Next time you catch yourself rushing through your day on the way some place other than where you are right now (and this can be a mental or emotional “rushing” as well as a physical one), sense your entire body and pay particular attention to your breathing. What does your breath feel like? Does it feel open and spacious? Most likely it feels small and cramped. Ask yourself if this is really how you want to live your life, always tensing toward something to be done or enjoyed (or something you believe will be better) in the future. Yes, the future is important and we all have plenty to do on its behalf, but what’s the point of all this “doing” if we don’t actually feel and appreciate the miracle of our aliveness, our being, right here and now? What’s the point of all of this activity if we are not open enough to receive and appreciate the life force flowing through us and others and the rich scale of impressions and perceptions that come with it?
Copyright 2010-2013 by Dennis Lewis
Many of us hang “Do Not Disturb” signs around our minds and hearts. We close ourselves off to impressions that may shake us and help us think and feel and sense in new, more honest and vital ways. For those of us who wish to discover who or what we really are, it’s important to remove the sign for several minutes each day and open ourselves as fully as possible to impressions of truth, especially those impressions of which we are most fearful.
Copyright 2013 by Dennis Lewis. First published on my Facebook Fan Page on April 4, 2013.
Ah, nostalgia. All through history people have looked back to the good old days. I myself spent my teenage days and nights on a lake surrounded by woods and wandered freely with my dog, a boxer. I hunted, fished, swam, played ice hockey, put my tent up in the woods, and used to climb a beautiful old tree across the street from our lake house and hang out there for hours on end sometimes reading and listening to music. Computers and smart phones had no place in my life, not even in my imagination.
Life changes, though, and technological innovation has been occurring at an ever-accelerating rate since those days. The enormous IBM 360/370 computers that I used to program using punch cards have given way to tiny, powerful computers that fit in our pockets and purses and allow us to communicate worldwide through the Internet. It won’t be long before we no longer carry computers and phones outside our bodies but rather within our very flesh, including our brains. Eventually these computers will be as small as our red blood cells and transmitting over whatever kind of invisible network we have then. We will be able, perhaps, to converse with people around the world, without speaking out loud or touching virtual keys, just through our intention and attention.
It’s not a matter of whether we want that future or not. Short of a great disaster, it, or something like it, is no doubt on its way. Those who are alive then will, of course, still be faced with the sacred work of searching, accepting, and welcoming, the work of awakening to the truth of who and what we are. And a tiny aspect of truth is that our technologies are a natural extension and development of our brains. The great chess champions can no longer beat the most powerful computers at chess, and computers are becoming exponentially smarter every year. You can be sure that their integration into our lives and the affairs of the world will become even more ubiquitous and intimate.
We humans are wondrous creatures, capable of great intelligence and great ignorance. How we engage our brain power and awareness does and will depend in large part, of course, on what’s in our hearts, but it will also depend on our level of ‘being,’ a word not referenced much in today’s world. Yet how important the reality that this tiny word evokes is and will continue to be to our integrity and potential!
Karlfried Graf Durckheim wrote, “Being is the animating force in everything that lives, and it provides a three-fold impetus; every living thing seeks to live; every living thing seeks not merely to live, but to become fully and uniquely itself; and every living thing seeks to fulfill itself in transcendent totality.” The question we must ask here, though, is whether we will indeed remember the great potential of our being and do what’s necessary to create healthy conditions for its “three-fold impetus.”
There is the poetry that people write, so important for culture and society, and there is the poetry that people live, in which no separation exists between poet and poem, and no more is needed than the living itself. Being a living poem is possible for anyone willing to look clearly at the surface of things while listening and responding to the mystery beneath.
Copyright 2013 by Dennis Lewis. First published on my Facebook Fan Page.
March 12, 2013
Glorious morning here in the desert! Just slightly cool fresh air under an immense blue sky filled with blazing light. After we (my wife, our dog, and I) returned from our walk, I fed the birds and gave them fresh water, spreading the seed over a wide space–the space of my attention. I really enjoy this process of holding the container, jiggling it to let just enough seed fall to the earth, and making sure that there is some seed everywhere in the ‘bird cafe’ so the birds don’t have to fight to eat–and they usually don’t. Plenty of seed and space for them all (about 100-200 or so birds of many kinds). Even without the beautiful birdsong with which they fill the air, I would feed them, though it does feel like a beautiful exchange. Feeding the birds is part of my morning ritual, though sometimes my wife takes care of it.
We really feel connected with nature here. Of course there are also rabbits and hares around; they love to eat the desert grass. We first see the rabbits’ white tails and the hares’ long ears. The hares are really large–and fast. One of our good friends (a great lover of nature who drives up from Arivaca both to visit and to take part in some of our group activities) sometimes refers to the rabbits as “nature’s snack food,” since, of course, they are fast food for many larger creatures, including coyotes. Soon the snakes will be waking up from their hibernation and we will need to pay even more attention to where we walk, which means, of course, that we cannot be lost in dreams. I do indeed love the desert! It evokes natural meditation–meditation in action–always fresh and alive.