— I wonder if many of you, like myself, occasionally allow yourself to revisit in deep feeling the web of seemingly forgotten relationships with those who at one time touched your life, even if ever so briefly?
The brain naturally cleanses unused memories and there are many of us who want to let go of so much of the past, so I am certainly not suggesting that we dwell in the past. Yet, in the deep stillness of meditation there is a value to allowing your psyche, with just the slightest suggestion to do so, to invite back whoever of those forgotten people spontaneously make their appearance in your mind in order to reconnect with them, but specifically to embrace them from a fuller heart.
I often find myself in the quiet of early morning prayer weaving a body of feeling inhabited with the living memory and felt embrace of these souls from the past, some who were friends, others who I wounded or felt wounded by, now welcome parts of my living body of gratitude. And as they spontaneously parade by I hold them with my heart in the certainty that their lives have been fulfilling and that they have known deep love.
In this way, with no effort, a body pulsing with wonderment comes alive in me and I have the strange perspective that I am now experiencing so much more of the gift and contribution of these relationships than I actually remember being able to feel at the time in which they were current.
Is this impression that I was less able to truly appreciate the blessing of those relationships when I was actually living them the natural fading brought about by time? Or perhaps that I had been more self-involved then, more narcissistic, so that they were players in my theater and not actually individual beings in their own right to be appreciated and celebrated. I don’t need an answer to these questions because what I do know is it that in weaving the body of gratitude what comes alive from the past now profoundly enriches how I am open to the present moment and each person I encounter.
It seems to me the past can close the door of our hearts to the present or open it wide. And I wonder is this not an aspect of the wisdom of forgiveness, that in gratitude the past can be re-given to us as a source of healing and a means of vividly living in a re-visioned present?
Whatever the answer to these musings in the work that I offer, healing of the past and living a vivid present is fundamental. It seems to me we must each commit to weaving the body of gratitude so that we can become instruments of healing and wholeness for ourselves, our communities, and our planet. This is not work that we can defer as more and more we see the schism between heart and mind diving us within ourselves and between each other.
I hope you will explore this simple practice and I hope to see you soon because we do need to be decisive about living lives that make a profound difference.
In love and gratitude,
Photo credit: Jon Tyson
— What do I mean by “dreaming a dream worthy of us”?
It is a dream that wants something of us as much as we want that dream for ourselves. It is a dream that we want to want because it is about fulfilling our greatest potential, about the liberation of our hearts, about becoming less proscribed by the past, about the joy of profound relational interconnectedness. It is about no longer trying to dominate Nature but rather wanting to consciously live what the Earth needs us to live for Life’s sake. This dream begins to transform us with the realization that the ultimate purpose for human consciousness is to choose to love Love. That Love itself is choosing us.
Our experience of consciousness is highly recursive. This means that what you find meaningful influences what you value and what you do, which in turn influences what is meaningful to you. What you are afraid to feel determines the power of your fears. What you believe you need determines the strength of your needs. What can you know about God but what your own beliefs about God create in you? The same is true for all relationships with each other. What you imagine relationships can be, where you place defenses and limits, where you say “No” creates the “No” that imprisons you. It is an endless recursive process that can trap you indefinitely in the past. And little can change until you realize that Love has forever been choosing you and you finally choose to love Love.
All of us want to love and be loved, though not all of us can feel this. Very few of us have realized that the ways in which we define love or measure love in turn determines the love we experience. There is transactional love, “I will love you and do this for you, but I expect you to love me and do something equivalent for me.” Then we often feel deeply angry or hurt when someone doesn’t reciprocate our love in the way we want, or when we are unable to love them in the way they want. We have all seen how the transactional nature of this kind of relating subtly or overtly corrodes relationships.
But what if the meaning and value of relationships was not about your pleasure or pain, but about a consciously chosen relationship with Love? What if you choose the dream that you can love Love itself? It is a revolution, a re-evolution. Relationships are no longer transactional; they are a limitless immeasurable potential. It is not whether you can or should love someone, but that you choose to love Love with them in whatever way that emerges. Love thus becomes a Third consciousness that bridges and gradually transforms and integrates all the warring parts within you, and between you and others.
To live this dream, you can’t know what Love is conceptually — none of us do. But deep down in your core self, in your body and heart-awareness, you do know it. You can sense it in every cell. Only the rational mind shuts down this living current.
All relationships are situational with different contexts and circumstances. Most relationships will always have a transactional aspect. Humankind is only very gradually discovering the potential of Love as the Third consciousness. Marriage in Kathy’s and my experience is an astonishing, limitless, evolving adventure. Neither of us could have dreamed the other we are each discovering or dreamed the joy that is emerging within and between us. And that dream continues to dream us as long as we are committed to it.
Situational as every relationship ultimately is, all relationships transform with Love as Third Consciousness. It starts with the relationship you have with yourself, and this in turn affects the way in which you relate with everyone and everything. I witness this again and again in our daily lives and especially in our work. The heart field, the palpable sense of wonderment and gratitude that emerges in the retreats, grows ever softer and deeper. People find their answers and their healings more through gentleness than intensity. Something ineffable but palpable — what else can we call it but Love — holds us and bridges our individuality into a shared consciousness. In this presence we are each blessed with wonderment at our shared humanity.
Loving Love invokes an energy that is created in the moment, but its lingering aroma in your heart and body starts to transform the future you are choosing in that moment. Beginning within yourself and then between you and anyone else this 3rd Consciousness is the beginning of a collective healing all of us need. This is the path that my life has gradually awakened to and I am blessed to be joined by Katherine. The joy and peace that has come with this emerging path is what Kathy and I in our work together want to share with you. Once you begin down this path it is infinite and endless. You cannot know where it will take you, nor can you guide it. Love has its own intrinsic intelligence and your life reveals itself as an expression of something sacred.