As I write this practice, I’m sitting on a train headed for New York City from Connecticut. I spoke at the Unity Church in Norwalk, CT this morning and some of the things I talked about there I’d like to share as this week’s practice.
There were several themes to my talk this morning. One was the over-arching practice of subtle activism, which may be done through use of prayer, affirmative thoughts and feelings about situations that need support, healing at a distance, and more. The underlying theme that arises when talking about something like subtle activism is that of collective consciousness, and the fact that we are all interconnected whether or not we’re aware of it.
One of the things I asked people to sense into was how it felt to know and experience that all of us in the room were part of one energy organism, with each of us contributing to the radiating quality of presence that was the collective environment we generated together. In past practices, I’ve invited you to pay attention to the focus and quality of your thinking and feeling, knowing that where you resonate becomes magnetic to what you attract. This matters because resonating with a feeling such as gratitude supports an experience of well-being, where resonating with a feeling of anger or resentment supports those states of being. This is because we are part of collective fields of information and presence all the time and, because of this, we are affected by similar feelings and experiences of countless people all around the world.
For this practice, I’m orienting more toward what you contribute to the collective, to what you radiate into your environment and into our human collective consciousness, rather than a focus on what you receive. As a form of subtle activism, it’s very powerful to attend to what you contribute as you move through your day. Are you feeding our collective distress or are you feeding our collective steadiness? While no one of us can “turn the ship”, as it were, the combination of many people focusing on positive and empowering feelings and thoughts does make a difference.
This doesn’t mean never to have negative responses or feelings. It’s important to have awareness of fear, anger, outrage, irritation, loss, sadness, etc., as these feelings convey what’s going on in us and in our lives. Paying more attention to what you radiate into the world also doesn’t mean not to take action when action is called for. Instead, it’s about something that I talked about in a recent practice—it matters where we spend most of our internal time. Being able to return to a heart-based awareness of compassion, say, means that we are likely to radiate compassion into our world more of the time than when we are focused on, and radiate, negative feelings.
For this week’s practice, I’ve integrated a bit of the work of David Spangler* and offer the following guided meditation (my version of something that David teaches). Notice what you experience and how you may want to use it in your daily life:
- Begin by settling into an awareness of the internal center of gravity, the home base, you carry in your body all the time;
- Settling in, notice the quality of steadiness that is always there, even if you have been completely unaware of it—it’s a steadiness that cannot be disturbed;
- Next, expand your awareness to include the room or environment where you are right now;
- Feel into the quality of that environment and notice if you can touch into the way the environment supports you right now;
- Notice what happens when you allow yourself to feel connected to, and in relationship with, everything that is part of that environment;
- Now, become aware of your heart space and breathe in and out through your heart a couple of times;
- Next, choose a quality that you’d like to fill up with right now, something that benefits you and that will be a gift to radiate into your world;
- Then, become aware of the fact that there are probably countless people, in various places all around the world, who are, in this moment, resonating with the same quality you have chosen;
- Notice what it’s like to feel a sense of connection with all those other people through the resonance you’ve touched into or generated;
- Now, imagine that you become so filled up with that quality that it “spills over” and radiates out from your body, filling the environment around you—this also naturally radiates it into our human collective consciousness that spans the planet;
- Spend a few minutes just being present to this quality and to the fact that you are resonating with it, and radiating it out into your world;
- As you close this meditation, notice the resonating tone of your experience and wonder what it will be like to take it into your daily activities as you move through what’s on your agenda.
As with all of these practices, there’s no right way to do this one. The key is to play with it and see what resonates for you. It’s more important to do a practice that feels alive to you than it is to specifically follow steps provided by someone else if they don’t feel real or relevant to you.
* You can find David Spangler’s work at www.lorian.org.