869th Week: Taking Time for Good News

869th Week: Taking Time for Good News

One of the gifts I give myself each morning is some time with what I think of as “good news”, with posts on Facebook or emails I receive that bring interesting stories and examples of some of the beautiful things that are happening in the world. The regular news reports offer ample information about the terrible things that are unfolding, about the seemingly unremitting suffering of our human family and of the earth itself. Quite a long while ago, I made a commitment to myself to offer myself a broader picture than is available in the mainstream media so that I can continue to move through the world with an open heart.

Also, choosing to include good news as part of your media diet supports a more accurate view of our human wholeness—of the good in us as well as the dysfunction we express so actively in our interactions with one another, with our planet, and with our wide variety of other-than-human earth-kin.

For this week’s practice, I’d like to offer some resources for good news and also a brief practice for nourishing an open heart. As you play with these resources this week, notice how you feel—does your heart feel more open or does it feel clenched and closed? Notice your body—do you feel softer and more at ease or tense and constricted? Notice your thoughts—do they orient to thoughts of possibility or do you find that you are mired in judgment and/or negative thinking? What we feed ourselves psychologically has a lot to do with how we feel physically and emotionally, as well.

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868th Week: Revisiting Interbeing

868th Week: Revisiting Interbeing

Listening to the news and taking in the depth of suffering currently unfolding in our human family around the world, I was drawn again into an awareness of how our tendency to focus on the things that separate us leads to terrible possibilities. When we become mired in tribal reactions and beliefs, we end up harming one another in horrific ways. 

For many years, I have committed myself to support and promote an understanding of our underlying oneness—the fact that we are related to one another and all other life on the planet. What has been a long-term support to this focus of attention has been the term coined by the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, where he talked about interbeing, that in every moment we interare with the life around us.

Another concept that has been important to me is the idea of interdependence, that we cannot live without the range of relationships we have with each other and with the other life forms on this planet. Science is beginning to demonstrate that successful eco-systems are based on collaboration and cooperation amongst species and that competition is only one aspect of these complex relationships. And, in a very personal way for each of us, our physical bodies are communities comprised of trillions of non-human life forms that work together to keep our bodies alive.

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2022 April Meditation

2022 April Meditation

Note: The recording for the next few months isn’t as clear as earlier recordings because the external microphone stopped working. I hope to have a new one for recordings in coming months, although the next three months will have the same fidelity as this one…

This year, we are exploring the dynamics of attuning ourselves to a variety of frequencies, which are the energy qualities of different states of being. This month, we focus on the frequency/ quality of equanimity, attuning to that living essence in whatever ways allow it to come alive to and within us.

If you prefer to have visual images with your meditation, below is our YouTube version of the same guided meditation with nature photos…

867th Week: Practices for Finding Refuge

867th Week: Practices for Finding Refuge

I gave a talk at Unity of New York this morning and as I prepared for my presentation my mind went to the Buddhist idea of “finding refuge”. For me, this means having access to those experiences, places, and states of being that give us some relief and rest from the challenges of troubling times such as these.

For this week’s practice in conscious living, I’d like to share some ideas around “finding refuge” within our own creative, imaginal lives, as well as in our own embodied, grounded sense of being. Some of these practices I’ve shared before, so they may be familiar. That said, I figure that it’s always helpful to be reminded of resources that may become overlooked in the hurry and scurry of our everyday lives.

Leaning into Stillness
Over the years, I’ve had a practice that can, when it works well, bring immediate relief from mounting stress. It has to do with remembering that within and behind every thought, feeling, impulse/urge, physical sensation, or action there is an ever-present stillness. For me, the stillness arises within an infinite field of stillness that is behind any perception you can imagine. 

One place where I connect with stillness is in the space between breaths and I often follow an out-breath down into myself and then, in the gap between the out-breath and the next in-breath, I enter into the stillness that is always there.

I also find refuge in leaning into the field of stillness that’s right behind me and often do this when I’m teaching. For me, this kind of stillness isn’t the same as emptiness. Instead, it’s more like a holding space where I can find rest and restoration.

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866th Week: Exploring Collective Consciousness

866th Week: Exploring Collective Consciousness

As I thought about what kind of practice in conscious living to share this week, I found myself thinking about the fact that we are part of a variety of fields of collective consciousness. Most of us are generally unaware of this dynamic, even as we constantly affect the world around us, as it also affects us.

In my world, I’m aware of many fields of collective consciousness. There’s the collective consciousness we share as a human species. There’s the field of consciousness that is part of our individual families, our communities, our nations, our world as one organism, and also any groups to which we belong. In all these fields of information, fields of consciousness, we constantly contribute to and draw from the quality of these collectives.

Just as we are keenly aware of the impact of living in a physical environment that has pollution and toxic elements, there are aspects in some of these fields of collective consciousness that have a similar impact. This brings me to the subject of frequencies, which I’ve written about before, and of the importance of the frequencies with which we resonate. Within a context of collective fields of consciousness, it’s all about frequencies. For example, if we are anxious, the quality and tone of that anxiety in ourselves automatically resonates with whatever anxiety exists within our collective field of consciousness and actually amplifies our feeling. On the other hand, if we are grounded and steady, those will be the qualities with which we resonate within the collective and those which we spontaneously contribute, as well.

A key thing to remember is, again, we constantly contribute to and draw from these collectives and the frequencies/qualities with which we resonate play an important role in the quality and tone of our psychological life.

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865th Week: Offering Steady Presence to Our Troubled World

865th Week: Offering Steady Presence to Our Troubled World

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:

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