There’s an old saying, “The Devil’s workshop is an idyll mind.” We’ve stopped our daily routines. We’ve cleaned our homes and done our part to continue to keep busy at home. We’ve driven family members crazy with our internal combustion of angst and by-products of self- isolation.
The gym, sports, theater and dining out have been taken away from us. Television is all well and good but the boredom of sitting in front of the screen lends itself to its own malaise of self -loathing.
We’ve stopped venturing out and there comes a time where we have no choice but to venture within. We’ve come face to face with ourselves. Sometimes when we confront ourselves in quiet, the mind can start its own conflicts. In solitude the mind starts racing about what we should be and how we have behaved in the past. The Buddhists call it “the monkey mind.”
The monkey mind is when the thoughts race to a point where they take control of who we are. “Should I have said that to this person? Should I have done this at work? Should I approach things this way or that way? Should I? Could I? Would I?” on and on and on….
We are face to face with the reality of being. For artists it is a perfect storm for creating. But even artists go round and round on projects and should haves, could haves and would haves.
For those who have faced themselves for the first time in a long time – maybe ever – it is a scary prospect. It’s been reported that domestic violence disputes are up. People don’t like having to face themselves, so they take it out on the ones they love. We are losing perspective not knowing what to do with ourselves.
The virus has created a relationship with circumstances that contributes to the monkey mind in extraordinary ways.
We think of the future now as if it were a tsunami of Fate. We watch the waters of uncertainty recede and we can see the formation of Fate’s wall of water. We don’t know when it will strike, but it’s sure to be a big one. We run like hell to avoid its path of destruction and the monkey mind continues to add its two cents and where we need to go and what we need to do.
This virus has created illusions for us that can be our own undoing. Sure, we need to be vigilant. Sure, there are uncertainties, but those uncertainties existed before this whole thing hit, too. We are creating illusions for ourselves that inspire more useless fear.
These times afford us the opportunity to create preventative measures for healthy mental and emotional responses. “If a house is divided against itself it will not stand.” (Mark 3:25) We have an opportunity to get our mental, emotional, spiritual houses in order.
We do this by establishing strong foundations in breathing and centering ourselves. It is hard to do this. You may want to start out small by doing five minutes a day and build up to ten or twenty minutes. Two times a day is optimal with twenty minute sits for each session.
Meditation empowers in ways people have not considered. Meditation establishes a structure of certainty that you have the powers inherit within to conquer what life has thrown at you.
The Taoists call it the wu-wei. “There is action in inaction.” As paradoxical as it may seem, sitting still and being quiet is one of the most empowering things an individual can do for himself.
Early Christians understood this and used meditation as an early form of prayer. It was of critical importance to implement it into one’s daily life. They didn’t have the distractions we have now and it was easier. Many of us are seeing opportunities to make this a part of our day.
When meditation is employed there are opportunities to see how the structure of time is eliminated. A peaceful meditation brings with it a conscious awareness of being settled in a space of love and wholeness.
The core of being is formed and discernment has a sound foundation within the heart from which to understand the world. This center creates a fortress all its own. We are the dreams we keep and the fulfillers of a divine destiny that is waiting to be understood. As my friend Miccio says, “Our fullest blessings lay in the joy of being.”