This morning, Krista Tippett aired a 2015 interview with Mirabai Bush, a meditation teacher who became a corporate consultant teaching people mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and how to be more aware of how they move through the world. Also this morning, a colleague sent me an article on the impact of kindness and how practicing it enhances our sense of well-being. Both of these practices invite us to orient to the heart, to our sense of connection with ourselves and others, and to a more spontaneous and available tendency to be kind.
I’ve mentioned the importance of cultivating heart intelligence and perception in many of these practices and it seems more important now than ever to do so. All of us, on every side of any political, social, or spiritual/religious spectrum, wants the same thing—to be happy, not to suffer, and to be free from fear. The Buddhist practice of lovingkindness specifically addresses this similarity within and amongst all living beings. Read More “730th Week: Practicing Kindness, Living with An Open Heart”
As I write this practice, it is vigorously snowing outside and I am deeply grateful to be tucked in and warm. As I watch the snow fall, I find myself pondering something that came up recently and that is the relationship between, and differences around, being and doing.
This got me to thinking about the importance of how we be and that our being is so much more important than our doing. That doesn’t mean doing doesn’t play a significant role in how we engage and impact the world, but it seems to me that the bottom line really focuses on the quality and tone of our being.
I’ve said before that our internal self-talk is a form of self-hypnosis and that the quality of our self-talk plays a major role in determining the quality of our internal life, of our felt-sense of who and how we are in the world. There are many practices that invite us to track our self-talk, along with suggestions as to how we might shift from self-critical internal conversations to those that reflect acceptance, support, and gratitude for who and how we are. Some are from cognitive therapy approaches and some are from the ever-expanding influence of mindfulness practices.
For this week’s practice, first, I invite you to become even more aware of the internal conversations you have with yourself and to notice how these moments of self-talk affect you. Do they lift you up and make you feel more able to engage the world, to dive into activities and projects that nourish you, to help you settle into a deeper sense of comfort with yourself? Or, do these moments of self-talk drag you down, generate shame, or make you feel that you want to avoid connecting with your world?Read More “826th Week: Being, Doing, and Self-Talk”
What I want to share this week invites us to engage the idea that we are all part of a collective information field, what we might call our collective human consciousness, and that we have an effect, an impact, on one another even when we are separated by physical distance. Within the context of our collective information field, our quality of emotional, mental, and physical presence affects our collective and all the individuals in it. We touch each other whether we are aware of it or not. Because of this, I’d like to offer a practice this week that speaks to the fact that, collectively, we are one energy organism and our presence matters.
One of the things that I emphasize in my work as a psychotherapist, and also in what I teach, is a focus on our wholeness. Within a context of wholeness, I also emphasize paying attention to what aspect of that wholeness is currently in the foreground and what has dropped into the background of awareness. Someone once said, I think the French philosopher Emile Coué, something along the lines of whatever is in any human being at any time in history is also in me. This is a statement of wholeness, that we all contain everything and anything that is part of being human across all time.
Nothing can be deleted from our wholeness. The key is to become increasingly aware of the quality of our presence so we can choose what we want to express in our everyday lives. If we find that we are in a frightened or angry mood, those are the aspects of wholeness that have moved into the foreground of our expression, while our steady presence has shifted into the background.
What the world needs now from as many of us as possible is for us to bring into the foreground of how we move through the world a quality of steady presence. That’s what the following practice invites you to explore:Read More “865th Week: Offering Steady Presence to Our Troubled World”
Even though I’ve given up my office and am now practicing psychotherapy at home on zoom, I still get into Central Park just about every day. On weekends, I go to a bench that’s under a gathering of trees and read and do writing such as this. This particular morning, as I think about our troubled world, I am also aware of the steadiness, presence, and seeming serenity of the large, towering trees around me. When I’m able to clear my mind and simply be with the trees, I find that my bodymind begins to fill with their essence of steady presence. These earth-kin, because of their size and stature, convey to me—whether this is my projection or something actually coming from the trees—a deep settling.
I also notice the boulders and large rock formations that are so much part of the park and can sense into their grounded stability, as well. Somehow, these earth-kin, along with the trees, speak to me this morning about qualities of patience and presence. In addition, the vivid greens of the trees speak to me of healing, health, well-being, and I soak those qualities in, as well.
When I’m not in the park, I can have the same kind of experience with the “trees” that live in my apartment and with all the stone people who also share my home. The three felines who are my animal companions also convey a powerful ability to totally relax and then immediately be available for play or alertness, as the situation may invite or demand.Read More “807th Week: Nurturing Well-Being with Nature”
I’ve written many times about the importance and impact of the frequencies/ energies/qualities we resonate with, and which we radiate as we move through our daily lives. It’s equally important to notice the qualities that affect our body-mind experience—that impact our moods and thoughts, along with our physical sensations. Equally important are the qualities we spontaneously and automatically contribute to the world around us in every moment. This process is often outside our conscious awareness—the fact that we constantly affect the world around us with the energies we naturally radiate as we move through our everyday activities and interactions.
When we remember that we live within a context of collective consciousness (if this is an idea that resonates with you), we can remind ourselves that in every moment we contribute to and draw from this collective, most often outside our conscious awareness. We also aren’t usually aware of the ways in which our own thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations are also affected by collective consciousness. For example, if something is happening in the world that creates a lot of fear, any fear we may hold as individuals is amplified by the collective experience of this same emotion. If we are in a group of people expressing deep love and support, our personal experience of comfort or well-being will also be enhanced.
This presence of collective consciousness is the field within which subtle activism finds its impact. It is within this context that practices that invite us to radiate love, compassion, kindness, and other positive emotions finds its place. Also (again, if this resonates with your own belief system) there are many forms of collective consciousness, from our global human family to Nature itself, from the smallest, most intimate environment to earth’s varied landscapes and grand natural wonders. We are connected to, and affected by, all these collective fields of consciousness, even as we are usually not conscious of these connections and their impact on us and ours on them.Read More “886th Week: Radiating Frequencies as Service and Subtle Activism”