Recently, I found myself thinking about the complex infrastructure that allows us all to connect on platforms like Zoom, that allow us to have the internet in all its complexity. I also thought about the infrastructure that allows our communities to function with roads, bridges, traffic signals, and everything else that keeps us organized and makes the complexities of living together run more smoothly.
This also got me to thinking about our internal infrastructure. Physically, our skeleton is one form of internal infrastructure. All the other aspects of our physicality are part of the bodily infrastructure that allows us to be here. Then, there’s the internal infrastructure of our nervous system and psyche, the means by which we move through life grounded, regulated, and steady—or, at least we hope we are able to move through life in this way.
Just as we have to attend to the various infrastructures of living in our modern world, we also have to attend to the internal infrastructure that allows us to re-center ourselves when life serves up challenges and experiences we neither anticipated nor were prepared to meet.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to explore even more deeply the ways in which you orient to an internal steadiness, find your internal center of gravity, re-center yourself, and regulate your nervous system. All these practices help to cope with present-day life in which changes and challenges are normal parts of what any of us may encounter on any given day.Read More “860th Week: Nurturing Your Internal Infrastructure”
As I thought about what kind of practice in conscious living to share this week, I found myself thinking about the fact that we are part of a variety of fields of collective consciousness. Most of us are generally unaware of this dynamic, even as we constantly affect the world around us, as it also affects us.
In my world, I’m aware of many fields of collective consciousness. There’s the collective consciousness we share as a human species. There’s the field of consciousness that is part of our individual families, our communities, our nations, our world as one organism, and also any groups to which we belong. In all these fields of information, fields of consciousness, we constantly contribute to and draw from the quality of these collectives.
Just as we are keenly aware of the impact of living in a physical environment that has pollution and toxic elements, there are aspects in some of these fields of collective consciousness that have a similar impact. This brings me to the subject of frequencies, which I’ve written about before, and of the importance of the frequencies with which we resonate. Within a context of collective fields of consciousness, it’s all about frequencies. For example, if we are anxious, the quality and tone of that anxiety in ourselves automatically resonates with whatever anxiety exists within our collective field of consciousness and actually amplifies our feeling. On the other hand, if we are grounded and steady, those will be the qualities with which we resonate within the collective and those which we spontaneously contribute, as well.
A key thing to remember is, again, we constantly contribute to and draw from these collectives and the frequencies/qualities with which we resonate play an important role in the quality and tone of our psychological life.Read More “866th Week: Exploring Collective Consciousness”
One of the primary practices I follow on a daily basis is to move through the world reminding myself that everyone and everything I encounter along the way is, in some way, “kin”. All are part of this planet’s life and nothing I see or engage with in the course of my daily activities is outside this planet’s origins. One of the things I’ve noticed, as a result of this practice of remembering that I am related to everyone and everything around me is that it has nurtured a deepened sense of connection. It doesn’t really matter what I may feel connected to in any given moment. The underlying and overall experience is one of never really being alone.
Indigenous peoples have understood and lived this perspective naturally, and there are other non-indigenous teachers who also hold this perspective. Among them is David Spangler, a mystic and spiritual teacher who was part of the early years of Findhorn, in Scotland. Through an organization, Lorian, David has published a number of books that speak to these kinds of experiences. There is also Daniel Foor, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with ancestors but now also focuses on the theme of animism, an approach to life that says all are kin. The perspective we share is that nothing is outside the collective life of this planet, nothing is without its own inherent value and right to be acknowledged and respected.Read More “745th Week: Expanding Our Sense of “Kin””
In writing this practice, I don’t want to slide over into political perspectives or a polarized discussion. What I want to bring into this week’s practice is the saying that is found in most religions and spiritual traditions, adding up to “treat others as you would want to be treated.” I think this is probably one of the fundamental values of just about every spiritual approach I’ve learned about throughout my years of exploring spirituality and religion.
With the Internet and the polarized nature of our world at this time, it can be far too easy to respond to people in ways that would have been unimaginable only a decade or so ago. I’ve had people comment about things I’ve posted on Facebook in ways that have shocked, saddened, and surprised me. It’s as though we have learned to interact as individuals and as a culture as if it doesn’t matter what or how we communicate with one another.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to carry with you the request to “treat others as you would want to be treated” and, in addition, “treat others as you would want your loved ones to be treated.” Then, measure your words and actions against these statements and notice if you are following this most basic human ideal. By making this a practice akin to mindfulness, pay attention to what you discover about how much awareness, consideration, and choice you bring to how you respond to and treat others, to your words, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions.Read More “803rd Week: “Do Unto Others…””