JUST SIT

Pay attention, trust, let go.

It feels like the country is a mess and that post truth, and consequently mistrust, is bubbling with conspiracy, spins, lies, partial truths, and more lies! Simply unhealthy ego, work-in-process human condition, and evolution. Daily, media headlines unfold racism, police shootings, shootings, voting rights suppression, political party sorting and associated partial truths, Jim Crow laws in new clothing, immigration crisis, critical race theory, LGBTQ rights, gun control chaos, automatic weapons violence, and politicized COVID-19. Americans are suffering, democracy is suffering, and the country is crossing the line of departure for a civil war, and more pain and suffering. Where has all the compassion and love gone? A culture that deliberately creates human suffering is wrong! And each of us are expressions of our culture.  Collectively, we can do better!

An analytical glance reveals a least common denominator to be polarization, nurtured by festering, unhealthy selves that unleash pain and suffering in many forms. Collective, interactive dialogue offers a breath of evolutionary optimism and hope for Americans to have productive, interactive, authentic dialogue, build coalitions, work together, and experience compassion as the antibiotic to confront this nasty infection. No one needs to suffer, and no one wants to suffer. A nice place to begin the journey from unhealthy self to the authentic self is to have fun buying some stickers. Catherine Price, in her Mindfulness Journal, recommends,

Buy a pack of small stickers—any kind will do—and place a dozen or so around your home and office in noticeable places, such as your bathroom mirror, your computer, the back of your phone, the wall behind your kitchen sink, your alarm clock, or the cover of this journal. Every time you see one of these stickers, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, BREATHE, AND BE.

Yes, stop what you are doing, take a slow, deep breath, enjoy the present moment, sense the emptiness, zero, spaciousness, and freedom. You might want to consider putting stickers on your computer, the car mirror, or the bathroom mirror. And have fun picking out stickers: Hobby Lobby offered beautiful butterflies, and they work like a charm.

If you are not already a meditator, a recommended next step is that you find a meditation coach and start a meditation practice. If you have never meditated before, have fun with it and be patient. To get you started, each morning practice sitting meditation for at least ten to twenty minutes. Find a comfortable, quiet place. You can sit in a chair, on a cushion, in your truck or car, or on the floor. When you sit in a chair, place your feet flat on the ground and sit upright. If you sit on the floor, sit in whatever way is comfortable: cross-legged, on a pillow, or on a meditation bench. Select a way that fits you! As you begin to take your seat, rock to the left and right, and then back and forth, to settle your buttocks. As you begin to settle in, sit with your head erect and your chin tucked in slightly. Put your shoulders back. Visualize your ears being aligned with your belly button; lift your head and neck as if they were being pulled by the sky. Find a comfortable position for your hands, such as resting them in your lap or one hand on each of your knees. You can sit with your eyes open or closed. If you sit with them open, lower your gaze, pick a spot on the floor in front of you, and let your eyes rest there. In sitting meditation, posture is like a foundation and is quite important for a resting mind: as the body goes, so goes the mind; as the mind goes, so goes the body. Good posture facilitates the easy flow of the breath, too. Pay attention, trust and let go. As you settle into your chosen posture, spend a few moments paying attention to your breathing, focusing on each in-breath and each out-breath. Feel your abdomen expanding when you breathe in. Feel it contracting when you breathe out. Note how the breath tickles the skin between your nose and upper lip. There is nothing to be accomplished, nothing to be gained. Notice your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Do not attach yourself to them, and do not reject them. Just observe them, let them go, and keep breathing. Experience the thrill of just being with everything. If you find you are having difficulty staying focused on your breath, use the technique of counting your breaths as a support. Take one in-breath and one out-breath, and count one, in, out, and count two, and so forth, until you reach ten. Once you have reached ten, count backward. Keep in mind that the point is not in getting to ten but in staying connected to your breath, being mindful of your breath. Pay attention, trust, let go.

Sitting practice offers a tremendous sense of freedom and peace. With daily practice, meditation can quite easily become a part of daily activities. The deep game is not about being dealt a better hand, but about playing the cards we are dealt with as much intelligence, care, and creativity as we possibly can. Now you are finally free to be the freedom you have been from the beginning. ‘Just this’ is the ultimate reward that comes from inhabiting the particular cartoon character you drew from this Kosmic deck of cards. Lao-tzu’s wisdom is clear, concise, and complete:

We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.

We work with being, but non-being is what we use.[1]

Just sit, transparent, authentic, pure, safe, all seeing and feel the freedom.

[1] Mitchell, 11

CO-CREATION

Military leaders learn about the principles of war, fundamental truths governing the prosecution of war. The application of these principles to the planning for and direction of war is called strategy; their application on the battlefield is called tactics. Principles of war include the objective, simplicity, unity of command, the offensive, maneuver, mass, economy of force, surprise, and security. [Notes for the Course in the History of the Military Art, Department of Military Art and Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1957, 1-3)

The civil War of 2021 is revealing strategies and tactics of words and actions either 1) to win votes [Democrats] to improve, evolve and preserve democracy; or 2) to suppress votes [Trump Party], deconstruct democracy and install autocracy.

