I recently saw a brief video about a man in Brazil who, through his focus and efforts over many years, restored a rainforest to an area that had lost its vegetation and water. As I watched the video, it reminded me of something that many people think is only fantasy but that, for me, is an ever-present reality. In my mind, this man was guided by Nature’s Intelligence to plant vegetation in a process that spontaneously returned water to the region where he lives. Here’s a link to his brief, inspiring documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndWyBU9mWlM
The other thing this video brought to mind is how powerful one person’s daily commitment and activities can be. During all the years this man planted vegetation on his land, his neighbors didn’t understand why he was doing so, and yet—through his persistence in heeding the call he felt from the land—he restored an entire ecosystem one small act at a time. For me, this speaks to the ways in which each of us can play an active role in caring for, and restoring, our world. Read More “722nd Week: One Person Can Make A Difference”
As I pondered what this week’s practice in conscious living might be, I came across an article I saved a while back about research that’s been done on gratitude. This research demonstrates the powerful health-giving effects of what David Steindl-Rast calls gratefulness. Then I ran across another note I saved about a Buddhist practice that focuses on “finding the hidden people”… Read More “691st Week: Return to Gratitude”
The election in the U.S. and events unfolding in other countries around the world have been sources of anxiety and distress for many people. Sometimes, events escalate to the point where it feels possible to lose a sense of hope for the future. I’ve just finished participating in an on-line forum where we focused on subtle activism and how to engage change in ways of being and acting that don’t feed destructive emotions or tendencies. Read More “Week 660: Accessing Hope”
When I was very young, my grandmother used to talk to me about a schism she saw coming in what she felt would be my future. This was back in the early ’50’s, when she essentially became my first spiritual teacher. Read More “Week 652: Oneness and Separateness”
When I woke up this morning, I noticed that I was feeling a sense of hopelessness around the edges and this is an unusual response in me. Rather than make up any stories about what it meant—above and beyond the obvious challenges we currently face collectively as well as individually, I found myself turning to my tried and true sources of grounding, practices that help me return to a steady sense of presence.
There are two reasons I stay on top of this. First is my belief in collective consciousness and I don’t want to add extra distress to what is already a powerful experience happening to many people in our human family. The second reason is that I know how easy it is to inadvertently add activation to an already-distressing internal state and I have spent many years learning how not to do that. Adding activation to activation doesn’t help me or anyone and, when it leads to a sense of overwhelm and potential shutdown, can keep many of us from engaging in those actions that really could make a difference.
I’ve written about two practices I use all the time and I think they can’t be described often enough, especially these days. So, I offer them below, as I have a number of times before, and again invite you to experiment with them to find out if there are ways these approaches may also be useful to you.Read More “808th Week: Easing Distress”