Going Deeper …
This is an edited version of the video on this page.
Groundedness is about being fully present and responsive to what is, to what’s real and to what’s most important. Many people think this is just physical reality, but it is also being present with your own consciousness, your bias, the needs of others, invisible fields that influence all sorts of things. Anything that “is” is relevant to be grounded in because we’re trying to take into account what needs to be taken into account. So being present with what is and responsive to it is fundamental to that.
There are different dimensions to it:
Personal grounding: What do you most deeply care about and know? What are you most connected to? It’s about connecting to your mind, your heart, your body, your consciousness… Like this guy in the pattern image – Native American faithkeeper and spokesman Oren Lyons – he is so present in himself and to everything around him.
Being grounded in the things that you are related to: your relationships, your place, your community, where you stand and all the connections you have. Where do you stand? So often this is thought of in terms of individual Presence, but it can be collective too. A couple could be grounded, a group could be grounded, a community or even a whole society can collectively center or ground themselves in these things. That’s true also for other forms of groundedness: the depth of life, the web of life, the earth, nature, evolution, deep time, groundedness in ancestors, in future generations … having them in your consciousness.
You can be grounded in the flow and fullness of the present moment. I see that often embodied in images of Aikido masters like this one http://joakimjalin.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Aikido_Ulf_Evenas_1_Photo_%C2%A9_Joakim_Jalin.jpg.
You can be grounded in spirit, dynamic fields of awareness, or things related to ESP. If you have such capacities (such as “being attuned”) that is also part of groundedness.
You can be grounded in the narratives and knowledge base and educational systems of a group or a culture – you can be aware that those things are present whatever situation you’re in with those people. They have profound impact on the people and situations that you are dealing with.
Then there’s groundedness in reality, in reason, in the facts of the matter: Who are the other players? What are the larger contacts and connections around what’s going on that are influencing and shaping it? – systems dynamics, chains and fields of causality, histories and trajectories. There’s motion and vectors built into the situation. You need to be present with them.
There’s a funny way in which a lot of this is connected to the Capacitance pattern https://www.wd-pl.com/6-capacitance-v2/ – being able to hold all these things at once. There’s individual capacities and responsibility to know what’s going on. And we can readily see the profound impact of what’s collectively noted and attended to: What is assumed to be important and real in a group or society, and how that shapes individual and collective activities. That’s all a major piece of it. So having forums where a well-grounded common ground can be developed is vital.
It’s another kind of attention we can bring: We can help – not only by being grounded ourselves as individuals or as groups, but by helping societies and others be grounded.
Another thing is being grounded in the energies of a situation: What are the drivers, the needs, the purposes, the longings, the values, the interests, the passions,…? – all these have directional energy and caring that manifest their aspirations. They’re all basic life energy. They all manifest in somewhat different ways, but the life energy in the systems and people – the life and lives you are engaged with – those are profoundly important to take into account.
All these things are about taking things into account for long-term broad benefit – our definition of wisdom. That is the way this groundedness ties in.
So where is it trying to go, what’s it trying to do? Sometimes you have to understand the interests and passions and goals of people and groups in a situation that you aren’t in agreement with. If you fight them, if you resist them, you aren’t being grounded. But if there is something in them that you can work with – some deeper needs underlying and driving their particular purposes and proposals – you can try to tap into what’s there and be responsive to it and figure out how to move with that energy.
It is no accident that Oren Lyons, a well-known native American, is pictured here. He embodies that grounded quality applied to many other areas than the physical challenges of attack and battle and all the rest.
We’re trying to be aware of our own role, our own awareness, our own capacities individually and collectively. What are we doing in this situation? How is our individual and collective way of being here shaping what’s going? We’re trying to be aware of that while not being thrown off by it. Groundedness implies a certain stability, fundamentally you are standing on something that is really there. You are not acting as if it’s not. You are facing reality, and that’s fundamental. We want to minimize the distractions and distortions that can arise within us and around us. “Let’s be real, what is happening here folks!?” That is basically of what this is about.
At a societal level, a systemic level, you have the media, watchdog groups and feedback forums, institutional reviews, and so on, playing this grounding role. There are all these things which can be established to return us to the grounded state. It’s almost like the meditator returning to their breathing, returning to whatever their attention is focused on (depending on their kind of meditation).
Life can be pulling us off our Presence, our stance on the ground, our connection to what’s fundamental and important. There are different ways at all levels of scale, of levels of reality to bring us back to what is most important and most real. That’s where we have (referring to the pattern heart) factual reality; reason; deep caring; strongly coherent connections to self, community, place, nature, earth; basic needs and deep aspirations. These are what we want to continually come back to and be grounded in, and having that groundedness inform what we are doing and trying to do, and seeing and taking into account. That’s the basic underlying principle of groundedness.