Three strategies the Democrats have unfolded are to preserve the soul of the American political system, to strengthen the backbone of the country, and to unite the country. Some of the Democratic tactics being used to earn votes are planned improvement “actions” related to COVID-19, infrastructure, voting rights, immigration, gun safety, and foreign policy.  Continued strategies of the Trump Party are to divide the country, retain white supremacy, deliberately fan the fires of racism, sow fear, and to suppress voting rights of minorities through the tactic of 250 pieces of voter suppression legislation in 43 states. Other intentional tactics are lying, working problems, blocking improvements, creating chaos, deconstructing, dismantling, bickering, sowing hate, and dividing.

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” (Y. Berg) And a person who controls the message of words has tremendous power over others.

As 2021 and 2022 unfold, political leadership choices will be revealed. More than likely choices will be driven by words pontificating past results and popular actions. A spectrum of positive words that create the stories…freedom, prosperity, security, facts, unity, truth, order, respect, harmony, poise, receptivity, positiveness, team effort, teamwork, childcare, guardians, self-mastery, integral life practice, health, non-partisan, wellness and well-being, mindfulness, awareness, self-restraint, values, equality, fairness, globally respected, quality, guiding principles, ethics, peace, clean air, allies, non-partisan, value in diversity, safe schools, no debt, sincerity, trustworthy, believable, passionate, disciplined, generosity, wise, direct, open, nice, 100% responsibility, apology, loving-kindness, patient, tolerant, compassionate, humanness, beautiful, smiling, et al.

An array of negative words that create the stories…lies, lynching, deception, casts, spins, obstruction, abuse, conspiracy, human scum, traitors, chaos, entertainment, dynasty, autocracy, racism, above the law, divisiveness, partisan, war, bombs and bullets, street shootings, smoke and mirrors, impeachment, corruption, fear, abuse of power, obstruction of justice, cult-like, tribal, business failings, pay-offs, porn stars, partisan vulgarity, broken promises, scandals, low character, bad judgement, failed policies, cover-ups, low intellect, disruption, conflict, deconstruction, selfish, narcissist, demagogue, cruel, fraud, short-sighted, et al.

Words are powerful and the paradox of choice is clear: an America for Americans that is inspiring and visionary for generations to come—freedom, love, hope, happiness, peace-of-mind, purpose, and connections created on a foundation of compassion and good; or an America for Americans that is evil and dictatorial for generations to come—pay-back, fear, hate, vindictive, intimidation, economic insecurity, casts, racism, decay, and global disrespect. Christian D. Larson offers, “So long as we continue to resist or deny evil, we will think about evil, and so long as we think about evil, evil will be impressed upon the subconscious, that the subconscious will reproduce and bring forth into personal life.” When there is only one power which decides who is right and who is wrong, and who should be punished and who not, we have a form of…dictatorship. (James Heiser). The mission is quite clear: to merge with others to co-create, transcend and include others, and evolve democracy for “We the people…”

LET GO

Just play golf, create conditions for peak performance, and be happy!! The hole in one is just around the corner! Csikszentmihalyi offers,

What I discovered was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy…It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find happiness, not by trying to look for it directly…So how can we reach this elusive goal that cannot be attained by a direct route? My studies of the past have convinced me that there is a way. It is a circuitous path that begins with achieving control over the contents of our consciousness.

Stop what you are doing. Breathe deep a few times. Just sit, be, witness your expression of culture, touch the evolutionary impulse, become, and feel the inspiration for improvement and perfectionism. What should the diet be? Choose a plateful of conditions for peak performance to manifest a BIG YES! Simply create conditions for the authentic self, and the authentic self of others, to show up with the best of the best for golfun, helping others, and evolution of the universe. Happiness will be there! Some golf and life tenets that deserve a try:

  1. Be a meditator to awaken, go to zero frequently: pay attention, trust, and let go.
  2. Awareness of the psychology of the mind and emotions.
  3. Know how to program and trust the subconscious mind.
  4. Have a good coach.
  5. Practice and play to have fun.
  6. Nurture passionate intent and 100% responsibility for integral life practice.
  7. Target for simple.
  8. Know how to create your unique conditions for peak-zone-flow performance in life and golf.

-Good listener. Listen first to be understood.

-Silence works wonders.

-Celebrate “big yesses!”

-Put the self aside; get out of your own way.

-Sit in the flames of inner conscious and unconscious turmoil with patience and compassion.

-Transcend ego.

-Unconditional openness.

-Be the evolutionary impulse.

-Love diversity of words, minds, and bodies.

-Community of authentic oneness is energizing and manifests change and evolution.

-Investigate and dig deep.

-Peace-of-mind.

-Trust, trust, trust.

-Truth, truth, truth.

-Stop what you are doing, breathe, be, and become.

-Be spontaneous.

-Be authentic.

-Model the way, cultivate the best human qualities.

-Practice relaxed focus.

-Be the nondual orchestra, say “yes” together, create pure positivity together.

