The COVID-19 pandemic has made a huge difference in our daily lives. To prevent its spread, countries have enacted policies such as shelter-in-place
, social distancing, telecommuting, and remote classes along with lockdown. People don't travel by plane and are even reluctant to eat at a restaurant. When going out, we wear a mask, or try to purchase items online.
What felt strange at first has now become the new normal, as World Health Organization officials said that it’s “very unlikely” the coronavirus can be eradicated soon. The changes
this coronavirus has wrought have made dramatic differences in politics, the economy, and culture.
How are you adapting to these changes
? Are you getting used to the new non-contact culture? I am doing that too. Before COVID-19, I toured the United States, South Korea, Japan, and Europe about twice a year to meet and lecture numerous people, but the pandemic canceled all events. Fortunately, thanks to video communication technology, I have been able to give over 100 lectures online over the past few months. It has been a great pleasure and reward for me to meet people online and help them find calm and peace in this turbulent time.
I would like to share some perspectives and tips with you in a series of blog posts, writing one per month. In this first one, I would like to introduce ways you can soothe and console yourself.
Over the past few months, you might have been caught up in waves of emotion
. At first, you might have thought a virus spreading far away would not affect you. However, as the speed of spread increased and came to your part of the world, anxiety and fear over being infected may have started to grow. Did you feel bored and frustrated when you had to stay at home, and did you miss your normal social life? Did you or someone you know become infected? Or have you ever been so depressed and anxious that you couldn't sleep because of financial loss and an unstable future from the corona pandemic?
We have all gone through these worries together and are still going through them. So don’t be discouraged. Instead, why don't we take some time to console ourselves with a short meditation?
Sit comfortably with your eyes closed and breathe naturally, focusing on your heart. Is there emotional baggage in your chest, such as anger, stress, anxiety
, depression, irritability, or lethargy?
Wrap both arms around yourself, giving yourself a hug, and pat your shoulder. Console yourself with a loving heart like a mother soothing a crying child to sleep. Exhale the heavy emotional energy
in your chest through your mouth.
Now put your hands on your chest and tell yourself, "It's okay," and mean it from the bottom of your heart. Give yourself time to feel whatever you have in your heart. Drop any urges to judge or suppress your feelings. Just let things show up from your heart and embrace them as they are.
If tears want to fall, don't hold them back; let yourself cry. There are some tears that you shed out of resentment and sorrow, but some tears your soul sheds as it watches you. Have you experienced such tears? These are tears of consolation, encouraging you like a pat on the back.
Feel how the sensations in your chest
change. Does your body feel more comfortable and light?
“It’s okay.” Your soul gains great comfort and power from these simple words. Receiving comfort from others is good, but the comfort you give yourself is the most perfect.
Bring your awareness into your body when things are hard and confusing, and rest in it, letting it comfort and encourage you. It is inside your body that you can find the perfect rest. No matter how far you drag your body, you can't find true rest outside yourself. Your body is a refuge and an energy generator.
After you comfort and encourage yourself, resting within you, you'll feel a new power rising up. As the heart that had dried up turns into a fertile soil, the seed of a small but precious hope will sprout in it. Feel the power and energy.
This power does not emerge from some external situation or condition improving. It is the power of the mind that blooms when you begin to encounter and communicate with yourself, and when the energy of your True Self begins to spring up. Believe in this power, strengthen yourself with it. The power coming from connecting to yourself, this is the truest power that will help you get through this turbulent time.