Karen Millnick's Commission to Us

It is Sunday, September 16th, the day of Karen’s Memorial Service. I was anxious during the night. About what I would say and a number of other things. The “other things” included some resistance to my audio contract with the International Pathwork Foundation, or at least some seemingly minor details and what appears as some misunderstanding of what I am doing with the audio project. Also sitting with anxiety over some of the Pathwork Council stuff I have to resolve.

Yet shortly after awakening and getting a cup of coffee a calming energy came over me. Where did this unexpected calming come from? Was it Karen? I am not sure, but it was palpable. I suddenly was clear on what I wanted to say in my five minutes of speaking…


I am speaking on behalf of the 31 members of our Helper Community. It is not coincidental that 13 of us were at a Faculty Retreat here at Sevenoaks the weekend that Karen died. We could share our grief and yet celebrate our joy at the blessings imparted through Karen during her life with us.

And then ten days ago the Pathwork Council met. The Council consists of six of us, including Karen. We oversee the Pathwork School and all its programs.  We meet biweekly. This was the first time we met without Karen. We could feel her absence, as if she would come onto our phone call and say hi. But we could also feel her Presence, her smiling over us from a better place.

This is looking backwards. My sense of Karen is that she would want us to look forward as well. And for this I turn to a meeting I had with her in her office on June 23rd, just 8 weeks before she died. We had set up the meeting to give me what she felt we helpers needed to know as her time with us was coming to an end.

After an intimate attunement during which we invited in the spirits of the Pathwork Guide as well as of Eva and John, noting all the transitions they had experienced down through the 20+ years of the Pathwork while they were alive,

Then Karen reached down and pulled a Crystal out of her bag. “I want you to take this for me. It represents the Helper Community here at Sevenoaks. I brought this crystal to every helper and faculty leadership meeting for over 20 years.” I was touched, even stunned. Look at this crystal. What strikes you about it? What I see is that it is a cluster of many individual crystals with no one crystal dominating over the others.

Later in the conversation Karen talked about the vision she held for the Helper Community. She saw each one of us as having unique gifts. Each one of us was bringing new dimensions to the Pathwork. She saw this multifaceted leadership emerging over the next five years. Not ten years, but five years.

Karen loved the Pathwork Lectures. For months we had been working on a new Pathwork Graduate Program that will be introduced in November and led by Erena Bramos. Karen and I talked about this as an opportunity for us as a helper community to join in to this program and thereby each one of us deepening our experience of the Pathwork Wisdom. I had already signed up. Karen said if she was alive in November she would certainly want to join this programs.

Though Karen’s energy was being taxed, this meeting lasted nearly two hours. Both of us felt so alive at the end.

As I reflect on this June 23rd meeting with Karen I can see that in effect she was commissioning us as helpers. And as I considered how to end these words with you today I could feel Karen guiding me to this commissioning.  I developed a card for our helper community. It has a photo of the “Pathwork Crystal of Leadership” and these words from Pathwork Lecture 145: Responding to the Call of Life

Life issues a call; it makes a demand on every living individual.  … you will understand in each moment what the call of life wants to convey to you.  How do you respond to it?  …

…Do you truly wish to understand the call of life?  What does it require of you?  And are you wholeheartedly responsive?

I add these words…

Karen’s Commission to us all…

Find your Unique Calling… And make a wholehearted response,

Take your place in the “Pathwork Crystal of Leadership!

In other words…

1)   Let us each find our unique Call and wholeheartedly respond to it.

2)   We are not alone – Let us each take our place in the “Pathwork Crystal of Leadrship.”

3)   Let us root ourselves in the wisdom of the Pathwork Lectures.

I can feel Karen’s energy with us here. Her smile over us.  Her great big YES!


This is what I am wanting to share. So Karen, may you be with us all this afternoon.

Returning in my meditation to Lecture 145 I am struck by the opening words and how they correspond to my previous blog and the PowerPoint diagrams I made up for them (Click to open PowerPoint slides)

Greetings, my dearest friends.  The blessings given are strength and power coming from the sincere wishes and the love of all involved in this venture — both those in the body and those outside it.

At the beginning of this new working year I should like to set up a sort of blueprint that will also constitute a reformulation of our work and its purpose.  People always need a clarification of their motives and concepts:  where they are going and why.

As long as you identify exclusively with your ego-self and as long as you ignore the other part of yourself, you will remain trapped in a painful struggle that tears you apart and for which you see no solution.  This often causes unbearable tension and anxiety.  This basic mental insecurity, with all its byproducts, can be overshadowed by all sorts of pursuits.  But although these aims in themselves may be worthy, they cannot relieve the basic fear or the sense of meaninglessness and waste.  Only when you find and activate your center, deep within yourself, can you fulfill your destiny, your reason for existing.  Whatever else you accomplish serves only, if you so choose, to make you more aware of your real self and therefore of the reality of being.  Then, and only then, will you find a genuine security and peace coming from within.  In order to find it, you must relinquish your hold on the outer ego.  That is, you have to give up trusting the ego exclusively, and use it as a tool to activate the universal self slumbering within.

Now, my friends, many people know this and pay it lip service frequently.  But to understand this theoretically and to live it are two entirely different things.  The work on this path is destined to help you accomplish the awakening of a new self you have not consciously experienced before.  This path gives you the means to actually bring this about.

Shared in love, Gary