-Taste the vibrations of the togetherness opportunities and creations.

Golf is simple; and difficult to figure out and play. Have joy golfun and on every shot being with the evolutionary impulse to manifest oneness with body, mind, club, ball, and target, just peak performance.

 

BIG YES!

For every shot the golfer needs to evolve a Ritual for creating a personal, “big yes” teepee where the conscious mind becomes quiet, the body, ball, club, and target become one, and the programmed subconscious is afforded absolute trust to deliver a golf shot. In 1929 legendary Bobby Jones remarked,

 The golf swing is a most complicated combination of muscular actions, too complex to be controlled by objective conscious mental effort. Consequently, we must rely a good deal upon the instinctive reactions acquired by long practice. It has been my experience that the more completely we can depend upon this instinct—the more thoroughly we can divest the subjective mind of conscious control, the more exclusion of all thoughts as to method—is the secret of a good shot…After taking the stance, it is too late to worry. The only thing to do is to hit the ball. [Gallwey, W. (1998). The Inner Game of Golf. NY, NY: Random, 19-20]

It could be argued that pulling the trigger to make the shot is the most critical of all elements of the shot cycle; and it may be the simplest, and yet, possibly the most difficult because it must be done without the Captain’s thinking, with absolute trust of the subconscious to perform to expectations, and when the golfer is excited and has energized the impulse to manifest a fantastic golf shot. As we settle to create the space bubble—the state of quiet presence—we are deliberately breathing; and the Ritual is automatic and is the one distinct stimulus that will trigger, coordinate, and create the conditions for the authentic self to show up to create-manifest the “big yes.” Quite simply, the creation of the conditions that facilitate potential emergence of the peak performance state—the visualized, inspired intent to put a ball at the target, 100% responsibility-life happens because of me, not to me, sitting in the flames-face everything, avoid nothing, and awareness and patience—we are empty, and the trigger is absently pulled.

This evolving master skill is individually unique and is the state of being present, tension-free, with that which is intended, for as long as intended [Shoemaker, F. (2007). Extraordinary Putting, NY, NY: Penguin, 8-10]. We summon the inner artist for a remarkable and often indescribable zone experience of spiritual oneness; and one becomes witness to freedom and an intuitive unleashing of a unique, creative, synchronous flow of human physical activity. Simply relax and put your awareness where your deepest natural breathing originates—sensed image approximately 1½ inches below your navel. Let breathing be deep and full, shake loose any tension in the muscles, and trust that as center is experienced—seamless unity of body, mind, and spirit setting the stage for “sweet impact” and zone performance—well-practiced actions will result naturally without effort. A “quick and dirty,” Ritual checklist might include:

  • Take a couple of deep, elevating breaths and visualize energy circulating between your feet and the earth below you. Feel static and dynamic balance and sense a balanced and solid foundation; and connect with the environment surrounding you.
  • Take three-five short, explosive breaths into the upper chest to activate the sympathetic nervous system, increase oxygen, and intensify subtle energy currents. Charge the whole body, physically and emotionally, preparing for the exertion to come, make a final visual touch of the target.
  • On an out-breath, one-pointed concentration on the point of impact of club with ball—mindfulness—channeling all body energies into a laser beam of relaxed, focused concentration, letting go of everything—self-restraint—and sensing the synchronous, flowing swing to impact with a ball creatively floating to the target—awareness.

Squeeze Trigger: With passion burning, the captain of the ship unconsciously squeezes the auto-pilot button and trusts the programmed subconscious to creatively deliver a ball to an intended target.

A good athlete can enter a state of body-awareness in which the right stroke or the right movement happens by itself, effortlessly, without any interference of the conscious will. This is the paradigm for non-action: the purest and most effective form of action. The game plays the game; the poem writes the poem; we cannot tell the dancer from the dance. [Mitchell, S. (2006). tao te ching. NY, NY: Harper, viii.]

The challenge and opportunity are to create the conditions for zone performance to become reality on every shot!

 

JUST SIT

Hear, perk, breathe, sit, be, and become the experience of a, positive, BIG YES!

It feels like the country is a mess and that post truth, and consequently mistrust, is bubbling with conspiracy, spins, lies, partial truths, and more lies! Simply unhealthy ego, work-in-process human condition, and evolution. Daily, media headlines unfold racism, police shootings, shootings, voting rights suppression, political party sorting and associated partial truths, Jim Crow laws in new clothing, immigration crisis, critical race theory, LGBTQ rights, gun control chaos, automatic weapons violence, and politicized COVID-19. Americans are suffering, democracy is suffering, and the country is crossing the line of departure for a civil war, and more pain and suffering. Where has all the compassion gone? A culture that deliberately creates human suffering is wrong! And each of us are expressions of our culture.

