As I write this practice, I’m at a professional training outside New York City. The trainings are held in a hotel where we have been many times and it recently changed management. What many of us experienced as we arrived for this training was a noticeable difference in the “feel” of the hotel, a noticeable change in how we were met by the front desk, and a noticeable change in the quality of service we have encountered along the way.
At this training, my job is to manage the assisting team, as well as deal with participants who have questions or issues about the team. Each morning, we have a team meeting and take time to connect, settle in, and clear up any problems, questions, or issues that may have arisen during the prior day. One of the things I do as part of our team meeting is to take time for all of us to connect to our individual core presence and internal steadiness and, then, to connect with our collective team presence and steadiness. Our keynote is kindness, and I invite all of us to embody that particular quality as we move through the training days. Our job is to offer supportive containment as well as teaching input.
One of the things I’ve asked the team to keep in mind is to extend that kindness to the hotel building and all its employees. I ask this because we inevitably radiate into our environment the qualities that we carry with us as we move through the world. I can imagine that the employees and building receive a good bit of negative input, given the ways in which the place has changed, and I want to ensure that we don’t add to a collective quality of dissatisfaction, annoyance, and other activating feelings that the changes tend to elicit.Read More “747th Week: Embodying Kindness”
I gave a talk at Unity of New York this morning and as I prepared for my presentation my mind went to the Buddhist idea of “finding refuge”. For me, this means having access to those experiences, places, and states of being that give us some relief and rest from the challenges of troubling times such as these.
For this week’s practice in conscious living, I’d like to share some ideas around “finding refuge” within our own creative, imaginal lives, as well as in our own embodied, grounded sense of being. Some of these practices I’ve shared before, so they may be familiar. That said, I figure that it’s always helpful to be reminded of resources that may become overlooked in the hurry and scurry of our everyday lives.
Leaning into Stillness
Over the years, I’ve had a practice that can, when it works well, bring immediate relief from mounting stress. It has to do with remembering that within and behind every thought, feeling, impulse/urge, physical sensation, or action there is an ever-present stillness. For me, the stillness arises within an infinite field of stillness that is behind any perception you can imagine.
One place where I connect with stillness is in the space between breaths and I often follow an out-breath down into myself and then, in the gap between the out-breath and the next in-breath, I enter into the stillness that is always there.
I also find refuge in leaning into the field of stillness that’s right behind me and often do this when I’m teaching. For me, this kind of stillness isn’t the same as emptiness. Instead, it’s more like a holding space where I can find rest and restoration.Read More “867th Week: Practices for Finding Refuge”
Walking home through Central Park one evening, I found myself thinking about something I had read about a kind of tree whose name I can’t remember. It’s a tree that is from ages past, long past. It came into being during a time when trees required mates in order to reproduce and the powerful, and sad, thing is that there are no more mates for this tree. It is the last one of its kind in the world. Read More “Week 637: Celebrating Nature’s Intelligence – Generating Awe”