Current Issue

Wellness: Parabola Volume 46, No. 1, Spring 2021

“‘Are you sick?’ Jai asked. When I couldn’t articulate a response, Jai said to tap with the phone, once if I was okay, twice if I needed help. I kept tapping….I was having a stroke.” The journey back from that devastating event, recounted in this Summer 2021 issue of Parabola by the late spiritual teacher Ram Dass, reveals that wellness does not exclude suffering.

Within these pages, filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky imagines rituals of healing for a community traumatized by political violence. Yet what becomes clear is that becoming really and truly well is always personal, always demanding a deep encounter. “My way may not be your way,” writes Parabola consulting editor Patty de Llosa. “My dream is certainly not your dream.”

Many of those different ways, those different dreams that spur us on to find new depths are explored in this issue. The roads we take may lead from pain or wonder. In these pages you will read of the breakthroughs that came in the midst of physical pain and respiratory illness and plague and also of shamanic transformations and great spiritual quests—Michael Scott Alexander describes great Islamic scholar Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali’s road to a Sufi teacher in old Damascus. Ultimately all roads lead to Being. No matter our causes and conditions, wellness begins as we realize that we are more than we think we are, more than our stories about ourselves.

“When we are asleep to Being, our attention becomes entranced by mind—the vast array of ideas, images, beliefs, habits, and judgments we have been conditioned to identify as self,” writes the contemporary spiritual teacher Adyashanti. “However, these are not self; they are conditioned psychological processes masquerading as who you are.”

May this issue set you on the road to wellness.

—Tracy Cochran

table of contents

Stroked  Ram Dass with Rameshwar Das
A great teacher meets his ultimate challenge

Down the Well   Tracy Cochran
What we need is right at hand

Psychomagic  Alejandro Jodorowsky
Acts to heal the world

Still Running  Vanessa Zuisei Goddard
A Zen teacher on living with and transforming pain

Awakened Awareness  Adyashanti
The ultimate practice?

Healing Water Goddesses  Betsy Cornwell
A literary libation

Awakening in the Yard D Sangha  James Gross
A conversation with former prisoner and Buddhist practitioner Edwin Paragas

From the Mat to the Street  Richard Hodges 
A world champion on judo and life

The Crossroads Between Earth and Heaven  Patty de Llosa
Opening to the inner and the outer

What the Cell Teaches Us in Time of Plague Fr. Francis V. Tiso
Hard-earned wisdom from an Italian pastor

A Bridge Across the River  David R. Kopacz, M.D.
A conversation with Native American visionary Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) 

A Life-Restoring Power  Ellie Zarrabian
A shamanic healer takes on clinical depression

Remembrance  Michael Scott Alexander
A great Islamic scholar learns the limits of thought

Katherine Mansfield’s New Idea  A.R. Orage
She planned to write as no one had ever written

Breathe In, Breathe Out  Lavinia Plonka
Learning to heed the breath

The Supreme Good Fortune  Wendy Garling
A teaching story from the woman who raised the Buddha

The Iceman  Wim Hof
Testing the limits

Every Cell of the Earth  Betsy Cornwell
A conversation with feminist scholar Monica Mody

A Cheerful Scout is a Well Scout  Josephine Daskam Bacon, editor
What the Girl Scouts know

A Real Live Boy!  Carlo Collodi
Goodness comes alive

Earthrise  Deanna McKinstry-Edwards
An astronaut reveals the world

Spring  Henry David Thoreau
Wellness comes to Walden Pond