On Immune Systems, Learning, and Love

Yes, there is a wisdom in this isn’t there. I’m grateful for this teaching that comes from teacher to one of my teachers.

And, oh dear…, this is life practice isn’t it. To give ourselves too exuberance. Or joy. Or wonder. There are times when I feel utterly at ease and in freedom to do so, as if the road map of life is made so clear by joy. There are times when I feel the struggle to see any of it, when I’m locked into path of fear and worry. Oh, how these cycle in so many of us.

In the last month, I’ve sought to revisit what rests underneath so much of the work that I do. That’s the facilitation. That’s the meeting design. That’s the coaching. That’s the deep reflection. I’ve loved using markers and flip chart paper to create a very messy and comprehensive adventure through my current mind and heart. In so doing, I found a set of two basics that I feel committed to cultivating.

Learning. Love.

Yes, I would suggest that these are universal and irrepressible desires. As complex as they are in expression and as complicated as they are in infinite varied circumstance, these are pretty good anchors and criteria to help guide what we do together. Personally. And yes, I believe these apply to team, community, and work circumstances.

Learning guides it all. Is there learning? What is the learning now? What are we coming to learn that might not be fully formed, but nonetheless is an important guide and marker? What are you learning about self? About other? About the longer arc of experience? About now, only this moment of awareness freed from obligation to other circumstance?

Love also guides, and yes, I would suggest that each of the questions above transpose to paralleled important questions. Is there love? What does love look like now? Is there love that guides us here? Love of self? Love of other? Love of a concept? Love of an experiment?

We — people, groups, communities — gain resilience when our offerings and our wonderings are routed in learning and love. Whatever processes we choose, or methodologies, or important information — when infused with an appreciation for learning and an anchoring in love, well, they just last longer and deeper.

And so, I continue to learn. Rather enthused by the clarity. Rather animated to continue inviting others to such journey.

Inner Grace — Thx Sadhguru

Sadhguru is an eastern yogi and visionary. I’ve often listened to his offerings, finding them grounding.

This passage above came in email recently, with title “Eye of the Storm.” I’m glad for encouragement, not to ignore that storm, but rather to go to learning and friendship that further ground and invite reflection.

In a CoVid way, I live in an area in which “Stay Home, Stay Safe” is being implemented. There are days when this feels like such relief. Because so much is slowing. There are also days when the math of infection rates, wrapped in such communal fears, is too much to work with.

Cultivating “inner” for any of us, I’d suggest, is rather monumental. Cultivating “inner” for any of us collectively, I’d suggest, is the deep work and opportunity of these times.

Here’s to inner grace in any of us willing to lean in to what is real, and what wants to come forward.



On Sweetness

I just like the image. I don’t know if such an image is digitally altered. Even if it is, something in me appreciates the creativity of that. I like the vibrant color. I like it that it is two living creatures (let’s pretend, not digital).

This image comes from some of the advertising of Sadhguru, an East Indian sage, with the caption, “Love is not a relationship. It is a certain sweetness of emotions.” I peek into Sadhguru’s materials every now and then, an important teacher to one of my teachers — I find his message grounding.

I don’t know what love is. Big topic. It just feels important at the end of the day, or week, of year, or of a life. And more accurately, I know some of what love is.

I suppose many of us could claim such relationship with love. We feel it, or something that we call “love.” We seem drawn to it. Just like I don’t really know what the sun is — the details — but it feels important. I just enjoy the warmth, the life force, the Vitamin D. I don’t know the details of what air is — beyond basic biology or chemistry definitions. I know it is important and I enjoy being able to have the resources that keep these bodies of ours alive, and this earth globe thriving.

There are many things that we humans may take for granted. It’s OK to not fully understand, yet still follow instincts of experience. It’s also needed that we keep leaning in to the importance, even without understanding. I don’t fully understand being a parent, but I keep attempting my best, because I can’t not.

