Lockdown pressure ~ consuming the spiritual practice
I used to deal ecstasy in Buenos Aires. It was the love of music. And the love of having my heart blasted so wide open that I could actually feel. love!
I was high for months.
Until I came down.
All those months cascaded into one almighty fall, right into the clutches of the devil. 18 months later, aged 24, when I finally arrived in India, I stopped all drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate, and caffeine.
After a few years, there wasn’t one inch of my being that could respond to any of these substances. If someone offered me a glass of wine, it was as though they were offering me mud and even tea and chocolate altered my experience enough for me to feel that I was in some way rejecting the perfection of the moment by consuming them.
But after 15 years, in the last two weeks, I have been feeling the surge of craving well up in my system. I have felt the pressure of lockdown in my bones, in my veins and in my blood as a surge of power and energy desperate to be placated.
At the same time, the boundaries are becoming blurred and my practice no longer feels like the sacred focus of the day. My practice is another experience of life, just as cleaning the house is, or trying to dress my 3 year old who refuses to wear anything ‘tight’ or ‘baggy’.
Profoundly mundane, there is a ‘sameness’ seeping into my vision which is not electric, which is not hearing the next ‘banging tune’ while popping the 10th pill of the night. And it is also not one of the many naturally induced ways that we can feel amazing in this world. And yet I would not swop this vision for anything.
The sacred heart of my spiritual home is being broken down and in its consumption, the whole world is opening up.
On the surface my life hasn’t actually been affected much by the lockdown. And yet everything has been affected. I had structures in place to satisfy the fundamental cravings and desire of the body for something different. There are fewer ways to resurrect the idea of ‘me’ now, possibilities for distraction have closed in, it feels depressing and it is making me crave chocolate and red wine.
I did eat some chocolate and a packet of biscuits.
And it was mundane, and it didn’t fix anything.
So, I continue to get up at 5.00 am and meditate. I choose to be present to the fact that my practice is evolving and is no longer giving me what it used to. I choose to feel the futility of the attempts to rebuild myself each day.
I also choose to remain conscious of the unique energy this lockdown is providing. I choose to feel flat, to allow my practice to no longer feel sacred and to not try and fix this. I choose to feel my surging desire to manipulate my experience.
Because this is what is happening. And I trust a far deeper intelligence that is working in a way that I could never understand.
Maybe this is an opportunity to finally let the flames of my spiritual practice consume the spiritual practice itself, to be released from the fireworks and fanfare into that which is ever constant. Ever-changing. Freedom. Totally mundane. Totally OK. And totally at home.