For those of you who prefer a meditation with images, here’s our YouTube version of this meditation:
Walking through Central Park one morning, the sound of the birds, the slow but steady haze of green emerging on the trees, the emerging daffodils and other spring flowers all offered gifts that are part of the park’s waking up to a new season. As I walked, I took in the sounds, smells, and visual delight of this emerging season and the experience got me to thinking about the process of receiving.
Receiving is an active, reciprocal process. It acknowledges that something has been given and recognizes that the act of receiving can be an expression of generosity that can enhance this experience. I often invite people to notice their style of receiving. For example, when they sit down on a chair and receive the support available, do they actively take in the support that is present? Do they engage the reciprocal process of receiving what is offered with awareness? This may apply to any kind of receiving: support, friendship, kindness, much-needed food, clothing, or shelter, a smile—whatever is offered. How would you answer these questions? Read More “711th Week: Receiving Generously”
One of the practices I’ve taken on even more actively these days is imagining that I am an open and always-available channel for the energy of universal love to flow through me as I move around in the course of my daily life activities. When I use the word “love”, I’m not referring to the personal kind but, instead, to my sense that the most potent healing energy in the universe is Love with a capital “L”.
It seems to me that this particular kind of “subtle activism” can be an addition to whatever else I, or we, may do to help heal our distressed world, our human family, and all our other earth kin. Imagining the energy of love flowing through me throughout the day doesn’t ask anything of me other than to bring my awareness to the process as often as I choose to do so. And, I feel somewhat confident in saying that choosing to be a channel for the healing quality of love probably doesn’t have a downside when we don’t personalize it…when we realize that we are, indeed, simply open channels for this universal energy to flow through us and into our world.
For years, I’ve had a practice of blessing everything around me. This particular practice became much more an ongoing part of my life when I went through seminary and was ordained as an Interfaith (now called Interspiritual) Minister back in 2003. In recent years, I’ve found that taking classes with David Spangler through his Lorian Association has helped me focus even more fully on these ways of moving through the world.Read More “786th Week: The Gift of Transmitting Love”
I’ve written a number of times about themes such as gratitude and kindness, qualities that are deeply needed in our personal and collective lives at this time. For this week’s practice, I want to share some thoughts about the practice of blessing as a form of subtle activism.
For many of us, there may be times when we feel overwhelmed by all the negativity, anger, incivility, and harm unfolding all around us, seemingly everywhere on the planet. For some of us, various forms of subtle activism represent something we can do to contribute even as we attend to our everyday responsibilities and activities. Many people turn to prayer as a form of subtle activism, while others come together in groups to practice with healing images offered to individuals, groups, non-human lifeforms, and the planet as a whole.
One of the things I have found very helpful has been to engage in an active practice of offering blessings—usually silently—as I move through my daily activities. For example, I bless my home as I come and go from it, I bless my office when I come in the morning and before I leave in the evening. Along with these blessings, I express gratitude and this has been a habit over many years now.Read More “772nd Week: Practicing the Art of Blessing”
Having been a hypnotherapist for over 30 years now, I have had many experiences—personally and with people who have come to me for hypnotic support—of witnessing the profound change that can come from touching into previously unimagined possibilities. For example, I remember the very first time I experienced what I later came to call my “optimal future self”. Read More “Week 631: Imagining Possibilities”
One of the truly challenging practices for many of us is to live with harmlessness, called “ahimsa” in Sanskrit. A question that arises is, how do we engage the world actively without causing harm? I remember someone once saying that the Buddha said it’s impossible not to cause harm in many small ways, simply by living. We eat other beings as food, we inadvertently step on insects when walking around, we use and then throw away many things throughout the course of our daily lives. And, when it comes to social action, how do we engage that if we have a commitment to ahimsa?
Read More “667th Week: Practicing “Ahimsa”, Harmlessness”