678th Week: Finding Ease
Walking across Central Park one morning, the air was filled with a fragrance that I meet during the early days of summer each year. A group of trees, Silver Lindens, have blossoms, clusters of small flowers, that release a powerful, heady and, to me, enchanting fragrance that captivates me each morning as I pass them on my way to the office. The blossoms don’t last very long, which makes them even more special, and I—along with many other people—inevitably stop for a moment, bury my nose in them deeply breathing in the sweet fragrance.
One morning as I walked on, I began to think about the powerful effect scents have on our internal experience… Read More “678th Week: Finding Ease”
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.Read More “856th Week: Returning to Steadiness”
781st Week: The Gift of Inspiration
As I write this practice, I—along with most other people in the U.S. and in many places around the world right now—am at home practicing “social distancing”. Because of the current coronavirus pandemic, I’m not having my daily experience of crossing Central Park, to and from my office. I have to say that I miss the powerful and inspiring emergence of Spring in the park as well as the quiet presence of so many trees.
A couple of weeks ago, before we were all asked to stay home, I was in daily amazement at the beautiful colors of this season in the Northern hemisphere, the emergence of abundant, colorful life after the quiet grays and dun colors of winter. As I write this, I’m sitting at a bench I often inhabit on weekend mornings. This is a cool morning and it will be raining soon, but I wanted this early-morning opportunity to touch into this favorite place where I feel deeply connected and attuned to the nature around me.
As I sit here, I find myself wondering, yet again, how did nature ever know to create the brilliant yellows, pinks, and whites of Spring? All around me, trees are in bloom and all over the park are daffodils and other bulbs showing their wonderfully enthusiastic yellows, blues, whites, and purples. These colorful displays speak to my bodymind in ways that bring me alive, that remind me that life seems to always be waiting to express in creative and energetic ways.Read More “781st Week: The Gift of Inspiration”
844th Week: Small Acts of Kindness Add Up
Sitting in Central Park on a recent weekend morning, someone passed by where I sat without smiling or any acknowledgment. That wasn’t odd. People have all kinds of responses as they walk along. Some smile and say hello. Others smile briefly as they go by without saying anything. Some look over without smiling. Some pass on by without doing anything but continuing their walk. This young woman was one of those folks.
I happened to look up when she was a good bit beyond me and I noticed that she was looking for or at something on the ground. I thought she might have dropped something. She finally found a small branch on the ground, stripped off the leaves, and then reached down between her feet and worked to move what was either a worm or some other crawly other-than-human off the walkway. When she finally had the crawly on the branch, she took it to the grass and left it there.
What touched me about this interaction is that this person cared enough to take the time to take the crawly other-than-human person out of harm’s way. That she noticed it and actively responded brought to mind the power of small acts of kindness, of the little things we do that add up over time. They are expressions of a fundamental kindness and a recognition that we share this world with countless others, some of whom are human and some of whom are other-than-human people. All are our earth-kin.Read More “844th Week: Small Acts of Kindness Add Up”
August 2020 Audio Meditation
For those who prefer a visual experience with their meditation, here’s the YouTube version…