An analytical glance reveals a least common denominator to be polarization, nurtured by festering, unhealthy selves that unleash pain and suffering in many forms. Collective, interactive dialogue offers a breath of evolutionary optimism and hope for Americans to have productive, interactive, authentic dialogue, build coalitions, work together, and experience compassion as the antibiotic to confront this nasty infection. No one needs to suffer, and no one wants to suffer. A nice place to begin the journey from unhealthy self to the authentic self is to have fun buying some stickers. Catherine Price, in her Mindfulness Journal, recommends,

Buy a pack of small stickers—any kind will do—and place a dozen or so around your home and office in noticeable places, such as your bathroom mirror, your computer, the back of your phone, the wall behind your kitchen sink, your alarm clock, or the cover of this journal. Every time you see one of these stickers, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, BREATHE, AND BE.

Yes, stop what you are doing, take a slow, deep breath, enjoy the present moment, sense the emptiness, zero, spaciousness, and freedom. You might want to consider putting stickers on your computer, the car mirror, or the bathroom mirror. And have fun picking out stickers: mine came from Hobby Lobby, are beautiful butterflies, and they work like a charm.

If you are not already a meditator, a recommended next step is that you find a meditation coach and start a meditation practice. If you have never meditated before, have fun with it and be patient. To get you started, each morning practice sitting meditation for at least ten to twenty minutes. Find a comfortable, quiet place. You can sit in a chair, on a cushion, in your truck or car, or on the floor. When you sit in a chair, place your feet flat on the ground and sit upright. If you sit on the floor, sit in whatever way is comfortable: cross-legged, on a pillow, or on a meditation bench. Select a way that fits you! As you begin to take your seat, rock to the left and right, and then back and forth, to settle your buttocks. As you begin to settle in, sit with your head erect and your chin tucked in slightly. Put your shoulders back. Visualize your ears being aligned with your belly button; lift your head and neck as if they were being pulled by the sky. Find a comfortable position for your hands, such as resting them in your lap or one hand on each of your knees. You can sit with your eyes open or closed. If you sit with them open, lower your gaze, pick a spot on the floor in front of you, and let your eyes rest there. In sitting meditation, posture is like a foundation and is quite important for a resting mind: as the body goes, so goes the mind; as the mind goes, so goes the body. Good posture facilitates the easy flow of the breath, too. As you settle into your chosen posture, spend a few moments paying attention to your breathing, focusing on each in-breath and each out-breath. Feel your abdomen expanding when you breathe in. Feel it contracting when you breathe out. Note how the breath tickles the skin between your nose and upper lip. There is nothing to be accomplished, nothing to be gained. Notice your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Do not attach yourself to them, and do not reject them. Just observe them, let them go, and keep breathing. If you find you are having difficulty staying focused on your breath, use the technique of counting your breaths as a support. Take one in-breath and one out-breath, and count one, in, out, and count two, and so forth, until you reach ten. Once you have reached ten, count backward. Keep in mind that the point is not in getting to ten but in staying connected to your breath, being mindful of your breath.

Sitting practice offers a tremendous sense of freedom and peace. With daily practice, meditation can quite easily become a part of your daily activities. The deep game is not about being dealt a better hand, but about playing the cards we are dealt with as much intelligence, care, and creativity as we possibly can. Now you are finally free to be the freedom you have been from the beginning. ‘Just this’ is the ultimate reward that comes from inhabiting the particular cartoon character you drew from this Kosmic deck of cards. Lao-tzu’s wisdom is clear, concise, and complete:

We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.

We work with being, but non-being is what we use.

Just sit.

FULL PLATE

America is at a crossroads, a fulcrum, a tipping point, between a democratic republic—freedom—and autocracy—control. As Americans, we each need to decide what type of country we desire; and what each of us can do to facilitate the strategic, competitive, common sense battle with our principle global competitor, China. Some folks will pitch-in and make things happen; some folks will watch what happened; and some folks will wonder what happened.

There are a bunch of strategies and stuff that needs to get done: non-political voting rights management, technology building, infrastructure maintenance and improvement, jobs creation, healthcare, childcare, immigration reform, countering systemic racism, LGBTQ rights, minimum wage, climate control, confronting home grown, white supremacy, terrorism, fair share tax reform, sanely evolving through COVID-19 and preparing for future pandemics, education re-tuning and funding, sane gun control, policing in communities, et al. As the two Japanese characters for crisis offer on the tattoo, with danger comes opportunity. The danger is continued and expanded division and autocracy; and the opportunity is to work on our unhealthy personal and collective issues, participate in interactive dialogue and coalitions, and get done what is good for all Americans.

An opinion is that cultic-tribal addiction—political party sorting—is simply unresolved discomfort within the emotional body, the unhealthy self, or as offered in Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening (Wilber, Patten, Leonard, and Morelli, 2008, Boston, MA: Integral, page 41, 92-93),

…the shadow or dark side of the psyche, those aspects of ourselves that we’ve split off, rejected, denied, hidden from ourselves, projected onto others, or otherwise disowned…repressed unconscious…because we’ve pushed or pressed it out of our awareness, and unconscious because we are not aware of it…But the fact that we are not conscious or aware of the shadow does not mean that it has no effect: it just expresses itself through distorted and unhealthy means-or what is typically called neuroses…safety and security are sought by bonding together and identifying (fusing) with a tribe in order to persevere and protect against outsiders. Allegiance and admiration are given to the chief…emergence of a sense of self (ego) distinct from the tribe, although it often acts impulsively on behalf of its favored group.

