In my years of teaching about trauma resolution, I’ve drawn on something one of my dear friends and teachers, Diane Heller, taught me many years ago. It was the distinction between a power model that encompasses only two options—power over or overpowered—and a mutual empowerment model that says one person’s power in no way diminishes the power of anyone else. Since learning about this, I have done my best to interact with others from a mutual empowerment model.
I’ve also spent many years helping psychotherapy clients notice how comparing themselves to others almost always leads to suffering, as does the habit of taking things personally. Read More “677th Week: Nurturing Mutual Empowerment”
Listening to a recent conversation on Buddha at the Gas Pump (www.batgap.com), the host, Rick Archer, and guest, Roger Walsh, talked about the ethics that relate to spiritual practice. This got me to thinking about the ethics of many kinds of practice, among them kindness, gratitude, generosity. As I listened to the interview, it seemed to me that an active expression of ethics is inevitably found in the ways we live, how we move through the world, the values we embrace and embody, what we do that relates to what we believe.
As this week’s practice, I invite you to focus on whatever quality speaks to you most powerfully and then explore what values, ethics, and behaviors arise from that quality. For example, if you choose kindness as your focus of the week’s practice, ask yourself what broader values encompass a life expressed with or through kindness. What beliefs and attitudes emerge naturally from expressions of kindness? What everyday behaviors arise within a context of actively expressing kindness. When you bring this exploration into the foreground of your awareness, what’s different in your interactions with others and in the quality of your thoughts about them and yourself? Keep in mind that your relationship to kindness, your ethics and values around this theme, are in addition to acts of kindness. Here, you are exploring how kindness lives in you, how it affects not only your actions but also your thoughts, attitudes, and values.Read More “779th Week: Embodying the Ethics of Practices We Engage”
One of the themes I’ve explored and lived with over many years now is my experience of the importance of acknowledging and honoring all aspects of our wholeness. I’ve also been keenly aware of the fact that life on this planet thrives most efficiently within communities, ecologies of diversity. We know from science that natural environments thrive most dynamically when they contain a wide diversity of life forms, working together as a complex community. I think it’s the same with our own, individual selves. Our wholeness contains and expresses the unique diversity of characteristics, talents, challenges, qualities, expressions that each of us embodies. Through our unique wholeness, we contribute to the “ecology of life” within which we live.
Over the years, I have also found myself orienting to an experience of “being lived” by life. My sense has been, and continues to be, that each of us—whether human or some other-than-human, more-than-human earth-kin being—represents an opportunity for life to have a unique experience within and through each of us. Our unique wholeness offers life the opportunity for diverse experiences and expressions, honoring this planet’s seeming preference for diversity.
For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to explore the following guided meditation and see how it feels for you to imagine “being lived” by the life that expresses itself within and through everything on this planet, as well as acknowledging, honoring, and embracing the wholeness within you, leaving nothing out. It’s your wholeness that makes you unique in all the world and it’s your wholeness that allows you to contribute to the diversity that our human family offers to the planet’s ecology.Read More “904th Week: Self-Acceptance and Wholeness“