Welcome to The Great Impermanence.

Earth under a pandemic, wearing a mask.

Artwork by @jstnptrs 

Prior to leaving for silent meditation, I had a moment where I wished that I could just put the world on…pause. Just, freeze time. In a weird “careful what you wish for” sort of way, I was released into a rapid, global slowdown. What an odd re-entry to find everyone fighting boredom and uncertainty. It’s surreal after having had endured such an intense 10 days where you have to constantly fight the increasing loudness of your mind. Traumas of past, anxieties of future, all burning to ashes with a breath. Absolutely no form of entertainment other than quiet nature walks in a completely isolated setting.

On the 10th day, it’s possible to hit euphoria. You’re able to talk to other humans. And everyone has a story. Someone lost her husband to cancer. Another her parents. Another his job. And another had attempted suicide shortly before the retreat. Everyone seems lost. Lost, but present. You’ve all been left with nothing but your minds and a direction to listen to each sensation in every inch of your body “as it is” for 10hrs a day. No chants, no mantras, no prayers, no visualizations, no crystals, no drugs. Just a deep focus on the physical sensations you feel with every passing thought and ultimately with no thoughts at all. “Anicca. Nothing is permanent”, little posted signs say in the meditation halls.

I’ve by no means found nirvana. My equilibrium as I learn more of what I’ve missed is waning since leaving the peaceful grounds of obliviousness. But I’m stuck in sensory-overload. The same senses that gave me a small panic attack on Day 7. I can feel again and it’s such a delicate balance to be able to feel and not be inundated. Which brings me to how I see this pandemic. If we don’t balance vigilant caution with calm knowledge, the panic and anxiety will destroy us. Remember the difference between ACTION and REACTION. Acting: knowledge + pause + feeling. Reacting: ignorance + impulsivity + feeling. Action requires strong presence and empathy.

In other news, the Earth is finally breathing during this great pause.

And so should you.

Breathe. Nothing is permanent.

 

~ by Keira Dazi on March 22, 2020.

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