Over the last four months, I’ve gone through an experience that many people have had—the slow decline of a feline animal companion with acute kidney disease. He made it known when it was time to help him leave his body, which fortunately was able to happen at home.
As the time progressed in this shared experience, I found myself delving more and more deeply into loving acceptance of what was happening, allowing grief to accompany love every step along the way. The challenge of this time was to constantly choose love and to be fully present to what unfolded day by day. Throughout this time, I was keenly aware of the countless other people who have been, or were, in exactly the same process I was, slowly shepherding a beloved animal companion from this life. I was also aware of how many of us have taken whatever action was required to meet the unfolding experience, even when those actions were completely outside of our previous experience—our willingness to do whatever was needed to offer comfort and support to our loved ones.
The practice this brought to mind is the presence and power of choice, moment to moment, day by day. The choice I came back to again and again was to meet this experience with my heart—to let love guide each action, and with a deep commitment to honor the needs and experience of my animal family member. I also made the choice to honor the grief I felt and to allow it to be present during those moments when there was nothing else to do but enfold my sweet feline in my arms and my love.Read More “Practice #916: Change and the Power of Choice”
Sitting in Central Park on an absolutely beautiful morning, I find myself focusing on a daily practice I’ve taken up since the political situation in the United States became so contentious. I’d like to share it here, in case you, too, would like to engage a way to contribute each day to whatever healing may be possible for all of us.
Because of my history of growing up in a multidimensional reality, where my grandmother was a healer and collaborated actively with the “unseen world”, I have been deeply grateful to have been able to engage in what is called subtle activism. For some people, this means a practice of prayer and/or meditation. For others, it’s a practice of imagining positive energies and outcomes, offering healing energy to situations of trauma and distress, and more.
The practice I’ve taken on as a serious daily aspect of my spiritual life is to imagine the essence of universal love flowing onto the planet and into every living being, offering whatever healing and inspiration may be available. I also imagine this universal force as flowing into our human collective consciousness, touching our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs with the healing essence of love. My underlying intention is to support “the greatest good for the greatest number”. This intention allows me to be fully engaged without having to figure out how we will get to an outcome that serves the greatest good for the greatest number.
What appeals to me about imagining universal love touching and filling everything and everyone is that this force doesn’t come with any belief system. Every spiritual approach I’ve encountered has identified love as the most healing force in the universe and it comes with an open neutrality, content-wise, that appeals to me. One doesn’t have to believe anything in particular to have the healing benefits of universal love. One doesn’t have to do anything at all in order to receive love—it holds no prejudice, it expresses absolutely no separateness or tribalism.Read More “817th Week: The Healing Power of Love”
This guided meditation invites you to attune to the essence of universal love as a form of subtle activism to offer healing to our suffering species and planet, orienting to the intention that universal love will create “the greatest good for the greatest number.”
Here’s a version without images:
Here’s YouTube version…
One of the practices I’ve followed for many years is to take time to notice that the space that we think separates us actually is what connects us to absolutely everything else. Notice what happens when you think of space as that which connects—everything to everything else. It can help to break the habit, the illusion, of separateness, the habit of thinking that we are disconnected from the complexity of relationships all around us.
Here’s a meditation practice to explore:
- To begin, find a place where you can sit up, supported and alert and yet also relaxed.
- Bring your awareness to the place in you that you recognize as your internal home base. Many people find this when they follow the next out-breath all the way down to the bottom of the breath and notice where they naturally settle.
- In your internal home base you also find your radiating core presence, the unique energy signature that arises from your core.
- Take a few moments, now, to become even more aware of the quality and tone you radiate throughout your body-mind being and then out into the environment around you. We touch everything with our presence.
- Now, notice your body, this amazing, complex organism that allows you to be here in this world. Notice how your body supports your consciousness, your presence.
- Next, notice the surface under you and the way in which your body receives that support. Remember, support is a reciprocal process—it is offered and then it is received.
- Bring your awareness, now, to the environment around you and notice the quality and tone of that environment. It is comprised of the presence of everything in it coming together to create a particular quality.
- Next, open your eyes if they aren’t already open and look around your environment. Notice the space between you and something else. Notice what you experience when you remember that the space between you is actually what connects you.
- Take some time to experience the space that connects you to everything in your environment.
- Then, if this appeals to you, extend your awareness to the space outside your immediate environment and continue to expand your awareness, recognizing that there is nothing you are not connected with through the space around you.
- Spend some time, now, simply being present to this inescapable fact of being connected to everything because of the space that connects. That space is everywhere and connects you to everything.
- Notice what happens in your body, in your emotions, and in your thoughts as you take in this experience of connection. Be sure to allow any mixed feelings to arise to have a place in your awareness. Because of our wholeness, it’s normal, if not inevitable, to have mixed feelings from time to time and it’s a gift to make room for whatever arises. Your awareness can make room for it all, so you don’t have to leave anything out.
- Take a few moments to imagine how you might move through your daily activities if you were able to maintain an awareness of the underlying connection between you and everything else.
- When you’re ready, bring your awareness back to your core, to the radiating note of your unique energy presence. Feel the support of your body, of the surface under you. Then, wiggle your fingers and toes to bring yourself all the way back.
As with all these practices, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to move on through without your having to do anything with or about them. And, as always, explore this practice in whatever ways work best for you and be sure to change whatever doesn’t work for you in the way I’ve offered it.
Because of an ongoing project I have, I’ve developed a habit of pulling quotations from the Internet, from books, from talks, from wherever I may find them. I ran across one this morning that I think fits into an experiment I’ve been pondering for a while now. It’s a quotation from the scientist David Bohm: Read More “Week 622: What You Do Matters”