On reflection it has been a difficult few months for us at @happyops. It has been a difficult time and it seems as though we were simply ‘getting by’ during this difficult time.
- Sympathy and love for all Muslim communities: It started with the Mosque attacks in New Zealand that left us with a sense of loss. There is a sense of pride in New Zealand’s response to the Mosque attacks, but it has been difficult (see Proud to be Kiwi).
- The Wisdom of Common Sense & Being Safe On The Internet: A close friend was caught in an Internet scam, that will have financial consequences for the years ahead.
- “Working to live, not living to work” – more than just a stencil: Some of us have been particularly busy with work, working long hours despite our intentions to have a more balanced relationship with work.
There have been a few other personal matters that have meant we have been simply ‘getting by’, dealing with one problem followed by another. During this time we were reacting to one difficulty followed by another, finding practical solutions but also dealing with our own emotional response to the situations. It is only now mid-May that we have been able to take a step away from the busyness of it all to reflect on that time since mid-March.
Now the urgency of problems have passed. There is a sense of relief that the urgency has passed but we found we are on-edge waiting for the next problem to be dealt with. We found this to be unhelpful patterns of thought as we left feeling anxious and anxious is not a desirable state of mind. We decided that we need to turn a corner and deliberately rehabituate ourselves with more helpful patterns of thought.
As we dealt with the urgency of problems we found that we simply did not have the time or mental capacity to maintain our daily practice. We found that our daily practice fell away. Now that we feel we do have the time and headspace. So we used some of our time this weekend to do two practices described in How to Meditate: A Practical Guide by Kathleen McDonald (ISBN 9780861713417).
- ‘Meditation on the Breath’ from ‘Part 2: Establishing a Meditation Practice’. Even with all of the Tibetan meditations that are rich in symbolic imagery and ritual, after feeling overwhelmed we just needed to bring things back to a simple mindfulness practice.
- ‘Body of Light Meditation’ from ‘Part 5: Visualization Meditations’ to relieve ourselves from a sense of heaviness. As with the ‘Meditation on the Breath’ it can be practiced easily by Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
- ‘Vajrasattva Purification’ from ‘Part 6: Prayers and Other Devotional Practices’. This is more of a Buddhist practice that includes mantra recitation and visualization.
If you are going through a difficult time, dealing with urgent problems, it can be worth stopping to do a short meditation practice. Even in 15 minutes you can make a significant and much-needed change.