How different do your days look recently?
Even without the backdrop of a global pandemic, it’s an uneasy feeling to suddenly have our daily structure pulled from under us.
This is where many of us find ourselves, with little warning. On top of a collective unease, we’re looking at a major shift in how our days and weeks look. Even those of us who already work from home are facing disruptions to our workflow, income, or who’s at home with us all day.
Yet, between the money concerns, restless nights and feelings of crowding or loneliness rests an opportunity.
Now is the time to focus on strong foundations, both for our inner and outer worlds. This means healthy and balanced structure for our days, and strong foundations in our spiritual practice.
Here are some ideas and tools for easing a sense of fear and maintaining calm. Over the next several weeks we’ll help you expand on all these areas.
1. Gift yourself a beautiful space and balanced outer structure. Maintaining a good state is easier when your surroundings, your home envrionment, and your schedule are in a good state, too. So it’s a super important time to honor our physical space, including being aware of the beauty and aesthetics. Make that bed, clear up the dishes, and spend a little time making your living and working spaces pleasing to the eye and inspiring.
This is only one part of the outer. We also need healthy structure and routines, especially if our usual ones have been disrupted. If you’re not used to working from home, it might feel cool to work in your robe – but how is that affecting your state, and sense of healthy work-life boundaries? Set up a separate space where you’ll be working, and try to stick to a regular schedule that includes exercise and time with people – even if it means shifting your connections online. While it’s a good time to support others stuck at home, we recommend focusing on connecting with your spiritual friends, who can help keep the conversation wholesome and uplifting.
2. Maintain a solid meditation practice: for calm and insight.
Without a basis of calm, we’re much more likely to get caught up in our own fear or in collective fears. Meditative focus results in calm and bliss, we just need to put in the time.
Difficult times offer rich opportunities for insight. For example, one meditator shared last night that even though she was no longer working, she still sat in meditation with the recurring thought, “I don’t have time for this.” As also happens when we take time out to retreat, she was seeing that this pattern of thought is programmed in, regardless of how busy she is. What insights await you in the next few months?
3. Cultivate a clear view with study.
When our relative world become challenging, we can keep our perspective by focusing on the absolute truth. At this time in particular, we can benefit from going back to the simplicity of the basic teachings. Why not start with the Four Thoughts that turn the mind to Dharma? This was the topic of a recent teaching by Clear Sky’s founding teachers, Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat. The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Ennobling Path, The Paramis, the list is endless. And, you likely have a little extra time on your hands…
We’re here to talk. If you’d like support with concerns or uncertainties arising from COVID-19, please join us Tuesdays at 9am MDT for our free online meditation and support classes with Karen McAllister. Register here.