What is God|Consciousness|Spirit|Goddess??? Tell me in a way that I can understand.

Star Portal
God comes by many names.  Consciousness, Spirit, God, Goddess… is there any difference between any of these?  Really, no.  The difference is in the listener.The universe is constructed of information.  That information is Conscious.  The sum total of that Consciousness is what some of us call God, some of us call Goddess, some of us call Consciousness, some of us call Spirit.  What you call it ultimately doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you have a conscious relationship with that Consciousness.You will see and describe God|Goddess|Spirit|Consciousness through whatever lens makes the most sense to you.  That lens will be shaped by your culture, your experience and the proclivities of your soul.  To be real, it needs to be an authentic lens of feeling and experience, not just a collection of stories you inherited and repeated from your family or your context.

It is always bigger than you, yet paradoxically, also you.  It is always part of the larger experience of self that includes your inner awareness and the intelligence of what is outside of you.  (It’s something you can source for yourself, and it’s something you can rest into when you need a friend.) The way you see and describe it may shift upon your context – who you are talking to, and what part of that experience you are trying to express.

For example, when I’m talking with geekier types, I call on my own geeky experience of Consciousness-as-me having an experience called my life.  When I look deep into my own meditation and the inner dialogue of my daily experience, there is always a meta-dialogue going on that I easily recognize as a function of the intelligence of the universe-as-me.  A lot of geeky types get this.  They get that there is a part of themselves witnessing themselves that is bigger than themselves.  This amounts to the experience of Consciousness.  They get that how they interact with this this experience affects their moods and how powerfully they can bring presence to the day-to-day-ness of their lives.
Alternatively, when I’m talking with women, I often call on the Goddess.  Women understand the multiplicitous, ever creative, ever changing face of consciousness, that is described archetypally as the myriad faces and phases of the Goddess.  From the infinite, cool compassion of Quan Yin to the fiery fury of Kali, women understand that Consciousness, as a reflection of their own everchanging, creative essence as women, is a full spectrum of energies and essences that are innate to the manifest forms and functions of the universe.  They also get birth.  They get that things come out of nothing – and they get born through the feminine principle.
Just hold in your inner awareness the biologic furry of birthing in the same space as the luminous patience of a woman nursing an infant, and you begin to get it.  When you look at the many many faces of the Goddess (and of Gods when engaged as a pantheon), you see our seeking to name the specific meta-patterns, or archetypes, of the thing we called God.  This works really well when you’re wanting to relate to particular creative, destructive and preservative powers of the universe.
And, when I just want to be simple, I often say, “Spirit”, or “God”.  These names, for me, are both singular and embracing.  They are ways of calling to the magnificent, always present intelligence I am having a personal conversation with when I pray.  They are the everything that permeates the everything as a fabric bringing the world into form.  They are my own mind and awareness.  Everything.
Often, I use all the words at the same time, just to collapse our tendency to create wars over definitions.But, I DO use distinctions in how I speak to the various manifestations of Consciousness.  Consciousness, like people, is not all the same.  When I pray, I often pray to Tunkashela.  This is the Lakota word that refers to the specific aspect of God that cares for and listens to the humans.  I’m a human.  Somehow, it works for me to pray to the part of the intelligence of the universe that really cares for me.  Over a lifetime of praying in this way, I’ve seen amazing results.  So, this is all I need to keep doing it.
To make matters even more complex, you can also talk to Nature, or the Earth, or Gaia – or all that is manifest and the intelligence that manifests it.  Or, better yet, you can just listen to it.
But… I’m getting too complicated, here.
To really answer this question, you have to understand paradox.  Paradox describes the fact that the opposite of a great truth is often not a falsehood, but an equally great truth.  The universe doesn’t really give a shit what you call it, so long as you call.  The key is in the relationship you create.  But, the way to create a great relationship is to be specific.  Soul-fit is one of the keys to deep relationship.  So, your relationship with God|Consciousness|Soul|Spirit is best narrated in a way that feels authentic and honest to you.If you’ve never done it before, it might feel really awkward.  But, just start.  Open your mouth and talk to God|Goddess|Consciousness|Spirit.  That’s how you build a relationship.  And, that’s how the words start to make sense.

