Return to Wholeness

I’ve been thinking for a while now. Oh oh.

About this movement a foot for many years now (and arguably never gone from poetry over the centuries) that points us humans to the fundamental awareness of wholeness.

I’ve given reasonable attention to a few practices over the years. Some of it more therapeutic in nature. Some of it more meditation based. Some of it cognitive. Some of it, well, just nature.

What I’ve learned that seems to align with my belly as a contribution to such a movement to wholeness — an essence of the orientation I bring forward when at my best working with groups — is that in each of us is all. You name the quality. Goodness. Yup, it’s there. Greediness. Yup, it’s there. Kindness. Yup. Courage. Yup. Wound. Yup. Shame. Yup.

What I’ve learned is that I like building exercises around these notions of wholeness. They can be quite simple. A little set up that invites people to a wholeness orientation. A little naming that what we might best do now is interrupt some of the pattern from which we’ve been thinking and working. A little non-brain stuff, even as simple as quiet breath. Or drawing. Or walking.

I notice for a long time now, I’ve been naming the “homeopathic” amount of these human qualities that we have in us. You might be only 0.003% greedy. But it’s still there. If you look, you can find examples of the tiniest bits of the quality.

Why does that matter you ask? Because it creates more of the alternative of compassion and empathy than so many entrained cultural patterns of reaction, judgement, and outrage. Because the homeopathic acknowledgement of the tiniest presence moves us to momentary connection rather than further “I told you so” isolated vitriol.

Our return to wholeness, individually and collectively, begins with the honesty of awareness. I continue to learn that this return comes from connecting the inner world to the outer reality that any of us see. That fundamental separation of inner world from outer world — I mean, come on, we are all projecting worlds into being. It’s just that money, power, privilege, wound, and just plain stubbornness concretize what is one idea, fluid in nature, into a full cultural cement pad.

I’m committed to the “trouble” that we stir together that brings us back to wholeness. I’m committed to some kind of essence in this that I don’t fully understand. I’m committed to finding others, and together reclaiming some sanity that seems to have been lost exponentially in so many forms of institutional thought.

The picture above, which I also used recently for another post, is of buds on a tree in my front yard. I’m posting it again, because I like the feeling of spring springing. These buds seem to know what to do. They come forward in the right timing. They are whole. They are part of a scaled whole. Perhaps they are cheering us humans. Perhaps they are just going about their business. I would suggest it is our business to get back to the whole orientation.

American Poet, Galway Kinnell’s poem speaks to some of this,
The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;   
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing

I’ve been thinking. About buds. And movement a foot. Here’s to budding and thinking it together.

It Occurs To Me

It occurs to me that some levels of change require more than others. Learning to take the recycling bin to curbside on Wednesday instead of Friday is rather small level of change. Learning to play my son’s video games requires so much more thumb dexterity than I have. And patience. And maybe some other things that I just don’t have.

It occurs to me that some levels of change are more paradigmatic. Learning to do with your non-dominant hand what you can no longer do with your dominant hand. Brushing your teeth, ok. Writing with pen — um, a bit more difficult. Throwing a ball — um, likely impossible for most of us.

It occurs to me that many of us are committed to “wholeness.” Whether personally, as orientation, practice, and discipline — or communally as spiritual tradition. Whether working with teams to create camaraderie and coordinated movement — or more systemically to shift organizational  and societal orientation.

It’s easy to say, this commitment to wholeness. Good words. And sexy too. I love how eastern philosophy has integrated so much to western thought. I’d suggest wholeness is even accessible to experience, because, wholeness in an inner signature as a living being, despite the branches of science that have industrialized and mechanized us for centuries. Wholeness, whether touched individually or communally is remembered, not transactionally consumed. Yah, I know — “individually” “communally” — words fail where DNA doesn’t.

It occurs to me that wholeness is a paradigm level shift in perception. Old habits die hard. To see ecosystems is different that seeing ponds. To see forest is different than seeing a stick on the ground. To see people knitted energetically is different than one person leading the way. To suspend certainty and projection is mass letting go. I somehow get to it with my mind, but also at the same time can’t use my mind.

It occurs to me that wholeness is so much more than reading a good book on wholeness. It is so much more than the paradigm of knowing that is so centered around brain. Our other sensing vessels, not just mine, but ours, keep teasing us further toward paradigmatic change.

Why say all of this — I have the feeling that we as human beings are emerging into a needed next layer of evolution. We are growing not just more of what we are, but evolving fundamentally who we are and how we come to count on each other, and life itself.

It occurs to me that wondering it out loud, and commonly with others, helps.


Right Where You Are

I have learned that it’s often easier to look externally, with obsessive thoroughness, for what resides surprisingly internally.

It’s habit. It’s societal pattern. It’s seduction.

I’m talking about the myriad of “if only” statements that most of us make. They have a truthiness to them, yet are primarily distraction and distortion from an ever-giving inner world.

If only I could get this project finished.
If only I could move to that other apartment.
If only I had better people to work with.
If only they understood.

These are all satisfying. But often, they overlook unaddressed internal angst, that continues to generate seduction of the external, even when some of them are fulfilled. Around the corner is another corner — always.

I love how American Poet Mary Oliver writes of paying attention to where you are. Of how much is available in the internal focus. Just because. Or because of what it improves in the expression and accomplishment of the external.

I Have Decided

I have decided to find myself a home in the mountains,
somewhere high up where one learns to live peacefully
in the cold and the silence.

It’s said that in such a place
certain revelations may be discovered.
That what the spirit reaches for may be eventually felt,
if not exactly understood.
Slowly, no doubt.
I’m not talking about a vacation.

Of course at the same time
I mean to stay exactly where I am.

Are you following me?

This passage reminds me of a premise that I actually believe, but sometimes lose track of.

In the anything is the everything.
In this moment, in this now, in these circumstances —
there is access to everything,
or perhaps the everything needed that can carry to the next moment.

Right where I am.