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

Moving to the Light

Common Sense

Common sense comes from the senses, not from common belief. When we can listen deeply we can sense the interconnection of all things. We are amazed with the gifts of these bodies, the air, the land, the water and the sunshine. Listening deeply brings us to our knees in humility, to this very gift of life and the nature of impermanence. In the song “Amazing Grace“ the line is ‘I was blind, but now I see’. It’s not talking about thoughts or beliefs, but senses. When we’re willing to hurt another there’s always a belief system behind it. We somehow think we’re right and we’re afraid others will hurt us if they don’t think or believe what we believe. Yet, our healing will come from our pledge of allegiance to not cause harm… to one another, to ourselves, to the community, the other creatures on the planet. When we can see that everything is sacred we have come to that place of acknowledging “common ground“. When we can touch this place of common sense and common ground we have no other choice but to respect each other. And with this bigger belonging, with his common sense, we have the faith to allow a bigger answer… a bigger solution… a collaborative effort that is far better than anything our reasonable minds could come up with by ourselves.

Amazing Grace…was blind, but now I see

Culture of Conformity or Creativity?

A culture of conformity will try to persuade you to think a certain way. A culture of creativity would encourage your open mind. When you find yourself listening to the same news, to the same echo chamber, to the same thoughts of religion and politics, you find yourself in a culture of conformity and you find a smaller belonging from those who think like you. The culture of creativity would always teach to a deeper question, never to a dogmatic absolute answer. The precision of the universe far exceeds the limitations of our mind. When we understand fully that all we’re doing is trying to build a more accurate map to a territory that is so far beyond our comprehension we can only bow in humility to the mystery of it all. The culture of conformity projects an arrogance, a focus on “thinking it’s right“. The culture of conformity is not capable of laying its thoughts down with the stilled mind in readiness to receive something that is bigger. The indigenous understood this. The mystics understood this. And any who have bowed in humility to “I don’t know land“, to that place without words, to the stillness of the Divine, the only response can be the desire for a culture of creativity. 

This is a culture that realizes that happiness comes from shelter, food, a sense of safety and a certain sense of belonging. But it also recognizes that when we have enough, trying to get more doesn’t make us happier. This is the principal from Sweden called “lagom”, this notion of “just enough”.   From “Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living”, “According to happiness research, money makes us happy, but only to a degree.  If we’re poor, cash will add to our sense of happiness, but if we’re already well off, more of it won’t make us happier. A ‘lagom’ amount of money is enough; beyond that, our happiness levels depend on other factors.”  This is quite contrary to the American dream model that ‘more is better and bigger is necessary’.

A culture of conformity would try to control you through persuasive speech. Whether it be the marketing of the clothes you wear, the political view you hold, the religion you believe is “the right religion“, the medication that is the right prescription to end your disease, the foods you should eat or the beer or wine you should drink etc. A culture of creativity would have you fully examining what brings you to that place of “ease”. The culture of conformity is a culture of “this is” as dictated by the loudest voice or the most convincing parental authoritarian. The culture of creativity recognizes the value of balance, equanimity, sustained joy and well-being and the training needed to still the craving mind of dissatisfaction.The only thing we need to conform to is our deep intention to not cause harm. Once we can agree on this we can set our thoughts and actions to relieving the suffering of others, to feeding stewardship for the gifts that we have received through the air, land, water, and the beauty of nature and those around us. Once we realize what real “well-being“ is, we find it lives in our center. The center of the body is where we find our grounding and our stability. When we realize this we realize the value in becoming lighter, craving less and hanging on less, to finding that place of ‘just enough’. We become more nimble in our movement, filled with gratitude for what we have. The hungry ghost that’s always asking for more, the mind of dissatisfaction that feeds our disease, begins to settle down. This is the mind of moderation and we stop rewarding craving and excess material accumulation. We start living with greater balance, alignment, less complaint and more joy.

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