We Are Evolution

Dancing On The Edge

Dancing On The Edge

We Are Evolution

(Excerpted from the book I am writing:  Dancing Freedom:  A Conscious Mover’s Handbook)

“When a system is far from equilibrium, small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos have the capacity to lift the system to a higher order.”  ~ Ilya Prigogine

Evolution is the process through which change acts on living systems and through which living systems change – transcending and including previous patterns in a spiral pathway of increasing diversity, complexity and harmony.

Nothing ever stays the same.  Change is the eternal constant, and life is motion.  Life implies growth, maturation, decay, death and quiescence.  Death implies rebirth.  The journey through all of these phases is a moving journey.  Systems tend towards expansion and complexity, then fall apart, then cohere again.  Coherency is a point of simplicity, or pure presence, that allows for things to come together (to cohere) at a new order of evolution.

When we navigate change consciously and coherently, we become agents of conscious evolution – literally, we are life, change and evolution being conscious of itself.  We are evolutionaries – shaping and being shaped by the growing edge of consciousness.  When we bring awareness to the process, we influence outcomes.

As we steward change, we are always either midwifing birth or hospicing death – both within ourselves and with others.  Each of us will do some of both as we facilitate Dancing Freedom.  Both things can be happening in the same group of people or in the same individual at the same time.  We hold space for this through love.  We hold safe space for the breakdown and the breakthrough by grounding, expanding to meet whatever IS, and resting in presence and compassion. We do not try to change what is happening.  We simply create coherent space through the balance of expansion (permission, invitation, invocation, inspiration) and containment (clear boundaries and agreements).

“The love we co-create together is an alchemical substance, and this substance can transform our cells and our world.  Love like this is coherence in action.”  ~Falco, founder of Dhamanhur

The Shape of Evolution

The Shape of Evolution

Evolution is happening.  It is happening whether we like it or not.  At this moment, it is heavily amplified by the human presence on the planet.  We have created an evolutionary crucible for ourselves and for all of life.  As conscious creators and members of the human family, it simply makes sense to BE THE COHERENCY.  We have the opportunity to engage evolution consciously – because we can.  This is the grace of having such large brains.  We have self-reflexivity and can make choices!  Because we are a species that is aware of itself and it’s creative relationship with it’s environment, we are uniquely poised to consciously co-create the next steps for our very young species and for all of life on planet earth, and perhaps for all of life in the universe.  We have brains large enough, and hearts big enough to co-create a path of harmony

We can do this by being coherent.

For a human being, coherency comes through:

  • Grounding
  • Personal Presence
  • Collective Resonance
  • Aligning with shift at all scales
  • Developing an Awake Ego
  • Cultivating Nomadic/Indigenous Mind

The Nomadic Consciousness or Indigenous Mind is RESPONSIVE to internal awareness and outer stimulus in a way that is in integrity with life.  Here are some qualities of this way of being:

  • Non-fixety
  • Source Wisdom
  • Life Wisdom
  • Body-presence
  • Permeability with the Environment
  • Wonder
  • Responsivity
  • Loyalty
  • Providing Home
  • Collectivity
  • Self-responsibility
  • Discernment
  • Wise Seeing
  • Humility
  • Energetic & Emotional Ethics
  • Compassion
  • Containment
  • Asking for Help
  • Seeking Elders

Each of us is powerful beyond knowing.  We Are Evolution.  The Collective Consciousness of humanity is a system (or oversoul) that is evolving as WE change the ways in which we project, perceive and respond to reality.

~Copy write, Samantha Sweetwater, 2011

Living Questions #1: Intimacy

Living Questions Part 1:

Somatic Sensing and The Real Conditions Of Intimacy

Think of yourself as an experiential scientist.  You are the researcher.  Your life and your experience is the laboratory.  The dance is the experiment.

In this laboratory called LIVING, what you can see, sense, feel, test out and replicate for yourself is proof, it is the evidence, the verification, of what works.  It reveals an experiential (or phenomonological) condition of reality.  It reveals the true conditions through which consciousness arises.  So, If it is true for the body & heart… it is probably TRUE.  If we can embrace this in mindfullness, we can actually start to live non-dually – in body and spirit, in transcendence and immanence, AT THE SAME TIME.

Here’s a collection of questions about INTIMACY that I use when teaching Movement Genius, Dancing Freedom, Contact Improv and Partner Yoga.  They are sourced from a lifetime of work in embodied leadership & practice, and from my coaching & healing practice.  The basic premise:  What is true somatically is true holographically.  We can test things out for ourselves through real experiences and integrate what we learn on a CORE LEVEL through somatic awareness and mindfullness.

