Active Consciousness Newsletter -- May 2012 A Personal Tzitzit Cellphones, Youtube, Facebook, TV, Twitter -- they may be fun, entertaining, and conv


Active Consciousness Newsletter -- May 2012


A Personal Tzitzit

Cellphones, Youtube, Facebook, TV, Twitter -- they may be fun, entertaining, and convenient, but they can also make it hard to be in the Now. My own personal demise is E-mail. Even as I write this, the E-mail icon is bouncing at me, letting me know that another piece of mail (probably spam) has arrived.

OK, I've closed my E-mail. Sometimes you just have to turn everything OFF to get anything serious done -- let alone truly being with your Self.

Somehow all the wonders of modern technology seem to be taking us further and further away from our inner Selves. Instead, we seem to be becoming more and more driven by the external world around us. Our lives have become almost 100% reactive -- we just respond to the stimuli that bombard us rather than figuring out what we actually want to do. Think about it. Either it's E-mail or your cell phone or the request of a co-worker, family member, or friend or the latest show recorded on your DVR or an ad on TV or an appointment or .... it's endless, isn't it? It's very hard for many of us to even know what we really want to do any more. How can we hope to wield active consciousness if we can't even get a moment to think? This makes a short meditative practice each day even more valuable. At least we get a few minutes of peace.

Recently, I have been trying to experiment with my own overload by selecting certain opportune days (when I don't have any appointments or errands) to be radically internally driven rather than externally driven. Even if you can't get a whole day to do this, try to do it for a few hours. Whenever it's time to change gears and do something new, I try to settle briefly in the Now and ask -- "What do I want to do next?" The answer might not make any sense. Or it might feel "wrong" to you; you'll think -- I can't do that! For example, today, just when it was my normal time to go swimming at the gym, my inner Self told me -- "Play piano". So I did, and I had a particularly memorable musical experience for 45 minutes. Rather than sticking to my old routine, I just let myself be directed from within, rather than from without or by some prescribed schedule or habit.

In a recent meditation, I came up the idea of using a "personal tzitzit" to trigger this inner-directed mindset as often as I could. What is a tzitzit?

In the bible, Jews were commanded to wear fringe or "tzitzit" on their garments to remind them of their covenant with God. In the photo above (on the left) is a tzitzi worn on the pants of an orthodox Jew, who still obeys this commandment today. There are other "tzitzit"-like reminders used by many religions and cultures. For example, crosses or other worn amulets remind people of their faith, and a wedding ring is a reminder of the wedding vow. Even flags are reminders to us of the sovereignty of our nation. But often they just become habits and their significance is lost on us.

Still, there is wisdom in the tzitzit, especially if you have to put it on and take it off each day. Interacting with a tzitzit sort of reactivates it in your mind. So I decided to select my own personal tzitzit -- the little beaded bracelet also shown in the photo. I picked it because it evokes a happy and relaxed memory for me. And I now put it on every morning. Maybe it will eventually lose its power or become a habit for me. When that day comes, it will be time to find a new personal tzitzit. But for now, it reminds me to be more inwardly directed in my actions each day rather than perpetually externally driven. It is my reminder of the Now -- to listen to my Self.

What can you use as your own personal tzitzit?


A New Review / Interview about Active Consciousness and a Recent Talk by Amy Lansky

Recently, the editor of Magazine, Jair Robles, wrote a short review of Active Consciousness and interviewed Amy for a feature that appeared on April 2, 2012 . We think you'll find it quite interesting, so please do check it out! By the way, the photo near the beginning of the article was taken of Amy and her two sons, Izaak and Max, at one of her band's gigs, about 12 or 13 years ago.

On April 27, Amy also gave a live presentation for the Foundation for Mind-Being Research ( in Palo Alto, California. You may be able to view it at this link. (Amy's presentation begins at around 18 minutes.) Enjoy!



It's May!


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