just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

Deepening Balance and Sensitivity

Published on 09/11/15
by randy

Breath in 'yes', breath out 'thank you'

Breath in ‘yes’, breath out ‘thank you’

Where do we find our grounding…that silent confidence that’s providing our stability, even when the earthquake happens? There’s an awareness beyond the physical and emotional that allows the energy of the world to pass through us, to reveal itself, without getting caught, wounded or conditioned by it. This gaining balance and sensitivity comes through the “awareness” or witnessing mind. This cultivation of balancing body/mind/spirit takes dedicated practice. Some have called this an investment in ‘unborn security’. It’s that grounding that knows we’ve been placed here for a purpose…to experience this moment. It’s about beauty. It’s about cultivating that awareness and space to find the gift in the given. Even in the most terrible of places, beauty is continually asking to be seen. We’re constantly being asked to make peace with the world, just the way it “is”.

Can you imagine how diplomacy would change if we honored this practice in all of our meetings? Rather than prayer to another’s ‘belief system’, all parties would sit in silence, breathing together, thinking of goodness and intentions to heal. Even if this were just for a minute, people would have a chance to develop a new habit as they all took an affirmative “yes” breath in and a gratitude “thank you” breath out. This practice develops grounding, balance and sensitivity to hearing one another as each other. This is how indigenous cultures approached difficult meetings. There was first a period of breathing together in silence. This process humbled them, allowed them to align with one another’s humanity, and opened the door to gentler solutions. Actually, this is what I read the Declaration of Independence to mean through it’s mandate to “surrender to divine Providence”. It asks the participants to surrender their fixed notions of solution in surrender to a bigger solution that will bubble up when all parties set mutual intention for what’s “best for all with harm to none”. Obviously, this approach went by the way with lobbying, super pacs, and other forms of special interest groups. When we have an interest we’ve attached to, a thought we’re fixed on, an issue to push, we’re no longer ready, willing or able to meet one another with the open mind. Our capacity to cultivate balance and sensitivity to a bigger, gentler solution has been thwarted. Rather than dialogue, there’s a turn taking monologue. Rather than bigger solutions, there’s compromise. The dualistic power element of this view of diplomacy is framed in ‘winners and losers’. The failure of the parties to get bigger than the problem almost always results in a limited solution that comes back to haunt us. The beauty that’s continually being asked to be seen has been blocked by the closed mind.

As we deepen our balance we deepen our sense of ‘being’. And to ‘just be’ means to awake, be alive and creative. In this space of ‘being’, you have to live in full gratefulness. In this grounded space we wake up to a new calm, a deeper sense of fulfillment, a feeling of support and uplifting, and a stronger sense of a bigger belonging. Brother David Steindl Rast calls these the ‘rooms of gratefulness’ and highlights the opposite end of the spectrum when touching them:
When we’re the most calm we’re the most energized.
When we’re the most fulfilled we’re the most open and receptive.
When we’re uplifted and filled with a sense of support, standing taller, we’re humbled, brought closer to the earth.
When grounded, filled with a sense of connection, we’re totally unconcerned about ourselves (ego).
He goes on to say that when dealing with the paradoxical nature of the above, he’s pretty sure we’re dealing with the Ultimate. When your awareness opens to how the opposites coincide you water the seeds of faith, hope and love. You find a bigger trust that takes a bigger courage. Brother David asks the following: “Are you a person of hope or hopes? Can you tell, when all hopes go down the drain, that you’ll come back tomorrow with new hope? Are you forever open to surprise? Open to receive that not everything will come out well?” He calls this the “yes to belonging” with your whole being and points out how we can’t have gratefulness without acknowledging this belonging. To really come alive we deepen our balance and sensitivity to our interdependence, what Thich Nhat Hanh calls “inter-Being”. We experience the mystery in ourselves, yet we don’t know ourselves as we discover ourselves through our choices. We develop increasing awareness in seeing the divine in everything we see. We carry a receptiveness that’s open where our very life, our living and thinking, is totally mysterious to us as we meet surprise. There’s a circle dance of gratefulness as the source continually gives itself into the manifest and we give this back in thankfulness. This dance deepens our sensitivity to life, to the moment, grounds us, and as we cultivate gratitude, the creative experience gives itself up. Suzuki Roshi refers to us as “creative artists of life” as we grow this awareness, deepening our sense of balance and sensitivity. It’s what real listening is about and it begins from sitting together in silence, breathing in ‘yes’ and breathing out ‘thank you’.

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