And for those who prefer a visual, here is a video accompaniment:
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”
Each morning, I post a “daily inspiration” on the Devadana Sanctuary Facebook page. It’s something I do 365 days a year and it’s the first computer thing I do once my morning routine of getting my own act together is accomplished along with taking care of the three felines who live with me.
On a recent morning, I opened the computer and found that none of my documents would open. I decided to restart the computer and when I did the computer simply stopped booting up. I was left with a dark screen and no way into the computer. I shut it down and gratefully went to my smaller travel computer to do the post. Later, after my regular computer had had some time to rest, I turned it on and everything was back to normal. What struck me was that my recent intention to resonate with qualities of flexibility was very much in the foreground of this experience, as I didn’t get activated or tense when my computer stopped working. Having a backup device certainly made a difference but the “old” me would have been agitated anyway.
This is a very small adaptation compared to what’s happening in people’s lives all around the planet, so I don’t present it as something that was hard to do. Rather, it brings to mind the current reality of how we are confronted with a need to adapt to change in countless ways. With the pandemic and climate change, these moments of having to be flexible and generate new options appear just about every day. They are further complicated when what unfolds generates trauma, loss, financial fears and need, food scarcity, and so much more.
In my experience, one of the characteristics of flexibility is the ability to “soften” in the presence of frustration and obstruction. One thing I want to be sure to say now, rather than later, is that being flexible and softening don’t in any way mean not to respond or take actions that may be needed. Even when we are flexible, we also maintain the ability to act in whatever ways are called for, be these personal actions or actions on behalf of others.Read More “848th Week: Cultivating Flexibility, Generating Options”
With all the suffering going on around the world, and all the harshness and conflict on every front, it’s more important than ever to have sources of good news. Seeking good news doesn’t mean you want to ignore what’s going on. Rather, it acknowledges wholeness and the fact that even when things appear to be terribly wrong, there is always something right or positive, as well.
For this practice in conscious living, I invite you to explore some of the websites that orient to positive news and find the one, or the ones, that resonate with you. There are probably more than are on the list below, but these are sources of good news that I’ve discovered along the way. One of my favorites is Service Space, where you can find Daily Good emails, KarmaTube videos, and more. That said, all the sites listed below offer their own take on good news. I’ve listed them alphabetically…Read More “911th Week: Orienting to What’s Good News, Honoring Wholeness”
Early this morning, I turned on the radio and listened to a brief political report on WNYC, the local public radio station here in NYC. What I heard was a recording of a recent political rally where what I call “the language of separateness” characterized what was said by the speaker. In addition to the sadness I felt at hearing language that had a violent and aggressive tone, language that demonized the “other”, I also began to think about the difference between “the language of separateness” and “the language of interbeing’. Interbeing is a verb created by the Buddhist monk and teacher, Thich Nhat Hahn, and is now used beautifully and often by Charles Eisenstein, a speaker who focuses on social, economic, and ecological issues.
Later, I listened to an interview with Krista Tippett in her On Being broadcast where she talked with a woman who described how she engages people on the opposite side of the spectrum from where she lives politically and socially as a way to discover what was of key importance to both her and to the other person. Read More “728th Week: Language of Separateness; Language of Interbeing”
As a child, my grandmother was my first spiritual teacher and many of the things she taught me have stayed in my awareness over all these many years. One of the things she taught me I’ve written about before—the raincloud of knowable things. What continues to touch me about this concept is how vividly it reminds me that I’m never alone, that I am always and inevitably part of something much bigger than myself. In this case, it reminds me that I’m part of a vast collective consciousness that contains the wisdom of all humans across all time and that I and everyone else contributes to and draws from this collective all the time. This is an idea that has supported my work as a trauma specialist in psychotherapy and it is an idea that has given me hope even when things may have looked profoundly bleak.
It also touches into an experience that gets stronger for me as I age—that I am in community with a reciprocal environment all the time. I saw an illustration of this the other day as I walked across Central Park. I noticed a gentleman, early in the morning, taking cans and bottles out of the trash bins scattered throughout the park. It was a Monday morning, so the bins had quite a few offerings and I began to think about how this man’s activities support recycling, and that he contributes something meaningful that I usually wouldn’t know anything about. That got me to thinking about all the activities going on in my world that I don’t see and yet add to the quality and support of my life. It reminded me of the fact that, even at subtle levels, we constantly contribute to and draw from our collective environment.Read More “769th Week: The Raincloud of Knowable Things”
When I woke up this morning, I noticed that I was feeling a sense of hopelessness around the edges and this is an unusual response in me. Rather than make up any stories about what it meant—above and beyond the obvious challenges we currently face collectively as well as individually, I found myself turning to my tried and true sources of grounding, practices that help me return to a steady sense of presence.
There are two reasons I stay on top of this. First is my belief in collective consciousness and I don’t want to add extra distress to what is already a powerful experience happening to many people in our human family. The second reason is that I know how easy it is to inadvertently add activation to an already-distressing internal state and I have spent many years learning how not to do that. Adding activation to activation doesn’t help me or anyone and, when it leads to a sense of overwhelm and potential shutdown, can keep many of us from engaging in those actions that really could make a difference.
I’ve written about two practices I use all the time and I think they can’t be described often enough, especially these days. So, I offer them below, as I have a number of times before, and again invite you to experiment with them to find out if there are ways these approaches may also be useful to you.Read More “808th Week: Easing Distress”