So what is it that I, as an individual can do for my larger community, for the world, to help us (navigate this situation and) come out well on the other end of it? As for the global, whatever that might be, on this topic I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable, because I can’t really get a grasp on it, and mostly it makes me to feel tiny and insignificant. I have the feeling that my energy, my work, my effect on tdhings trickle away and dissolve. If I don’t have a cough, what does it matter if I go to the shop to fetch some vanilla sugar?
Is there something we can do inside to contribute in some way so that, on the global level, we come out of this pandemic, in the best possible way?
Here too, I could say who cares about my mind or his mind or your mind, when really we’re insignificant: we’re tiny little dots compared to the big whole. It’s the same logic that makes me think it makes no difference whether or not I go fetch that bag of vanilla sugar, and it’s just as untrue. Wars are compounded of lots and lots of small, angry men, small instances of individual fear can compound into a tragic instance of mass panic. Just like this bridge that collapsed because together the tiny vibrations of its myriad little constituent parts produced a vibration so massive it broke the bridge in half.
Different people resonate in vastly different ways in this situation. In my experience, even if our problem is one and the same on the surface, when we look deeper underneath, we often find that what becomes amplified now are the mental blocks and struggles that we’d had even before the pandemic started. For instance, some have been feeling an intense fear of death, and in this situation, it’s particularly easy to connect this feeling to the outside world. And yet when we talk about it, we quickly see that this feeling has been there in major ways even before, only they could mask it over with everyday chores. Others are lonely because they can’t be with the ones they truly love – but as it turns out, this isn’t new either. We’re all in the same big boat, but for different people it’s different parts of the body that go to sleep.
For most of us, what we’re grappling with in this situation is fear. Personally, I’m not afraid of getting sick. But when I think of what this situation could bring, how it will change my life and our lives, and how it has changed it already, here I see signs that I’m afraid. So it’s this fear that I was working with this morning, with the help of a meditative exercise. (After reading “meditation”, I’m sure at least 50% of my readers have already started pulling back and thinking about lunch, so to lay your worries to rest, let me say:) To me meditation does not mean sitting in a candle-lit corner in Buddha pose, murmuring “Ohm”. It can be anything that involves listening to what’s going on inside me for some amount of time, without being disturbed. It can be a walk, a bath, a dance, a run, or I can also sit in the corner in Buddha pose, of course.
Today I lay down on the ground (at 6 in the morning, when the apartment was still quiet), I looked for some meditation music on YouTube, and I spent 10 minutes simply asking myself questions about fear: Am I afraid? How afraid am I? What am I afraid of? Where in my body can I feel this fear? If I try to imagine it, what does it look like? Can I go closer to this fear? If I do, what changes? – and so on. If I can stay quiet enough and listen carefully to what’s happening inside, I often start hearing my answers bubble up from a place deep inside my gut. They can come in the form of bodily sensations or pictures, they can come as feelings, and to me, they often come as words. By the end of my meditation, it had become clear to me that my fears were in some way connected to my boundaries/limits. This is what I will try andtake further tomorrow.
“Own your shit!” – This is what I feel is my task in this pandemic: taking responsibility for my part. What this means to me is making a conscious decision to turn (and to keep turning) towards my subconscious, bringing the affected areas to the light for myself, and doing the work with them that it takes to navigate the way this situation makes me resonate. This is how I can avoid going on social media rampages, pushing my own fears onto others, judging other people and becoming alienated from them. This is what will allow me to be a responsible mother, wife, employee and citizen of my country, and perhaps even more of the world. I believe that this way I can contribute to the big whole, and help avoid our own bridge disaster, for instance.
for the translation thanks for my brother, Mate Herner