One year into the pandemic, things are really falling apart now. No matter in which spaces I show up, there it is. Yes, there is the vaccine and some hope but so many of us feel so brittle and stretched thin. Be it because we have to pick up extra work for colleagues who are sick or burned out, or because our family members and friends need more support or because we simply feel the immense suffering and overwhelm of the world. Often it’s all of the above.
In all of this I hope that your meditation time is not another thing on your to-do list but offers you a true respite. Now more than ever meditation is a true refuge for me. It’s time that I need to let myself catch up with everything that has been happening around me and within me. Time to pause and to listen deeply to myself. To let myself feel. To feel anger, frustration, hopelessness, overwhelm and heartbreak. To let myself grieve and yes, also cry at times. My practice allows me to create space for all of that is arising and that needs to be acknowledged and held in loving awareness. Sometimes I only get to the acknowledging part. That is ok.
This kind of creating space is a sacred undertaking for only what we can see and hold in ourselves we can see and hold in others. The more I am asked to show up for others the more I need to commit to creating this kind of time and space in myself and for myself.
In our tradition we commit to retreating into meditation on a daily basis, starting with even the 20, 30, 40 min of daily protected meditation time to up to a week or more of silent retreat each year. A longer retreat is like spring cleaning. We are putting down our roles and responsibilities as best as we can, even if we are doing an online retreat from home, with the kids in the house and the cat scratching at the door. We dive deeply into the perceived dichotomy of “my meditation” and “the rest of my life”. What a gift!