“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”
I am Daniel P. Collins, and I am attempting to bring it to birth to help myself achieve a spiritual connection with the Oneness of life and the universe. The LivingPulse is the closest thing of which I am aware that offers a true spirituality grounded in current scientific thinking.
From my earliest childhood, I have felt the need to have some essence of spirituality. Having concluded rather early that I could not sustain a belief in traditional western religion, I was left with a void. Off and on, over the years, I kept returning to that need—to that void. Also, early in life I could feel, especially when alone and in the natural world, some sort of energy, pulsation or vibration; in essence, a connection with the natural world. Initially, I just thought of it as a curiousity, but over the years, I kept returning to that feeling—to that sensation.
I began to study eastern spirituality. It resonated. Its two main ideas seemed to me to revolve around being present in the current moment, generally through meditation, and the non-duality of existence. Non-duality is difficult to define, but most would describe it as the fundamental Oneness of all that exists.
However, both of these ideas are hard to get your mind around and to put into practice. It is very difficult, for me at least, to maintain consciousness in the present moment through meditation, regardless of the effort, or lack thereof. For me, I found some bit of that Oneness in the present moment through running over rough trails in the natural world. More discussion of this is found in the Underpinnings section. As for non-duality, I am just not sure how eastern spirituality evolved. It had a supposed belief in the Oneness, but then all kinds of god-like icons showed up as separate from existence; not one with it. Many would say that we humans need a personal god to feel spirituality; an entity with which to connect, and to which to pray. And they would say that that personal god is an illusion, brought on by evolutionary pressures on our minds. I believe they are right, and I suspect that evolutionary pressures also had an effect on our ability to be in the present moment.
Our minds have evolved over thousands and millions of years as life has evolved. All living beings face constant survival and reproductive pressures, and those pressures may have led to an illusion of a separate self, not being part of the Oneness. In addition, the need to maintain a constant mental dialogue as an aid for social interactions within our small group, may have made it difficult to be free of thought, and just to be in the ‘now’. Evolutionary psychology would seem to support these ideas.
Further scientific support for the interconnectedness of all life and the universe, and for concepts of time in the present moment, is coming from new studies, including quantum physics. Many books, by many philosophers and scientists, reflect the existence of some energy connection amongst all life. All living beings share a pulse, a rhythm to their biological systems. The universe exhibits movement, and there are vibrations from the galaxies on down to planets, atoms and sub-atomic particles.
Some of this belief system can be considered Pantheism, an ancient doctrine that equates god to the forces and laws of the universe, and to all of life on the earth. But Pantheism seems to be more about an understanding of this in one’s intellect, and does not appear to offer a way to feel it in one’s heart and soul.
The goal of LivingPulse is to get out of one’s head and to feel the pulse of Oneness in one’s soul in the present moment. Since I first discovered a bit of connection with Oneness through nature and trail running, it has seemed logical that other activities and practices might also open a door to the LivingPulse. I see LivingPulse as first, an organization, and second, a sanctuary, where individuals come together to share what they feel as spirituality through various practices and rituals.
That sense of spirituality comes from getting out of a focus on the individual ‘self’, and into a focus on the Oneness and Pulse of all things through different practices and rituals, right here, and right now, in this moment. Those practices will be led by special instructors and can take many forms: meditation, music, percussion, dance, yoga, communing with the natural world through running, hiking, and/or kayaking. And perhaps others that I have never considered. The goal of those practices is to be completely involved, with your whole being, in a deeply meaningful activity, for its own sake. The ego will disappear.
To be clear, the LivingPulse is NOT intended or expected to be a money-making venture for me. Quite the opposite, I expect to expend financial help to the endeavor. This will be in the form of maintaining a building and the organizational infrastructure. Any instructors who lead practices or rituals will be compensated by donations from attendees.
Also to be clear, I do NOT consider myself any kind of teacher or spiritual leader. I am simply a ‘seeker’ who feels that what I perceive as the LivingPulse can offer help to me on a spiritual journey, along with any others who care to join the journey.