Sitting in Central Park is always a nourishing, and complex, experience. In the area where I spend time on weekend mornings, there is plenty of space for dogs to run off-leash and play, and many people walk by me as the morning unfolds itself. This morning, Read More “Week 650: Back to Being with “What Is As It Is””
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”
Walking home through Central Park one evening, I found myself thinking about something I had read about a kind of tree whose name I can’t remember. It’s a tree that is from ages past, long past. It came into being during a time when trees required mates in order to reproduce and the powerful, and sad, thing is that there are no more mates for this tree. It is the last one of its kind in the world. Read More “Week 637: Celebrating Nature’s Intelligence – Generating Awe”
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 thought about what to write for this week’s practice in conscious living, I found myself pondering the painful lack of empathy, kindness, and care that seem to characterize our human family’s interactions in my country. It has been quite disheartening to watch people focus so fervently on their own well-being and self-interest. For just one example, to know that countless people are currently losing their homes because they can’t afford rent due to the pandemic is heart-breaking. It’s as though we forget that we’re all in this together and that nothing happens in isolation or outside our collective social life.
This week’s practice may feel heavy if you choose to do it, but it also is a heart-opening and heart-expanding practice. Empathy requires our heart perception, even when it’s painful to go there, as it opens us to an awareness of the experience of others. Deepening empathy also deepens our sense of connection and belonging to a larger community of being. It expands our sense of identity beyond our personal self.
So, for this week, I invite all of us to deepen our experience of empathy. This means being able to imagine how something feels to someone else, to imagine how we would feel were we in their situation. For example, notice how you feel when you imagine that you don’t have enough food to eat today. Or that you are saying goodbye to your home and have nowhere else to go but out on the street.
Empathy can expand to include our other-than-human family, as well, and our earth environment as a whole system. For example, empathy might extend to polar bears who find that their environment is changing so drastically that starvation is a constant possibility, an ever-emerging reality.
Here’s a brief practice focused on empathy and it draws from the Buddhist practice of metta or lovingkindness.Read More “855th Week: Cultivating Empathy”