Listening to the news these days can be an invitation to concern, suffering, compassion, action, and many other responses. I’ve been thinking lately about the power of the moment-to-moment choices we make as we move through our daily lives, whether our choices lead to action or non-action, and how that reflects the quality and nature of those choices. Here’s a quotation from Joanna Macy that speaks to what I’ve been thinking about:
“The obvious choice, then, is to extend our notions of self-interest. For example, it would not occur to me to plead with you, ‘Don’t saw off your leg. That would be an act of violence.’ It wouldn’t occur to me (or to you) because your leg is part of your body. Well, so are the trees in the Amazon rain basin. They are our external lungs. We are beginning to realize that the world is our body.” ~ Joanna Macy, Greening of the Self
I would add to this quotation that this also applies to every one of our brothers and sisters in our global human family, as well as to all our kin of every species within every form of life on this planet.Read More “759th Week: The Choices We Make”
Walking across Central Park one morning on my way to my office, I was aware of a cacophony of insect sounds all around me. It reminded me of when I lived in the Berkshires, where summer nights were filled with the songs of tree frogs and insects. Something about being enfolded in all that beautiful sound also reminded me of times I’ve been in landscapes with waterfalls, or near the ocean, where complete silence is never present, except in the momentary pause between waves on the shore.
As the enthusiastic insect songs accompanied me that particular morning, it got me to thinking about the place each of us has inside that embodies silence, no matter what may be going on around us. Our culture doesn’t tend to promote a conscious relationship with this aspect of ourselves, but deep inner quiet is always available somewhere deep inside each of us. Read More “727th Week: Finding Inner Silence”
Sitting in Central Park is always a nourishing, and complex, experience. In the area where I spend time on weekend mornings, there is plenty of space for dogs to run off-leash and play, and many people walk by me as the morning unfolds itself. This morning, Read More “Week 650: Back to Being with “What Is As It Is””
This morning, Krista Tippett aired a 2015 interview with Mirabai Bush, a meditation teacher who became a corporate consultant teaching people mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and how to be more aware of how they move through the world. Also this morning, a colleague sent me an article on the impact of kindness and how practicing it enhances our sense of well-being. Both of these practices invite us to orient to the heart, to our sense of connection with ourselves and others, and to a more spontaneous and available tendency to be kind.
I’ve mentioned the importance of cultivating heart intelligence and perception in many of these practices and it seems more important now than ever to do so. All of us, on every side of any political, social, or spiritual/religious spectrum, wants the same thing—to be happy, not to suffer, and to be free from fear. The Buddhist practice of lovingkindness specifically addresses this similarity within and amongst all living beings. Read More “730th Week: Practicing Kindness, Living with An Open Heart”
Walking across Central Park one morning, I noticed the tee shirt of a man walking in front of me. The back of it said, “Imagine a world without cancer.” As I looked at it, the words, “Imagine a world without fear” drifted into my mind and stayed with me all the way across the park. I began to imagine Read More “Week 630: Imagine A World Without Fear”