Here is a passage from my book Leap Before You Look.

When we are willing to exchange our life of preoccupation with “me” and “my needs” for a life given in the service of love itself, of that presence itself, we are faced with an interesting paradox.

On one side of the paradox, we recognize that everything is perfect just as it is. When the chatter of the mind recedes just a little bit, when the smells, colors, and textures of the world become more immediately felt, we recognize the grace running through it all. Even in conflict, or in the midst of what we call suffering, if we are really in touch with the pulse of life itself, we can feel the beauty of it all.

On the other side of the paradox, we realize that everything is continuously evolving. Our human condition, as it is now, is flawed with unconscious habits, addictions, and compulsions. In seeing the gap between who we are today and who we could be, seeing the trickle of gifting that’s coming through us relative to the latent torrent that we intuit, we bow in humility. When we look down from our resting point on the mountain, we may marvel at how far we have come from the valley below, but when we look up, the peaks are still lofty and daunting, and we know there is still much more to discover. (more…)

Here’s a passage from my book Leap Before You Look.

When you start to feel needy or insecure,
Celebrate it completely.
Ask your partner to sit in a chair or on the sofa, A
nd sit at your partner’s feet for a few minutes.
Enter into your fear of abandonment,
The need to be loved completely.
Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. I beg you.
I need you so much.
I can’t live without you. Please stay with me.
Look at me. Look at me. I want you. I need you.
Please don’t leave me.
As you enter more fully into this practice,
It will overflow from this exploration into deeper feeling.
You may find yourself crying.
It may evoke long-forgotten memories in you,
Or even the call of the heart to the divine. (more…)

Here’s a passage from my book Leap Before You Look.

When you notice yourself needing to be right,
When you notice your mind is strongly attached to any conclusion,

Stop and ask yourself, “Is it true?”

Do I really know this?

Is this an absolute, objective, unchanging fact?

Would every sane person in the world agree that it is so?

Or is it simply opinion?
When the mind says, “There’s not enough time,”

Ask, “Is it true?”

Do I really know that?

Can that be nailed down as a fact?

Would
everyone agree? (more…)

Here is a passage from my book Leap Before You Look.

Whenever you feel provoked, irritated, or pulled to make a response, Stop. Sit back in the saddle. Scan your body and notice what you are feeling. Seek out any areas of strong emotional tension; feel what is there. If it helps you, label it: Sadness, anger, desire, whatever it may be. Stay with the sensations, Dropping the story—the why and the because. Do everything you can to experience what is here, to the maximum possible degree, for no more than a few minutes. then, relax. feel your interiority as though for the first time. If there’s more emotional tension calling to be felt in this moment, take a few extra minutes to welcome feeling even more totally. Keep going until the charge is gone. Feel yourself now; you are not just a loving person, you are Love itself.

We have all been faced with experiences that seem overwhelming: the anger of a drunk parent; the thrill of a sexual encounter; the end of a relationship. We have learned to say “yes” to parts of what we feel, and “no” to the rest. Long ago, we built a wall in the middle of our emotional landscape. Do we still need that wall today? (more…)

This is a practice from my book Leap Before You Look.

Lie down on your back
Under a cloudless sky.
Open yourself to the nature of infinity.
Let yourself move out infinitely in any direction
And be soberly present with the unavoidable fact
That as far as you travel,
You are still only halfway there.
There are no limits.
You cannot think about infinity.
It will blow your mind.
You can only become one with the infinite.
Look into the sky without blinking.
Let the sky enter you, so there is no inner and outer remaining.
Then close your eyes and stare into the inner limitless sky.

This simple practice, to look into the open, cloudless sky, has been used in every tradition in every age. I was introduced to it in the Tibetan refugee community of Bodh Nath in Katmandhu by the great Dzogchen teacher Choki Nyima Rimpoche. Once it is pointed out to you, it becomes so obvious—it was there all along. Many of us get involved in spiritual practices and teachings, searching for who we really are, and the answer is right there above our heads all along: you only have to look up into the vastness of the sky. This practice is great for modern humanity, as we have grown so used to a man-made world. Everything has been modified; everything has our fingerprints all over it, except the sky. The vastness of the sky cannot be touched, cannot be modified; it remains the last outpost of absolute innocence. (more…)

This is a practice from my 2008 book Leap Before You Look.

Find a place in nature
Where you can go every day.

If you live in a city,
It could be a park or even a flowerbed,
But if you live near a forest, like we do,
Step into the wild outdoors.
Sit in exactly the same spot every day,
Facing in the same direction,
And just be with things as they are.
Feel through your skin;
Listen carefully;
Watch and pay attention to the colors and shapes and movement.
Be aware of the movement of the trees,
The sounds and activities of small animals and insects.
The boundaries where you end
And nature begins
Will dissolve.

At the core of modern humanity’s suffering is the feeling of separation. We feel separated from each other in the ways we relate. We feel separated from the other members of our family. We feel separated from each other in our religious beliefs. We feel separated financially, racially, nationally. We feel separated from ourselves and from nature and from the divine.

Nature is not a way to experience Oneness; nature is One. There is no me and not-me in nature: everything is interconnected. When you return to the same place every day, you are returning to an ecosystem that is constantly in relationship with itself. The bark of the tree is home to the ants, who move in and out of the earth. They are eaten sometimes by the birds, whose song fills the space, and whose excrement returns to the soil. Everything is part of everything else. Nature is making love to itself, and eating itself, and excreting itself on itself all the time. Nature is incestuous, cannibalistic, and totally uncivilized.

When you start to sit in the same spot every day, you will at first feel like an outsider. You are bringing your civilized mind into nature, like an intellectual from New York City trying to fit in on a farm. You may sit awkwardly on the edge of a tree trunk, trying not to get dirty or be bitten by bugs. And just as you may feel cut off from nature, so nature may also not yet open to you. But just wait a little while. As you relax into this place, it will affect you, and you will affect it as well. You will become a part of the ecosystem. You will be accepted into the family. After a while, you may even experience the trees and the birds welcoming you home each day.

Your visits to this place will become an initiation into Oneness.

You can discover 72 practices like this in Leap Before You Look.

Buy it now from our online store.

 

Here is a practice you can use right away, from my book “Leap Before You Look.”

At the end of your day
Kneel down in gratitude
And give thanks for the blessings of the day.
Release all sense of accomplishment for now.
Let go of any entitlement.
It was all a gift.
Find a picture of one who represents the divine to you,
Or pictures of all those who do.
Give thanks for each and every thing.

(more…)