One of my primary practices doesn’t have a name, or at least I don’t know of one for it. It has to do with noticing and then choosing the quality of thoughts, emotions, physical states, and energy with which I resonate as I move through the day, as an exercise in shifting to a more constructive frequency. When I first learned mindfulness and realized that each moment offers a new choice as to where I place my attention and energy, Read More “Week 647: Resonating with Your World”
I recently finished reading a book that consistently brought me back to the importance of learning to shift awareness to the heart instead of emphasizing the brain—to perceive the world through heart intelligence rather than just cognitively. Read More “Week 645:Perceiving With Your Heart”
As I sit to write this week’s practice, I find myself orienting to some recent research that was brought to my attention. At a time when we need increased empathy for all life forms, for all our kin and for the earth itself, it seems that there is a new trend. The report shows that people in the United States, where the research was conducted, have shifted in their relationship to empathy. Whereas people used to feel empathy in general, it now seems that it is becoming normalized not to care about what happens to people who are outside a person’s immediate sphere of relations. It seems that anyone outside the “tribe” doesn’t deserve empathy. Instead, people tend to blame the victim instead of opening their hearts to the suffering of people who are different—be they different because of ethnicity or different because of their beliefs or lifestyle.
We can see reflected in the state of our planet’s environmental destruction, with the extinction of species caused by human activity, and with the escalating levels of conflict between so many groups of people all around the planet that we need a collective awakening to the cost of being empathically disconnected from one another.
Because of this new trend toward less empathy, it feels more important than ever to engage practices that cultivate empathy and compassion not only for the people we know, but for all life—to make empathy a true practice of the heart.Read More “751st Week: Cultivating Empathy”
During times of extreme stress, such as those we collectively and individually face as a global community at this time, it can be a challenge to move through daily life with our hearts open. It can also be a challenge to feel centered and grounded, and I’ve written a few prior practices to support returning to a grounded center.
One of the unfortunate side effects of the level of stress we collectively experience at this time is a tendency to constrict our hearts. More than ever, this is a time when, because of the pandemic and also the challenge of climate change, we need to awaken our hearts to ourselves, to one another, and to our planet.
For this week, I’d like to offer a practice for cultivating an open heart. Many years ago, back in the early 1970’s, my first therapist often drew on approaches drawn from Psychosynthesis. Created by an Italian psychiatrist, Roberto Assagioli, Psychosynthesis is a transpersonally-oriented psychotherapy which uses guided imagery and work with symbols, among other approaches.Read More “802nd Week: Cultivating an Open Heart”
The contention around whether to wear masks or not during this pandemic brings into vivid focus what happens when we forget that we are all in this together and that we need to work together to help prevent unnecessary illness and death. So, this week’s practice in conscious living is going to be somewhat shorter and to the point:
- For the coming week, I invite you to notice what you are doing to contribute to the welfare and well-being of all of us. That might include wearing a mask, which infectious disease scientists have said again and again will reduce the spread of the virus. It might include donating money to a cause you care about, marching in a protest, or doing volunteer work in your community. It might mean checking in on elderly neighbors to make sure that they have what they need, or creating a friend network, if you haven’t done so already, so that everyone has someone to turn to in case of need.
If you haven’t discovered him already, Nipun Mehta is a man who offers continuous opportunities to be inspired. He talks a lot about kindness, and one of the practices he promotes is what he calls “the radical power of generosity”. Here’s a link to a Tedx talk he gave. He also created Karma Kitchen, Read More “Week 666: Radical Generosity”