i’ve long believed that our lives and the universe is a game of “can you see me now?” -can you see the love in me now?- and our spiritual unfolding is expanded by our ability to say “Yes!” that maybe, just maybe, the universe exactly as it is- is life unfolding in the highest. Maybe all our judgements and resistances are just thoughts. our tormentors; but relatively inconsequential to the effulgent expression of life itelf through and as us. sortof like whether you’re reading or watching a movie on a flight from NY to LA. You’re getting there (reliably, but not always), regardless of your experiences on the flight.
Life is supporting us in known and unknown ways. Gravity comes to mind. the earth holding us near. we are part of community, the earth’s community, in every possible sense. but we all feel so disconnected. that’s because the mental sphere is not where true connection happens. it may be where some of it starts, but connection is a full body experience. We love how people make us feel, and the sense of connection in nature. Its more than our thoughts about it. It’s a very physical experience.
coming into the body, thoughts come and during this practice I’m asking myself, “where does that thought show up in my body?” I want to get out of my head and into my body. Feel into it, and stop resisting whatever that feeling is. just if i can. just for a moment. Get curious about the size and shape and intensity. noticing. asking, ‘how can i release resistance to this sensation. can i accept this sensation? can i see how it plays out for the next couple of minutes, here?’ this is foundational bodyfulness inquiry. It’s a convenient practice. it can be uncomfortable. and then i release my resistance to that discomfort. and so the moments go on.
My thoughts really would like to take me for a ride, though. All sorts of rollercoaster rides of unintended consequences and power trips. Who I might become if i’m not careful. Identity and memory. Nefarious outcomes I’d had no idea I’d contributed to ala Shantaram. I have to release resistence to outcome, and accept that doing my best in the present moment, all the present moments, is going to have to be enough. because it’s all I’ve got. And the universe often offers up grace and luck and the kindness of strangers. We’re here. We’re doing our best. Whether we believe it or not. and Life marches on.
My body has been deeply effected by my living in all of those scenarios – the constant mental track of possible outcomes, most of them unacceptable at some level. Prepare and avoid, Predict and control. All thinking, all the time. The body releasing stress chemicals as if it were ALL TRUE NOW. ….
But isn’t that our responsibility? Preparing for the future? Doing our best to make the conditions amenable to future thriving? Making the future better? Protecting what we love?
I don’t think so. I mean, I do think so, but only AFTER we’ve put the oxygen mask on ourselves. We don’t sacrifice the present moment to the future (at least for a few present moments per day). we embody in the present moment as our most valuable contribution to any future. Bring the fullness of our experience and an open heart to the task at hand. Some people are great at it. I want to be. Hence this practice. Being in the present moment and bringing the fullness of our being and resources to that with which we are in encounter. trusting that Life Itself is life positive and things are progressing as they only can given all the inputs up until now. all of our power for change is in the present moment – but our mental track isn’t going to facilitate it (else its gazillion efforts so far would have). Our bodies are quite excellent at it when given the opportunity.
Sense and respond is THE BOMB! Sitting in this present moment, the fullness of your heart and head, intentions and relationships, failings and triumphs – all of it learning… pointing ourselves, by the focus of our attention, to what we care about – the full expression of our values and hopes for the world. Spending our time there. Practicing. Developing capacity and support networks. Creating the future.
Predict and control models have us imagining a future, and all the ways we, other people and the world need to change to have it come out acceptably.
Sense and Respond models say, I am equipped for what this experience has for me. I will access what I know and respond to this situation to the best of my ability. I do my best and see what’s next instead of seeing how it stacks up to an imagined future where all the problems are solved. I spent most of my time mentally arranging the world. i still do far too often. But in this practice I glimpse the other side of the rainbow. real peace with life. and curiosity and enjoyment and shining. Of each of us. we are the expression of life itself in relationship.
Is that even possible?
Feels true to me. It’s an orientation, I think. I certainly haven’t experienced it all true/all the time. But the more I align with it, the more evidence i get. Try it! just for a breath or two. see how it feels in your body 😉