Hi all – it’s been a long time since I hung out here and it’s good to be back. As a way of checking in, I wondered if people would like to share something here that’s been tough in lockdown/over the past six months, and something that’s been unexpectedly good.
I’ve been very lucky – my work has continued online, and we live in a beautiful part of the country. Even so, the past six months have included some turbulence as I have struggled to contain the unknowns, the restrictions, and the suffering of others. One of the things that was surprisingly tough for me in the early days was not being ‘allowed’ to do simple things I’d relied on like go out to eat cake in cafes. These little ‘treats’ had a surprisingly big effect on my general stability, and I’ve had to adjust to this and find other ways of finding relaxation, comfort etc.
One of the lockdown joys (apart from enjoying a simpler life, appreciating food more after not being able to get certain things etc) is our lockdown dog, Ralph. He moved in in May and we’ve all fallen in love with his funny face and his enthusiasm. He’s a devoted and reliable presence in our household and our first dog Aiko loves him too. Hurray for Ralph.
What about you???
Thank you for the invitation on personal ‘highs’ & ‘lows’ during Covid19, Satya.
I did manage a breakthrough on improving relations with two brothers of mine in 2020. It was already on the cards for me to do something about our estrangement, which had been going on for some time. You know the kind of thing that can happen between friends/relatives when something goes wrong between you, and you stop talking to each other, and then it becomes entrenched!
I would like to tell the full story, but I’ll spare you all it, as it is a long one to tell. Suffice to say in the end all parties were happy, I think, to have a reconciliation. So this is marvellous really!
I think perhaps the heightened state of alert we were all in up until as late as June, helped to create a receptive frame of mind with my brothers when I contacted them during this period. I hadn’t had contact with one of them for 6 years – not particularly long, but long enough.
And what about the thorns of my lockdown? Becoming more reliant on the computer, and remote meetings with others, I guess. After all, one could become permanently distanced from others, if you wanted to continue in that way, long after the end of lockdown (presumably it will end someday)? I’ve been lucky to have had some new friends in this period, and we’ve been a bubble for each other. Perhaps others have not been so lucky?
As regards my buddhist practice, it has suffered a little (getting caught up in worldly concerns more than I normally would [blame the internet for this]. But I practice the best I can – alone – as mostly I always do. If I was with others I would do nembutsu. But since I’m not, I continue with silent zazen….and my own daily reflections on the buddhist way of being. Namo Amida Bu
For me lockdown initially brought a huge increase in my anxiety. My husband and I were classed as vulnerable and my mum was shielding, and trying to get food delivered was a big challenge. Add to that my income disappearing overnight as the training and coaching I offer was mainly face-to-face.
Having said that, I have loved having my husband working from home every day. He is saved the 3-hour round trip into the centre of Manchester. We eat dinner at a reasonable time, and he is so much less tired.
Plus the rise in Zoom use by people of all ages as a way of staying in touch with friends and families meant that I have been able to move my work online, and restart my business. That has truly been a blessing.
Namo Amida Bu!
Thanks for sharing both 🙏