Two Supports for Practice During these Challenging Times
Good day, everyone!
Along with everyone else I've been watching with horror and fascination as the Coronavirus has made it's way across the globe. Over the past few days, as things are shutting down and people are moving into isolation, it's become clear that it would be good to have supports in place for practice. It is always the case, from my point of view, that our circumstances provide a mirror in which to see how we suffer and how we might fully live; such an approach is even more imperative now, when there is so much change and uncertainty. Clearly, people are suffering over the danger and chaos following in the wake of the pandemic—and that is not unnecessary. We are necessarily subject to the spread of the disease and the consequences that follow it, but it is possible that we may freely choose how to respond. Spiritual practice offers a way to let go of stress, anxiety, fear, and every other conditioned response to our circumstances, and to live at peace instead. I'd like to support that work in whatever way I'm able.
I will shortly post a follow-up with some thoughts about how to practice during these challenging times. In the meantime I would offer two practice opportunities that involve the support of spiritual community.
The first is a support that is already in place. For a couple months now a group of beautiful people have met on line on Sunday evenings at 7pm eastern in order to practice together. There is a half-hour sit, followed by an hour-long facilitated discussion. My experience so far has been truly lovely; each time I feel moved and inspired, and I have heard from others that they feel the same way. We have created an environment where it is safe to share from the heart, and that is what people have been moved to do. We support each other, we teach each other and learn from each other, and we connect with each other in a way that is healing and good. I hope you will consider joining in. If we gather together a few more regulars I'll open up a second group on a weekday evening so that there is a space for sharing and processing more than just once a week. If you're interested let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll see to it that you receive the information you'll need in order to participate.
The second support will be an online class. We're working right now to set things up. Over the course of the class I will offer two assignments a week designed to bring awareness to the ways in which we are reacting to the changes quickly happening in our lives, and to offer ways to practice responding from the heart. People will share their insights and experiences in a safe public space on line, and I will facilitate the process with observations, feedback, tips, and so on. I expect the class to be interesting, fun, helpful, and supportive, and I hope it will provide a sweet and inspiring experience of community. Once we get all the technical pieces in place I will follow up with a class title and description, along with information about how to join in.
Take good care of yourselves, everyone. This is a time for kindness and self-care. Turn to your practice for guidance and support! And I hope you will consider taking advantage of these two opportunities to practice with the additional support of spiritual community.