“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
― Lao Tzu
Texting, tweeting, emails, sound bites; we now live in a world in which communication has been reduced to short, quasi-efficient snippets. Perhaps the use of these things began as a way to stay better connected, but as we all know, that type of connection is very shallow. It’s good for the basics of getting a communication task done, like announcing that you’re running late. It’s not good for communicating anything that approaches intimacy. Our ability to truly connect with each other is slipping away…
Deep Interpersonal communication is becoming a lost art, and, in my opinion, we need to urgently look at the source of that situation –for it is having dire effects on our culture; Our culture does not value or teach authenticity and, thus, people are losing their humanity. It seems to be getting harder and harder to see empathy and compassion in politics and government policies. We see rampant, senseless crime instead. We see inhumane treatment of animals, people, and the earth. In fact, we are being systematically programmed to be inauthentic and in denial of our deep disconnection. We worry about our appearance, our money, our acquisitions, but not our hearts.
My fear is that the daily practice of communing within — with yourself and with whatever is sacred to you (like God, Spirit, the Higher Self) — will disappear like the dinosaurs. Meditation is a beautiful practice of self-intimacy, as is shamanic journeying (a form of meditation). But one complaint I hear over and over is, “I don’t have time to meditate.” This indicates that meditation is not valued or prioritized. I honestly don’t know why it is so hard for us to value sitting still with ourselves.
In addition to entering into a really miraculous flow of one’s life, there are magical, mystical, subtle, and majestic terrains within, waiting to be explored and revealed when we practice daily meditation. The nuance of subtle feeling states, the whisper of that famous “quiet voice within”, the thrill of synchronicities, ease of connections, unexpected opportunities, radical insights, extraordinary states of bliss…all this inner life is ours by birthright. But if we don’t claim that territory, it will languish like fertile lands that go unfarmed, leaving us hungry for that which feeds the soul. In short, we will become an automated, soul-less species.
What delivers us to soulful living, is simply to turn our gaze inward. That requires pausing from the frenzy of life today. It requires intention, breathing, and the spirit of an explorer – brave, open, curious, persevering in our quest to know ourselves and to be surprised in fact, by the rich abundance of the present moment.
Without connecting within, we can’t truly connect with others; we can’t share our tender vulnerability, our hungry hearts, or our loving compassion. We can’t enjoy the comfort, adventure, and thrill of deepening relationships without intimacy.
Start a meditation practice, please, and stick with it! Even five minutes a day, first thing in the morning, makes a difference. Seek out what is personally sacred to you – it is a living presence within. Connect with that – what a profound way to anchor your day and, in fact, help humanity to step into its greatest potential!
If you need coaching or instruction in establishing a meditation or shamanic journeying practice, I can help you with that. And if you are in the Chicago area, I’ll be leading a shamanic journey circle on Sunday, May 6, 1:30-4:30pm, in which you can connect intimately with your own spirit, in a loving ceremony of like-minded community. For more information on that event, check it out here.