This phrase from an old TV show surfaces in my consciousness on a regular basis these days. As I accept that we may be at home longer than I’d like, I notice my mind start to skitter around trying to figure out what to do like a crazed puppy. When I’m unable to settle or get worked up I can get angry, sad, and frightened. What to do?
This morning I thought about being in the temples in Bali. They are completely outdoor temples. You sit on uneven and rough paving stones, in the sweltering sun, in dripping humidity for an hour or two listening to the monk chant in a language you don’t understand and try to meditate. The first time or two I found myself antsy, anxious, and finally truly worked up about how impossible this was going to be for me. I missed the entire experience. And we still had days and temples to go.
I realized that I was in complete resistance to the experience, even though it was one I said I wanted. Today, I can feel how much resistance I am in to staying home due to a pandemic. But the answer is the same. Resistance is futile and it only makes it worse. What I learned in Bali was to melt into the heat like a wax candle; to feel the dripping sweat as a release of toxins and my tendency to languid movement as an invitation to slow down my life. I didn’t have to do anything, just sit there. As soon as I stopped resisting, and melted into the experience, everything changed for me. My meditation got deeper, my mood got lighter, and my interactions with others became more peaceful and loving.
In these times, resistance is futile, it only makes it worse. Find ways to melt into the experience. Look for the good you can wring out of this time. Be present to what is. It’ll make your inner life saner and your interactions with the people in your household more loving. And you may just find some peace and a deeper connection than you haven’t been able to feel in a busy, hurried life. Be safe, be well, be present.