There will be a new, tall building going up on a corner across the street from my apartment building and it will block a significant portion of my view of the sky. This is the first time in many years that construction has had an impact on my quality of life and I am making plans to adapt to it in as positive a way as I can. Read More “Week 623: Increasing Compassion”
I would never have thought of myself as someone who is easily distractible, or even has a tendency in that direction, but I have to admit that after a number of years of attending to social media, I have learned to be distracted, which is a great surprise to me. As a psychotherapist, being focused is part of what I do every day, just about all day, and yet I notice that in my personal life my tendency now is to jump around from focus to focus in ways that are entirely new to me.
This development has gotten me to thinking about not only the benefits of regular mediation, which I don’t do in as focused a way as I used to, but also the importance and gifts of silence. Thinking about distraction took me back to some notes I collected about silence a couple of years ago and I want to share them here. The benefits of silence are profound and cultivating practices that include it becomes increasingly important in these times where there are so many ways to be distracted.Read More “738th Week: The Gifts of Silence”
Recently, I heard about a metaphor that I liked a lot and it got me to thinking again about the impact of our frame of reference on our perceptions as we move through any kind of experience. The metaphor was about stained glass windows. The underlying theme is that, even though every stained glass window has a different pattern or scene on it, even if the difference is very small or incredibly large, the fundamental reality of it is that the same light shines through it and every other stained glass window. Read More “Week 620: Finding Our Similarities”
Listening to the news these days can be a challenge with all the reports of rabid polarization, anger, and fear. This got me to thinking yet again about processes of subtle activism—things we can do within our own body-mind being that might add something positive and, at the very least, not add to the distress going on all around us.
This morning, as I sit in Central Park taking in the green of trees and abundant birdsong, I remember that we all “interare”. The word “interbeing” was created by Thich Nhat Hahn, the Buddhist monk and teacher, and he offered it as a way of reminding us that we are not only dependent on each other and on every other life form that is part of our ecological niche, but we are also related to everyone and everything on the planet. Even when we violently disagree with one another, we are related, part of an earth community of interbeing.
For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to spend some time living with this idea. If it’s already natural to you, then take it a step deeper and find even more earth relations you may have left out of your experience of connection. In a world of interbeing and interdependence, no one and nothing can be omitted. We are part of one global ecosystem and we deeply depend on this earth family with which we are connected.Read More “842nd Week: Interbeing: Connection, and Interdependence”
I’ve written a number of times about themes such as gratitude and kindness, qualities that are deeply needed in our personal and collective lives at this time. For this week’s practice, I want to share some thoughts about the practice of blessing as a form of subtle activism.
For many of us, there may be times when we feel overwhelmed by all the negativity, anger, incivility, and harm unfolding all around us, seemingly everywhere on the planet. For some of us, various forms of subtle activism represent something we can do to contribute even as we attend to our everyday responsibilities and activities. Many people turn to prayer as a form of subtle activism, while others come together in groups to practice with healing images offered to individuals, groups, non-human lifeforms, and the planet as a whole.
One of the things I have found very helpful has been to engage in an active practice of offering blessings—usually silently—as I move through my daily activities. For example, I bless my home as I come and go from it, I bless my office when I come in the morning and before I leave in the evening. Along with these blessings, I express gratitude and this has been a habit over many years now.Read More “772nd Week: Practicing the Art of Blessing”