It is just 2 weeks of lock down and staying home. I think I am beginning to forget which day it is. The gyms are closed, the cinema are closed, everything, except the supermarkets are closed.
Come to think of it, this is the kind of life in retreat that I had been fantasizing about. Imagining that I will perhaps one day spend a month in isolation and do nothing except prayers and meditation.
Well, I would say my wish is granted! It is harder than I imagined it to be. Just yesterday, someone went berserk and threw furniture from his apartment! It take a lot of mental strength to stay isolated. That’s why we admire monks and yogis who spent years in isolated meditation retreats.
To my fellow Buddhist friends in isolation and getting sick of the TV, here’s some Buddhist projects for your consideration. Basically, anything can become Buddhist when we practice mindfulness and chanting over it. But the following “projects” results in a beautiful piece of work that we can keep or give.
Coloring! Time to revisit the coloring books that was a worldwide craze. We can color and repeat mantra at the same time. This send super mantra vibes to the paper we are coloring. At the same time, generate well wishes in our mind. When we finish the piece, we can gift it to others by penning our well wishes. That is sending a piece of good wish with thousands of mantra chanted over it……
Copying our favorite sutra or sutta. Just google for the desired script (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Sanskrit, Tibetan or good old English) Use a fountain pen or a simple ball point pen. Again, we can practice chanting over it. For example, we can say 108 times of our favorite mantra before writing each character. The only catch is that we have to preserve the copied sutra text with care and not leave it around disrespectfully. One suggestion is to curl the piece of copied sutra into a roll and over time, we create a bundle of Sutra with millions of mantra chanted. Keep it in a cylinder and place it on top of a cupboard or respectful places. The vibes from the mantra will help bless the home.
Blessing peas. The same approach as above, but this time round we say our mantra over a pea or rice grain. For example a thousand mantra over one grain of rice or pea. The aim is to fill a tiny container or bottle with chanted pea or rice. We can gift that to our friends and family. Important to keep our mind clear and full of loving kindness during this practice.
Origami stars or crane. No surprise, we chanted over each piece of paper for a thousand times before using it for origami. The paper cranes or stars can be garlanded. It can be used to decorate and spiritually protect our places. Maybe bring it to your office when lock down is over?
Hope you will enjoy doing these little projects and the good meritorious effort taken to complete the project makes it a meaningful souvenir or gifts.
Keeping our mind balance is important. Give it something to do if you have nothing to do or are not accustomed to prolonged meditation.
May all be well and happy.