Undoing and reintegrating this repressed and denied unconscious to improve our psychological health is process and is not easy; however, the work can free energy that has been spent shadowboxing with the self, making excuses, spinning, blaming, and telling stories. An initial step is simply a sense of openness and a commitment to face everything and fear nothing, just sit in the flames of the unresolved discomfort and give birth to penetrating insight and skillful means. We are merely witnessing the evolution of the human condition, and with patience, persistence, education, compassion, learning, and spirituality, we can move forward together, not further divided, and closer to autocracy. Individually and collectively, we can grow mindfulness, awareness, and self-restraint, and quiet the insatiable, unhealthy ego; and the dampening of anger, egotistical pride, jealousy, envy, doubt, ignorance, attachment, and fear can begin to free energy to nurture peace-of-mind and a sense of happiness and joy. Let us get this job done for all Americans, not just a select few. Casts, conflicting political messages, and deliberate, negative words that separate, attack, and divide are simply wrong. If open to the challenge, ready for the opportunity, and in need of a boost to get started: 1) In her Mindfulness Journal, Catherine Price recommends, Buy a pack of small stickers—any kind will do—and place a dozen or so around your home and office in noticeable places, such as your bathroom mirror, your computer, the back of your phone, the wall behind your kitchen sink, your alarm clock, or the cover of (your) journal. Every time you see one of these stickers, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, BREATHE, AND BE. 2) Locate a credible meditation instructor and learn to meditate. 3) Two questions for reflection: What unlocks compassion? What manifests happiness, joy, and peace-of-mind?

MINUS ONE TO PLUS ONE

Hear, perk, breathe, and just sit, be and become the experience of a BIG YES!

Racism, police shootings, mass shootings, conspiracies, voting rights suppression, political party sorting, Jim Crow laws in new clothing, immigration, deliberate fanning of the flames of white supremacy, LGBTQ rights, gun control bickering, automatic weapons violence, and politicized COVID-19, these have been recent American headlines. People are suffering, democracy is suffering, and the country is crossing the line of departure for a civil war, and more pain and suffering. Where has all the compassion gone?

An analytical glance reveals a least common denominator to be polarization, nurtured by festering, unhealthy ego that unleashes pain and suffering in many forms. Collective, interactive dialogue offers a breath of evolutionary optimism and hope for Americans to unify, build coalitions, work together, and experience compassion as the antibiotic to confront this nasty infection. No one needs to suffer, and no one wants to suffer. The purpose of this BLOG is to share reflections about week two of a 14-week process with Andrew Cohen[1] to facilitate Awakening Collective Intelligence Beyond Polarization. During week one, as a point of departure for beginning to transcend ego language and meet each other beyond small ego, Andrew discussed the four selves—healthy ego; unhealthy ego, something is wrong (-1); true self, nothing is wrong (0); and authentic self, pure positivity, BIG YES (+1). During week two Andrew discussed making the journey from relative truth to absolute truth, from -1 to 0 to +1.

Perking the whereabouts of the personal four selves has been fascinating. Reflections offer that the unhealthy ego includes the negative garbage, shows up as anger, depression, intolerance, criticism, selfishness, judgment, and impatience. Underneath is doubt, not knowing, insecurity, and fear, fear of failure, fear of not getting things right, and fear of rejection. The healthy ego includes the virtues and values, perhaps a track record of successes. And it feels like the unhealthy ego and healthy ego, conscious and unconscious, get in the way of absolute reality.

Transcending small ego to the true self is obscure; and a question has surfaced: Is the true self the same as the sentinel? With meditation, the sentinel has become witness to the unhealthy ego and the healthy ego, the inner roommates, or monkeys in action. And there is more work to be done! This true self shows up in silence and it loves the silence; and wants to remain in silence, alone. It is quiet here, peaceful, and at times, warlike, stirring a “really?”

The authentic self, the creative impulse to exist as universe, pure positivity, a BIG YES, is obscure. A question lingers about whether an experience of the authentic self is the same as the occasional experience of peak performance on the golf course when without effort, all is flowing, relaxation is at an optimum, and the trust of the subconscious is immaculate. The authentic, creative self may also appear when writing: the idea is present, and the words just seem to flow to capture and manifest a soul that needs expression. While playing the piano, a fleeting sense of the authentic self may offer a hint of a BIG YES. As Andrew coaches, a good place to start the journey from ego-clinging to interactive conversation is, “I do not know; I know I do not know; and I want to know.”

On April 21, during a virtual meeting with eight strangers from the Netherlands, London, Washington, South Dakota, Arizona, and Denmark, the assignment is to participate in a conversation from a position of zero, from I do not know, I want to know, from emptiness. It was an experience that the author did not want to end. What is it that creates response to folks? Physical appearance? Clothing? Nonverbal communication? Sound of the voice? Words shared? Environment? Is the response positive or negative? Is there a reaction? What is it that causes words to emerge? The evolutionary impulse? What is the hidden emotion? Fear? Are they the right words? What will folks think? What creates tension to know? The evolutionary impulse?

