"I had a beautiful realization, that I can only be compassionate if I am in touch with myself first."
Images and memories of moments come up in which bringing my attention to my senses and my breathe create a huge wave of energy and emotion in the body. Suddenly, there is no control anymore, but the body speaking by itself, emptying itself from what has been held and needs to go now…
This words from my father inspires me to write today about the connection between listening and earning. How embracing the sense of the ear can serve as a vehicle turning into an elevation platform and how this connection involves qualities of the Heart and of the Earth.
Manifesting as Buddhas and Gurus, Great Spirits and Medicine Men and Women, Gods and Prophets, Modern Psychology, Shamanism, Buddhism, Sufism, Yoga, Tantra and far more, at the core of all established spiritual teachings there is a desire for communion and for loving your Self – and so the other - as micro cells of the fascinating organism Life.
What I mean with communion is not only coming together, but the potential of evolution of poles meeting each other, transcending what is so far, transforming it, creating something new, different out of it. I'm talking about the communion of young and old in rituals to enter adulthood, of the individual and the collective in sharing, eating, singing, dancing, storytelling circles, of feminine and masculine principles in our relationships to other humans of all genders, of humankind and nature and - on our personal level - of our mind, spirit and body.
I spend time worrying for my family, my partner, my friends or myself. I feel thirsty, but it takes me some time to finally drink, because I do thinking or I do lazy. I have an inner impulse to sing or to dance, but I hold it inside my body because I'm busy with doing something else. Then it happens that I remember to be present with my breath. The connection between the breath and our creative spirit is embodied in our language. In german “breathing” is called “atmen”. It finds its roots in the Sanskrit word “atma”, which can be translated with “breath of life” or with “soul”. When you inspire, you inhale, you invite the spirit in, you bring creative life flow within.
When I do bring awareness to my senses and to my body through breathing there is a voice which gets space to express herself. She makes me laugh, sing, dance, write, go for a walk into nature or just enjoy silence. She moves and touches me. She takes care of my inner child, of my inner artist. She brings energy and peace within. Instead of worrying, I do moving, creating, playing – or being in stillness.
Researches from Kundalini Yoga practitioners have showed that a minimum of 11 minutes of deep relaxation per day can bring miracles in our state of health. It pauses our nervous system and gives us the opportunity to recharge instead of going on and on and on until we get sick. Do you allow yourself sometimes simply to lye down, to bring your attention to your inner world and to gift your body with silence or calm music for a while?
Listening to silence doesn't mean that you're doing nothing. You do listen, you do bring your attention where you want it to be brought. When you let got of tensions, you do letting go. Being still doesn't mean having no thoughts. Being still means being in a state of presence for whatever is. It means being in a state of acceptance with the experience you're living – let it bet acting, surrendering or resisting. You're always doing. Being alive, you do breathing, sleeping, eating, peeing, looking around, joking, working, complaining, blaming, judging, procrastinating... Observe. What do you do the most?
And what is it which makes you really feel alive? Which creates an emotion only by thinking about it? Which brings expansion into your body, which makes you feel passionate? This is where the dimension of the Heart comes in. Chinese medicine shows very simply how our way of acting with our environment is connected with our Heart. The Heart meridian runs from our beating organ to our hands. When I take action to follow our heart wishes, I “handle” by getting in touch with my environment, by reaching out welcoming hands or opening up my chest. Without the wish for contact, without connection to my heart, to my purposes, the movement goes into the opposite direction. My body doesn't open for a hug and for hands, it closes. If I still force him to do, I will feel discomfort. My body exactly knows what he wants. And it's always two options only: Yes or No – opening or closing. What happens in between are mainly voices of my mind - which are very worthy to listen to too. Yogis call the ”yes voice” the positive mind and the “no voice” the negative mind. The positive one is the one which gives you arguments to go into motion, to move forward. She supports your impulses to stand up, to act, to create, to contact, to multiply… The negative one stops your ongoing flow to preserve and protect you. She gives your fears and doubts a voice and keeps you from harm.
How to learn to listen to our body language? How to give it a voice?
What happens when you bring your hands on your chest and you listen to your Heart?
I start to feel and hear my heartbeat. The soft vibration flows through and moves my body. There is a fascinating quality of peace and joy in this listening. Doing something coming from the voice within, the one connecting heart and hands, always feels right. There is no questioning anymore, but presence and purpose.
And this is where Earth qualities comes in. Planet Earth represents our Macrocosm. She is the breeding ground of our environment, our Great Mother, she's carrying us and holding us together. She's a symbol of totality and a source of abundance. Thanks to her we can take care of our basic needs. It would be another topic to talk about what kind of structures humanity created for accessing her resources. What I want to focus on here, is that the universal quality of the Earth always reminds us that there is something bigger than us humans. That there is far more than our little thinking bubble, family, village, city or country. That we never walk our path alone. That everything we do has an impact on our environment. That we create footprints.
Humankind didn't weave the loom of Life.
We're only a thread between many.
What we do to ourselves,
We do to the whole Loom.
Every little thing is related.
-from North American Native Suquamish and Duwamish Chef Seattle (1786-1866)
By carefully listening within, we can start to embody self-responsibility by giving our fears, our doubts, our sadness, our desires, our love, our vital force a voice. And we can too listen without to see the abundance of what is there. To see other beings as they are: life companions, rainbows of same molecules, emotions or thoughts, simply in different colors and forms.
Yes, it can be very scary to show ourselves, to be honest and vulnerable, to express all our feelings and thoughts, the beautiful and the ugly ones... And it can bring much lightness and aliveness within. We can embody our human nature and create social cohesion by simply looking into each others eyes, smiling at people in the street and opening up about our inner worlds. By giving hands, hugs or kisses to the ones we love and by stopping to do so with the ones we don't feel like to do so. We can start to be more present with our own needs, to express our boundaries and to take the space and time we need for ourselves.
Without death, no life.
Without chaos, no structure.
Without I, no You.
Each organism - each mineral, plant, animal, human, each manifestation of life - needs time to hibernate, to go into silence to grow seeds for new life cycles to come, to be able to give birth to new forms. Each living cell has a source of energy which needs to rest, to be taken care of, so she can embody her creative force by transmitting life. Babies need sleep as well as loving touch – otherwise they die. Remember the sensation of someone smiling back at you, the multiplication of an act you created. Remember the warmth it brings in your body. How you are a source of energy in itself. How your sleep recharges you. How on little or bigger scale, you will always earn the fruits of the seeds you planted.
Every image, thought, emotion or movement your mind, body or spirit gave form to will find resonance in its environment. In the field of the so-called conscious as well as the so-called unconscious. Smiles can come back to you as a smile, or as shame, anger, words, hug... Our world might be explained with physics and mathematics, it is both predictable and unpredictable. In its field of resonance, violence has the potential to create more violence. Or shame, guilt, satisfaction... As the creator of your own experience, you always have the power to act instead of reacting to "what is happening to you". You have been gifted with a fantastic intuitive body - and with a reflexive mind, which hasn't only the ability to observe what is happening inside, but to look at and to mirror yourself from outside as well. By remembering that you're one between many and that you affect your environment as well as each one of these many affects you, you can actually realize that your purpose always matter.
Ask yourself. What is it you want to invite more in our life?
It's all there.
I want to honor the wisdom of our elders with sharing a film. Do you know the very sweet documentary Alive Inside (Michael Rossato-Bennett, 2014, USA)?
It shows how listening to old loved songs can bring back aliveness and lost memories in the body of elder people touched by Alzheimer. It is wonderfully moving...