A colleague and I were talking about the polarization currently expressing in human communities all around the world. I mentioned that I have a practice of sending universal love to people who are caught up in the kinds of fears that generate aggression, harsh laws, nationalism, and other similar responses. As we continued to talk, I also mentioned something that I learned in a class with David Spangler: When we find ourselves encountering energy or behavior that we experience as negative or threatening, remember to generate a frequency that is inhospitable to that energy or quality of being.
In my experience, the most positive frequency or quality of energy is universal love. Every spiritual tradition I’ve explored speaks to the power of universal love, that it is the most essential healing energy in the universe. Because of this, I’d like to offer a practice this time that orients to offering the essence, the frequency, the light of Universal Love to our beautiful planet and all beings on it. In this practice, not only do we imagine Universal Love pouring into our precious planet but remembering that this energy naturally conveys blessings and healing. Gaia, Earth’s intelligence, then decides where healing is needed most.
For many people, doing this kind of practice means imagining the light of Universal Love, usually a white or golden light, but see what color comes to you, flowing into the body perhaps through the back of your heart, filling your entire heart space, and then out through your heart to the planet. For this practice, I invite you to imagine a place on the Earth that you experience as a sacred place. It may be a mountain, a lake, a forest, or some other natural setting that calls to you. Hold in your awareness that this sacred place accesses the intelligence of Gaia, of our Earth, and that Gaia receives the healing energy and will distribute it as needed most.
In addition, and I offer this only as an additional suggestion, I also hold the thought that all humans on the planet who suffer from fear, and who act in violent, repressive, and/or aggressive ways, even when they don’t realize that it’s fear that drives them, will also receive an inflow of universal love, along with the blessings and healing that this powerful energy automatically conveys. I don’t qualify the blessings or healing in any way, other than to hold the thought that these people can be healed from the grip of the kind of fear that leads to hatred and division.Read More “915th Week: A Practice in Sending Universal Love”
As I begin this practice in conscious living, it’s 5 degrees outside with a sparkling blue sky and strong wind. I find that I am deeply grateful to be indoors, to have heat, and have no reason to go outdoors on this very cold day. What this brings to mind are all the people who don’t have this choice because they work in jobs that serve the rest of us—in the post office, trash collection, the local Starbuck’s and other businesses, fire fighters and other emergency personnel, bus drivers, subway operators, cab drivers. The list goes on and on and, as I think about them, I am filled with gratitude. I also feel concern for them, as it’s a day when it’s not really safe to be outside.
What this brings to mind is the importance of gratitude. It’s a response that not only nurtures one’s own well-being, but it also orients awareness to the contributions of so many participants in our daily lives. Those contributors may be people, they may be other-than-human companions, they may be offerings from nature—food, water, fresh air.
As I write this, I’m eating a pear. What an amazing gift! I often find myself mystified as to how Nature draws on a dynamic creativity that generates all the amazing life forms on this planet. Ecology at times leaves me speechless with its complexity and fundamental collaborative/cooperative underpinnings, so my gratitude, including amazement, often orients itself to the dynamic creativity and intelligence of this planet’s eco-systems.Read More “906th Week: Gratitude“
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”
Walking across Central Park one morning, the air was filled with a fragrance that I meet during the early days of summer each year. A group of trees, Silver Lindens, have blossoms, clusters of small flowers, that release a powerful, heady and, to me, enchanting fragrance that captivates me each morning as I pass them on my way to the office. The blossoms don’t last very long, which makes them even more special, and I—along with many other people—inevitably stop for a moment, bury my nose in them deeply breathing in the sweet fragrance.
One morning as I walked on, I began to think about the powerful effect scents have on our internal experience… Read More “678th Week: Finding Ease”
As I write this practice, we are entering a week in the United States where we are being asked to practice a high degree of “social distancing”. For many of us, that means doing our work on-line. For some of us, it means staying home and not interacting with other people for now. The purpose of this need for many of us to not be in contact with people any more than we absolutely have to is to slow down the transmission of the current coronavirus outbreak so that our health-care system isn’t overwhelmed.
Without question, these are activating and stressful times, and I wanted to share a couple of practices that I’m using to steady myself. Our collective field of human consciousness is intensely activated and that affects us all. Whenever any one of us can orient to steadiness and ease our own levels of activation, we immediately and automatically contribute that shift to everyone else.
One of the practices I use daily, which I’ve shared before and which comes from the work of Peter Levine, the founder of Somatic Experiencing®, is to make the sound “voo” each morning before I begin the day. In the way I use this process, I take an easy breath and, as I exhale without effort, I make the sound “voo”. When you do this, allow yourself to make the sound in whatever tone allows you to feel it vibrate throughout your abdomen, all the way down to the bottom. Then, when the breath is complete, I take in the next gentle inhalation and make the sound again. I recommend that you do this three times and notice how you feel. Be sure to track your physical sensations and orient to wherever you may feel more settled.Read More “780th Week: Returning to the Present Moment”