Of “love’s many layers, I tend to most commonly associate love with belonging and wholeness. Human beings seek belonging. It’s just how we are wired physically, emotionally, and spiritually (the intellectual takes a bit of back seat on this one). As habited or enculturated as some of us are to isolation, I believe our most inner operating system layers code us to seek connection. In one of the stories I tell myself, we seek the connection so that we can be in learning, so that we can feel a life force that is different that experienced in isolation. So that we can lean, even if just for a moment, to love.

All of that has something to do with working with groups. When I’m hosting retreats and trainings, it’s not a joke when I or my colleagues say, “I hope that we all fall in love with each other.” People laugh. But, my experience and continued hunch says, that people want the sweetness. Great if it is just for the experience of the now, in the moment, in connection, or in surrender. Great also, if that helps us remember what can be naturally sweet working and learning together.

Don’t Polish Your Ignorance — Sadhguru

A friend gave me this book recently. I immediately loved the title, “Don’t Polish Your Ignorance” by the East Indian Mystic, Sadhguru. It goes right up there with “Only  Don’t Know” the Zen calligraphy that hangs over my working desk. Ah, don’t surrender your ignorance so quickly. It’s NOT about not knowing anything. It IS about glimpsing into the broader context in which “ignorance” and “not knowing” are deeply honest, and ironically, more aware, states. I held the book for quite a while, the way that I might scratch a friendly dog’s ears for a while, just enjoying the tactile experience — the title alone was deeply satisfying.

I’ve read the book now. And really enjoyed the feeling of reading it. Like my canine ears were being scratched. My reading these days is less to consume, and more to be with the feeling it creates for the moment, and to trust the way that that experience simply lands or grows within me.

Here’s a few of my headlines from the book:

  • “He never promises to eradicate your darkness, only to deepen it.”
  • “When your whole identification fundamentally is rooted in this little bit of flesh that walks about on this planet, then naturally you feel very, very inadequate.”
  • “You can become unbounded only if you are willing to destroy the limited.”
  • “I am trying to destroy all your belief systems because these belief systems are so deceptive.”
  • “It takes enormous intelligence for a person to see the stupidity of who he is.”
  • This story…, of a learned man with many degrees and many skills who went to his teacher to ask what he now should do, proud to offer his accomplishments. The teacher instructed him to take 400 cows out to the forest and to return when he had 1,000 cows. The learned man felt rather insulted — “I am better that this; you now want me to be a simple farmer.” The learned man went with the cows to the forest. Over the years, he began to not think of the number of cows. Rather, he began to see as the cows saw. When he rested against a tree, he became the tree, feeling the sky, sun, and winds. The learned man lost track of his counting cows, simply giving himself to the life he lived. One day the cows came to him and explained that they were now 1,000. With this news the learned man returned to his teacher. The teacher’s devotees counted the cows. There were in fact 1,000, which they reported to the teacher. However, the teacher corrected them — there are in fact 1,001. The learned man has become one with the cows and with life.
  • “Being dis-identified gives you absolute freedom to throw yourself into life and do whatever you wish to do with it.”
  • “When you were just five years of age, you were simply happy by your own nature; somebody had to make you unhappy at that time. But now, at the present time, somebody has to make you happy.”
  • “Faith means you have no agenda in life. You are willing to go with God’s agenda.”
  • “If you can consciously still your mind, even for a few moments a day, suddenly you will find your mind will become a miracle.”
  • “If I lock myself up for five or six days, I do not have a single thought in my mind for those five or six days. I do not think, I do not write, I do not read, I do not do anything; I am just being alive.”
  • “The mind is incapable of being aware. It is only because of the mind that you ave become unaware.”
  • “The whole existence is just one energy manifesting itself in a million different ways.”
  • “When you know the pain of ignorance; when you really know the pain of ignorance, then a master arises.”
  • “…life must always be in touch with the source of what it is. Getting to the very source of who you are, is truth.”

For the ears, right. For the heart too. And, if lucky, for a moment of a more emptied mind.