While chatting about the journey from relative to absolute on April 25, Andrew offered that at -1 something is wrong; at 0 nothing is wrong, nothing ever happened, emptiness, it is childlike innocence; and at +1 life is being lived with all one has, a BIG YES, pure positivity, and the creative self is alive.

Suffering catalyzes the search for the authentic self. Requisites for the journey from relative (-1) to absolute (+1) are simply getting out of the way; and resisting ego’s perspective. It is nice that the ego forgets and that the true self and the authentic self remember. A couple of lingering questions: How do I know where I am on the journey? Are peak experiences, or zone experiences, the same as an experience of the authentic self? The goal is to stay awake: it is easy to wake up; and the hard part is staying awake.

Lots of learning; and need to move forward with the perking, sitting, and experiencing.

[1] Andrew Cohen, www.manifest-nirvana.com; Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening (2011, NY, NY: Select Books); and www.andrewcohen.org.

INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE

Hear, perk, breathe and just sit, be with the experience!

Racism, police shootings, mass shootings, conspiracies, voting rights suppression, political party sorting, Jim Crow laws in new clothing, deliberate fanning of the flames of white supremacy, LGBTQ rights, gun control bickering, automatic weapons violence, and politicized COVID-19, these have been recent American headlines. It feels like people are suffering, democracy is suffering, and the country is crossing the line of departure for a civil war.

An analytical glance reveals a least common denominator to be polarization, nurtured by festering, unhealthy ego that unfurls hate. Collective, interactive dialogue offers a breath of evolutionary optimism and hope for Americans to unify, build coalitions, work together, and unleash compassion as antibiotics to confront this nasty infection. No one needs to suffer, and no one wants to suffer. The purpose of this BLOG is to share reflections about week one of a 14-week process with Andrew Cohen[1] to facilitate Awakening Collective Intelligence Beyond Polarization. During week one Andrew Cohen discussed the four selves—healthy ego; unhealthy ego; true self; and authentic self—as a point of departure for beginning to transcend ego language and meet each other beyond small ego.

Perking the whereabouts of the personal four selves has been fascinating. Reflections offer that my unhealthy ego, the negative attitude garbage, shows up as anger, depression, intolerance, criticism, judgment, and impatience. Underneath is doubt, not knowing, insecurity, and fear, fear of failure, fear of not getting things right, and fear of rejection. The healthy ego, the positive, good stuff to nurture, the cauldron that shows up as character and personality, includes confidence, leadership, guiding principles, 100% responsibility, values, inspiration to improve, and a track record of successes.

Transcending small ego to the true self starts to become a bit obscure; and a question has surfaced: Is the true self the same as the sentinel? With meditation, the sentinel has become witness to the unhealthy ego and the healthy ego, the inner roommates in action. And there is a great deal more work to be done! This true self shows up in silence and it loves the silence; and wants to remain in silence, alone. It is quiet here, peaceful, and at times, warlike, stirring a “really?” Memory offers that the first days of beginning to recognize the sentinel came while sitting—meditating—and beginning to silently listen to and watch the inner roommate while it sat on the edge of an air-filled mattress, at rest on the bedroom floor. At the time there was an intermittent taste of not wanting to suffer and to help others not suffer. Perhaps this was compassion beginning to rumble, stir, wake up, and be set free.

The authentic self, the creative impulse to exist as universe, pure positivity, is obscure. The only taste has been with the occasional experience of peak performance on the golf course when without effort, all is flowing, relaxation is at an optimum, and the trust of the subconscious is immaculate. The authentic, creative self also appears when writing: the idea is present, and the words just seem to flow to capture and manifest a soul that needs expression. While playing the piano, a fleeting sense of the authentic self occasionally offers a hint of a BIG YES. As Andrew Cohen coaches, a good place to start the journey from ego-clinging to interactive conversation is, “I do not know; I know I do not know; and I want to know.”

Yes! An interactive dialogical process to foster collective awakening, peace-of-mind, and purpose and connections built on a foundation of compassion can facilitate countering the flames of division in America. Step one is becoming aware of and understanding the four selves: unhealthy ego, healthy ego, the true self, and the authentic self. Am looking forward to the next steps and the journey of “I do not know; I know I do not know; and I want to know.”

 

[1] Andrew Cohen, www.manifest-nirvana.com; Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening (2011, NY, NY: Select Books); and www.andrewcohen.org.

LEADERSHIP MATTERS

Stop what you are doing! Breathe deep; and be. Take a few moments to feel the experience.

