Listening in Lockdown



One of the blessings of the Coronavirus lockdown is that many of us are released from the patterns of activity that normally dominate our lives. The internet abounds with stories of how wildlife has begun to flourish due to this temporary pause in human traffic. We can hear more birds, see more fish, and look up at a sky unblemished by aeroplane trails. Something of the pristine quality of the natural world is being witnessed and remembered by those who may have forgotten it.


I wonder if something similar is happening inside people... As the usual hum of activity subsides, I wonder what life is awakening in this stillness, and beginning to emerge now it has the space to do so..? I wonder if - now the steady drone of anxiety and stress is turned down - people are able to hear their hearts sing again?


I’ve been witnessing friends that are usually wedded to their jobs taking the time to read novels, bake cakes, learn languages and paint pictures with loved ones. This expression of natural curiosity and creativity is a wonder that too many of us are starved of in a system that demands and rewards constant productivity, and makes us feel we’re always time poor.


I wonder what it means for our ecology of being - both individual and collective - that people are spending more quality time together, looking after each other, learning new things and remembering how to play? And how these experiences might have a lasting impact on our relationships to ourselves, each other and the natural world… I wonder if the friendly chirps of neighbourly chatter will die down with the bird song as our worlds become busy again and if the noisy whirlwind of productivity will drown out the subtle song in our hearts.


I hope not.


And I know that the best way to cultivate a sense of lasting tranquility is to develop a personal practise such as meditation, yoga or breathwork. One of the key benefits of these practises is that they help to anchor us in self, meaning that we’re less likely to be pushed and pulled by external forces. Starting your day with a moment of peace sets the tone for the rest of its unfolding, as is expressed beautifully in this little prayer:


Each morning before I begin the journey of my day let me sit still, in silence and sew the seed of peace. Peace is harmony and balance. Peace is freedom - freedom from the burden of negativity and wastefullness. Let peace find its home within me. Peace is my original strength, my eternal tranquility of being. Let my first thought of the day simply be peaceful.


It sounds subtle, but sewing the seed of peace is a radical act in a world that is addicted to doing, proving and consuming. With stillness comes clarity and spaciousness. And when we feel a sense of inner spaciousness, we're more available for others... So why not spend some time over these next few weeks tending to your inner garden? Pull up the weeds, plant seeds of new possibility and enjoy the unique fragrance of your being!