892nd Week: Collective Information Fields and Intuitive Awareness
It’s just about mid-week and I haven’t yet posted a practice for this week, which would usually be posted by Sunday. These times when I draw a complete blank become an invitation to relax and open my awareness to what might unexpectedly drop in. This process reminds me of the practice of “not doing”. Instead, it becomes a practice of “being” and “receiving” rather than figuring out or doing.
Then, this takes me to the importance of intuitive awareness and how our current consensus reality in Western thinking tends to devalue non-rational ways of knowing. For me, non-rational ways of knowing are equally present, if not dominant, in my usual way of moving through the world, so I’d like to share some thoughts and an exercise that offer support for intuitive ways of knowing.
Whenever I find myself with a conundrum, not knowing exactly what to do, I ask for help or input. It’s not important to think about where the information or support comes from. For example, I might ask for help from “cat intelligence” or “plant intelligence” if I have a question about how to help the felines who live with me or the trees that grace my small apartment. What comes to mind are all the varieties of collective consciousness that Rupert Sheldrake talks about in his work with morphic fields—fields of information that species contribute to and draw from all the time.
One of my favorite examples of a morphic field is where Sheldrake talks about small birds in England. Prior to World War II, these birds had a habit of flipping the lids off of milk bottles delivered and left on people’s stoops. The birds were after the cream just under the bottle’s lid. Milk then became rationed and not readily available during the war and several generations of these birds were born and died without having learned to take off the lids of the milk bottles. As soon as deliveries began again after the war, the birds were back, doing what they had always done. Sheldrake says that they are able to do this because of the information field of their species, their morphic field, which contains all the information of every member of the species that has ever lived.Read More “892nd Week: Collective Information Fields and Intuitive Awareness”
745th Week: Expanding Our Sense of “Kin”
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””
July 2019 Audio Meditation
For those who would prefer a guided meditation with visual images, here’s a link to the youtube version: https://youtu.be/vP9ILva4lh4
861st Week: Honoring Thich Nhat Hanh and the Practices He Taught
As I begin this week’s practice, I’m watching a video of yesterday’s memorial celebration for the beloved Vietnamese teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, in Plum Village, France. For those of you who may not have encountered Thay or his teachings, he was a Buddhist monk who brought important and accessible mindfulness teachings to the West, was also advocate for peace and a supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr., who nominated Thay for a Nobel Peace Prize.
As I listen to the chanting of the people of Plum Village, I am reminded of the importance of accessing practices that allow us to access states of being that touch not only into the presence of the Sacred all around us, but also into those internal states that bring us into a deep inner quiet and settled ease. What I’d like to offer for this week’s practice is an adapted version of a very simple and direct meditation that Thay offered to us early in his teachings. It has stayed with me over the years as one of the most direct and effective ways to settle and find a sense of inner presence. As I weave his teaching into the following practice, I apologize for whatever changes I’ve made in this practice that may inadvertently not accurately reflect Thay’s intention, words or teaching.Read More “861st Week: Honoring Thich Nhat Hanh and the Practices He Taught”
819th Week: More About Focusing on Love
I seem to be returning to a theme I’ve written about many times in recent weeks—the healing power of love and the benefits of living with an open heart. Those of us in the United States, as well as so many people all over the world, find ourselves living in a world of loss, suffering, and discord. I’ve spoken many times about my sense that our species is in a developmental crisis, where we have an opportunity to grow into a deepening sense of oneness and a recognition of our underlying interdependence. The question that is not yet answered is whether we will take this developmental step into recognizing that we are inherently responsible for one another, as well as having responsibility for how we treat all our other earth-kin, including the care and well-being of the earth itself.
Because I can’t begin to imagine what the answer is to resolving this developmental crisis, I have consistently turned to calling on universal love to enter the hearts of everyone and, there, to elicit whatever healing is possible. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I hold the intention that universal love will generate healing that serves the greatest good for the greatest number. I have some confidence in this particular intention because it draws on a wisdom well beyond my own that orients to serving the greater good, whatever that may be.Read More “819th Week: More About Focusing on Love”