Monthly Archives: June 2014

My Zen and climate change radio interview

My Zen and climate change radio interview

I recently did an interview with Will Sherwin, an MFT, Zen practitioner, and friend who hosts a radio show called Ethical Lifestyle Design. It’s about my attempt to make a positive impact on the world and about understanding that journey for everyone. It’s got good music, good questions, and I hope good responses. Here it is. If you listen, please let me know what it stirs in you!

Ethical Lifestyle Design – Jared Michaels, Zen, and climate change communication

How to return to who we really are

Recently I was listening to a talk by a wonderful, wise psychotherapist and shaman named Sandra Ingerman. She said something that resonated with me in an incredibly powerful way and I’d like to share it with you. She said, “The only difference between me and you is that I know that I am God and you don’t.”

I’m going to explore that teaching with you today, but first here’s a disclaimer: I am well aware that talking about God in our culture is like trying to navigate a treacherous obstacle course. I’d like to ask that if you usually have issues with or fixed preconceived notions about the word “God” then please try to have an open mind right now to hear what I mean when I use it.

When I talk about God, I am referring to the beauty at the heart of our being, the perfection that we all ultimately are, and the sacredness that shines from our soul. I mean that word in a completely spiritual way, not at all in an institutional way.

I think that it is not just important but necessary to remember again and again that we are God. Without this awareness we lose contact with who we really are and, out of fear, begin to act crazy. With this awareness we find profound peace, compassion, love, relaxation, intelligence… you name it.

The shift to remembering who we really are – God – is not just a mental act. We cannot impose this awareness upon ourselves through belief. We have to know it, remember it, realize it, wake up to it, touch it, and connect to it from a place that is much more cellular and ancient than the intellect. As one of my Zen teachers said, “We wake up with our whole body.”

Because we often need help to wake up like this, I’d like to offer you a meditation that I’ve found pivotal. This is not by any means a classic Zen meditation. I have put it into my own language and it has a lot of psychology influences. Here it is.

  1.  Give yourself the gift of quiet time and space. The amount of time can range from 10 seconds to a couple hours.
  2.  Sit in a comfortable position. If you’re wide awake, lying down can be a good position too.
  3.  Form the intention to be with your experience just as it is. Notice your body’s sensations, think your thoughts, and feel your feelings.
  4.  Breath self-compassion into your atmosphere.
  5.  As you relax, let your mind and heart organically open and wake up.
  6.  Ask yourself what you really are.

May this meditation help you remember in every fiber of your being that you are God. And, with this knowing, may you live with great love for yourself and all living beings!

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