“Make peace with your own mind…and then the time will not feel so heavy and so difficult” Mattieu Ricard
For over six years now, I have been meditating – off and on. Probably more off than on, to be frank. But Covid 19 has introduced a new mental environment, jumbling my thoughts and emotions, with anxiety, anger, sadness, frustration, love and gratitude all clamouring for supremacy. I soon realised it was time to take meditation more seriously.
I downloaded Calm (a meditation app) and every day since the 1st April I have taken time out to be ‘still and silent’ for 10-15 minutes as part of a new, daily routine. I have also joined a weekly online meditation group - mindfulrebellion. I was sceptical at first because, although I have attended group meditations before, I had never done so in a “Zoom room”.
But, what I have found is that good communicators remain good communicators, whether live or remote. The key skills are authenticity, vulnerability and the ability to listen attentively. Of course, a beautiful voice and gracious smile helps a lot and Olga, our meditation lead, has all these attributes and more. So, fortunately, meditation on Zoom works for me. Not only are the sessions powerful and enriching but I also feel grateful for the support of others in these isolating times.
Meditation has helped me in tangible ways: to think with more clarity; to produce better, more focussed work; to celebrate, enjoy and appreciate other people, animals and plants. It’s important to reconcile the fact we are part of nature and we cannot make it do our bidding. I feel grateful for the peace that this realisation brings.
Even as lockdowns begins to ease, I continue with these mindful practices so as never to forget the key difference between a human being, not just a human doing.
And my takeaway is (and thank you to my marvellous mindful friend, Peter for this) smile, breathe and go slow.