It’s fairly typical that the drug addict needs to be lying in their own vomit in the gutter before they wake up to really needing some help. Help that will get to the root of the problem.
You are going nuts in quarantine. So are the majority of my friends.
When I lived in San Francisco, I was busy every minute: working on multiple home projects, managing the residency program in Radiology at UCSF, assembling a show of my personal photos of Paris, socializing, hitting the garage sales, and staying in touch with friends and family. Oh yes, AND hula.
I couldn’t DO enough to satisfy the energy I had.
Or so I thought.
Until the brakes were put on it all and I was forced to look at myself and my life. I broke up with my partner of 25 years, I was losing my job, my body could no longer dance (ala Patrick Makuakane), my two rock friends (two women who didn’t know each other) with whom I shared everything up and moved to Portland, and I was diagnosed with a health condition that has changed my life since on many levels.
What do you think the Universe was saying there?
It took me years to see the patterns – at first, in others, then in myself – of the cause and effect of what people are doing & saying and how the Universe responds.
In my busy years (above), I was silently crying out for a break – freedom, really.
That was just me and my little life.
There is massive power in collective consciousness. I believe the majority of us have been wanting a break from the madness, too. What thoughts have you been holding?
Ever since email came into being (I remember being so excited that it would help my work life), we’ve slowly been acclimated to doing more and more. Now with smart phones and the like, it’s overboard. The “need” to stay on top of it all sends adrenaline and other very powerful bodily fluids into our system non-stop when they were only intended for brief situations of fight or flight.
We’ve become, as a society – in my opinion, addicted to the rush of those bodily chemicals. Now, it’s hard to stop.
Not to mention everything happening with the environment and the safety measures that have been rolled back by this administration…this administration and all that’s happening around the world.
On top of that, we’re dealing with life amid Covid-19: our kids at home, having to cook, trying to stay safe, shopping for food with who knows who, and under the gun of about to not make enough money or losing health care or our jobs or our living situation – if we haven’t already.
OR we’re left with nothing to do other than feel our FEELINGS. It may be the first time in a long time we’re feeling things. It’s no wonder alcohol is flying off the shelves at Safeway.
What saved my skin in my story above was 6 sessions with a counselor and meditation. Meditation has kept me sane since.
As a meditation instructor now, I can report that the vast majority of people say they can’t meditate because they have too many thoughts to begin with and/or they’re too busy.
I can also report that every single person who felt they were too busy and at their wits end yet willing to try anything to calm their minds & their stress level and brought themselves to try meditation are still meditating and able to handle their chaotic lives with calm, grace, and gentleness today.
But like the drug addict, one has to be SO ready for something to help them before they will reach out for help and commit themselves to some kind of plan of action or at least drop their mind-made aversion to doing so.
Are you that ready?
Because if you are, there are many meditation instructors and centers around the country who are offering help online while we’re all stuck at home.
I teach shamatha vipashana (literally: mindfulness awareness) meditation. Shamatha vipashana is a 2,600 year-old secular Tibetan Buddhist technique that leads us to experience the natural resting state of the mind; which is open, fresh, alert, aware, and pure (unadulterated by conditioning).
By practicing this technique properly and diligently for 20 minutes (10 is OK) daily, we begin to strengthen our minds to be able to remain grounded and calm in the midst of chaos while still being open, fresh, alert, and aware.
We can see things clearly for what they really are. We begin to notice our thinking and thoughts for what they really are. And we see that we have a choice to either follow fantasy or remain grounded in reality, in the present moment.
Like unloading any addiction, it takes discipline and commitment to stick to a daily meditation practice of shamatha vipashana. Your busy mind WILL fight you. At first. But you will see results in a week that will be enticing enough to keep you going. You must be loyal to your practice for a month, though, to make it a habit – a habit you won’t want to kick.
If you’re new to shamatha vipashana, join me Monday-Saturday at 7:30am Hawaiʻi time for guided shamatha vipashana meditation or, if you wish more in-depth information about it along with formal instruction and a guided session, join me on Sunday at 8:00am Hawaiʻi time.
When you’re ready kick the training wheels of a guided session, join me Monday-Saturday at 7:00am Hawaiʻi time for a 20-minute silent session or on Sunday at 9:00am Hawaiʻi time for the same plus a talk and a discussion with a lovely group of like-minded humans.
Feel free to PM me on Facebook or letʻs chat on Zoom so I can answer any of your questions (email me to set up: firstname.lastname@example.org). Iʻm happy to give you recommendations of other instructors and centers, too, that I feel offer the depth needed to make real change.
No matter what, know there are helpers available and connecting with the right one is as easy as reaching out.
May you be happy, safe, peaceful, and strong.