I was talking recently in a workshop about how we all have tendencies. In Sanskrit these are called ‘vasanas’. It is how we tend to behave. We may be someone who tends to see the negative instead of the positive.
We may be the sort of person who dwells on the past (“I wish I’d said this instead of that” or “I really should have done x instead of y”) – I do this. Likewise, we may tend to be always looking to the future.
We all like to have things to look forward to but if you know that this is your tendency, Lockdown will have been particularly difficult.
I was having a walk with my partner. We were walking through a beautiful meadow of wild flowers and he said how we’ll be able to do plenty of walks like this when we go on holiday in two months’ time. I pointed out that we were doing a beautiful walk right now and it was only a five minute drive from our home.
We all like things to look forward to and I think Lockdown has deprived us of this joy. But what if a second wave hits? How will we feel if all these holidays booked in haste are snatched away from us?* How do you deal with uncertainty?
I read a quote once – I can’t remember who said it – about how life isn’t those one-off experiences. It isn’t about the time we swam with dolphins. It’s about the everyday stuff – the brushing of our teeth and doing the washing up.
Lockdown is this and other simple things: watching plants grow in our gardens, enjoying local walks. So let’s keep up with that because you never know, that holiday might not happen.
‘Hameed Ali, author and contemporary spiritual teacher, reminds us that if we are not living with awareness of our body, we are not fully alive:
Sincerely explore for yourself, are you here or not? Are you in your body or oblivious, or only aware of parts of it? When I say, “Are you in your body?” I mean, “Are you completely filling your body?”
Are you really in your hands or do you move them from a distance? Are you present in your cells, inhabiting and filling your body? If you aren’t in your body, what significance is there in your experience this moment? Are you preparing, so that you can be here in the future? Are you setting up conditions by saying to yourself, “When such and such happens I’ll have time, I’ll be here.” If you are not here, what are you saving yourself for?’
Taken from Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance, p98.
*I’m very sorry if you were booked to go to Spain…