When I woke up this morning, I noticed that I was feeling a sense of hopelessness around the edges and this is an unusual response in me. Rather than make up any stories about what it meant—above and beyond the obvious challenges we currently face collectively as well as individually, I found myself turning to my tried and true sources of grounding, practices that help me return to a steady sense of presence.
There are two reasons I stay on top of this. First is my belief in collective consciousness and I don’t want to add extra distress to what is already a powerful experience happening to many people in our human family. The second reason is that I know how easy it is to inadvertently add activation to an already-distressing internal state and I have spent many years learning how not to do that. Adding activation to activation doesn’t help me or anyone and, when it leads to a sense of overwhelm and potential shutdown, can keep many of us from engaging in those actions that really could make a difference.
I’ve written about two practices I use all the time and I think they can’t be described often enough, especially these days. So, I offer them below, as I have a number of times before, and again invite you to experiment with them to find out if there are ways these approaches may also be useful to you.Read More “808th Week: Easing Distress”
I am, without question, a creature of habit. There is a place in Central Park where I sit on weekend mornings and do a lot of the writing that shows up here as weekly practices. Because I’m pretty much a regular during seasons that encourage being outdoors, I have come to know others who are also regulars on weekend mornings. One man who works at the restaurant in the park comes by each weekend morning and we have a bit of a chat. One morning, because it rained the day before, he mentioned that he missed seeing me on his way to work… Read More “703rd Week: Supporting A Sense of Connection”
This guided meditation invites you to settle into the core steadiness that is always present, that is never disturbed, and that is a resource you can lean into during challenging times. Using the metaphor of “becoming a mountain”, you have an opportunity to directly experience the qualities of steadiness that can be found in a mountain, experiencing yourself as a mountain. Here’s the YouTube version…
One of the truly challenging practices for many of us is to live with harmlessness, called “ahimsa” in Sanskrit. A question that arises is, how do we engage the world actively without causing harm? I remember someone once saying that the Buddha said it’s impossible not to cause harm in many small ways, simply by living. We eat other beings as food, we inadvertently step on insects when walking around, we use and then throw away many things throughout the course of our daily lives. And, when it comes to social action, how do we engage that if we have a commitment to ahimsa?
Read More “667th Week: Practicing “Ahimsa”, Harmlessness”
As I wrote this practice, I was on vacation and had planned not to do any work-related activities while out of town. I spent the first week in a family-oriented resort that touched me in a way that has stayed with me and left me wanting to share what I feel is the underlying dynamic that brought a vividly heart-centered experience to me.
One of the themes I’ve written about many times is the importance of recognizing that every quality we express is its own frequency. We radiate qualities and frequencies as we move through the world and this is true of individuals, groups, and places. I’ve written before about how it can be a powerful experience to tune into the quality of a building or a place in nature and to resonate with what you find there.
At this particular family resort, there was a pervasive quality of what I can only call “happiness”. As a trauma specialist, it was heart-opening and heart-nourishing to watch parents with children of all ages interacting with kindness, interest, and a focus on fun. Again and again, I saw parents engaged in play with their children, and families engaged in enthusiastic and laughter-filled “team” activities. Even the trees and many animals around the property—deer, chipmunks galore, birds, geese, fish, and the occasional bear—seemed to also resonate with a fundamental and underlying experience of being welcomed and at ease.Read More “760th Week: Heart-Centered Living”