Anyone who knows Sally Kirkland’s work as an actress will understand
that she is a master of her craft in large part because of her profound
and genuine compassion for people. But what may be surprising to those
who only know the actress side of Sally is that she also has a deep and
dynamic experience of her spiritual nature, and has spent the majority
of her life in serious spiritual study.
Sally’s compassion grew out of a difficult and challenging childhood
that led, indirectly, to her spiritual studies in her mid-twenties. This
was an episode that began a new life of in-depth spiritual exploration
and devotion to the Spirit in all people. It began with her discovery of
a book called, "Autobiography of a Yogi, the life story of Paramahansa
Yogananda, a great soul." This led Sally to the study of yoga through
the Swami Satchidananda's Integral Yoga Institute, where she became a
staff member and teacher.
As she studied, she also began dedicated meditation, self-imposed
dietary restrictions including fasting, extended periods of silence
(mouna) and of celibacy (bramacharya), and voracious reading of a broad
range of spiritual/ metaphysical/ religious teachings. She flirted with
Buddhism and became a practicing Hindu.
Ultimately she found an organization that integrated her Episcopalian/
Catholic/Christian upbringing with her Eastern spiritual/mystical
practices. It presented an unusual approach to spirituality,
synthesizing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of
living, and it brought the experience of Spirit alive in a practical way
that Sally could apply to her everyday life.
The organization, called The Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner
Awareness (MSIA), also ordains people as ministers. Ordination in MSIA
is a call to apply the techniques of touching into the person’s own
inner wisdom to find the acts of service that Spirit would present to
them. For Sally, with her intense caring and compassion, this was a
natural. So, on December 4, 1975, Sally was ordained as a minister by
MSIA’s founder, John-Roger.
Sally attends MSIA Seminars each month in Los Angeles.
For more info on MSIA please click HERE.
Ordination in MSIA connected Sally with a special spiritual energy that
she was charged to use in ongoing service. This is a commission Sally
has taken seriously from the moment she received it. She is an ardent
proponent of her church and its spiritual leaders, John-Roger and John
Morton, and a champion of all paths that lead people to the awareness of
their natural state as spiritual beings exploring their own divinity.
Along with Hatha Yoga and Pranayama (deep breathing) which Sally was
already teaching, she has, over the years, added speaking on nutrition,
service to others and meditation and spiritual exercises as part of her
In her "official" capacity as a minister, Sally performs weddings and
baby blessings, officiates at memorial services and funerals, and is
available to present taped MSIA seminars featuring the teachings of
John-Roger and John Morton upon request in West Hollywood. She actively
involved in MSIA outreach activities with other MSIA ministers and she
loves to introduce people to MSIA through introductory classes, the
in-house publication the New Day Herald, MSIA’s home study course called
Soul Awareness Discourses and MSIA classes available on the internet.
Sally used the experiences of overcoming her former serious health
challenges to expand her ministry into health activism. She has put her
body on the line for many causes, particularly in the field of
alternative medicine. In connection with that, she has started her own
movement called the "Kirkland Institute for Implant Syndrome Survivors"
(KIISS) and is a spokesperson for Humantics Foundation for Women. Both
are organizations which support women who have suffered the horrendous
side effects of silicone implant related diseases – as she herself
experienced them until her explanation surgery in August, 1998.
To expand her personal, hands-on ministry, Sally has taken hospice
training through Project Night Light, and received instruction in care
for the dying. She has selflessly applied these to assist and minister
to the elderly, and people suffering from AIDS, cancer, heart disease,
and all terminal illnesses. She has also been an advocate for prisoners,
especially young people, who have been incarcerated unjustly.
While building her acting career, Sally has established relationships with
many of today’s brightest stars and the movers and shakers of the
entertainment industry. She has called upon her friends to lend their
support to a variety of high profile charities including the American Red Cross and the Los Angeles Mission, where Sally has gone often to feed the homeless.
She also teamed up with Edward James Olmos and Joan Van Ark to do a
series of telethons in support of the Carl Bean Hospice and other
hospices. Through that effort she and her friends raised in excess of a
million dollars. And she joined with fellow MSIA minister, Beach Boy
Carl Wilson, and at the invitation of President George Bush went to the
White House to assist on behalf of Star Serve, one of the organizations
in Bush’s Thousand Points of Light program.
In addition to these efforts, she has energetically supported her own favorite charities. Among these are: The Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA)
All in all, Sally has made it her business to bring the spirit of
ministry to everything she does, and a part of her life to find ways to
minister every day. She does not go into a building wearing a clerical
collar or other trappings of clergy. She does find every opportunity to
follow the ministry of her heart and to support those who are seeking to
be more of service. Those who know Sally will testify that in these
pursuits she has been eminently successful.
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