Letter: Opening our Hearts: The key to a healthier Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Opening our Hearts: The key to a healthier Aspen

Earlier this year, I listened to John Sarpa, former CEO of Aspen Valley Hospital and Dr. Barry Mink declare that Aspen Valley Hospital had set a goal for Aspen to be the “healthiest city in America.” It is a noble task, but we can do it. What if each of us starts one heart at time? What does it mean for Aspen to open our hearts? The figurative way means opening our hearts to love, forgiveness, hope; think of peace, dream of joy, dance with happiness in our minds and our spirits in keeping with the body, mind and spirit of the founding fathers and mothers of Aspen; the Paepckes, the first miners, builders of the first businesses, the early ski bums, the wait staff in our restaurants, the landscape artists that currently are painting our city with lovely flowers, the workers who are preparing the cool mountain streams to flow throughout our city providing a symbolic flow of spirit that unites us. In order to achieve this goal, it will take everyone. No one is left out. It could spread like wildfire!

So as a start, what if each of us just made eye contact with each person we meet? We could either be silent or extend a word of encouragement, harmony and peace. This could be the first step to transform our beautiful city into an eternal city of unconditional love and acceptance of all. By starting with a simple procedure the energy in our city could provide the environment to reach our goal of the “healthiest city in America.” For the more willing, “hard-core mindful” community members, we could start with 20 minutes of silence each morning and each evening in keeping with the teachings on centering prayer by my mentor, Rev. Thomas Keating at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Old Snowmass. Rev. Keating says, “The best way to receive divine love is to give it away and the more we pass on, the more we increase our capacity to receive.”

Let’s join hands in this journey that will change the world, one heart at a time with the ultimate goal of world peace. To achieve the title of the “healthiest city in America,” we can start this simple no cost project, one heart at a time. With immeasurable unconditional love to all, let’s start today!

Jan Barton Hamilton


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