How long have you been meditating for? A year? Twenty years? Your entire life, like me? I love the slogan, “don’t just do something, sit there.” Yes, well, what we need right now is for you, Meditator, to both do something and sit there.
Do you recall your first instructions on meditating? Be mindful of your posture, adjust your cushion so your legs don’t fall asleep, follow your breath, if thoughts come, recognize that the thought has arisen and send it off gently.
Sit yourself now, make note of how you meditate, what are the steps, what do you do with your thoughts and emotions? How do you return to your breath?
Anxiety around the world is off the charts. It has been building and building and we wondered where the ceiling was… Well, we have exploded through the ceiling and emergency has arrived. We are in emotional crisis. We are all grieving. We are mourning the loss of our newly dead, we are mourning our family and friends that were already dead and we wish we had their support now. We are grieving that we are unable to accompany our sick into the hospital or visit our parents in their nursing homes. Children who are in split family homes have to choose one house or struggle with how to do both safely. We are grieving the loss of our social lives, our daily routine, our children’s play dates, graduations, the ease of hugging each other, our weddings, our plans, and, ironically, we are even mourning the loss of our funerals gatherings.
We are frightened beyond measure that not only our loved ones will end up dead but that we will too. And, even worse, the “enemy” is invisible. It could be anywhere, on anyone, on anything, possibly even airborne or arriving on our mail. We are being traumatized at home-base — first chakra. The ground has disappeared and we are flailing, dangling roots in mid-air.
If this was a horror movie it would be top grossing.
Confined in our homes, isolated from each other, we are well aware that domestic violence is active, alcoholism surging, hunger is churning, suicides will soon be rampant and quite frankly, there is nothing to do. Yes, there are hotlines, yes there are emergency food banks but are those enough? Are they in your area? Remember, not everyone is as informed as you. And, since you are reading this, you have access to the internet and a group of people who are like-minded and resourced. Many have no option but to see only what’s directly in front of them. For many, what’s in front of them is terrorizing, but what is in their thoughts might be even worse.
What then to do when there is nothing to do? Sit there. Work with the only element that you have control over: your mind. You’re a meditator, you know this.
Your knowledge right now is the most valuable asset in human existence. Your ability to calm your thoughts, steady your breath, and feel connected to more than just your own immediate environment is precious and must be shared at once. Do not delay. Use social media and virtual gatherings to teach meditation. Teach mindfulness. Teach gentleness. Teach forgiveness. Teach vulnerability. Teach surrender. Teach self-love. Teach basic goodness. Teach about the strength in all of these things through the power of mindfulness and meditation.
Would you have ever guessed that your ability to meditate and teach others to breathe would be the single most valuable asset on all of planet earth?
And, remember, there is no such thing as alone. You will not die alone. Your loved ones will not die alone. We die together. We die in connection with all that is in this time. This is global. This is not just you and not just me and not just them, it is all of us. Meditation instructors: remind humanity of Oneness.