Last month, I posted a practice called “Befriending Silence”— https://www.nancynapier.com/2018/02/04/702nd-week-befriending-silence/. I want to revisit that practice again this month because of how much stress and distress are in our collective awareness and experience.
I have a practice I have followed for many years, and it has to do with cultivating an awareness of the ever-present and infinite background of silence and stillness that is constantly present, without exception, in every moment. For example, take a moment now to notice that, right there, within and behind every thought, feeling, urge, and action is an ever-present and infinite background of stillness and silence. Read More “708th Week: Revisiting Silence and Stillness”
During this time of political struggle and worldwide human suffering and strife, I’d like to begin this week’s practice in conscious living by sharing a quotation from Steven Charleston, a Native American elder who posts messages on Facebook. Here is one I read recently that I feel speaks to this time in our lives:
“There is a spiritual skill that many of us will probably need in the days to come: the ability to maintain a sense of calm in times of trouble. While I cannot predict the future, common sense and the front page both tell me we have more economic and political white water to come. Therefore, I engage my focus on serenity now in order to be prepared. I intentionally sit still, breathe slowly, and look to the Spirit in meditation. I steady my soul. I become the calm I need.”
I have seen other spiritual teachers echoing this same idea—that this is a time when being able to access a state of calm, as well as steadiness, is something that can benefit each of us. Because of my belief in collective consciousness, I also feel that when we are able to be steady and calm we contribute those qualities to our human collective and, for me, that is an important form of subtle activism.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to deepen your familiarity with calm and your ability to access it, as well as to deepen your access to the steadiness that lives at the core of your being, a steadiness that cannot be disturbed no matter what happens. For me, one of the important aspects of orienting to calm and steadiness is that these qualities in no way detract from also being able to act in whatever ways you feel called to do in response to what you experience in your world. It’s a both/and kind of thing. You can be calm and steady and also take action you feel is necessary.
I emphasize this because sometimes we think that being calm and steady equals not being engaged or moved by what’s happening around us. Nothing could be further from the truth. I feel that the calm and steady presence naturally lead to a powerful orientation to our heart space, where we open ourselves to the suffering in the world, to injustices that need to be challenged, to whatever situations we feel called to respond to.Read More “896th Week: Finding Steadiness in Challenging Times”
What if it were possible to move through the world filtering negativity in much the way oysters filter the water they live in? Because of my belief in collective consciousness, I’ve often thought of oysters and the role they play in helping to clear and clean water. The other day, I saw a video of oysters cleaning the water in a glass tank, and it always inspires and amazes me how nature generates what is needed to bring balance and healing.
Here’s another question. What if each of us could hold the intention to carry into our daily activities qualities such as kindness, compassion, collaboration, and respect for others, and what if these qualities were able to act as filters for the collective negativity currently being expressed in our world? Read More “685th Week: On Being An “Energy Oyster””
I recently listened to a conversation on the BBC about global responses to our new President-elect and what I heard got me to thinking about survival attachment dynamics. We know that children need caregivers who are, among other things, predictable, consistent, and trustworthy in order to develop a sense of secure attachment. When caregivers don’t have these characteristics, children tend to develop a fundamental insecurity at a deep, biological level. Read More “Week 659: Attending to Self-Regulation”