New Day Herald

Matthew Van Fossan, 2023

An Adventure of Following the Heart

“The Spiritual Warrior lives life spontaneously, constantly letting go. The ordinary person wants to justify things. They want recognition for what they accomplish, and they want to blame someone for what doesn’t go right. If they can’t find a reason, they will make a reason. So here’s the key: Forget your reasons; they will always be perfect. They don’t mean anything. Reasons keep us in a contracted state. You do not need to justify your life. Just live. Be spontaneous and do what your heart prompts you to do. You do not have to wait for numerous things to fall into place in order to relax. Just relax. How simple that is, and yet we won’t do it…because we have all the reasons not to.”
– John-Roger, DSS

My experience on the Traveler Tour in Israel this past July was wonderfully satisfying to me on many levels, as a minister and initiate devoted to the Light and Love and Sound and supporting our Traveler’s work, as a human being curious about people and the world, as a lover of history and culture who enjoys learning by doing, as a fancy hotel, breakfast-buffet fan who has no shame about eating his weight in croissants.

So, when I arrived back to Prana in August with construction on the property turning the place into a noisy, dusty obstacle course, my only question was, when is the next trip? And the answer was, maybe sometime in 2025. And my response was, “Gee, that’s a long time from now, and aren’t John and staff going to South America?” And it turned out that they were, with a side trip to Mexico beforehand.

Since I just happened to be fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and I just happened to meet on the Israel trip a number of friends in the places John would be going, and my wife just happened to have a yearly ritual of going back to Brazil to visit her family anyway, and we just happened to receive a generous and unexpected insurance payout, the pieces started fitting together.

Only the pieces didn’t fit together perfectly. They needed some jiggling, and then some scrounging around for strays, and then some awkward appeals to ministers for help. And even then it was a bit of a puzzle. I guess traveling is like that sometimes.

For example, Rita and I had bought bus tickets from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina, a seven-hour trip that promised beautiful, scenic views of the Andes. Only a few days before our departure a storm blew up in the mountains that completely snowed in the pass. So Rita and I scrambled to buy last-minute plane tickets to take us over the mountains and keep our trip on track. It was expensive and stressful sorting through flights for hours on the night before departure that had quadrupled in price since we last saw them, but we did it.

Another example: we had put off making reservations for a place to stay in Buenos Aires. Looking at it weeks beforehand, it seemed like there were lots of options and it would be no problem. Then, days before arriving, we started trying to book a place and everything went wrong. The places we chose were taken, or they didn’t get back to us, or the hotels were twice as expensive as what we had first seen. Finally, a minister offered to let us rent her place for a very reasonable price. Relief! Only to find that the payment was to be in dollars and in cash and we didn’t have that much cash with us.

In the end, thankfully,  everything worked out. And the Traveler’s events in four countries were an absolute tour de force of sublime satsang, hugs with wonderful people I had only previously met on Zoom or over e-mail, and yes, some really good takeaways about looking for the good and the divine in people and things and leaving the rest to God.

So, that’s what I am doing now as I look back on the trip. It wasn’t always easy or comfortable, but it was an adventure of following the heart. Rather than regret my mistakes, I can count my blessings, the people I met, the beautiful places I visited, the fact that I could participate in person at so many of the Traveler’s seminars on the road. And I can see my presence there as a minister of Light being a contribution towards the great work being done.

I got a much better appreciation for the focus and dedication brought to such work not just by John and Leigh, but also by Roger and Vincent, by the volunteers who show up to translate, perform services, and help in any number of ways to keep the work going. And of course the people back in Los Angeles doing Zoom support and handling logistics. Everyone is counted in Spirit. And I’m glad to have a better glimpse of just how much counting Spirit is doing..

Speaking of counting, since coming back to Prana I have been integrating all that happened on the trip. And looking at a very depleted bank account, the practical side of me wonders, “Was it worth it?”

And then I remember John calling me to stand in on a baby blessing in Santiago, Chile. The baby was loudly distressed, but I felt very clearly the preciousness of the Soul being blessed by the Traveler’s grace and loving. And then afterwards someone congratulating me for being The Godfather. And my shock and amazement at having missed that minor detail during the blessing.

Yes, it’s good to be practical, and some things are priceless. Like being able to stand with my hands above the heads of  new ministers being ordained in the communities we visited, like sitting at a table for a blessingsfest and experiencing the outpouring of grace and love from the Traveler echoing through creation.

It’s important for me to be practical, yes. It’s also important for me to remember that there is more going on than meets the eye in the Traveler’s work. I may not be in a position now to evaluate if it was all worth it because the blessings of my participation on the road with the Traveler may still be coming forward.

And, if nothing else, it was a powerful exercise in trust and choosing back to the Traveler within me. I really felt a calling to show up, and I made it happen, with a lot of help from my friends. I crossed the finish line. And as J-R says:

“The finish line is not the line ahead of you. It is the line you see as you cross it. Do you stop the second you cross it? Not necessarily. The momentum of finishing a task in devotion may propel you further than your original intentions. The result of that can be surprising rewards that are beyond your expectations.”

– John-Roger, DSS


3 thoughts on “An Adventure of Following the Heart”

  1. Dear Matt,

    As always I am astounded at your unwavering trust, and following your heart, and going through whatever comes up, or does not come up (like that bus ride ) when it was supposed to.

    Given the challenges that surfaced makes me think that it was really key that you were on the trip, otherwise, those “loyal forces” wouldn’t of been working so hard to derail you.

    Way to persevere, Matt and Rita! you are a great role models.

    Much love, corinne

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