Living In the Moment In the Age of COVID19
I have been a meditator for many years and think, at times, that I have the tools to combat fear and the unknown when unstable and downright scary things happen to the world and more personally, to me. But what I find is that anxiety is a sneaky, quiet foe. And that its subtle and not so subtle penetration of my calm is on-going and, at times, insidious. I know this to be the reptilian, fight-or-flight brain reacting to the entire world around me; neighbors dying from this virus, NY state reacting slowly, no confident federal guidelines or slow-to-act leadership, loss of clients, locked away from my home, etc, etc, etc...
And so I think about those individuals who could watch controversy and not react. How in God's name did they do that? Buddha, when faced with demons in the midst of his meditation did not move his mind to future fear one bit. Soldiers who are trained not to flinch stay resolute in the face of death. But I am no Buddha nor a trained soldier. I am just a student of the mind.
What does it feel like to watch fear rising up, or anger and stand as an observer of reality, rather than to get lost in the story? How can I hold onto gratitude in the middle of a storm? A dear friend of mine and a long time meditation teacher recently said to me "Either think happy thoughts or keep your mind still." I think that is sound advice when I can pull it off.
From my perspective the mastery of our thoughts becomes the greatest activism of our generation. Fear propels people to do and feel things that are not good for the greater good of humanity and for themselves. But this starts with gaining more and more mastery over my own fears and reactive mind... and I am working on this everyday.