On Forced Meditation

Where I am, in the European country in the north, we have a lockdown for months, and as a result, we are all forced to meditate. Shops are closed, which can be a good thing, but all other nice facilities, such as restaurants, cafes, and theatres, are closed as well, and in masses, we reached the point where there is literally nothing to do.

I call this state a forced meditation. I have thought and rethought about my life in the past couple of months to a grandiose scale. I told myself, in due fashion, that relatively speaking, I am doing fine. I repeated it like a mantra, watching the closed terraces and desolate streets, because without some positive thinking, one is doomed.

For some of us, this forced state of lockdown can be a good thing. I hate shopping, and always thought that it could be a good cause for celebration when shops are closed. I hate the crowds, and I thought that it would be nice to enjoy the city where I live in its beautiful quietness and tranquillity. And yes, I do enjoy the city, the Frisian capital in the north, but certain good things in their absence acquire a nagging ‘come back to me appeal’. There is nothing else more than I want at this moment but to go to a nice cloth shop and stroll, walk in the beauty store and stare at creams, try perfumes in Douglas, or a body oil in the Rituals. I will no longer say I hate shopping, because I hate meditating even more.

I can’t meditate and this is something I learned already long time ago when meditation was presented to us as a spiritual gift worthy of acquiring. I assumed due postures and tried to get rid of my thoughts. They still continued rushing through my head though, reminding me of some better things to do, such as simply having a nice cup of coffee, talk with a friend, or go on a nice walk in nature, in order to, well, meditate. The thoughts were like dark huge clouds around my head, and I realised that I could almost see them at some points, and reach for them with my hand, to never let go. I like thinking, I like thoughts. I like constantly dreaming and thinking, what is there to meditate about, I would ask myself?

And yet, it is the state in which we found ourselves due to lockdown and the crisis around the Covid. As a world population, we are forced to meditate and reflect more, because there is less of distraction. The online world is slowly losing its appeal as well, and we are driven to start appreciating what is around. But what is around, or used to be, is precisely what makes our lives so beautiful. A nice cup of coffee on a sunny terrace in a café, a meal in a restaurant, live music in a bar, a great ballet or opera in a theatre. Or a trip to buy that nice dress in a shop.

All these little things, that’s what makes meditation pleasurable on occasions, but when it is forced on us, it looses its appeal. Meditation can be good only in small doses, as well as closed shops, cafes and theatres.

When will it end?

4 thoughts on “On Forced Meditation

  1. I think the worst of it is over. Hopefully we will return to some sort of normalcy soon. It has been particularly hard in the winter months – without being able to walk and exercise outside as freely. But hopefully before we know it this will all seem like a strange bad dream. Stay strong! 💪🏻❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (You don’t have to post all this if you don’t want to.)
    A few points of English: … there is literally nothing to do … and … a spiritual gift worthy of acquiring ….

    There you are in that dress with the translucent shoulders again. Very appealing!

    On my blog, it was sometime last summer when I started writing about my exasperation concerning the gap between what we were being told and what was actually happening regarding lockdowns, etc. This post was from 19 July, about 10 days after my favorite non-church contact got fired from her job, and went out of communication with me.
    https://lecox.wordpress.com/2020/07/19/ann-arbor-townies/

    In August I was still aggressively studying the situation and my posts were mostly philosophical or about data.

    But my mid-September I was beginning to realize that I was feeling lonely and that my last close friend was totally out of communication. Here is a representative post from 21 September:
    https://lecox.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/shadows-of-longing/

    During October I turned to watching old sci fi movies on YouTube while at the same time reading through a book by Dady Chery on the economic and cultural destruction of Haiti. By the end of that month I had begun to worry that I would never see my best friend again. I published this short cry for help:
    https://lecox.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/slow-death-by-sensory-deprivation/

    In November I started reading Dena Merriam’s “memoir” based on her own past lives. (Here is the meditation connection!) Dena recalled her past lives using meditation practices. But we now know she had started to perfect these practices 1,500 years ago! So by this lifetime, Dena really knew how to meditate! Meanwhile, I had gone full throttle trying to reconnect to my lost friend. Near the end of that month, the connection was finally made: https://lecox.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/short-story/

    The following month was also rough for me, even though the communication breakdown had been repaired. We had to confront the fact that my friend could no longer afford to live downtown and would have to move back in with her family, many miles away. I again began to write about the loneliness that had been created by the lockdowns: https://lecox.wordpress.com/2020/12/26/purgatory-introduction/
    (This is a great post! I included a nude scene from a play shown on TV that I had watched when I was a teenager.)

    In January my thinking and writing concentrated more and more on somehow reviving the nearly-dead “love life” that I had been tolerating since I was a young man. I had one struggle behind me, and now knew there would need to be more: https://lecox.wordpress.com/2021/01/24/its-time-to-talk/

    My teacher once wrote in a letter that was very popular with church staff: “The future on this planet could make the past look like a picnic!” You think the worst is over? More than likely, it has yet to arrive.

    We need to break this isolation! It is the fastest route I know to kill the human spirit!

    Find ways to be with other people! Please!

    Like

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