Sheltering in place has its opportunities as well as challenges. On the down side, over time staying home can seem isolating and lonely. Then it may feel draining. Time drones on, days and weeks go by with little advancement but for provisioning and maintaining basic contacts by phone and social media. But on the up side, there are golden opportunities: for solitude and inner processing, and for Doing.
“Sit still and do something” (Paul Twitchell, Stranger By the River) is a Zenlike koan of sorts: a spiritual nugget or seed. In that context it can mean to be active even while sitting for deep contemplation. Explore your inner cosmos, reflect on life’s lessons, unfold in wisdom and awareness. But now this phrase can also mean, for me, stay home and yet find ways to be of service to others and to the Whole.
Many of us are fortunate during the current pandemic to have social media and readily available technology. With these we can communicate by phone or through our computers and other devices; email, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Facebook, Google generally and online learning platforms allow us to expand our connections while staying home to provide safety for ourselves and our families.
There is a lot of Doing possible, day by day. For myself I continue to teach online and to write. I attend spiritual discussions online and have learned how to conduct Zoom meetings. I am helping an elder friend get groceries by adding her items to my Instacart orders. I have also helped send out some positive messages for the general public through placing local Pennysaver ads with my spiritual group that offer online public discussions.
I am finding that, when I can sleep, I am often dreaming deeply, and when I contemplate, that too is very revealing and helpful. I often go to bed with questions or concerns and wake with answers.
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I do wonder what will result socially after all this staying home and social distancing becomes less necessary. Are we changing as a society overall to an even more atomistic, socially fragmented population? Or will we emerge as from a chrysalis, with greater appreciation and gratitude for human and natural connection? Time will tell, but I sense we can benefit greatly if we simply choose to Sit Still and DO!