2021 December Audio Meditation
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2021 December Audio Meditation

This month’s meditation on wholeness ends the year with touching into the fact that every living thing on the planet emits its own unique tone and quality of wholeness and that these individual contributions offer themselves to the brilliant light radiating from the wholeness of our precious earth.

If you’d like to see images with your meditation, the YouTube version is below the audio…

August Audio Meditation
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August Audio Meditation

In this month’s audio meditation, we continue with the year’s theme of wholeness and connecting with an array of our other-than-human earth-kin, imagining the wholeness that lives within all life we encounter along the way.


If you’d rather listen to the meditation with images from nature, here’s our YouTube version:

856th Week: Returning to Steadiness

856th Week: Returning to Steadiness

For quite a long while now, I have invited myself and others to find the fundamental and ever-present steadiness that is an inherent part of our core presence. Within this living presence of centered and grounded awareness, there is always a steadiness that is undisturbed by anything that may be happening in our lives. It’s a practice I’ve cultivated and returned to again and again, and the habit of orienting to the steadiness that cannot be disturbed has proven to be a powerful and useful resource.

One example of the benefits of settling into the underlying steadiness we all carry at the core of our being is a mundane one, but one that has had particular importance to me. As the child in my family who felt responsible for caring for my mother’s happiness (definitely a child’s perspective!), I developed an underlying anxiety around caregiving. Needless to say, this anxiety was readily present over the years whenever animal members of my family needed medication or some other challenging treatment. Inevitably, I would be anxious—anything but calm—and that never helped. What I discovered in recent weeks, when three feline members of my household had medical issues come up, is that my practice of orienting to my internal steadiness has offered an opportunity to meet these medical needs with a calm presence that I didn’t know was possible. 

For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to explore the following practice to see what it might offer to you. 

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855th Week: Cultivating Empathy

855th Week: Cultivating Empathy

As I thought about what to write for this week’s practice in conscious living, I found myself pondering the painful lack of empathy, kindness, and care that seem to characterize our human family’s interactions in my country. It has been quite disheartening to watch people focus so fervently on their own well-being and self-interest. For just one example, to know that countless people are currently losing their homes because they can’t afford rent due to the pandemic is heart-breaking. It’s as though we forget that we’re all in this together and that nothing happens in isolation or outside our collective social life.

This week’s practice may feel heavy if you choose to do it, but it also is a heart-opening and heart-expanding practice. Empathy requires our heart perception, even when it’s painful to go there, as it opens us to an awareness of the experience of others. Deepening empathy also deepens our sense of connection and belonging to a larger community of being. It expands our sense of identity beyond our personal self.

So, for this week, I invite all of us to deepen our experience of empathy. This means being able to imagine how something feels to someone else, to imagine how we would feel were we in their situation. For example, notice how you feel when you imagine that you don’t have enough food to eat today. Or that you are saying goodbye to your home and have nowhere else to go but out on the street.

Empathy can expand to include our other-than-human family, as well, and our earth environment as a whole system. For example, empathy might extend to polar bears who find that their environment is changing so drastically that starvation is a constant possibility, an ever-emerging reality.

Here’s a brief practice focused on empathy and it draws from the Buddhist practice of metta or lovingkindness.

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854th week: Choose Your Frequency

854th week: Choose Your Frequency

I’ve written quite a bit lately about frequencies and the foreground/background dynamics of our underlying wholeness. One of the practices that, for me, is an effective and useful tool in affecting the quality of both my inner and outer life experience is taking time to choose the frequencies with which I want to resonate. 

As I’ve described a number of times, what I mean by “frequency” is the tone and quality of what we experience and embody, and what we radiate into the world around us in every moment. For example, think of people you meet who seem to exude a sense of curiosity, delight, kindness, friendliness, etc. And, also, think of people you meet who seem to exude a quality of anger, fear, harshness, etc. These are all frequencies, and they are the tangible expressions of the qualities with which we resonate and which we radiate into our environment—both consciously and unconsciously. Most of the time, many of us—if not most—are unconscious of the these qualities, and we aren’t taught about how they tangibly affect our internal and external experiences. 

Another aspect of our relationship to frequencies is the fact of our wholeness. Everything we have experienced and are is ever-present as part of our underlying and inescapable wholeness. When I teach about wholeness, I emphasize the fact that there’s nothing about us we can “get rid of” or “erase”. Instead, our wholeness is always with us, with some aspects of self expressing in the foreground of our experience and others sliding into the background. In this work with frequencies, we aren’t being asked to get rid of negative or troublesome aspects of ourselves. Instead, we are invited to choose a frequency that we want to experience in the foreground of our experience even as we allow our awareness to enfold all of what constitutes our wholeness.

This is where I call on the metaphor of a kaleidoscope, which I’ve shared many times. When we turn the tube of a kaleidoscope, all the pieces shift into a new pattern. Sometimes, a color we haven’t seen for quite a while may pop into view while another drops away. This is the way I think of the dynamics of wholeness: aspects of ourselves slide into the foreground while others drop into the background.

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853rd Week: The Body as Community

853rd Week: The Body as Community

As I thought about what to share as a practice this week, a recent webinar I offered for professionals came to mind. It focused on the wide variety of reciprocal relationships we have with everything we encounter in the course of our everyday lives. One of the subjects I didn’t spend a lot of time on in the webinar was to focus on the reciprocal relationships we have with our physical bodies.

Over the years, I have had a relationship of gratitude with my body—gratitude for the fact that it allows me to be here, gratitude for all the organs that make it possible for my body to function, gratitude that my body is healthy. For me, love—the frequency and energy of love—is the most powerful healing frequency we can access and I draw on it liberally in my life. One of the practices I’ve engaged over the years has been to send love to my body each day, as part of my gratitude practice. 

I may have mentioned before that our bodies are actually comprised of many organisms that are non-human. Here’s a quote from the BBC News: “Human cells make up only 43% of the body’s total cell count. The rest are microscopic colonists.” The American Museum of Natural History says that, “Your body is an ecosystem” and that, “An ecosystem is a community of living things.” Because of these facts, I seek to have a cooperative, collaborative, and loving relationship with the organisms that populate my body and that support my daily functioning. I include these organisms in my gratitude practice and regularly send them love.

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