Buy a pack of small stickers—any kind will do—and place a dozen or so around your home and office in noticeable places, such as your bathroom mirror, your computer, the back of your phone, on the book you are reading, your clock. Every time you see one of the stickers, stop what you are doing, breathe deep; and be. Take a few moments to feel the experience. (Catherine Price, Mindfulness, a Journal, New York, NY: Clarkson Potter)

As one prepares for each new day, we recognize there is a great deal to get done in the battle for the soul of the Nation and to evolve our individual and collective consciousness and culture. As one reflects on our human interdependence, shared humanity, and aspiration to have happiness—financial viability, health, and companionship—and avoid suffering, a VISION of our “mighty task” might look something like this:

  • We evolve with core values and guiding principles for inner self-regulation to promote those aspects of human nature recognized as conducive to our own wellbeing and that of others.
  • We help others and the intention to improve is central to our evolutionary impulse.
  • We have leaders who have a track record of positive, ethical leadership successes, are well-qualified, are trusted, are team players, and recognize leadership is an influence relationship that energizes earned power and inspires willingness to achieve mutually defined ends.
  • We have limited government by the people and for the people; and promote democracy.
  • We are fiscally responsible, have free trade and economic stability and equity. Real annual per capita economic growth during presidential terms equals or exceeds mean growth during two previous terms. The economy is thriving for working, middle-class families: teeming with jobs, union solidarity, small businesses, agriculture programs and processes, essential childcare, corporate sanity, sound trade relationships, social security system, tax equity and sanity, and long-term care and financial security programs for seniors.
  • We ensure public safety and respect for law and order. No one is above the law. Communities are safe and inspire peaceful activities, including protests. Citizens and police are mutually respected; and violence on streets is not tolerated and is dealt with sanely.
  • We are visibly committed to health, wellness, and well-being for all citizens. There is affordable healthcare and viable public health outreach that enables integral physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, wellness, and well-being, coupled with honored per-existing conditions, decreasing drug prices, and necessary integral psychological health processes, including resolution of the opioid addiction.
  • We manifest a globally envied education system—facilities, teachers, curriculum, and schools of choice—that manifests evolving skills and talents for future generations.
  • We are prepared for pandemics. Leadership, management, and control of pandemics is through the Centers for Disease Control, coupled with state public health entities and active support and interface with the World Health Organization.
  • We foster strength in diversity, absence of systemic racism, and sane immigration. Racial, social justice, diversity, anti-racism, and women’s policies and programs model the way and evolve dismantling the conscious and unconscious pillars of racism.
  • We have media processes and sources who tell the truth, are objective, not self-serving and offer coverage that is in the best interests of the Nation. Lying, spinning, shallow, and offensive media offerings are not tolerated.
  • We nurture controlled business ethical and moral issues; and science is respected.
  • We have strong military, underwater, and space forces coupled with intelligence, technology leadership and sane gun laws. Veteran and veteran spouse-family-children benefits, outreach, integral psychological health, and combat veteran re-entry-transition programs are active.
  • We build and maintain international alliances and reasoned foreign policy; and we stand up to dictators. National security and foreign policy are supported with an inspired State Department and reputable allies for strategic underwater, space, and military security. Coalition building is facilitated by trust, respect, and mutual goals.
  • We have legal processes that are professional, objective, satisfy evolving cultural needs, and uphold the Constitution.
  • We foster marriage and children policies that satisfy the level and stage of the culture’s evolution and right to choose.
  • We honor freedom of religion and spiritual path.
  • We actively lead climate change awareness, control, and leadership.
  • We have a properly functioning democracy that demands fair and accurate voting systems and candid, wide-ranging exploration of crucial issues and ideas by candidates and parties. State-of-the-art voting processes manifest integrity and foster respect for democracy, the Constitution, and a decentralized culture with empowered citizens. Shallow and offensive campaigns are not tolerated; and the pragmatic electorate chooses a president according to performance of the party holding the White House as measured by consequential events and episodes of the term: economic boom and bust, foreign policy successes and failures, social unrest, scandal, and policy innovation.
  • We maintain, re-build, and evolve infrastructure to meet current and future needs.

Partisanship is shaking the mighty pillars of our democracy! Destroying the other party is not a viable objective! We are all Americans, and we can each choose to transcend and include others. Climb on-board to get the healing job done and evolve the consciousness and culture of this great country forward. Rachel Kleinfield and Aaron Sobel (USA Today, Friday, July 24, 2020, page 7A) offer, “7 ways to reduce political polarization: Destroying the other side cannot be our goal.”

  1. Call out your own party: speak truth to power and challenge your own tribe.
  2. Avoid bad jokes: words matter, and they can perpetuate existing violence and cultivate preexisting grievances.
  3. Make social media kinder: remove hateful messages, reduce the spread of hateful memes, and avoid prejudiced or polarizing speech.
  4. Downplay the fringes and highlight the median: provide information that overturns party sorted beliefs and that reduces polarization. There may be less disagreement on policy issues than thought.
  5. Emphasize disagreement within parties: most policy issues have a range of opinions within a party.
  6. Help others imagine empathy: stories that encourage others to take the perspective of the other party can reduce prejudice.
  7. Avoid repeating misinformation, even to debunk it: repetition leads the brain to think things are true; and there is a tendency to seek information that agrees with how one believes.

