Sitting in Central Park doing a meditative practice that has become very important to me, I find myself accessing ever deeper love for this beautiful planet. The practice is below but, first, I want to say a few things about strengthening our heart-based relationship with our amazing home, our planet and the Nature we are part of that manifests through a powerful and dynamic creativity and intelligence.
When I was in graduate school, many years ago, I wrote papers on what I called, at the time, “psychoecology” because I couldn’t think of any other term that would encompass our psychological experience of, relationship with, and responsibility toward our Earth mother. Way back then, which was in the early-to-mid ‘70’s (I didn’t go to graduate school until I was in my early 30’s), I was looking for a way to put into words, and then to develop practices around, our Western-oriented human family’s disconnect from our larger other-than-human earth family.
Recently, I read a book called “Towards an Ecopsychotherapy”, by Mary-Jayne Rust. It was published in 2020 and includes within its many offerings a focus on helping clients acknowledge and address their anxiety and grief around what’s happening on the planet. This includes climate change, mass extinctions, and the hazards we now face because of our lack of understanding of our place within Nature’s complex and dynamic eco-system.Read More “847th Week: Cultivating Love for the Earth”
In a recent article entitled, “Your Brain Has a Delete Button—Here’s How to Use It”, the authors, Judah Pollack and Olivia Fox Cabane, talk about research that’s been done on the presence and function of the brain’s “microglial” cells that are the “gardeners of the brain”. These cells prune and remove synapses while we sleep. Most importantly, they remove those synapses we don’t use very much. In fact, the brain marks the unused synapses with a protein that signals the microglial cells to go ahead and prune them.
Because all self-talk is self-hypnosis, and because where we focus our thinking activates the synapses related to these thoughts, it behooves us to be mindful about where we’re spending our internal self-talk time. One example in the article is this:
“If you’re in a fight with someone at work and devote your time to thinking about how to get even with them, and not about that big project, you’re going to wind up a synaptic superstar at revenge plots but a poor innovator.”
They go on to say:
“To take advantage of your brain’s natural gardening system, simply think about the things that are important to you. Your gardeners will strengthen those connections and prune the ones that you care about less. It’s how you help the garden of your brain flower.”Read More “768th Week: More Reasons Why Tracking Your Self-Talk is So Important”
During this political season, there are constant and vivid examples of how we humans have a tendency to create categories of “us” and “them”. It seems to be a natural response to difference of just about any kind and often emerges from an underlying fear or discomfort in the presence of people, ideas, behaviors, and species who are different from how we know ourselves and our world to be. Read More “Week 634: Moving Beyond “Us and Them””
Walking across Central Park one morning, I became aware of the returning presence of birdsong throughout the park. It’s always a sure sign of spring and, along with the brightening of the light, touches me with the promise of the season to come. It also reminds me of the inevitability of change and of the gift of having a head’s up that change is coming, no matter how subtle that signal may be.
As a trauma therapist, and someone who works with shock trauma on a pretty consistent basis, I know the price the body and psyche pay when experiences emerge for which there was no warning. As a person who constantly delves into new information about science and processes in nature, I also keep in mind the idea of “emergence”, of the ways in which nature seeks novelty and brings together unlikely elements to create something new. I mentioned this in a prior practice, about how bringing together two air elements—a molecule of oxygen and a molecule of hydrogen—creates an unexpected outcome—a fluid, water. For me, this demonstrates how nature is full of surprises, how life is full of surprises, and that we never really know what will emerge within the context of a new cycle. Read More “709th Week: Noticing Emerging Change”
For those who would like to have images with your meditation, here’s our link to YouTube for an audio meditation with images…