One of my daily tasks is to post an inspirational quotation and a nature photo to the Devadana Sanctuary page on Facebook each morning. I’ve been doing this for a number of years now and obtain the photographs from bigstockphoto.com, where I have a subscription. What this has created for me is a daily morning meditation looking through photographs of our beautiful planet, seeking the right one to go with that day’s quotation. I have found that this process has deepened my love and awe for this amazing planetary home we inhabit.
Having a daily reminder that I’m a part of nature, not something separate from it, has been a support to my practice of orienting to heart intelligence and perception when I remember to do so. Looking at the stunning creativity and beauty of this planet, of the creative and complex ecology that supports life of such diversity and intelligence, reminds me again and again that we are all in this together. There is no other home, no other place, and everyone and everything we encounter along the way is kin. We are all offspring of planet Earth.Read More “742nd Week: Loving Our Earth”
In a recent interview with Bryan Stevenson with Krista Tippett on her On Being program, I found myself resonating with a new and deepened experience and understanding of hope. During the interview, Bryan said something along the lines of “without hope there can only be injustice.” It had to do with what happens to people when they lose hope. They give up, we give up if we don’t have hope that things can be different.
Here’s the link to the podcast, in case you’d like to hear it:https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zaW1wbGVjYXN0LmNvbS9BdUF4SF9CZg/episode/NzRlNzI4NGEtNDgyNC00MGI0LWFhMjgtODRjNTE3MDFkYTJl?hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwj7kIzZwrntAhXqpVkKHUJiAwcQjrkEegQIBRAI&ep=6
I remember being in a class a long time ago where someone taught that hope implies that we don’t have what we need. Now that I have returned to an early interest in quantum physics and what the dynamics of quantum realities reveal, I have a different take on hope. I now relate to hope as a dynamic statement of intention orienting me to possibilities that contain positive outcomes I can’t currently imagine. They key is that my relationship to hope resonates with intentions focused on healing, on opening the hearts of all humans, and more. I no longer feel that hope implies lack. For me, now, it implies focused attention on potential healing outcomes.Read More “820th Week: The Importance of Hope”
One of the things that has been very much on my mind these days is an awareness of the stunning lack of empathy expressed by public figures, particularly in the political realm. What feels so impacting is that this apparent lack of empathy resonates with so many people around the world, as reflected in news reports about the many ways in which we harm one another. Read More “670th Week: Generating Empathy”
As I begin to put together the year-long offerings of audio meditations on my website, I’ve been thinking about the focus for the coming year. Lately, I’ve had a deepening awareness of the importance of experiencing all the other life on this beautiful planet as “earth-kin”. We are all related, all children of the same mother planet, and many of us humans have been taught that we are somehow superior or “more evolved” than our other earth-kin.
I recently read a book, “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?”, by Frans de Waal, that addresses this humancentric bias. De Waal offers many examples of how our research on other earth-kin has tended to orient to human assumptions and human ways of doing things. One of my favorite examples had to do with making a mark on an elephant’s face or head and then having this earth-kin look in a mirror to see if he or she recognized themselves. They didn’t and someone realized that the problem wasn’t that elephants can’t recognize themselves but rather that the mirrors weren’t elephant sized. Once large enough mirrors were provided, the elephants immediately recognized that something was on their face and responded appropriately.
Another example had to do with research on gibbons, where researchers decided that they weren’t as intelligent as other primates because they couldn’t do a particular task that required them to use their hands in a certain way. A young researcher noticed that the task was oriented to human hands and not to the way that gibbons use theirs. When the experiment was retooled to reflect gibbon digits and manipulation, not surprisingly they performed as well as any other primate.
It can be both surprising and startling to know that slime mold does very well solving the challenge of a maze, better and faster than some other kinds of earth-kin. It can also be surprising to know that some species chose to evolve toward more complexity while others chose to evolve into less complexity, each and all having their own style of measurable intelligence. Here’s a link to a quick video about slime mold moving through a maze and also creating a complex network of connections that match the design of the Tokyo rail system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyzT5b0tNtkRead More “822nd Week: Honoring Our Earth-Kin”