spent with everyone who was able to join us! 

Here we are at the end of the year 2018, which brought us many blessings and adventures, and the creation of our sacred space at Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary. Among the greatest blessings is the loving energy shared with new and old friends at the opening celebration and other events held at BodhiHeart Yurt. We are so very grateful. And, we are looking forward to the experience and unfolding of what the year 2019 will bring! 

Our Celebration Blessings...

One week ago today was our Opening Celebration & Blessing of BodhiHeart Yurt.
What a joyous and heart-filled event it was! A gathering of the sweetest hearts one could ever imagine to meet. It started with a robust gathering and potluck with all sorts of lovey food to nourish our bodies. Then, Kirtan from the Heart with Adam Bauer and his crew that nourished our souls. Singing, chanting, dancing—it was all there. A divine blessing for BodhiHeart Yurt and for all those 30+ folks who participated! And, for those who had energy left, a celebration bonfire with tossing of cleansing herbs in the fire to send out the abundance of love we gathered in the yurt out to the world, along with some drumming and smiles.
We are so grateful for all of it!

A very special thanks to Scott Snyder for capturing these pictures for us all to enjoy and reflect on this fun and magical evening!




A Divine Rainbow for Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary

Sites for BodhiHeart Yurt, Ceremonial Fire Pit (behind small group of trees)

and Metta Labyrinth

It is difficult for any one to ignore the majesty and mystical presence of a rainbow. Last week we received this beautiful image from above, offering us a divine message that our vision of expanding our sacred place here at Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary is indeed upon us. 

It has only been since June when we received a clear message that we were called to build a yurt/meditation hall, but it has seemed longer in the waiting for things to fall into place. In the meantime, our vision of a sacred space has expanded to include a 40’ Labyrinth, a large ceremonial fire pit and offering a space for community kirtan!

This week things are progressing a at quicker pace, as the fire pit is completed, Metta Labyrinth now has a perimeter of stones, and BodhiHeart Yurt will be landing at Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary in a few days.

We are blessed. We are full of gratitude. 
We are excited to share all of this with a growing conscious community!

Reflections on the Heart’s Way

Reflections on the Hearts Way 
~ Norman Scrimshaw ~  

We try so hard to bring who we think we are to realization. These efforts will fail. The imaginary self cannot awaken. Keeping the false self going requires strategy. It constantly needs protection. Fortresses need to be built, yet it is like a sand castle facing the rising tide, it crumbles and constantly needs to be rebuilt. 

We keep the imagined self alive with the ever changing “ Story of Me” We keep fears alive with memories of a past, then project them into an imaginary future. We forget the pain from time to time, with the dream of the “imagined one” who will awaken.

Let go of this dreaming—all that you think yourself to be. 
It is so much effort and it is high maintenance.

We hold our identity tightly like a clinched fist.

Why not let go of this busyness of the mind for a short time and see what happens? Enter silently into that which is formless, without the baggage of all you believe to know.

Let go of your clenching fist, it will open naturally.

In deep relaxation where all that you know is gone.
All that is left is beingness. You are that.

All is well and you know you are home.


Mooji Heart's Way quote

I love the simplicity of Mooji’s invitation to enter softly into the freedom of your heart.

Community Kirtan!

~ Sandwich Mountain Community Kirtan ~
Cynthia Garner Scrimshaw

Our vision of providing sacred space that supports awakening to the heart, to joy, our true nature and building conscious community—Kirtan, often referred to as Bhakti Yoga or devotional music—encompasses all of this. We love the joy and heart-expanding experience of Kirtan. Chanting and moving to kirtan music is meditation in active form and creates an experience of heart connection and unity.

I cant remember exact details around making the decision to purchase my harmonium. I just remember that it came from deep within. After ordering my sacred instrument, I immediately received information about “Kirtan Camp” with Amah Devi and Johanna Beekman at The Yoga Space in Keene, NH, a half day intensive on learning how to play the harmonium. Yes, the universe affirmed I was to play the harmonium and begin a daily chanting practiceand to use my voice! The next step: sharing this in community.

Devotional music is often seen as an essential part of Satsang. Other than occasionally playing a special recording before meditation, this is something new for Norman in all the years he has led Satsang. With his renewed energy for teaching, he is embracing the potential for deepening the experience of Satsang. When we chant ancient sanskrit mantras and sing together before meditation, it helps to shift our sense of separateness to that of oneness and unity with the divine source within each of us. In addition, Norman feels that devotional music added to Satsang can help to relax the mind and open the heart. We began with including one devotional song/chant before meditation at our last Satsang, and plan to continue with this format.


Community Kirtans are increasingly forming throughout the US and the world. So, I thought: What better setting than in a yurt to sing and chant? Is this something we can offer our communityan opportunity to gather at BodhiHeart Yurt to deeply touch our souls with heart-opening, uplifting and comforting music? Can I imagine a community kirtan in the midst of the mountains, where all are welcome to experience and create sacred healing sound with devotional music? Am I willing to go out on a limb and lead Kirtan? 
Again, the answer is 
Yes”! Through this mind/body/heart processing, Sandwich Mountain Community Kirtan was conceived.

 © Awakening to the Heart -  2018