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Universal Belonging: Attunement With All That Surrounds Us

Foundation to A Rooted and Flexible Self

“We have found that sense of belonging anchored in who we are, which is both rooted and flexible. This belonging allows us to evolve the [difficult] conversations, evolve the [social] field, so that people can access their own sense of belonging, whoever they are, no matter where they are.”  – Stephanie Mines.

“It’s important to make a distinction between the experience of belonging and societal approval. Belonging is a somatic experience of ease and attunement with something other than ourselves. This experience is stored in our body, and we can access it even when we are alone, either immersed in activities that absorb our mind and body, or in attunement with nature or with a good book.” – Spring Cheng

This is the fourth post of the series we have done on embodied cultural sensitivity. In this video, we talk about belonging, especially a sense of universal belonging, as the foundation to practicing embodied cultural sensitivity.

Belonging is a felt experience of being attuned and enlivened relationship with one’s surroundings, including the natural environment, social environment and universal field of consciousness. In belonging, we feel a resonance with all that surrounds and touches us.

Belonging is not to be mistaken as societal approval. Societal approval is conditioned upon fulfilling certain criteria, and can easily be withdrawn upon failing to meet those standards. Belonging, on the other hand, includes and embraces all parts of ourselves, parts in both light and shadow, without judgment.

While most of us first experience a sense of belonging with a particular place, family of origin, or a group of people with whom we identify, it is possible to cultivate a universal sense of belonging where the belonging is not attached to a particular place or group of people, but to the universal field of consciousness, and our own destiny in the flow of evolution. This universal belonging ushers us into the river of an ever-changing evolutionary process, where light and shadow, yin and yang, bright and dark, naturally give rise to one another in continuous and cyclic flows, just as how seasons cycle through time.   

We cultivate belonging through creativity, contemplation, pleasure, communion with nature or Spirit, and caring for our body as a sacred temple. Cultivating belonging is a dedicated practice.

In the previous posts of this series, we’ve touched upon what such cultivation of belonging might look like, and what it makes possible. Stephanie shared when facing justifiable anger from a member of a marginalized community, she did not collapse into guilt, or defense, but embraced the energy with spaciousness while honoring her commitment to healing.

To stand with integrity in such difficult situation is the result of Stephanie’s decades of persistent cultivation of belonging, through her practice of energy medicine, writing and yoga. 

In this post, I shared my experience of transforming rage into sacred songs and offer the songs as a call for unity rather than separation. This is also the natural fruit of decades of ongoing practice of qigong, tai chi, musical exploration and using I Ching as a medium to commune with the Spirit.

In our post of Beyond Blame and Shame, we shared the importance of going beyond blaming and shaming the perpetrator and committing to evolving the social field as a system. I told the story of hosting a dialogue and compassionate listening project that builds new connections between Tibetans and Chinese embroiled in painful geopolitical conflicts. Committing to projects like that requires us to be rooted in a sense of universal belonging.

Do you want to discover the practice that allows you to cultivate belonging, especially belonging to the universal field of consciousness? Do you want to anchor your embodied cultural sensitivity through your sense of belonging and discover how you can be instrumental in healing and evolving the social field? Please check out our upcoming course: The Art of Embodied Cultural Sensitivity

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Earth Song
Earth Song
Spring Cheng