We’re in a “state of emergency”; lock down the planet, no one gets out alive; we’re all gonna die!
Coronavirus slash COVID-19 panic and fear are dominating the airwaves 24/7.
Everything is changing. all the time, and always has, and now humanity is being forced to slow down and ground. To separate and unite, somehow.
There are only 10 cases or so in Guatemala. These are drastic measures. With a close friend, I’d long been planning a girls’ beach getaway for this week that was abruptly canceled yesterday before our departure, thanks to the protective measures.
I’ll happily go on retreat right here and now. Staying home is what I do. It has become what I do, ever so gradually. I recently realized (maybe a month ago), that I only go out when I “have” to: to work at a retreat center (a 20-minute boat ride across the lake, 2-3 days a week)s; to teach yoga in town on Saturday mornings; to hang out with a girlfriend at her house (rarity); to go out for lunch or dinner when it’s my turn to cook and I don’t feel like it (Moonfish or Seiko’s, almost exclusively—shout out to San Marcos La Laguna).
Other than that, I stay home. If I don’t need to go anywhere on a given day, I stay home, gratefully and joyfully, working and playing. So, being told I have to stay home for the next two weeks isn’t shocking or bad news to my mind. Home for the past 5 years has been a small cabin on a spacious amount of forested hillside overlooking Lake Atitlan.
So much has changed, so quickly. It started last week with the ban on. European travelers entering Guatemala. Now, US and Canadian travelers aren’t allowed either. Nonessential business and activity is prohibited. Everything is cancelled; the only connection allowed is online. Borders are closed. Meetings are off.
The shit storm will end, sooner or later. The rain will come. For now, here’s what’s coming up as important in my heart space:
Retreat into the breath. There is no boredom; only awareness. There is this inhale, this exhale, and the next and the next. There is the constant stream of thoughts and feelings. See if you can watch them pass by, like a river flows, just observing whatever arises (thoughts, ideas, opinions, physical sensations, worries, pains, hopes, dreams, plans, feelings and so on). Observe how it arises and stays a little while and then leaves. Try not to grasp or clutch, not to push away or reject any particular mental activity that arises. Just watch from the shore, watching the river flow. Come back to the shore anytime you get swept away. Sit in the sun, basking in its warmth and light.