Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

786th Week: The Gift of Transmitting Love

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”
Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

785th Week: Cultivating A Sense of “Earth Kin”

Walking across Central Park on the morning I go to my office to water plants and pick up mail, I was struck—as I always am—by the return of the green. All over the park, many trees are putting out leaves, others are laden with beautiful flowers, bushes are filling out with their green garb. The main feeling of it all is an expression of the abundant presence of life, of the intelligence and vibrant expression of Nature’s intelligence and creativity. 

As I took in the beauty all around me, I was reminded, powerfully, that this beautiful planet doesn’t need us, but we cannot survive without its gifts. We and all our earth kin are part of a complex ecology that many of us have studied for years and yet, collectively, many of our human kin somehow haven’t taken in or taken seriously this fact of our planetary life. With Covid-19 now a painful and challenging reality, and with the worldwide halt in our usual activities, we vividly see the impact we have had on our environment. Skies have cleared. Mountains hidden from view for decades now stand out clearly in the landscape. Waterways are clearing and wildlife is returning to areas previously avoided because of human activity. Even as we see how resilient and stunningly responsive the planet is when we stop polluting as we have been doing for so long now, I find myself wondering how many of us will remember this and commit to finding new ways to go forward.

Read More “785th Week: Cultivating A Sense of “Earth Kin””
Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

784th Week: Being Part of a Community

I feel very fortunate to have an opportunity to go to Central Park on some days to get exercise and to plop myself down on a bench where I have spent so much time over the years in meditation and contemplation with my tree friends. One of the things that I’ve noticed each time I’m in the park these days is how many people are jogging and walking without wearing masks. This got me to thinking about our participation as members of a community and how we have an ongoing opportunity to take responsibility for our part in supporting everyone around us.

As I pondered the question of why people aren’t wearing masks as they exercise and walk around Central Park, I could only imagine that they haven’t quite registered that we are wearing masks to protect one another. They aren’t really to protect ourselves, since most of us don’t have the kind of mask that will filter out viruses. The reason we are wearing them is because we could unknowingly be carriers of the virus and we are protecting everyone around us.

For this week’s practice, I invite all of us to be aware of our place within our communities. Wherever we live, we are part of a collective and we are responsible for our contributions to our community, however that might be arranged and however small or large those contributions. What I’d like to ask all of us to consider is how are we caring for our community? What practices do we bring to help support and protect those around us? In the building where I live in New York City we have active cases of the Covid virus, so all of us are asked to be sure to wear masks and gloves when interacting with the doormen and concierges in the lobby of this very large building and in the laundry room as a way to protect the people who work here, as well as to protect each other.

Read More “784th Week: Being Part of a Community”
Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

783rd Week: The Gift of Caring

As I write this week’s practice, we’re about a month into “sheltering in place” here in New York City. For all of us, the whole world of human beings, this is a time of challenge beyond what many of us would have imagined possible. The fact that we are able to be connected around the globe is a previously unimagined gift of being able to move through this experience as a connected human family.

I had an experience this week that touched me deeply and I want to share it as the theme of this week’s practice that I’d like to invite you to explore. I got an email through my website and it was from someone who had noticed that I hadn’t posted a practice last week. She hoped that I was okay and wanted to make contact to be sure everything was all right with me. 

As I read this unexpected email, my heart filled with gratitude and warmth that this person cared enough to be in touch and to check in with me. It got me to thinking about how powerful it is when we care about and for one another, what a balm it is to the heart, and how such an act can fill someone with a sense of connection, warmth, and gratitude.

Read More “783rd Week: The Gift of Caring”
Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

782nd Week: This Breath, This Moment

I ended last week’s practice with a suggestion to come back to the present moment and to this current breath as a way to manage some of the stress of this time in our collective lives.

One of the practices that I used to teach in the Somatic Experiencing® trainings was to invite people to notice how they “add fuel to the bonfires of activation”. Many of us have grown up in cultures that don’t focus on tracking how we allow our thinking to drag us hither and yon, an experience that generates enormous amounts of suffering. In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever to be able to notice when we increase our suffering by allowing our fear-generated thoughts to dominate our attention and experience.

One of the practices that can be difficult but is powerfully important is to hold the intention to come back to the present moment, to the breath you’re taking right now, and to focus awareness on this breath, on this moment. In terms of self-talk, one of the things that’s helpful to say while doing this practice is something along the lines of, “In this moment, right here and right now, I’m okay enough.” 

Read More “782nd Week: This Breath, This Moment”