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 recently went on vacation with my sister for our annual time away together. As part of my preparation for the trip, I did a meditation in which I chose the qualities I wanted to resonate with throughout the trip. The primary frequency I chose was “flexibility”. During my daily life, I often choose the frequency of “kindness”, along with “flexibility”. What I want to share here is an interesting experience I had that I think makes consciously choosing frequencies with which to resonate in any given situation much more appealing.
At one point in the trip, a situation arose that in the past would have had me feeling constrained and a bit irritable. What I discovered was that I was relaxed and “going with the flow” in a way I hadn’t anticipated and in a way that required no self-management on my part. A response of being flexible naturally and spontaneously arose and then, the important thing I want to share here, is that I noticed that the quality and tone of my self-talk was different from how I would have expected it to be. I found myself telling myself that, “It’s all fine. No problem.” As I listened to those internal words, I found myself even more relaxed.
This all got me to thinking about how useful it is to have supportive self-talk spontaneously arise without having to exert any conscious effort for it to do so. I can only attribute the quality of the self-talk to my resonance with the frequency of flexibility. That tone and quality seemingly pervaded my psychological experience, along with my body, in ways that allowed me to move through the whole week with flexibility at the forefront of my responses.Read More “839th Week: Choosing Frequencies”
Sitting in Central Park the other day, a whole crew of volunteers worked on the hill in front of me. They worked with wheelbarrows, rakes, and shovels, spreading a new layer of soil on the hill. As I watched them work together, my deepest response was one of gratitude that so many people showed up early on a weekday morning to offer their services to the park. Read More “Week 636: Supporting Cooperation and Collaboration”
As I write this practice, current violent events that have caused immense distress and suffering continue to fill the news and Internet. Working through my own responses got me to thinking about what I might offer as this week’s practice that might be both supportive and useful.
Whenever I am in the presence of suffering and challenges that I can’t directly change, I inevitably turn to my heart space for support, comfort, and as a way to actively and mindfully process my sense of outrage, helplessness, or despair that may arise. And, inevitably and thankfully, my heart space is able to process and manage these difficult feelings in a way that always surprises and eases me. It may be because I feel like I’m doing something, or it may be—as the HeartMath Institute’s research has shown—that a coherent heart eases the amygdala and reduces activation.Read More “761st Week: Holding Space for Ourselves and All Our Kin (Which is Everyone)”
Each week, I post an inspirational quotation and a photograph of nature on the Devadana Sanctuary Facebook page, as well as on the Devadana Sanctuary website. I never know which posts will touch people and which won’t. It’s a daily experience of choosing something I think will be inspiring, finding a photograph that, for me, resonates with the quotation and I never know what will touch people. I’m often surprised by the number of people who respond to a given post, and that was the case with what I’d like to share with you here.
Here’s a post from last week that ended up reaching many, many people. Read More “671st Week: Intentional Living”