Because of my interest in subtle activism—defined as those inner activities we undertake to support positive collective outcomes—I am always aware of the constant opportunity to contribute to our collective well-being through the attitudes, responses, and qualities we generate internally and emanate into our world in the course of our everyday lives. Just about every moment of any day, we can stop for a moment, take note of what we are radiating into the environment around us, and make a conscious choice to resonate with states of being that are positive, compassionate, and/or settling.
The other day, as I was settling into the steadiness I inevitably find within my embodied core presence, I was reminded of the fact that the steadiness I experience immediately flows out and into the environment around me and, from there, into the field of information that is our human collective consciousness. A while back, I realized that purposefully orienting to steadiness—or any other quality that supports self-regulation—can be a powerful and dynamic form of subtle activism.
It’s probably not hard to imagine how much our global human species currently needs steadiness. There is so much distress, chaos, and activation in the world that it seems to me that any added moments of steadiness might be a support in ways I haven’t imagined to people I will never know and yet who are people who share with me our connection within our shared collective consciousness.
For this week’s practice in conscious living, here’s a brief outline of a meditation on steadiness that can become a daily subtle activism practice:Read More “840th Week: Offering Steadiness as Subtle Activism”
What I want to share this week invites us to engage the idea that we are all part of a collective information field, what we might call our collective human consciousness, and that we have an effect, an impact, on one another even when we are separated by physical distance. Within the context of our collective information field, our quality of emotional, mental, and physical presence affects our collective and all the individuals in it. We touch each other whether we are aware of it or not. Because of this, I’d like to offer a practice this week that speaks to the fact that, collectively, we are one energy organism and our presence matters.
One of the things that I emphasize in my work as a psychotherapist, and also in what I teach, is a focus on our wholeness. Within a context of wholeness, I also emphasize paying attention to what aspect of that wholeness is currently in the foreground and what has dropped into the background of awareness. Someone once said, I think the French philosopher Emile Coué, something along the lines of whatever is in any human being at any time in history is also in me. This is a statement of wholeness, that we all contain everything and anything that is part of being human across all time.
Nothing can be deleted from our wholeness. The key is to become increasingly aware of the quality of our presence so we can choose what we want to express in our everyday lives. If we find that we are in a frightened or angry mood, those are the aspects of wholeness that have moved into the foreground of our expression, while our steady presence has shifted into the background.
What the world needs now from as many of us as possible is for us to bring into the foreground of how we move through the world a quality of steady presence. That’s what the following practice invites you to explore:Read More “865th Week: Offering Steady Presence to Our Troubled World”
Recently, a colleague posted an article to Facebook that more deeply explores the importance and power of cultivating kindness. The article is by Sharon Salzberg, the esteemed Buddhist teacher, and it offers suggestions about how we might create a deeper and more readily accessible relationship with kindness, even in the presence of cruelty. She also describes how kindness affects our internal quality of life and state of being, something that I have experienced in my own relationship with kindness.
Here’s the link to her article, “How to Be Kind When Confronted with Cruelty”, and I feel it’s worth your time to read it and explore her wise suggestions. Even for those of us who practice kindness regularly, what Sharon offers in this article can nourish and deepen that treasured relationship.Read More “771st Week: Meeting Cruelty with Kindness”
I’ve written many times about the importance of being aware of the frequencies with which we resonate in any given moment, and of the impact they have not only on our internal quality of life but also on the quality of our engagement with our environment and the people and situations we encounter along the way. In every moment, we have choice as to how we respond to what’s happening to and around us.
You can think of frequencies as qualities. What qualities do you like to resonate with in your life? Do you enjoy feeling delight, ease, quiet, compassion? Do you find that you often engage fear or anger? Most of us feel the whole array of possible frequencies, given the moments in time and the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
One thing I want to be sure to say at this point is that choosing the frequencies with which we want to resonate doesn’t mean not choosing to act when action is called for. I always think of the Dalai Lama when someone asked him if he ever gets angry. He said that he certainly did. Then he mentioned the importance of compassionate action when we experience injustice, for example, and that makes us angry. So, what I share here is not an invitation to passivity. Instead, it’s an invitation to more consistently notice the frequencies with which you resonate so that you have a moment of choice.
For example, when we find ourselves resonating with frequencies that are distressing or agitating, or when we lose awareness that we have jumped into one of these frequencies with both feet, we probably don’t end up feeling so good about our experience. A key here is to cultivate enough ongoing awareness to be able to notice when we become captivated or captured by a frequency that we don’t really like. Then, we can hopefully shift our attention to a frequency that feels more constructive.
An example might be a time when you are moving into irritation. If you can catch that, you might decide to shift to an awareness of the steadiness you carry in the core of your body and take a moment to settle in. When I feel irritation coming on, I do one of two things. If it’s during the day when I’m up and about, I shift into an awareness of my heart space and choose a quality of ease or flexibility with which I want to meet the experience that was irritating me. A very mundane and not-at-all dramatic example of this is when one of my feline family members started doing something in the middle of the night that woke me up every night at about 3am. When I found myself getting irritated, I reminded myself that the only person that would hurt was me, so I shifted to imagining myself filling up with light, throughout my whole body, and that put me back to sleep. Fortunately, the next day I found a solution to stop the middle-of-the-night antics and I saved myself from a sleepless night stirred up by irritation.
Here’s a practice focused on choosing frequencies. It can be a daily or weekly practice. It’s based on something I learned in a metaphysical school many, many years ago.
Choose the frequency with which you want to resonate this week. I suggest focusing on it for a week in order to become very familiar with the quality and tone of the frequency, which will make it easier to elicit when you want or need it.
Then, four times a day, at least, return to that frequency and affirm it as your choice to resonate with throughout the week.
When you arise in the morning
When you go to bed in the evening
In addition, when you first bring the frequency into awareness and touch into its qualities, give yourself some time to orient to the following:
Notice your whole body-mind experience of resonating with the frequency you have chosen for this week:
The sensations that arise in your body.
The tone and quality of your emotional experience.
The tone and quality of your mental experience.
The tone and quality of your spiritual experience.
Also notice the quality of your thoughts and behaviors throughout the week, becoming increasingly aware of how the frequencies with which you resonate have an immediate impact on your behavior and interactions with yourself and others. And, please remember that your self-talk is a form of self-hypnosis and the quality and tone of it truly matters.
Also, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to move on through without your having to do anything with or about them.
Here’s the audio version of this practice if you’d rather listen to it. Also, please remember never to listen to guided audio meditations while driving or using dangerous machinery.