A slower spring with time to embrace it
There are three morning habits that set the tone for my day. Habits inject a little structure into a life right now that could get too random, too easily. I’m hoping I can leverage habits without getting compulsive, though I am definitely not a compulsive person!
The first is my coffee ritual. I have a cantankerous Italian espresso machine that makes me a cappuccino if I treat it right. The cappuccino is not the milk bombs cafes make these days, it is a true cappuccino with a minimal amount of steamed milk and foam. I really can’t drink the ones at any of the hipster coffee places. Mine are closer to a macchiato, which is a double shot with a cap of foam. Mine has a little more milk. Rant: the cafe baristas have to ask me if I want an ‘espresso macchiato’ because so many people have been trained by Starbucks to think it is a big drink with caramel. Ugh.
So coffee. Then I sit for 25 minutes meditating, counting 65 breaths, one for each year, and taking my refuges and bodhisattva oath (‘this practice is for the awakening of all beings’). My ritual, and if I miss it my day feels off. This morning the spring sun is full force after two dreary days and my living room was the perfect meditation spot, glowing. The plants are happy and the bodhisattva oath is for them too, though I think they are already awakened.
Then this. Writing. If anything gets me through this virus attack, it will be putting words down. Well, jabbing at a keyboard or touchscreen. There is liberation in these daily pieces because I don’t do them for money and I don’t care if they get read. It is nice when they do, and I can see stats that tell me how many people looked at them and what percentage actually read them. This is something very interesting to a writer because our work often goes out into the world and disappears. But I digress, which I guess is exactly what these are, digressions.
A lot of people are dying. The Buddhist in me, if it was cynical, would say, of course, they always were. But this time it is random. Anyone can be fine and then not. I think this randomness may have gotten some of the goons in the White House’s attention. I really think someone woke up and said, ‘if a million people die, we won’t get re-elected’. That is cynical.
Days are longer and there is more time. Things have slowed. Outside spring is doing its always amazing thing. I truly hope those heroes working in hospitals get a minute to go outside and take it in, to breathe freely. Breathing, which is intrinsic to life, is that which goes away with corona. In meditation, each breath brings us back to the center. Go outside. Breathe. Live.