Seeing it Otherwise

Welcome back to SunnyRoomStudio

It’s a day of celebration, having launched this site 3 years ago, February 7, 2010.  I’ve appreciated meeting so many wonderful kindred spirits during this time and hope you have also made some wonderful connections via this sunny space.  It has always seemed to me that finding kindred spirits makes life a bit less mysterious and a lot more meaningful.  And, in the end, of course, we are all kindred spirits on this journey called Life.

I hope you like the new look here in the Studio.  And thank you for being here!  Over the past 3 years, I’ve posted nearly every week and shared 32 amazing guest posts.  To browse, just click on Studio Guests at the top of the page.

In the spirit of change (the Universe insists on it, you know), I’ll be posting every other Friday morning this year.  Most of us need less to do, so we can truly bring greater awareness and spiritual presence into our lives — our relationships, our work, our families and communities.  So 2013 is about actualizing the many things we’ve talked about in SunnyRoomStudio; it’s about returning to elements of our 17-week spiritual retreat, Beyond Self 2012.  And, it’s definitely about developing (creating, nurturing, sustaining) a spiritual practice that brings more light into the world.

Here’s what I have in mind

We will focus on “seeing it otherwise.”  As though writing an online journal, each post this year will delve into this vast and intriguing area of study.

Seeing it Otherwise means we will consider our perceptions, assumptions, and reactions, so we can stretch beyond limiting internal patterns that keep us “stuck” in place — always doing or saying what is habitual, as opposed to mindful.

I hope you will keep a journal as well.  Just grab an old notebook or whatever is handy, or you can participate via comments for others to read, as well.  Up to you, but a journal will give you a better opportunity to revisit this topic more frequently.  I’ve discovered that repetition is key to developing and sustaining a strong spiritual practice.

  • Journal Entry #1: February 1, 2013

Most “assumptions” flow from the conditioned mind — the collective mind.  As do our perceptions and reactions.

And most assumptions are predictable enough (generic enough) that it’s possible to read the unspoken thoughts of others.  Yet, assumptions are often incorrect, imagined, or projected.

Often I can sense when people are making personality-based assumptions, or reacting from “history” or “ego,” as opposed to bringing true “presence” into the moment.

  • Are we all caught in a vast web of preconceptions, even misconceptions?
  • Are we all destined to react according to plan, or do we dare to become “aware” … “mindful” … “spiritually present” … ?

What does this kind of shift require?

What would it look like in today’s world?

How many people understand that perceptions are not necessarily reality?

Is there a way we can learn to see every person as a spiritual being first?

These are all pressing questions; they have urgency and purpose.  I will return to them “fully” many times each day.  I will begin to see things otherwise whenever possible.

I will watch different programs, or turn the TV off entirely.  I will read a book that someone gave me, but didn’t seem to interest me.  I will get up early to meditate, or stay up late to “sit.”  I will watch a video with a spiritual focus, even though it seems way beyond my comfort zone.  I will consider my communication patterns.  Look honestly at my way of being in this world.  And all of this will contribute to a peaceful state of existence for myself and those around me.

Thich Nhat Hanh writes about something called “bodhicitta” — “the aspiration to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings.  The great aspiration gives us the insight that we have to be there for all suffering beings.”  Maybe it is time for all of us to go beyond self … to look out on the world with “new eyes.”  ~dh

  • How does your first journal entry read?  How will you be the change you envision?  How will you lead yourself and others into a more enlightened state of being?  How will you begin to tap into the depth of each moment, instead of skating along the surface as though sleep-walking or unconscious?  How will you move beyond internal resistance based on old conditioning from your childhood into a more spacious way of being?  How will you begin to see yourself as a spiritual entity having a mortal experience?       

Thanks so much for being here … our journey has begun once more.

Please feel free to comment if you wish to participate in a public format.
Or write in your journal.  Maybe you prefer to meditate on these questions.
I encourage you to support your spiritual journey in ways that are comfortable, yet, challenging.

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