This pandemic has forced some of us into living a hermit’s life. With lockdown taking places in different countries, some of us may encounter loneliness quite unexpectedly. Previously, we spent time socializing after work or during the weekend. Now we are trapped within our home and contact with the outside world maybe limited to the daily Zoom meeting. If we work from home, our work may keep us busy during the day, but that feeling of loneliness may become very strong after work. This is especially so, when we live alone and had no opportunity to venture out.
Change our perspective
One of the most important skill taught by Buddhism is the skill of acceptance. In another word, embrace what is unavoidable and make the best of it. Mental resistance towards a fateful situation only makes matter worse and we end up with more mental suffering.
Being a Buddhist, I reminded myself of enlightened masters who spent most of their time in seclusion while they were training for enlightenment. Therefore, I will try to take pride in being alone and not feel that it is punishment. If I can spend more time reading, contemplating and meditating at home; perhaps this year will be another year for spiritual breakthrough? Now, that isn’t so bad after all.
You see, we just have another “lock down”, even though in a quasi sense. There was an outbreak of delta variant at our fish market and it created a network of transmission that spread into our heartland….. (Just when we were a few days from opening up!) Ok, let’s deal with it then.
If the laws in your country allow, and if the local situations permit; then taking a short walk can help lessen the burden of being trap and lonely. Even a short sit in the balcony to catch the sun can be uplifting. But if you do venture out, stay save and mask-up. Instead of ordering groceries, I prefer walking to a nearby market to get food. That 30 minute trip allow some social interaction for me and that is sufficient. Lingering or mingling in public spaces is riskier now with the delta variant. Remember, human life is precious. So take care.
Another thing to remember when outside is to stop thinking about the pass. All restaurant is shut and the mall looks deserted. If we start reminiscing the past
Practice Metta Meditation
Nurturing a loving and kind mind is wonderful for keeping loneliness at bay. As the saying goes, ” we maybe miles apart, but our heart is together.” Try practicing meditation to develop an appreciation for tranquility and peace. That way, we will not be fearful of being alone.
Talk to people over the phone.
Instead of getting updates over social media or sending messages, Pick up the phone and call someone. Even if there is nothing important to say, simple conversation brings love and dispel loneliness. Ever since the lock down, I had been sharing recipes with my mother over the phone. We are just finding something to talk about and we end up telling each other what meals we are preparing for the day.
Find a hobby
So I started paper quilling. This project took me a month to complete and I can proudly say I am an amateur paper artist now. Make something for yourselves or your love ones. It helps to keep our mind meaningfully occupied.
Practice, practice, practice
Now is the time when we simply have to stay home. No more excuses for not meditating or chanting. With more indoor times, I discover more time and reason to sit on my meditation cushion. Perhaps this will be the timefor you to experience awakening.