With the recent pandemic inundating every part of our daily lives it is easy to become overwhelmed with the feeling of helplessness or insignificance. After all, how many of us are epidemiologists or biochemical engineers working on a cure? “You’re really telling me that all I can do is stay home, wear a mask, and wash my hands?” Yes. Therein lies the difficulty. The human disposition to strive for control in our lives hinders us in accepting that sometimes we have already done everything we can.
This is when it is time to be still and do nothing.
Have I mastered this ability? No, definitely not. However, it is something that the enormity of Covid19 is teaching me. I have recently begun asking myself “Will this action change anything?” Does it help for me to refresh my news feed, to check into a debate on Facebook, or to panic buy/stock paper goods? No. Well then, don’t.
What I can do that actually WILL help me is to learn to control how I respond to challenges. I can choose calmness, awareness, and patience. For me this meant an increased diligence with Zazen. Zazen is seated, quiet meditation, where the practitioner observes the breath, the mind, and the world without engagement.
This is difficult, and it looks a lot like doing nothing.
With practice and intention we can develop the mind, and we can change how we react to situations which may be out of our control. To this prodigal blogger that seems like an ability we could all benefit from in 2020.
Stay well, wash your hands, cover your face, and develop your mind. This too shall pass.
– Nicole Mims. PT, DPT