A question for you: “What sustains you?”
You might see this question as something that has to do with how your nervous system copes with adversity. Or as an invitation to explore your spirituality. Or an intellectual inquiry about the nature of meaning and purpose. Or all of the above. In any case, let’s take a little pause before diving in. Let’s make sure that this inquiry is grounded in mindfulness.
Like a Zen koan, a question that doesn’t have an automatic answer is an invitation to pause, to check inside, to sense what emerges, and to mindfully explore what comes up. Facing such questions moment by moment, in the course of our life, is very different from reading about them in a book. They do not feel like abstract questions. They help us get in touch with our felt sense of meaning and purpose. With spirit as an inner experience. With resilience as a moment-by-moment experience.
If this is important to you, then consider yourself part of the What Sustains Us project. Think of the project as a virtual community of people who are sharing, not the same answers, but a similar motivation to find the answers that are meaningful to them.
What Sustains Me: A first-person exploration of meaning & purpose
This project also involves a book. Several chapters have already been written, each by a separate person describing what sustains them.
In the future, a printed book will gather all chapters. Meanwhile, chapters are being released as formatted PDFs as they are written (see link below).
The central question in this project is: What sustains you?
What gives you a sense of peace, meaning and purpose in everyday life?
What keeps you going when times are tough?
What gives you the strength to face moments of crisis or despair?
We want to stay grounded in felt experience – – which is the key word here. We are not trying to describe a specific path, a ‘right way’ to do things, or a ‘correct’ narrative of how it all works out. To the contrary. We are coming at it from different approaches. And we value the ‘unfinished’ quality that comes from describing these issues while we are in the midst of grappling with them, not knowing how things will turn out. Actually, an implicit assumption of this project is that depth of experience is related to our ability to tolerate the ‘not knowing’.
The following 2-minute recording expands on the above text:
Work in progress:
What Sustains Us is edited by Serge Prengel.