Where’s human’s environment? It is in Odd(z).

As young as our habits of protecting our homes’ privacy from insects are…

(As not so long ago, in earth time, such a dwelling would not have been sealed off from our community of other-than-human sentients…)

Our habit of claiming any exclusive space or privacy, for our nuclear families, from other humans is bizarrely young too…

(And, well, an odd side effect of modernization/cultural devolution? Ask any first-time new parents who live far from family-of-origin relatives. You will likely learn that they sure wish some extended family were close by, as the local community sure keeps a distance from that driveway/frontdoor…)

Ideas/concepts/definitions of self are dependent on one’s context, or in-group affiliation, out-group hostility, within-group status… (Harris, 1995).

There is a spectrum of group identities we pass through in any given day, or half hour, or less…

–at work, “I” am “adult” in a community of children and adults

–on the hiking trail, “I” am “moving living animal” among plants and animals

–in a trip to the grocers, “I” am a mash-up of projected class, race and gender blending with my inner identities and experiences of class, race and gender, among many people, and canned, boxed, shrink-wrapped and open raw food items (as the 0, some 2, 4, 6, and 8 legged ones are quite excluded except for guide animals!?)

–with family-of-origin beloveds, “I” am a mash-up again of “child”, peer, auncle, sibling, queer, insider, outsider… among other various self-identifiers among variously self-identified people

Self identity is as fluid as any group mind can be. Aside from the transitions in context that we make environmentally and socially – within one particular context, a certain instance can suddenly shift my group status for a breath, or for years…

I can be slighted by peers and slip in status, I can be lauded by elders and feel buoyed in status, I can be included by strangers and become a part of a new group – even if only for the duration of one meal, meeting, or moment…

I am grappling with which words to use, as I interchange humans with people and group with community. Community is not exclusively human for me…

My work, as a contemplative embodiment educator, with humans of all varieties, explores the self-as-body. By deepening and expanding our very personal and collective experiences of what it means to be birthed on earth as human, we then cultivate understanding and compassion for our whole community of forms of space in space – our community of space in the form of forms – directly experiencing self-as-earth, self-as-other…

I came across this recently: “…we live with the myth that we know the world through our own senses alone, but that is not true. …it is through our imaginal thinking that we know the world in its depths.” (Toben, 2010, p. 2)

I love this twist on my ways. Yet, I think there is a tremendous lack of embodied awareness within our species, and that with greater direct felt experience we can connect to our imaginings far more meaningfully…

Flying without roots is a problem we are gaining insight into only because of our present day disconnect from our feet, bones, ancestors, soil… Painful devolutionary experiences (such as human slavery – which is as present today as ever and just down the road from y/our home) offer us odd perspectives on what human imagining can heal.

Then there is the notion of acceptance of what is.

Experiences like chronic diseases and depression sit akimbo on my asymmetrically balancing limbs of a bodied self (in this age of melancholy – rising rates of depression as the cost of modernity – Goleman, 1995).

Uncovering internal abuses and addictions of subconscious and unimaginable systems and intelligences within my breathing cells can illuminate how best to relate and to act inside this universe sized universe of co-creative community. Without the entirety of which I would not exist!

I am then able to imagine embracing quantum field’s worth of open space, to behold the devastating home-sized pain of external abuses and addictions within and between embodied forms, inside my home – earth.

There is both unconscious and intentional acceptance of living diseased and depressed lives, which creates space to discover what these experiences actually mean and feel like. Discernment is happening in our heartmindbodies that wouldn’t occur without the acute problems we are facing today. Insight from pain, the dark night of the soul – these learning curves seem so natural and requisite for knowing what light and freedom actually are.

I’m not so sure.

I am imagining that our current era of experience can create a wake inside which the future flows and glows freely.

Can you see it?


Right here!

It’s right t/here in your inhale/gaze/weight/exhale/touch/smell…


You can hear it.


I bow down with devotion from my body, speech and mind.

…with bodies as numberless as atomic particles,

I prostrate with reverence to each and every one of them.

Upon each atom there exists as many Buddhas as atoms are present,

With the Bodhisattvas seated in the middle of them all.

In this way the entire sphere of absolute reality, without exception,

Is imagined to be completely consumed by all…

I bow down with devotion from my body, speech and mind.

Become the victorious free one you/we are!


Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York, NY: Bantam.

Harris, J. R. (1995). Where is the child’s environment? A group socialization theory of development. Psychological Review, 102, 458-489.

Toben, C. (2010). Dear Reader,. Chrysalis: Newsletter of the center for education, imagination, and the natural world at timberlake farm, 7(Spring), 1-3.


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