If we can feel and know it through the body, we can learn how to apply it to life.  If some way of being is out of alignment with the body or heart’s well being, it is probably out of harmony with the universe, as well.

When I do this work, I create an agreement field that we are all on a level playing field in terms of our basic equipment.  In other words, in a class filled with able-bodied people, we are all equipped with with two legs, two arms, a spine, the same sensory organs.  We all have the capacity to move, the capacity to respond and the capacity to react.  Most of us are dealing with hidden bumps, bruises or pain – either physical or emotional.   We are all mammals; we are all people.  We are all Spirits in bodies.  We all have hidden vulnerabilites, and part of compassion is to allow presence for this.

We are all the same; and, each of us is an-other alive, creative & entirely unique self.

The only RULE is YOU CAN NOT DO IT WRONG.

For the first half of class, I ask you to focus primarily on the direct body-based experience, to dive into the minutia of our sensations.  It is important to slow down and build the depth of feeling and sensing (direct perception) before asking questions that take us emotionally and imaginally beyond the our immediate awareness.  Once the field of somatic sensing is awake, the the bridge between immediate somatic insights and the capacity to mindfully apply them to your life is totally open!

~ • ~

Questions:

Photo by Sean Stutchen ~ Epic Eden Hot Springs Retreat

• How are you listening to your partner?
• How are you listening to yourself?
• How are you meeting your self and this person in a new, fresh way?
• What do you know about them right now just by how they breathe and how they hold their body?
• Can you relax into connection to invite a deeper connection and trust from them?
• How are you bringing luminous awareness and presence to your actions?
• Where are withholding your awareness and presence?
• How are you attending to your body, to your own needs, boundaries and desires?
• Are you willing to articulate boundaries and needs?  Can you do this with an open heart?
• Are you moving from INTEGRITY?  Do you compromise basic needs for the sake of “the other” or in order to “get it right”?
• Are you willing to feel all the sensations that are present?
• Where is the sense of pleasure in your body?  Be specific.  Go more deeply into it.  Breathe and move from there.
• Where do you feel deadness, dullness, pain or stiffness in your body.  Be specific.  Are you willing be present with this and to move and breathe into this place?
• Are you willing to be vulnerable?
• Are you willing to NOT KNOW?
• What new possibilities arise when you stay present and curious with not knowing?
• How do you experience your CENTER in partnership?
• What are the motives behind your actions?
– Are you trying to please your partner or the instructor?
– Are you trying to prove yourself?
– Are you trying to “do it right?”
– Are you trying to control the situation?
• CURIOSITY.  How can curiosity support you to innovate, open and thrive?
• How is power showing up for you in this exercise?  What are you learning about cooperation, feedback, balance, listening, trust & levity in relationship to power?
• Can you give and receive at the same time?
• What does “giving” mean for you?
• What does receiving mean for you?
• The way you are experiencing this exercise is a reflection of how you experience relationship in every other aspect of your life.  What do you notice?
• Is competition showing up for you in this situation? How does competition support your success & excellence?  And, how might it undermine collaboration and compassionate leadership?
• Are you willing to trust your partner?  Can you trust yourself?  What do you get when you CHOOSE this trust?  What happens when you don’t trust?
• What is the difference between supple and rigid strength?  Can you cultivate one while releasing the other?
• Are you more comfortable leading or following?  Can you balance following withleading?  What does this mean to you and your work?
• Can you balance effort with relaxation?
• Where is the “sweet spot” for you in the balance between striving and surrender?
• Do you feel more safe, present or empowered when you are giving or when you are receiving?
• What does this tell you about the ways in which you lead and build relationships?

• How do you want to apply the simple lessons you have learned from your body and your experience of your partner in this exercise to your life and your work?

• How can experiences like this support you to work and play more from your heart rather than your head (your ideas & goals about projected outcomes) or your will (the desire to maintain control over the outcome)?

• What qualities do you notice are most supportive of collaboration, shared leadership and ease?

• What did you learn about your own impulse patterns, motivations and commitments?

• Where were your growing edges?  Do you want to commit to any particular mindfulness practices as a result of your experience today?

….Well, that’s maybe enough for a lifetime.

Next post: Questions on PURPOSE.

Love,

~s.s.