Updated: Mar 16, 2020
I used to freak out about everything, pretty much all the time. My crying, crying babies, pains in my body, crying students, pains in my mind, a crying world, obstacles in my path. I figured that something was wrong
because I was experiencing such suffering, exasperation, and pain, even when practicing 10 hours a day. When we practice regularly, everything should be happy, right?
I had a beloved friend for many years who I considered the clarity hotline. He was longer into his practice and had shifted his default much more into the realm of accepting rather than analyzing and mind-screwing himself. I didn’t necessarily consider that there was a direct connection between his relaxed quality and his long history of practice.
Fast forward years later, and I find myself much more anchored into my practice than ever before and with an embodiment of the fact that the practice is the anchor. With practice, we become the anchor as well as the anchored. It is us and we are it. And most things become much more clear. When you spend many years in dedicated, devotional intention through tapas, one day something happens, and acceptance of what exists without freaking out becomes the norm.
And we become our own clarity hotlines.
It’s not about the everything being good. It’s about the mind being in a state of ease without much preference to the everything.
And so it seems, in this time where culture is pushing fear as a trend, where you can’t get through even a simple, quiet day in the U.S. without hearing about more and more fear mongering (people are easy to manipulate when they are afraid), that clarity is lacking as a result of this fear, and these are the very times when it’s really necessary to ground into practice as a first priority.
The practice brings us to a place where we prioritize our health at the very foundation of every day. Mindfulness and awareness leads us to a place of eating quality food to support the efforts of practice, enjoying the company of loved ones to support us, keeping ourselves clean - inside and out, feeling as though we are a part of a greater whole, being mindful of our actions and their ripples, spending time in the sun and grounding into the earth.
It means we take less or no pharmaceuticals, consume less screen time, absorb less chemical substances in our bodies, keeping us as divinely human as we can possibly be. It brings us to a place of being less affected by imaginary stressors, more intelligently focused inward than outward, and feeling less fearful, attached or averse to anything that comes before us. Coming together with these values at the core of our existence brings us to a place where we are super-machines for bringing ourselves to present practice, and as a result, homeostasis.
This is all very healthy for the immune system. And for those around each of us.
Come to practice. Now more than ever. Don’t stay home. Or stay home, but practice. And either way, be surrounded and supported and uplifted.
And then go to to the movies, take your loved one out to dinner, go to acupuncture, go to the beach or the mountains for the day (or a week!), go get a massage, enjoy one of the many wonderful coffee shops that exist in the world. Go outside. Buy stuff from people you know. Cook local food for yourself. Do your thing.
Join us in bringing fearlessness to fear.
Ready, set, go.