Grief, like all other feelings and emotions, has always been part of human existence. Rashani Réa’s Beyond Brokenness invites us to a deeper truth about this alchemical experience. This exquisite book is a personal narrative with a collection of collages and poems subtly interwoven throughout the pages.
It brings inspiration and insights for those who suffer grief and loss and invites us to trust in the unknown. This painful, yet inspiring saga recounts Rashani Réa’s story of childhood, to the moment that sorrow unravels in her life, to the time when she acknowledged the beauty of existence and was transformed into a new being from the confinement of suffering. In Beyond Brokenness, the author’s poems are profound and her personal stories will expand your heart to reveal another truth about the chrysalis of sorrow and grief; it offers beautiful insights and realities; and it shows us the way to equanimity within the very condition of brokenness itself.
The main poem celebrated in this book has been passed from hand to hand around the world, since 1991. It was set to music and performed in the Royal Opera House in London (in July, 2008) by a choir of 55 women and men and continues to touch thousands of hearts. Many people compare Rashani to ancient Sufi or Hindu poets, such as Rabia, Mirabai or Rumi. Beyond Brokenness speaks of a time of prolonged suffering that culminated in a night during which the poem known as “The Unbroken” burst into being from the innermost recesses of suffering and mystery.
One feels in her prose and poetry the indelible imprint of the sensitive parents who bequeathed her love and pain; the blessing of strength burned into her heart with every test and trial; and most of all, the grace and freedom that grow reciprocally in one who has learned, as she has, to let go. This is the consecrated life, the life we are all invited to, the life Rashani has chosen and has been chosen to lead. Take an inspiring flight into a very interesting story of life, of suffering, of sorrow, of hope and of celebration, beyond pain and brokenness.
With tenderness and wisdom, Rashani opens the door to the other world—a place we can only enter with our heads bowed to the ground and our hearts reaching up to the heavens. The stunning poetry of this broken-open-hearted mystic reaches across religious and cultural borders, illuminating all the dark places in our hearts and homes.
Estelle Frankel, author of Sacred Therapy: Jewish Spiritual Teachings on Emotional Healing & Inner Wholeness
This book is a chronicle and testimony for our capacity to enter into the pain of being human, without resistance, and emerge, again and again, into a state of nondual awareness. The extremes of heartbreak and profound spiritual awakening couldn’t be rendered more starkly, yet they are so close. Though the path of being broken wide open begins in our pain and anguish, like all true paths, it leads to the state of embodied transcendence. That the heart can turn so quickly? This is the real miracle. Rashani’s poem is a wonder. In the space of just a few words, she takes our soul in her hands and shows how we can move from the depths of despair to a place of immutable wholeness.
Peter Fenner, author of Radiant Mind and The Edge of Certainty