 Stop what you are doing! Breathe deep; and be. Take a few moments to feel the experience. Together, let us move forward and get this job done! Quite simply, positive action that moves current reality closer to the VISION!!

 

 

UNCIVIL WAR of 2021

As mentioned last week, military leaders learn about the principles of war, the fundamental truths governing the prosecution of war. These principles include the objective, simplicity, unity of command, the offensive, maneuver, mass, economy of force, surprise, and security.[1] The application of these principles to the planning for and direction of war is called strategy; their application on the battlefield is called tactics.

The Uncivil War of 2021 is revealing word created strategies and tactics either 1) to win votes to improve and preserve democracy; or 2) to suppress votes, deconstruct democracy, and install autocracy. Historic strategies of the white have been to employ tactics to retain privilege: enact laws to control people and claim territories, divide a country, deliberately fan the fires of racism, sow fear, and suppress voting rights of minorities through the tactic of voter suppression. Other intentional tactics are lying and spinning, working problems, blocking improvements, creating chaos, deconstructing, dismantling, bickering, sowing hate, dividing, et al.

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.” (Y. Berg) And a person who controls the message of words has tremendous power over others.

In This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism, Don Lemon contends anger, solidarity, compassion, and vision make change happen; and he offers,

For a long time now, we have needed the sort of intervention that places an addict on the road to recovery. There is potential for that rock-bottom moment in the pandemic of 2020, and it might be a long time before such a moment comes around again. Will we take the first step-admit we have a problem-and begin the hard work of our national salvation, or will we return to the comfort of the status quo like a junkie to the needle? We can release the burden of racism. We are capable of dialogue that fosters intersectional alliances. We can educate future generations with self-honesty and shared humanity. We are capable of intelligent, organized activism that pushes toward a common goal. We can be simultaneously fearless about our future and truthful about our past. We can be equally conscious of our country’s failings and proud of our country’s progress. The very essence of progress is to build a bridge that takes us from here to there…We can get there-we can-if we are willing to do the work…If every one of us is willing to be ‘one of the ones,’ we have it in us to meet this moment together, feel its mighty sway, and emerge from the chaos to craft a more just and loving world. (194-195)

As 2021 unfolds, political leadership choices will be revealed. More than likely choices will be driven by words pontificating past results and popular actions. A spectrum of positive words that create the stories…freedom, prosperity, security, facts, unity, truth, order, respect, harmony, poise, receptivity, positiveness, team effort, teamwork, childcare, guardians, self-mastery, integral life practice, health, non-partisan, wellness and well-being, mindfulness, awareness, self-restraint, values, equality, fairness, globally respected, quality, guiding principles, ethics, peace, clean air, allies, non-partisan, value in diversity, safe schools, no debt, sincerity, trustworthy, believable, passionate, disciplined, generosity, wise, direct, open, nice, 100% responsibility, apology, loving-kindness, patient, tolerant, compassionate, humanness, beautiful, smiling, et al.

An array of negative words that create the stories…lies, lynching, deception, casts, spins, obstruction, abuse, conspiracy, human scum, traitors, chaos, entertainment, dynasty, autocracy, racism, above the law, divisiveness, partisan, war, bombs and bullets, street shootings, smoke and mirrors, impeachment, corruption, fear, abuse of power, obstruction of justice, cult-like, tribal, business failings, pay-offs, porn stars, partisan vulgarity, broken promises, scandals, low character, bad judgement, failed policies, cover-ups, low intellect, disruption, conflict, deconstruction, selfish, narcissist, demagogue, cruel, fraud, short-sighted, et al.

Words are powerful and the paradox of choice is clear: an America for Americans that is inspiring and visionary for generations to come—freedom, love, hope, happiness, peace-of-mind, and purpose and connections created on a foundation of compassion; or an America for Americans that is evil and dictatorial for generations to come—pay-back, fear, hate, vindictive, intimidation, economic insecurity, casts, racism, decay, and global disrespect. Christian D. Larson offers, “So long as we continue to resist or deny evil, we will think about evil, and so long as we think about evil, evil will be impressed upon the subconscious, that the subconscious will reproduce and bring forth into personal life.” James Heiser suggests, “When there is only one power which decides who is right and who is wrong, and who should be punished and who not, we have a form of…dictatorship. Preserve freedom, evolve, transcend, and include, and improve democracy for “We the people…,” a rationale that all human beings have an innate desire to be happy and overcome suffering—recognition of equality and commonality developed from a sense of affinity and closeness with others, simply, genuine compassion.

What principles of war are being used? All of them: the objective, simplicity, unity of command, the offensive, maneuver, mass, economy of force, surprise, and security. War is not fun! “When our own vulnerability and the suffering of the world meet, we can develop resilient compassion and can help others and the world.” (Dr. Judith Simmer-Brown and Dr. Gaylon Ferguson, “The Soft Spot,” https://naropablog.com, 4-2-21, page 2.)

 

 

[1] Notes for the Course in the History of the Military Art, Department of Military Art and Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1957, 1-3.

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