Change is a shift in consciousness

​My friend John Heney has referred to our normal experience of the world as an “isolating personal performance.”​ This seems to me a telling phrase, one I can certainly relate to ​from personal experience. In this essay, I want to take this experience of ​isolating performance and place it beside the experience of Presence or non-​performance and ​offer some ideas about ​moving from one to the other.​ Along the way this I’ll show ​the relevance of […]

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Climate change as celebration of consciousness

Few of us talk about the inner side of climate change, surfacing the inner angst, sense of pressure or despair we may feel. But when we do we see it as a burden and a problem. It shows up as, “Oh my god, how am I going to be with this?” A hundred, a thousand questions arise: how will our families understand it, how real is the science, Green New Deal?, how does Climate Change […]

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The gold in hidden climate change denial

Can it be we’re all grappling with various stages of denial, even those of us who – like me – have been working on it for a while? I think we do know what’s happening, but our knowledge doesn’t easily percolate down to where we actually live. I’ll share very recent thoughts, some coming into focus this morning on a springtime walk with my brother. Truly knowing that profound change is on the way due […]

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“What if it’s just for me?”

What if it’s just for me? What if higher consciousness is just for me and not a gift to the world? (Instead of me out there peddling it like a snake-oil salesman.) Just for me! Have I even thought about receiving it? What if the gift of Presence is just for me and all the anxiety about how to get it, or manifesto it, is just so much dandelion fluff drifting in the wind? What […]

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Your public voice and your unique voice

Recently I’ve had numerous conversations, in workshops or intentional places, with people responding to the question, “What are you experiencing now?” It’s a naked question, a brazen question, a rude question. Certainly an unfamiliar one when it’s really asked and there’s room to respond. Yet people can powerfully moved by having five minutes to respond to it – perhaps no one has ever asked them before. (Here’s the simple presencing practice I’ve been using for […]

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Everything comes clear in Presence

Everything comes clear in Presence. Yet Presence can’t be described or forced, proven or produced on demand. Everything you can say about the Tao, which isn’t much, can be said about Presence. (Holy Spirit, we can only make little songs about you, skipping-rope songs.) We hear the melody. We see it on the faces in all the different ways. Transparent Presence makes everything visible. The ancestors wait in Presence. The pain of the long past […]

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Being effective in this bewildering moment

Martin Buber wrote an amazing book in 1923 that has endured and perhaps will endure as a classic. It was called I-Thou. In vivid poetic language that is as fresh today as it was then, he spoke a timeless truth. (Here are excerpts that give the flavor of his writing.) Humans have two modes, I-Thou or I-It. I-Thou is relational and we speak to and from the whole of ourselves. I-It is transactional (my word) and […]

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How to get from breakfast to lunch without losing your mind

The world is well on its way to waking up. If it doesn’t blow itself up first, which it’s also well on its way to doing. It’s the best of times, the worst of times. But do we have to choose, good reader? Old Aristotle suggested no: “The mark of the truly educated is being able to entertain an idea without accepting it.” But how do we do that? I’m not talking about abstract notions […]

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Telling My Story

I’ve been avoiding telling my own story. For several days I was writing a blog post about how we needed more honest personal story, more sex and gender in our  conversations. Then I noticed I wasn’t telling my own. Telling is unfamiliar because I’ve been very close-mouthed about great chunks of my own story, forever.  Though much easier, it’s still difficult to talk about my early childhood and the pervasive experience of abandonment that persists […]

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Risk in consciousness groups

I’m lucky to have places where I can speak frankly about what’s most important to me.  I can be well heard and hear other too. I learn, stretch and grow in those generative depths. But pleasure and expansion aren’t the whole story. Quite often I’m careful, walking on eggshells, wondering how to get my messy as-yet-unformed experience into a common space with others. This evening I was in conversation with a male counselor and a […]

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