I’ve written many times about the importance of teaching ourselves to have access to the inherent intelligence and perception of the heart. The heart brain automatically orients to a sense of connection and it is deeply enriching to move through daily life from this perspective. That said, when one seeks to be in the world with an open heart, it is also possible to more keenly feel the pain and suffering of others, be they other humans, other species, our planet, Gaia, a living being.
I have long had, and constantly recommend, a practice of starting the day taking in something inspiring, rather than beginning the day watching or listening to the news. In the current political and social climate, I notice that my heart needs to fill up with even more inspiring stories of people helping people, people working to protect the environment, people doing acts that embody kindness, empathy, and awareness of the suffering of others. The lack of empathy in our current leadership in the United States is a powerful source of anguish, and one of the ways I’m able to keep my heart open and my awareness willing to take in what is happening to us collectively is to offer myself these daily moments of inspiration and good news. I remind myself regularly that, within a context of wholeness, there is always good happening if I will take the time to look for it. Read More “736th Week: Sources of Inspiration and Information”
Here’s our November audio meditation.
In this month’s meditation, we focus on the wholeness of the earth and how each one of us, and everything else, is part of that wholeness, inseparable from all earth life.
If you would prefer to listen while seeing images of nature, here’s our YouTube version…
With this meditation, we again return to what we explored earlier in the year. Here, I invite you to look around at, and feel to, the environment around you. Notice the radiating presence of everything you see and notice how it is to recognize that you are in relationship with your environment and with everything in it. Offer gratitude and blessings to everything around you and to the collective that arises from the fact that everything around you is in relationship with each other and with you.
Here’s the audio version of the meditation… Please remember never to listen to guided audio meditations while driving or using dangerous machinery.
Here’s the YouTube version with images…
There is no question that we live in a time of intense crisis and disruption. I think of the indigenous prophecies I have heard about this time and the one that constantly comes to mind is about how we are in the darkest time of a “dark age”. I don’t remember where I heard it, but it may be a Hopi prophecy or from some other indigenous nation and, when I heard it, it struck me that being at the apex of a “dark age” implies that there will eventually be a swing into a new cycle.
At this moment in time, and this possibly feels more extreme because we are globally connected via the Internet and are much more aware of what’s happening in other places on our planet, it seems that fear has become an even stronger driving force behind much human interaction and activity. It’s not the whole picture by any means, but it seems to be what is in the foreground of awareness much of the time. Read More “712th Week: Meeting Fear with Your Heart”
Recently, I found myself thinking about the complex infrastructure that allows us all to connect on platforms like Zoom, that allow us to have the internet in all its complexity. I also thought about the infrastructure that allows our communities to function with roads, bridges, traffic signals, and everything else that keeps us organized and makes the complexities of living together run more smoothly.
This also got me to thinking about our internal infrastructure. Physically, our skeleton is one form of internal infrastructure. All the other aspects of our physicality are part of the bodily infrastructure that allows us to be here. Then, there’s the internal infrastructure of our nervous system and psyche, the means by which we move through life grounded, regulated, and steady—or, at least we hope we are able to move through life in this way.
Just as we have to attend to the various infrastructures of living in our modern world, we also have to attend to the internal infrastructure that allows us to re-center ourselves when life serves up challenges and experiences we neither anticipated nor were prepared to meet.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to explore even more deeply the ways in which you orient to an internal steadiness, find your internal center of gravity, re-center yourself, and regulate your nervous system. All these practices help to cope with present-day life in which changes and challenges are normal parts of what any of us may encounter on any given day.Read More “860th Week: Nurturing Your Internal Infrastructure”
The contention around whether to wear masks or not during this pandemic brings into vivid focus what happens when we forget that we are all in this together and that we need to work together to help prevent unnecessary illness and death. So, this week’s practice in conscious living is going to be somewhat shorter and to the point:
- For the coming week, I invite you to notice what you are doing to contribute to the welfare and well-being of all of us. That might include wearing a mask, which infectious disease scientists have said again and again will reduce the spread of the virus. It might include donating money to a cause you care about, marching in a protest, or doing volunteer work in your community. It might mean checking in on elderly neighbors to make sure that they have what they need, or creating a friend network, if you haven’t done so already, so that everyone has someone to turn to in case of need.