897th Week: Orienting to the Greatest Good for the Greatest Number
I’ve mentioned often that I believe that each of us is a participant in a dynamic collective human consciousness (as well as a collective planetary consciousness) and, because of this, that we are both contributing to and receiving from this collective all the time. When we develop new skills, discover new understandings, master something that was a challenge before, my belief is that we contribute what we experience to our human collective. Then, people who are on the verge of similar accomplishments can spontaneously draw on what we have contributed to the collective through our experience. In the same way, I believe that we also draw from the collective to support our individual journeys.
One of the powerful realities of our collective being is that we are affected by both positive and negative events and responses happening within our human family. As a trauma resolution specialist, I’m keenly aware that groups of people can generate what is called a “trauma vortex” that affects people who aren’t directly involved. Deep suffering can touch all of us even if we aren’t consciously aware of it. We resonate with one another simply because of our participation in collective consciousness. It can be the same on the positive side of things, as well, as was demonstrated in research a number of years ago where people in large groups in a city doing transcendental meditation seemingly affected the statistics on lowered crime in that city during the time of these meditations. We affect one another whether we mean to or not and whether we are conscious of it or not.
During the years that I taught Somatic Experiencing®, and whenever I have done workshops for the public or professionals over many years, one of the thoughts/wishes/intentions I have held was that the workshop or training would offer whatever amounted to the greatest good for the greatest number of those present. I would also hold the intention that the workshop or training would offer healing support in whatever ways was needed for each person present.Read More “”
I’m writing this practice shortly after hearing that a pending strike by building workers in residential buildings in New York City has been resolved by an agreement with the union that, if ratified, will be in place until April 2026. For those of you who live in large buildings with a large staff as I do, you’ll understand the depth of relief those of us who no longer face the possibility of having to cope with what it means not to have the support of those who keep these buildings working. What moved me most about this experience is that these building employees are now recognized as essential workers, which they absolutely are.
This brought to mind the importance of acknowledging and expressing appreciation and gratitude for all the people whose efforts and time go into making life livable in both urban and non-urban settings. Each morning, as I give the cats fresh water in their bowls, I bless the Spirit of Water and also send acknowledgment and appreciation to all the people who make this water available to those of us living in this city. It’s an enormous undertaking and I am constantly grateful to have access to free-flowing and clean water. Then, there are the people who work to keep electricity running in the city and I acknowledge and appreciate them each day, as well. The list goes on and on and I’m sure there are many things I still take for granted and don’t actively recognize in this way.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to bring your awareness to all the essentials and conveniences you have in your life and take a moment to imagine the many people you will never know whose efforts have made possible what you have at your disposal. This kind of practice reminds us that we are inescapably interdependent—that our well-being is dependent on a multitude of people we will never know. What a powerful gift!Read More “870th Week: Service and Gratitude”
Sitting in Central Park this morning in my usual place, which is quite close to where dogs play together during the off-leash time, I’ve enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm they bring to chasing balls or just running around together. One small poodle came by and was so excited to be able to run that he squeaked as he went in ever widening circles around his human companions as they walked down a hill.
Something in the way this little dog gave his whole self to the activity touched something in me, bringing me a little more alive this morning. It got me to thinking about how we engage opportunities to express ourselves enthusiastically, celebrating life energy. There are times when the felines who share my home with me get into this same kind of abundant enthusiasm and one particular feline friend has a way of squeaking as she purrs when I rub her head in a certain way.
For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to do two things. First, notice what you experience when you take time to watch people or other earth-kin engaging in play or some other activity with unbridled enthusiasm. Pay attention to what happens in your body, the quality of your emotions, the tone of your thoughts when you do this. Then, notice how you engage pleasurable activities, things you really enjoy doing. They don’t have to be dramatic, just sources of pleasure or engagement. If you’re in a situation where you can’t actually physically engage in an activity, take some time to imagine that you are doing so. Allow yourself to experience the sensations and state of being that arise as you imagine whatever activity gives you real pleasure. Remember, the brain responds to imagined experience in just about the same way it does actual lived experience.Read More “834th Week: Engaging Enthusiasm”
This guided meditation invites you to attune to the essence of universal love as a form of subtle activism to offer healing to our suffering species and planet, orienting to the intention that universal love will create “the greatest good for the greatest number.”
Here’s a version without images:
Here’s YouTube version…
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…