If you’re a spiritual seeker interested in self-growth and wellness in SoCal or if you just like going to holistic fairs and getting a good psychic reading, you’ve probably experienced The School of Multidimensional Healing Arts & Sciences, now known as HeartSpace, A Community Center of Light and Wellness. Jerry Woods oversees it all and shares what it’s like to run one of the largest spiritual centers in Southern California.
Why did you change the name to HeartSpace? We discovered that the people who have found us in the last couple years are more oriented towards personal growth and self-connection, not to mention a connection to a spiritual group, The Oneness Center, which holds a New Thought, non-denominational service every Sunday. Multidimensional was long and not necessarily understood by the people coming here.
What does the name HeartSpace mean to you? I believe HeartSpace means that in our world of confusion today, to make safer decisions, we need to feel our way forward with our body brain (heart and gut) rather than thinking or intellectualizing our way forward.
People spend too much time in their minds. I think so. It also means people coming to a space geared towards working with their heart, in the abstract sense. It also means it’s a space that’s about unconditional love, as all the classes touch on this to varying degrees. Another connotation is it’s a space where people can feel their heart is safe. Stories, conditions and past and present experiences of the heart are in a safe place. They’re able to feel much better about the condition of the world with an open heart than with their emotions closed down.
So they view the world differently but that doesn’t make them complacent in trying to create a better world? I just think it gives them a better understanding about what would be greater for everyone.
Is there not enough heart in the world today? I think there’s enough, it’s about shifting the perception to be able to see it. I would say we work as much in shifting the perception as we do in shifting consciousness, shifting physical energy and physical condition.
Do you see the world being a better place if more people came from the heart? As people open their hearts and minds, they tend to learn here that the heart is as important as the mind, if not more so.
The mind has to deal with the ego wanting to control things from fear. A lot about learning here focuses on meditation, which helps pacify and control the ego. They can then learn to quiet their mind and have a great sense of self-connection to the universe and to Source energy, whatever they consider that to be.
Some skeptics might say, “Come on, it’s not practical to run your life from your heart. That’s for fairy tales and romantic comedies.” Is it practical to come from the heart? People have been doing that since the beginning of time. When people have a gut feel or intuition about something, it’s really feeling from the heart and the larger sensors in the body than from the mind.
Meaning there’s a deeper, better wisdom there? Right.
As a spiritual community center, HeartSpace seems to offer a lot. It’s a shared holistic workspace. We have nine holistic practitioners that make up the resident wellness team and another dozen who come in regularly. They’re diversified in what they offer, everything from traditional marriage and family counseling to cutting-edge energy medicine. What they all have in common is a heartfelt approach to the client.
What kind of community events do you offer? Currently, we have Friday Movie Night that shows impactful movies with a discussion before and after the movie. We just showed “Forgiveness” and “Heal” is in the schedule. We also have two political groups that meet here.
Are those groups related to wellness? Yes, we support any group that cares for people, in whatever form that takes. Health care is obviously important. We’ll have a town hall here for one of the local candidates where those topics will come up.
You also do fundraising? Yes, we did a benefit for Puerto Rico in November. We did two open houses for veterans where we provided pro-bono services for PTSD and other chronic diseases affecting them. We adopted two homeless families for Christmas and provided them with all the presents they requested. We expect to do more community-oriented events like that as we move forward.
You hold a holistic fair the last Saturday of every month. What can people expect? For discounted prices, you can experience holistic practices that are derived from ancient knowledge and new research, but that don’t involve allopathic medicinal elements like pharmaceuticals or radiation. Solutions that feel like they’re a part of the fabric of the universe versus something that man or machine made or designed.
I would think someone wouldn’t become a holistic practitioner unless they were a heart-centered individual. Certainly, the best holistic practitioners would be heart-centered and that would probably be part of their goal in their practice, to continue to do the work themselves on self-connection and self-empowerment. In that process, they become more heart-centered and more capable. It’s important they know that the work they’re doing on themselves is as much a part of the solution they’re providing as the work they do on someone else. They go together. If you don’t understand that, you won’t be a proficient healer. You need to keep nourishing your spirit. That journey never ends.
For people curious about their place in the universe, what do you want them to know about what HeartSpace offers them? When we started, it was about putting students in touch with teachers so they could learn from them. As we evolved and became wiser, we saw it was more important to help students get in touch with themselves and their innate wisdom as well as learn from the teachers. And to teach the teachers! Everyone has something to contribute. It’s a big cycle of connectivity and sharing that takes place at all levels. Someone can start with meditation or start with channeling, and learn that a whole array of diverse modalities are taught.
Maybe they don’t know exactly what they want? Yes, sometimes they walk in and get interested in the direction they need to go by their own personal guidance. Our goal is just to support that process of discovery, learning, connecting, and feeling safe. Feeling safe opens our heart to experience more.
When did you have your spiritual awakening? I think it’s been in phases. Up and down. I studied Taoism in the 70’s, Deepak Chopra and others in the 80’s, MindSpring, religions. I read lots of book. But the most profound accelerator was when my dad died. My daughter took me to the fair at Learning Light Foundation and I saw a medium. That 15-minute session was a huge mindshift for me. That you could actually communicate with someone who has passed was astounding to me. That re-accelerated my interest in all things mediumship, channeling, connectivity, etc. That was in 2007, and shortly after that the school was born. I felt it was divinely guided at the time, although the course it took was something I didn’t anticipate.
What did you get out of your conversation on the other side with your father? The most important thing was that you could even have a conversation. The second thing was that he and others have told me, “Don’t quit talking to me because I hear you when you talk.” That means when you’re painting, for instance, and that’s something you used to do with your dad, you could say something to him like I often do: “This would probably be embarrassing to you but for me it’s kind of okay!” I was always into doing things much faster than my dad and his attention to detail was greater than mine.
How often to you talk to him now? Often. Certainly with every project I do (laughs). And with other friends who have passed, who also did projects with their hands.
Because of that poignant experience with your father, you wanted to allow others to experience that? There’s a healing that comes with that connection. I saw that as quite important and I went on to explore that further through mediumship.
What do you say to people who think channels prey on people’s emotions by providing information that could apply to anyone? If that’s been their experience, it’s only because they haven’t been to someone whose very proficient or they haven’t been open-minded themselves enough. It takes both.
For those who are closed, I wonder what they’re afraid of? That the information might change them, perhaps. There’s lot of fears. I just try to aim people in the right direction. I’ve referred hundreds of people for sessions and I can’t recall anybody who had one that felt like it wasn’t life-changing. It shifted their belief system almost every time. And in some cases, a lot.
I think people want to experience something extraordinary but they have their guard up to protect themselves. I don’t think you need to have your guard up. If you’re just open, you can allow the reading to happen and evaluate the information later, objectively. It’s possible to encounter a reader not having a good day, so there’s always a chance of not having an effective experience. It might take more than one. It’s just like finding the right fit for you in anything, your car mechanic, your doctor, your favorite restaurant. But for me, that day was one that was incredibly detailed and powerful. Not only was it uplifting and healing, it was fun. It’s something I would recommend to anybody.