Watching a video of a talk from, I think, a Science and Nonduality Conference, a concept caught my attention and got me to thinking about the power of creativity and unexpected discoveries. In this talk, the presenter described the process of “emergence”, where nature is able to bring things together and create completely unanticipated results, outcomes we wouldn’t be able to conger up from the original elements involved. The example he gave that stuck with me is how, when nature brings together two inert elements—say, two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen—there is no way any of us would expect that combination to create a liquid, water. For me, this is a powerful and inspiring example of Nature’s intelligence and of the creative, living context in which we live. Read More “704th Week: The Concept of Emergence—Expect Miracles”
With the impact of the Delta variant of the Covid 19 pandemic, with suffering from effects of climate change all around the globe, and the intensity of the political polarization that affects much of our global population, it seems more important than ever to have available a practice that allows us to return to the steadiness that is always present in the core of our being, in our internal home base. Many times a day, I bring myself back to this awareness, when I find myself drifting into lines of thinking that either fuel activation or intensify feelings of helplessness in the face of all that is happening.
We know from work with trauma that cultivating the “noticing brain”—which is our present-day observer awareness—calms activation and helps the body and psyche to settle. “Noticing” is a lot different from “thinking”. It represents simply becoming aware of what is happening—what’s arising in this moment in our physical experience, our emotions, and our thoughts. Once we are aware, we have more choice. We can consciously choose to seek out sensations of settling, of steadiness—of whatever the qualities are that help us to center and ground ourselves.
For this week’s practice, I offer a brief approach that supports a return to steadiness and ease when you feel overwhelmed or captured by what’s going on in the world around you. As with all practices, play with this one so that it suits your sensibilities and style of settling. What follows are suggestions for how the process might unfold for you. You can do this standing, sitting, or lying down.Read More “843rd Week: Returning to Home Base, Cultivating ”Noticing””
Returning to what we explored earlier this year, notice any change in your experience over this time of recognizing the living presence of relationships, collaborative communities, that are everywhere in your life and that your radiating presence touches everyone and everything you encounter along the way. This meditation invites you to expand the everyday relationships you have with the world around you, acknowledging the inevitability of relatedness, of community every time you go in or out of a store, a park, any kind of community gathering place.
Below is the audio version and, below that, is the YouTube version with images of nature that accompany the meditation…
Here, at the end of the year, this meditation invites you to spend a bit more time with your radiating presence and its impact on your whole body-mind being and the environment around you. It invites you to imagine, in whatever ways make sense to you, that you are connected to everything everywhere, that the planet is itself a vast system of relatedness and connection.
And, please remember never to listen to audio meditations while driving or working with dangerous machinery…
One of the practices I’ve followed for many years is to take time to notice that the space that we think separates us actually is what connects us to absolutely everything else. Notice what happens when you think of space as that which connects—everything to everything else. It can help to break the habit, the illusion, of separateness, the habit of thinking that we are disconnected from the complexity of relationships all around us.
Here’s a meditation practice to explore:
- To begin, find a place where you can sit up, supported and alert and yet also relaxed.
- Bring your awareness to the place in you that you recognize as your internal home base. Many people find this when they follow the next out-breath all the way down to the bottom of the breath and notice where they naturally settle.
- In your internal home base you also find your radiating core presence, the unique energy signature that arises from your core.
- Take a few moments, now, to become even more aware of the quality and tone you radiate throughout your body-mind being and then out into the environment around you. We touch everything with our presence.
- Now, notice your body, this amazing, complex organism that allows you to be here in this world. Notice how your body supports your consciousness, your presence.
- Next, notice the surface under you and the way in which your body receives that support. Remember, support is a reciprocal process—it is offered and then it is received.
- Bring your awareness, now, to the environment around you and notice the quality and tone of that environment. It is comprised of the presence of everything in it coming together to create a particular quality.
- Next, open your eyes if they aren’t already open and look around your environment. Notice the space between you and something else. Notice what you experience when you remember that the space between you is actually what connects you.
- Take some time to experience the space that connects you to everything in your environment.
- Then, if this appeals to you, extend your awareness to the space outside your immediate environment and continue to expand your awareness, recognizing that there is nothing you are not connected with through the space around you.
- Spend some time, now, simply being present to this inescapable fact of being connected to everything because of the space that connects. That space is everywhere and connects you to everything.
- Notice what happens in your body, in your emotions, and in your thoughts as you take in this experience of connection. Be sure to allow any mixed feelings to arise to have a place in your awareness. Because of our wholeness, it’s normal, if not inevitable, to have mixed feelings from time to time and it’s a gift to make room for whatever arises. Your awareness can make room for it all, so you don’t have to leave anything out.
- Take a few moments to imagine how you might move through your daily activities if you were able to maintain an awareness of the underlying connection between you and everything else.
- When you’re ready, bring your awareness back to your core, to the radiating note of your unique energy presence. Feel the support of your body, of the surface under you. Then, wiggle your fingers and toes to bring yourself all the way back.
As with all these practices, 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. And, as always, explore this practice in whatever ways work best for you and be sure to change whatever doesn’t work for you in the way I’ve offered it.