Originally written on March 13th 2020 (beginning days of the lock down)
My life is disrupted.
I'm a highly organized person. My calendar, like many of yours, is planned months in advance. I know exactly what I'm doing on a certain weekend even a few months down the line.
Family trips also get planned way in advance. My parents and in laws, and my sister are in India. So their travel, our travel is predetermined. We plan it months in advance.
My week, like yours has a certain cadence. My weekends are filled with teaching classes, meeting students, gatherings around meditation and yoga etc etc. My weekdays are filled with conference calls, planning classes, and administrative work.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown, all the weekend classes, gatherings that have been planned for months are now canceled. A Saturday class we have been holding for years is canceled. My family's planned visit is canceled.
I don't want to go out to eat or watch a movie. Neither do I want to loiter around in malls, which anyways don't do.
No one is meeting each other socially. You don't see people out in the street.
I don't even want to get books from the library home..
In short, life as I know it is canceled.
A lot of the doing is canceled.
So what now.
The tendency is to fill that gap with something else. Let's use this time to sleep, to catch up on chores, spend time with family, go for a walk, Get busy doing something else.
Any kind of emptiness or void makes us uncomfortable. Like the gaps in a conversation.
I'm trying to be with the void. And not fill it with stuff. Personally a lot is still going on in my life. I am still quite busy. And yet a part of my mind is bamboozled with all the interruption without any notice.
So what to do with the emptiness.
What to do with this isolation.
Can I be with it? I'm trying to. I'm noticing it. I'm being with it.
On the other side of the void is being. All this doing hides the being. At the end of every doing, is being. It appears momentarily, if you're aware, and if you don't jump into the next doing immediately. like when you stop to admire the view at the end of a long hike, the being awaits at the end of every doing.
But if you keep walking and walking and talking and doing, you miss the view. You miss the being. It's time to be with the being without the doing.
Can you be with the void? Can you be with the being?
Close your eyes and notice all the emptiness, uncertainty, and unease inside. Notice the emptiness beyond the unease. And be with it.
Add the other end of the emptiness 'being' awaits. The being is not easy to describe. How do you describe white. Every color is described in relation to white. Like that every quality is a distortion of being.
Being is just being. Like when you sit with your best friend, under your favorite tree, on your favorite blanket, gazing at your favorite view. It's comfortable, not much is happening, it's pleasant, it's happy, it's peaceful. It just is.
This is the being. It's time to be without the doing.
It's time to meditate.