By Dido Dunlop
In times like now, our emotional strength and resilience can feel drained away. It can seem like our inner resources are not enough. Yet here we are, still alive.
I Am Alive
When the going gets tough, I meditate on this. I remind myself that I’m still alive. It’s the most precious and essential thing.
Now, overtaken by pandemic, we’re constantly reminded that we or our loved ones might quite suddenly not be alive. We can get so caught up in worries about how to manage, we forget to stop, and notice that in this present moment, we are here, aware and breathing.
While we’re in the present moment, panic dissolves. Beneath the burnt-out field of grief or fear, is simply an aware mind, quietly present. We mostly take it for granted, and don’t notice.
If you’re grieving the death of koalas and platypus, or you’ve lost your home in a fire, or fearing that similar climate catastrophes may happen to you, some time in the future, this simple practice can be a bottom line support.
Long ago I began using this simple phrase to meditate on, to restore myself to myself, in times of personal disaster. I felt so hurt, when terrible misunderstandings seemed beyond intractable, with housemates, or in my community-building endeavours. I forgot I was a worth while person, or what the point of living was. Nevertheless, I was alive.
Remembering that I was alive transported me instantly to quite another place. Suddenly, a bright, clear space opened up. I felt charmed and free to relax. This practice takes me to profound and beautiful places. Being alive is an utter mystery and miracle.
Here’s a sequence of three meditations on this theme. Please do them in order; they were all done on one evening, and follow on from each other. (Just a note: the soundtracks were recorded live in class, so may not be flawless.)
Alive and Breathing
Alive and Aware
Alive, Calm in the Present Moment
Once you’ve done the meditation, you can say to yourself ‘I am alive,’ whenever you remember. That will arrest the flow of distraction, even just for a moment.
This may also remind us that others are also alive; they share with us this treasure of awareness. It can help us feel less alone, part of a great and inconceivable whole.
I love it that a lot of people are now hoping we’ll find a new, regenerative way to live on our beautiful planet, when this tidal wave of pandemic has passed over. If we can remember how precious is life itself, far more precious than money, this will help us rediscover our relationship with our Mother Nature, who gave us all life in the first place. We might build a life-affirming culture. That would be a wondrous revolution. May this simple meditation help us along that path!
There are many further things we can do in meditation to heal and strengthen. Soon I’ll put up some basic lessons on how to meditate. Look out for them.
If you have questions about this work, or how to do it,contact me.
Originally published at https://wisebirds.org.