As I write this, I’m sitting in the Admiral’s Club of American Airlines, waiting for a flight to California. I’m flying business class today, on miles, and I’m struck by the difference between the experience I’m having right now—complimentary coffee and food and a comfortable place to sit—compared to what it’s like when I fly economy. What this brings into my awareness is how easy it could be to overlook the quality of life being lived by people who don’t have the economic privilege I do. I find myself wondering how I would cultivate a deepened empathic awareness of people in need if my everyday life were regularly as generous and comfortable as the situation I’m in at the moment.
I remember reading some recent research that suggested that the more money people have the lower their scores on tests of empathy. Sitting here this morning, I can understand how that could happen. So, the question I have deals with any and all areas of privilege, be that economic privilege, racial privilege, gender privilege, ethnic privilege, religious privilege, or any other kind of privilege that comes automatically to certain classes of people. How do we expand our awareness to include those who don’t have access to whatever kinds of privilege we may take for granted and not even recognize as privilege? Read More “713th Week: Cultivating Empathy”
As I write this practice, I’m sitting on a train headed for New York City from Connecticut. I spoke at the Unity Church in Norwalk, CT this morning and some of the things I talked about there I’d like to share as this week’s practice.
There were several themes to my talk this morning. One was the over-arching practice of subtle activism, which may be done through use of prayer, affirmative thoughts and feelings about situations that need support, healing at a distance, and more. The underlying theme that arises when talking about something like subtle activism is that of collective consciousness, and the fact that we are all interconnected whether or not we’re aware of it.
One of the things I asked people to sense into was how it felt to know and experience that all of us in the room were part of one energy organism, with each of us contributing to the radiating quality of presence that was the collective environment we generated together. In past practices, I’ve invited you to pay attention to the focus and quality of your thinking and feeling, knowing that where you resonate becomes magnetic to what you attract. This matters because resonating with a feeling such as gratitude supports an experience of well-being, where resonating with a feeling of anger or resentment supports those states of being. This is because we are part of collective fields of information and presence all the time and, because of this, we are affected by similar feelings and experiences of countless people all around the world.Read More “770th Week: We Cannot *Not* Be Connected”
A post on Facebook had a picture of Mr. Rogers describing what creates success and there were three sentences all ending in “kindness”. This got me to thinking, yet again, of the importance of kindness as a primary stance in moving through daily life. In the present state of our collective interpersonal life, adding in more kindness seems an important and useful antidote (at least in all the small ways kindness can make a tangible difference).
Thinking about kindness also got me to thinking about the relationship between heart intelligence and perception and kindness, as it feels to me that kindness arises and emerges from the heart. I recently read an article about what is now considered by science as the real possibility of a “heart brain”. Stories of people who have received heart transplants attest to the fact that the heart is more than merely a physical pump.Read More “771st Week: Kindness, Kindness, Kindness”
As I write this practice, I’m sitting in Central Park on a Sunday morning, having some quiet time to write, to soak in the sounds of birds, insects, hawks, dogs, and people. It’s a place I come to each weekend morning when weather and schedule permit. What comes to mind this morning is that I bring my iPad so I can write. I bring my container of coffee. I bring the muffin I buy along the way. I carry everything in my backpack, including my phone and earbud connections.
As I think of all these things that are part of my weekend morning routine, I also begin to think about the many people and resources that went into making this moment possible, people I will never know and yet without whom I wouldn’t have all the things with me that I want to bring along on these quiet, meditative morning journeys. Read More “725th Week: Noticing Relationship and Gratitude”
I recently launched a new website—Portals to Multidimensional Living—which offers me a forum for the spiritual side of my life. It’s at www.portaltomdl.com. Because I’ve been spending so much time orienting myself to the content on that website, I’ve found myself thinking more deeply about everyday life and the whole subject of conscious living. Read More “700th Week: Avoiding Objectifying”