I’ve written before about some of the basic teachings I received from my grandmother between the ages of 10 and 16, when she was my first spiritual teacher. One of the important things I took from those years was my understanding of what she called “the raincloud of knowable things”. Because she believed and lived in a sense of collective consciousness, her experience was that there is nothing in the world that “belongs” to any one person or group. In the “raincloud of knowable things”, all ideas, creative possibilities, deep understandings are available to everyone, everywhere, all the time. Read More “701st Week: Revisiting the “Raincloud of Knowable Things””
Each morning, I post an inspirational quotation and a nature photo to the Devadana Sanctuary website and also to the Devadana Sanctuary page on Facebook. This morning, as I looked through all the photos I have available to post, I again felt so deeply moved by the beauty of our earth. This got me to thinking about all the various quotations I find that have to do with loving our earth as our mother, as our true home.
As I looked through prior posts, I became aware of how important it has become to me to take in something inspiring at the beginning of each day. For me, looking at images of our beautiful planet touches an important place in my being and helps me orient to the love I have for our earth and all the life within and on it. For me, taking time to love our planet, to love the nature that gives us life, automatically invites us to shift into heart awareness. The perception and intelligence of the heart (the heart-brain, actually), tends to naturally offer a different perspective than does the brain we carry around in our heads.
I am also moved by beautiful music or by the sound of birdsong, stories about acts of kindness, encountering a fur-friend, and more. Sources of inspiration might be different for you. For this week’s experiment, I invite you to pay even more attention to what brings you inspiration and deepens your heart awareness. Also, notice what happens when you remember to shift to something inspiring if you begin to feel overloaded by the challenges, suffering, and hardships you either experience personally or see happening in your world. If you don’t already start your day with inspiring input, notice what may be different about your experience of entering the day if you include something in your morning routine that offers you inspiration.
It’s helpful to remember that finding inspiration needn’t require anything special. There may be a plant in your living room that gives you pleasure and it may be inspiring to see new growth there. Or, you may have a piece of artwork or an object that brings a smile each time you look at it. It’s a matter of orienting to the quality of inspiration and then to noticing how you feel in your heart space when you engage this quality.
As with all these practices, there is no right way to engage this one. It is one more opportunity to become more deeply aware of how the quality of your consciousness, of where you orient your attention, affects the quality of your inner life. Bringing along curiosity as your constant companion supports discovering new sources of inspiration along the way. And, remembering to pat judgments on the head as they arise, move through, and move on, letting them go without having to engage them, can support an ever-deepening connection with whatever inspiration may offer itself to you.
An area of interest I’ve had for more than 40 years is the creative possibility inherent in what quantum physics has to say about the world. Thirty-eight years ago, I began to work actively with what I called the optimal future self, for want of a more precise term. This work had to do with inviting people to access the part of themselves that had already resolved whatever they sought to achieve, heal, or develop and depended, as it does to this day, on accessing the body state, the lived-in felt-sense, of the optimal future self.
At that time, I used the word “future” to imply something that wasn’t yet on board, even though in quantum terms past, present, and future come together in an ever-present now. It’s as though we can reach into a timeless realm of possibility and extract something that has an impact on our present-day lives. Over all these years, I have been personally affected by this practice in powerful ways and have watched countless others have beneficial outcomes as a result of reaching into “as-yet-to-be-realized” possibilities.
Because of these experiences, I find myself orienting to optimal futures during this time of deep and necessary demands for change in how we humans live with each other and with our planet. The results of the current pandemic, the devastating impact of the history of white supremacy in the United States, and the crisis we humans have created with our planetary environment all speak to me about an urgent need to orient to optimal possibilities for our future on the planet.Read More “789th Week: Accessing Optimal Futures”
I’ve written a number of times about themes such as gratitude and kindness, qualities that are deeply needed in our personal and collective lives at this time. For this week’s practice, I want to share some thoughts about the practice of blessing as a form of subtle activism.
For many of us, there may be times when we feel overwhelmed by all the negativity, anger, incivility, and harm unfolding all around us, seemingly everywhere on the planet. For some of us, various forms of subtle activism represent something we can do to contribute even as we attend to our everyday responsibilities and activities. Many people turn to prayer as a form of subtle activism, while others come together in groups to practice with healing images offered to individuals, groups, non-human lifeforms, and the planet as a whole.
One of the things I have found very helpful has been to engage in an active practice of offering blessings—usually silently—as I move through my daily activities. For example, I bless my home as I come and go from it, I bless my office when I come in the morning and before I leave in the evening. Along with these blessings, I express gratitude and this has been a habit over many years now.Read More “772nd Week: Practicing the Art of Blessing”
It goes without saying that these are stressful times and we all are having to dig into the strategies that we have for finding and accessing our internal steadiness and sense of centeredness. One of the practices I’ve written about many times over the years has to do with recognizing, and then playing with, the constant process of choosing what is in the foreground of awareness and what is in the background. Our culture tends to favor putting activation, emotional intensity, and drama into the foreground, while experiences of being centered, steady, and internally quiet slide into the background, often not to even be acknowledged as present.
Another dynamic I’ve written about many times is the metaphor of the kaleidoscope—that we are all complex beings comprised of many aspects or parts of ourselves. Sometimes we’re fully focused in our present-day adult self, thinking, responding, and behaving in centered and rational ways. Other times, we are triggered into different kinds of activation and find ourselves acting from impulses that arise deep within unhealed and uncentered parts of us. Read More “729th Week: Foreground/Background Revisited”