As we experience the intense polarization and conflict in the United States, and also that which has arisen in so many other countries, it feels more important than ever to engage practices that remind us that we are one earth family and that we can’t survive independent from the countless contributions of our human family and our other-than-human earth family.
I’ve written before about the South African concept and practice of Ubuntu—“I am because you are”, which recognizes and lives into the reality that it is only through the support of the people around us that we are able to be. Here’s one reference describing Ubuntu, one among many: https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ubuntu_(philosophy)
Another approach to this same idea comes from Psychiatrist Dan Siegel who has developed what he calls “Intraconnection”, where he describes our awareness as moving from “me to we to mwe”. Here’s a link to his new book on the subject: https://www.amazon.com/IntraConnected-Integration-Belonging-Identity-IPNB/dp/0393711692/ref=sr_1_2?crid=N39CCKTAR989&keywords=Dan+Siegel+intraconnected&pldnSite=1&qid=1658667706&sprefix=dan+siegel+intraconnected%2Caps%2C124&sr=8-2
Then, there’s Thich Nhat Hanh’s coining the verb interbeing, where he says that we interare in every moment, that we cannot really be separate from everything around us. Here’s a link to an article by Thich Nhat Hanh on interbeing: https://www.garrisoninstitute.org/blog/insight-of-interbeing/
These and other related approaches and concepts invite us to expand our worldview to move beyond U.S. culture’s (and the cultures of other countries, as well) emphasis on individual issues such as rights, freedom, and independence. For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to dive a bit more deeply into this subject than you may have done before and ask yourself, each day, to recognize your interbeing and interdependence in some way you might ordinarily ignore it.Read More “883rd Week: Cultivating A Deeper Awareness of Interbeing and Interdependence”
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”
Walking across Central Park after a light snow, I noticed that the dogs were energetically jumping into the snow, running in it at full tilt, and generally having an enthusiastically delightful time. It got me to thinking about how important it is to remember that Read More “Week 661: Finding Breathing Space”