As I begin this practice in conscious living, it’s 5 degrees outside with a sparkling blue sky and strong wind. I find that I am deeply grateful to be indoors, to have heat, and have no reason to go outdoors on this very cold day. What this brings to mind are all the people who don’t have this choice because they work in jobs that serve the rest of us—in the post office, trash collection, the local Starbuck’s and other businesses, fire fighters and other emergency personnel, bus drivers, subway operators, cab drivers. The list goes on and on and, as I think about them, I am filled with gratitude. I also feel concern for them, as it’s a day when it’s not really safe to be outside.
What this brings to mind is the importance of gratitude. It’s a response that not only nurtures one’s own well-being, but it also orients awareness to the contributions of so many participants in our daily lives. Those contributors may be people, they may be other-than-human companions, they may be offerings from nature—food, water, fresh air.
As I write this, I’m eating a pear. What an amazing gift! I often find myself mystified as to how Nature draws on a dynamic creativity that generates all the amazing life forms on this planet. Ecology at times leaves me speechless with its complexity and fundamental collaborative/cooperative underpinnings, so my gratitude, including amazement, often orients itself to the dynamic creativity and intelligence of this planet’s eco-systems.Read More “906th Week: Gratitude“
Here’s this month’s audio meditation. In it, we continue our focus on wholeness within ourselves and within every other kind of earth-kin…
If you’d rather see images with this meditation, here’s the version on YouTube…
I ran across the quotation on Facebook the other day, from Pema Chodron’s book, “The Pocket Pema”:
“Am I Going to Add to the Aggression?
Every day we could think about aggression in the world, in New York, Los Angeles, Darfur, Iraq, everywhere. All over the world, everybody always strikes out at the enemy, and the pain escalates forever. Every day we could reflect on this and ask ourselves, ‘Am I going to add to the aggression in the world?’ Every day, at the moment when things get edgy, we can just ask ourselves, ‘Am I going to practice peace, or am I going to war?’”
This got me to thinking about how, in just about every moment, we face choices about how we move through the world, how we choose to express ourselves in a multitude of situations and circumstances. Even when we are in a situation like the current pandemic, where most of us stay at home much of the time. As we move through our daily experience even at home, endless moments arise, each offering choices about how we are going to respond to whatever may be unfolding.
Because I believe that we are part of a larger collective consciousness, one to which we contribute and from which we draw all the time, I also believe that it’s impossible not to affect ourselves and the collective through the choices we make as we respond to the world around us. I’ve written before about experimenting with orienting to heart perception and intelligence by asking ourselves, “What would my heart do right now?” Or, “How would my heart respond right now?” This doesn’t mean we will never be angry, distressed, embarrassed, or outraged. What it touches on is how do we choose to handle these feelings.Read More “831st Week: What Do We Add to the World Each Day?”
I taught a workshop the other day and was keenly aware of the importance and power of presence as it affects not only ourselves but the space and people around us. This professional workshop focused on helping clients become more grounded and have the ability to re-center after becoming activated. As we all came together for the day, I could feel the qualities of our combined presence and found myself emphasizing the presence of the practitioner as the main element in any healing process.
On a more general note, I’m also always aware of the importance and power of presence as we move through our everyday lives. There isn’t a moment that we aren’t radiating the qualities of our personal and collective presence, and our personal presence inevitably impacts not only our own experience but that of everyone we encounter along the way.
This got me to thinking of the ways in which we can become more mindful of the qualities of our personal presence, and of the importance of being able to notice when we radiate negative or hurtful qualities and need to make available the choice to reorient ourselves and “dial in” a different mood state, quality of consciousness, or focus of our attention.Read More “758th Week: The Importance and Power of Presence”