A Meditation: Being and Relatedness


(Being and Relatedness by Ed Hirsh)
The Meditation

This meditation is simple as the breath, yet I present it in four stages
to accentuate its different nuances. It is an invitation to explore the
breath as a revelation of Being and Relatedness.
Stage One: Preparation (Earth)

Right where you are, take a few deep breaths and let go. If it is
appropriate, you might choose to close your eyes.

Be with your breathing with felt attention. Let everything else go, and
come into intimate contact with the breath. Attune to the feel, and the
sensations, of the inhaling and the exhaling, how they complement one
another, how they are in relationship to one another, moment to moment.
Let them take you deeper within. Let the breath become long, slow, and
deep, as a way of communing with life, breathing life, being breathed by
life. Savor it, let it nurture you.
Stage Two: Deepening into Essential Relatedness (Water)

On the inhale, feel a deep receiving, receiving deeply into your being.
On the exhale, feel a deep radiance from your being. Feel that you are
breathing from your heart, the heart of your being. In this way, commune
with life, in essential relationship with life.
Stage Three: Focused Relatedness (Air)

Become aware of some people you feel close to. Wherever they might be
now, and whatever they might be doing now, focus into their very being
or presence. Feel your closeness on the being level.

On the inhale, let yourself receive their radiant being energy, their
presence, deeply into yours—all the way in. Feel their loving,
accepting, nurturing support for your own being.

On the exhale, share the same energy with them, from your own being
level. Radiate loving support and compassion freely.

Now extend this to others on the being level—perhaps the people right
where you are now. Even if you don’t know them, or they don’t know you,
the same practice applies. (They don’t need to know that you are doing
this, for it is essentially not about doing, in any case. On the other
hand, if it is a group that is consciously relating in this way, the
process is augmented.)

Now extend this out, further and further, until it embraces the whole
world. Even extend it to include the animals and plants, all the living
earth. Feel a communion and loving support with all of life.
Stage Four: Nondual basis of Relatedness (Fire)

Now take this meditation deeper into its nondual basis. Feel into the
presence of the breath underlying the polarity of inhale and exhale.
Intuit the One Space in which giving and receiving arise. Feel the One
Presence underlying the polarity of self and other.

On this deeper level, feel that on the inhale, the whole world is being
drawn into the Self (that is, the inmost Presence); feel that on the
exhale, you are completely releasing and emptying yourself into the
world (that is, the universal Presence). At any moment, let go of the
breath and just be: feel the filling and the emptying, the receiving and
the giving, as simultaneous aspects of Presence, Now. Be aware of the
Identity at the heart of relatedness.

Realize that we are all one on the being level. We are all in loving
connection with one another, whether we know it or not, for we are all
connected in the harmony of being, or Love. In Love and Beauty,
everything is woven together in harmony. Just as we all breathe the same
atmosphere, we all participate in the same presence or ground of Being.
Although we can have different and even opposing opinions, beliefs,
opinions, feelings, values, as well as actions, in Being there is
nothing to work through, nothing to forgive, nothing to negotiate. There
is the immediacy of loving presence.

People go by every day with the slightest awareness of, and complete
indifference to, your very existence. But it is not that they are
uncaring—they simply are preoccupied with their own lives and concerns.
Even people who might actively dislike you, even hate you, are not in
touch with their own deepest heart or your own true nature.

Even while we are busy with our lives and our work, on the being level
we are all in loving communion. Usually we are too preoccupied to attend
to this loving, but in the case of an emergency, there can be that
outpouring of love.

At any moment, you can choose to go to that being level and experience
the loving support, and give that loving support. You don’t have to wait
for “the right time” or for an emergency, or for death to confront us.
The ultimate is right here, always.

Then you can go back to your life and work and move from this sense of
loving confidence and support, and put that love into action.

It doesn’t have to come out in any special way. Just let it come out of
your natural being with others. Try it right now with people right
around you, and see if you see them differently. Apply it right now with
someone you are having difficulty with on any level—by going to the
being level.

Being present is sometimes most challenging in relation to others. You
can try this meditation as a way of being, in the midst of relating with
others. It is especially available while you are receiving another,
looking and listening.

In the meditation, the nondual level comes at the end, but it is really
not so much a level as a Ground that pervades all levels. When you
repeat the meditation, you can take it to deeper levels, but the sense
of the nondual can pervade it from the beginning.

(from Ed Hirsch <[email protected]>)