I recently read an article written by a brain scientist, explaining a dynamic that we all would do well to understand more deeply. It has to do with the ways in which our brain resonates with particular words and concepts, strengthening them even when they may be something with which we consciously disagree. Read More “Week 644: Feeding the Outcomes You Seek”
I often write about the importance of kindness. An essential companion to that practice is cultivating empathy. A definition of empathy found on google says: “Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. … “ I would add to this definition, “…and the ability to imagine what any other living being might be thinking or feeling…”
Because I have focused on cultivating a deepened awareness of heart perception in recent years, on the quality of intelligence that naturally arises when orienting to the heart brain, I find that it hurts my heart when I notice the increasing lack of expressions of empathy in public and social spheres of my American culture. And, this lack of empathy is not only focused on a wide array of our human kin. It also applies to many, if not most, of our other earth-kin. What often saddens me is how a lack of empathy leads to a lack of kindness, as well.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to pay more attention to your relationship with empathy. One way to do this is to ask your heart brain, rather than your head brain, what someone else might be feeling or experiencing. I find that heart intelligence has a different take on, or brings different qualities to, most experiences. In this week’s practice, notice what happens if you take the time to ask your heart what it has to say about someone else’s experience.Read More “827th Week: Cultivating Empathy, Along with Kindness”
This week, I have a request to make of those who read these practices and are willing to engage in a subtle activism activity on behalf of our collective human family. I’d like to ask everyone to take five minutes each day—it doesn’t matter when—to do the practice of Tonglen. The specific focus of the Tonglen practice in this subtle activism activity is on breathing in our collective fear and hatred and breathing out compassion, peace, love, ease, or whatever quality you would like to offer to our human family. If this practice resonates with you, I would ask you to consider making it a daily practice on a regular basis, not just for this week.
I’ve written about Tonglen many times and there are links to the practice on my website under Written Meditations – https://www.nancynapier.com/category/meditations/. For this week’s activity, I’d like to write a brief version of a Tonglen-like practice for this subtle activism activity. Because many people may not have done Tonglen before, and may not be thrilled with the idea of breathing fear and hatred into their heart, I’ve written up a “derivation” of Tonglen drawn from my early spiritual upbringing.Read More “756th Week: A Subtle Activism Request”
Walking across Central Park one morning, the air was filled with a fragrance that I meet during the early days of summer each year. A group of trees, Silver Lindens, have blossoms, clusters of small flowers, that release a powerful, heady and, to me, enchanting fragrance that captivates me each morning as I pass them on my way to the office. The blossoms don’t last very long, which makes them even more special, and I—along with many other people—inevitably stop for a moment, bury my nose in them deeply breathing in the sweet fragrance.
One morning as I walked on, I began to think about the powerful effect scents have on our internal experience… Read More “678th Week: Finding Ease”
I write this practice on the first weekend of the new year. The year just passed brought many challenges, not the least of which has been our global, collective experience with Covid 19. Other challenges arose, as well, bringing with them an inescapable awareness of cultural beliefs and norms that need to be updated, changed, eliminated, or transformed depending on what they represent and what they support in our social consciousness and behavior.
I’ve also been thinking about the intersection between deeply held intentions and what has been called the “quantum foam”—the arena in which an infinite array of probabilities may be found. In quantum research and theory, it has become apparent that probabilities dance in and out of reality all the time, responding in part to the “observer effect”. For me, this equates with how our deep choices interact outside our conscious awareness with the emergence of particular probabilities and I find this a much more dynamic and creative idea than our usual “New Year’s resolutions” type of activity.Read More “823rd Week: Beginnings, Intentions, Probabilities”