Pandemic practice – Adventures in living Buddha’s life

Here’s a place for us to post our adventures with these times.  How has this changed our life?  How do we practice with this?  How can we support each other?

If you have suggestions for things the Center could do, post those also.

To post your thoughts, worries, expressions of support or whatever, click on the title.  Recent posts will appear below, and a place for your post below that under the title “Leave a Reply.”

4 Replies to “Pandemic practice – Adventures in living Buddha’s life”

  1. I have been sitting more than ever in the last few weeks. I am working with thoughts arising and just sitting with the thought till it fades, noticing but not pushing it away.
    Noticing the empty nature of my thoughts and the patterns that reappear over and over again.

    I spend about 1/2 of my time meditating facing the wall and the other half at the sliding glass door looking out at the back yard, squirrels, rabbits, birds and chipmunks, hearing the wind when it is warm enough to open the door i sit there and just try to blend in, at first when you look there is nothing going on but really there is a flurry of activity and change in flora and fauna. Soon summer will come and then fall and then winter. I vow to keep watch.

    For work practice I have dug the old reel mower out of the shed and now pick up the sticks and tend the yard in a slower more deliberate way paying closer attention to the details.

    Finally a word on anxiety, take this from someone who has lived with panic attacks and anxiety for my whole life. Many of you in this Pandemic are experiencing anxiety for the first time. Take comfort in knowing that this too will change like the seasons. Be gentle with yourself and don’t beat yourself up over it. If it’s bad, tell a friend or a spouse or a family member. Please remember your doctor and know that medicine is an option that has helped me heal. Love your self and take your time.

  2. Staying at home together for weeks and weeks has given our family the gift of time without the urgency of being “busy” all of the time. So we’re trying to build in new practices to take advantage of this opportunity. As this has been going on, I’ve been thinking about the experience of staying-at-home and physical distancing. In some ways, it feels like a sesshin. It’s a long, intensive retreat. Only we’re not going to a monastery in the mountains to practice zazen. It’s right here. We’ve retreated more deeply into our lives. The security and insecurity. The illusion and reality. The boredom and excitement. The neighbor and the self. Plus the interdependence of everything. It’s all front and center. And it’s like taking a long look into the mirror of life. Like a sesshin, it’s very intensive. And we haven’t worked up to it, which makes it challenging. Plus this intensive time for reflection makes me wonder what we’ll be like at the end of the sesshin. What will normal be? What should normal be? What wisdom can we apply for the future? How could our lives change? What should we leave behind? What should we add? There aren’t easy answers to those questions. Perhaps reflecting on the questions themselves is part of the benefit of this time of at-home sesshin. So, for now, we’ll keep living the questions.

  3. Before COVID-19, I wanted in.
    After COVID-19, I wanted out.
    Sitting here at home, I realize there is nowhere else to go.
    So why is my mind still wandering?

  4. During this strange time I find myself feeling more intertwined with all that is in our world. It is as if a new sense has opened and I feel this unusual connectedness in the midst of our social distancing. I am staying at home, slowing down, becoming quieter. Walking out onto the upstairs deck and opening to the vast blue sky, ever changing cloudscape, and protecting mountains, I breathe in gratefulness for this moment, this breath, this life, and breathe out, letting go of it all. I am finding that gratitude and surrender are carrying me through the surreal reality of these days of deserted streets, silent neighborhoods, masked trips to the grocery store, and the underlying awareness of the suffering that touches us all.

    In sitting I find my way home under the compassionate glance of Kuan Yin, calling in the Great Ones with the clear sound of a bell. Letting go again and again. Just this moment, this breath, this life.

    May we all find our way home in this new normal.

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