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Sunday, September 30 2018

Self-Companionship

 

         Central to the work I do with myself and others is the question: How do we treat ourselves?  In particular, how do we relate to our painful/uncomfortable feelings and sensations?  How do we treat the body when it’s in pain?  How do we respond to ourselves when we’re feeling hurt, sad, angry, fearful, embarrassed, ashamed?

 

         I see these experiences as opportunities to build deeper friendship with ourselves. 

 

         Instead of rejecting my body when it’s in pain, I can say: “thanks for letting me know” or “how can I help?”  I can send kindness and love to whatever hurts.  I can thank the body for all it’s done for me over the years.  I can note, with gratitude, the parts of me that aren’t in pain. 

 

         We can take a similar, friendly approach to our feelings.  Take anger, for instance.  It often functions as a signal that something is hurting or scaring us.   It points to our vulnerability – the need for care or protection for ourselves or others.  Rather than ignore the feeling, squash it or treat it as a problem, we can listen more deeply to what it needs.  We can accompany the feeling part of us from a caring and wise grown-up stance.  “Thanks for letting me know.  We’re in this together.  I’ll stick by you.  Let’s figure out what you need.  I’ll handle the details.”

 

         The feeling part of us is a younger part – a younger self.  It’s very good at energizing us and letting us know when something’s not right.  However, it often needs our help to identify what is needed.   And it definitely needs our help/leadership in actually going about getting what is needed.  Sometimes, action is needed to effect change “out there”.  Sometimes, comfort and nurture is needed “in here”.

 

         We don’t give the younger self the keys to the car.  To do so is an act of abandonment.  The feeling self is too young to navigate life’s challenges alone.

 

         From the stance of the large self - older, wiser and loving - we honor the body and our feeling nature.  We partner with these aspects of ourselves.  We offer them companionship and care.

        

Posted by: AT 08:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 03 2018

 

         I’ve been meditating lately on the thought that we are all part of an enormous, beautiful tapestry – interwoven with each other and with all that exists.  Each of us is a strand in the tapestry.  The Divine Presence is woven within us and between us – such that we are inseparable from God and from each other.  From this perspective, God is unavoidable.  Everywhere we look, there God is.

 

         As I poked through previous writings, looking unsuccessfully for a reference, I stumbled across this piece, written many years ago.  At the time, I called it a mystery story.  It, too, emerged from a series of meditations.

 

 

 

God Consciousness

        

       In the beginning, there was no thing.  Only sacred emptiness, a profound, fertile, eternal, intelligent, creative silence – God, a name we give to the nameless.

 

       Suddenly, the Silence expressed itself in an amazing blossoming of love – hot love, intense love, sublime love, messy love – unbelievably creative and destructive.  Were there anyone to observe it, the blossoming would have seemed totally chaotic.  We now know it to be an expression with an underlying order and intelligence.

 

       In this story, the first expression of God is love. The next expression, as blossoming cooled, is light.  With ever more cooling comes density.  The material world forms.  It, too, is spoken.  Every star, planet, mountain, sea, rock, tree, insect, turtle, fish, bird, mammal, and each of us is a word in the vocabulary of God. 

 

       Everything – love, light, matter – is an expression of God.  Every interaction is an interaction with God.  When we hold a rock, behold a sunset, touch a leaf, break bread, sip wine, caress a lover, laugh with a child or look in a mirror, we are communing with God. 

 

       Human consciousness allows us to re-trace the movements of divine expression, to move closer to Source.  We all are familiar with the density of the material world, including the density of the human personality, which can be quite goofy.  We all know about living in this realm. 

 

       Many of us are learning how to spiritually soften, to raise our vibrations.  We remember that we are also light.  As we continue to lighten – enlighten, perhaps – we remember that we are love.

 

       And sometimes, sojourning into silence, we enter the deepest mystery of God consciousness, the wordless apprehension that, along with everything else we are – goofiness, density, light, love – we are God.  All is God.

 

      Imagine the impact on this planet if we brought God consciousness to all our relationships – with ourselves, with each other, with plants and animals, with water and dirt and all of Mother Earth. 

 

       Imagine the peace.  Imagine the reverence.  Imagine the joy.

 

Posted by: AT 02:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

 "James has a very welcoming presence and an easy going demeanor in addition to an excellent sense of humor . We are all free to be our own goofy selves."
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