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Sunday, May 07, 2017

How Big Are Your Feet?

By Teri Harbour

Creator of the Arjuna Card Game (

I wear size 11 shoes but I am continually trying to reduce the size of my carbon footprint. One thing I’ve contemplated doing is to live a less traditional lifestyle. It is the traditional Western lifestyle focused on satisfying our material pleasures that results in waste and diminished natural resources. 

If we practice NOT giving in to so many of our desires, perhaps we could reduce our environmental impact: not eating so high on the food chain, eating organic, not drinking out of plastic, reducing the packaging we buy, (in fact, reducing our buying,) not feeling like we need to own every beautiful thing we see, not using excessive toiletries such as make-up, using less paper goods and less electricity/fuel.

We can’t take our bodies with us when we pass on to the next realm, so why put so much energy into making these bodies excessively beautiful and lavishly comfortable right now? 

Of course, we want to be clean and have our basic needs met, but we tend to overdo it. Do we need the latest car, gadget, phone or furniture item, etc.? What we use while we are on this Earth has a much longer impact than the length of our lifespans. 

We should be putting more energy into leaving a healthy and uplifting legacy: spreading more smiles, offering more assistance, creating and preserving natural beauty and art, offering kind words and timeless wisdom.

These acts of kindness and positivity go a long way and have far-reaching ripple effects that we may not fully realize. Instead of criticizing, let’s try to turn the attention on ourselves and ask, “How can this situation make me a better person?” And, “what is the opportunity for learning here?” Our power lies in taking responsibility for our own reactions and brainstorming more effective ways of responding to challenges. A favorite quote of mine is, “Expect nothing from others and much of ourselves.”

But old habits die hard.
It takes regular daily practice to change a lifestyle. It takes perseverance to detach from the five senses and not give in to every whim we desire. Through meditation, we can detach from our senses and connect to a more powerful aide: our intuition. 

Try doing a meditation and focusing exclusively on the area just in front of your closed eyes. In your mind’s eye, see if you can detect an image, however vague. Perhaps you see a light, a color or even a third eye. Yes, an actual third eye floating just out in front of you! Allow yourself to get lost in this image and completely focus all of your thoughts and attention on it. Keep gently bringing your awareness back to it whenever your thoughts wander - and they will, but that’s o.k. This is the way to practice detachment from our five senses which will lead to less desire for material comforts and, at the same time, deeper satisfaction in a more permanent transpersonal realm.

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