We are not sure what’s happening to us. What happened to our relatively safe world? Right now, if you are not considered essential personnel then the greatest contribution that you can make to your community is to stay at home.
I’m not sure how many of us are comfortable to be forced into a situation where we have more time with our thoughts and the irrational place it takes us given the current climate with news, social media, and hearing anxious friends and families. All of a sudden what we think is going to happen in our thoughts becomes our imminent reality. This will lead into a cascade of emotions like fear, anxiety and uncertainty. You see where I am going with all this?
But you do have a choice. Like your physical fitness you can train your mind with the practice of meditation. By learning to meditate you gradually become the silent observer of your own thoughts.
What if you could take the gift of time that has been presented to you by this crisis and train your mind, just like you took time to learn to ride a bike. After a while you will recognise the machinations of thoughts that are being triggered by reading the news or social media posts. You will see the emotions that are being dragged into our consciousness as the result of those thoughts. If you don’t develop enough self-awareness your thoughts simply become who you are and therefore IT becomes your present reality.
It is worth understanding what’s going on around you. Anxiety as an emotion is part of your nature. It tells you that you need to pay attention. Beyond that it is not worth helplessly ruminating about it. Let it go. Let the rest of your thoughts go.
Train your mind to see what thoughts are passing by and what emotions they are creating. Beyond that observation (which is what meditation allows you to do) don’t identify with your thoughts. How many minutes of every hour would it be useful to be afraid or anxious about what is coming?
Instead use the time to learn to meditate. It is a tool that will serve you well even when we are done with this crisis.
Based on meditation series by Eckhart Tolle & Sam Harris