Tag Archives: meditation

The shadow virus

There is a parallel rate of infection happening as we move through the global pandemic caused by coronavirus. Moving along one line is the infection rate arising from the virus and also alarmingly, is a shadow line indicating the mental infection in the population from fear and anxiety. The fallout is enormous.

Being denied basic rights such as freedom of movement and a job to earn a living causes a restless and potentially eruptive energy in the general population. Lock downs around the world are in place because there is no known way to immunise or treat covid-19. However, there have been several warnings, since the SARS virus in 2002, of a serious threat to the global community should another coronavirus make the leap from animals to humans.

According to the World Health Organisation, one person dies every 40 seconds from suicide. Several governments across the world say they are committed to improving mental health and reducing the number of deaths from suicide. Yet, these are the countries who ignored the World Health Organisation’s warning about another coronavirus pandemic, failing to put in place a contingency plan. When the prediction finally materialised as covid-19, their only response, given the lack of planning, was to enforce national lock downs. While this is proving to slow the rate of viral infection, it adds to the anxiety and stress of the population, particularly the most vulnerable. Even the mentally robust individual is wilting under the hot house of social distancing and being shut off from their loved ones living in other households.

The tide of coronavirus came like a massive tsunami across the world making it too late to run for cover. The measures being taken to stop the spread of the virus are having severe impacts on the most vulnerable sections of society, the elderly and those with mental health issues. So while we receive death tolls as graphs on a page, each life that adds to that line is someone’s wife, father, mother, son.

The invisible line that shadows the death from covid-19 is the rate of deaths from suicide. The child who can’t take another moment of being cooped up with his abusive parent, the young girl who is continually sexually abused by the man who is meant to protect her. The husband who slips further into despair as his wife hurls verbal abuse at his inadequacies, or the woman who uses make-up to hide her black eye from her children.

There are many questions to be asked about the inadequate preparation for a global pandemic, but more importantly we have a question to ask ourselves, individually and nationally; Can we continue to ignore our mental health and well being? We must invest, not just money, but time and effort into mindfulness, inner peace and meditation. Spend a few moments on conscious breathing. The more we watch our breathing, the deeper it becomes. Feel gratitude for this simple process that keeps us alive. Our immune system depends on it. Our well being depends upon it. We never know how much we depend on something until it is taken away, in some cases we find new ways to adapt. But that is not the case with breathing. There is no substitute for it, if we stop breathing we die.

Finding inner calm in a time of crisis.

What can get us through this time of fear and isolation?

It is true that worry never amounted to a solution, and fear never nourished a single heart. There is a lesson to be learned in our current situation as we wall ourselves off in our homes for fear of catching the virus, or to save others as we wait for our immune system to fight off an infection.

How can we access our eternal being when the mind is crowded by fearful thoughts as ego struggles to make sense of its crumbling world?

It is important to remain informed of new developments in our nation and globally but avoid being saturated by it. Take in the essential information and leave the rest. The ego thrives on fear just as the virus thrives on human contact. Ego and self are comparable terms in spiritual texts. Self isolation (ego isolation) can lead us to a deeper understanding of our eternal being if we take the time to tune into our ever present, underlying peace. This inner peace is generally obscured by mental noise caused by anxiety and stress, never more so than in the current financial and global uncertainty. Yet, when you can take a few moments to check in with your feeling body and allow emotions to pass like waves across deeper still waters, a space opens up where everything is calm. Sure, the waves of uncertainty continue to crash upon the surface but this is not who you are, it is merely a current created by the fearful ego.

We all play a part in the unfolding universe. Mental well being is crucial to our experience in an ever changing world. Clinging to foundations built in sand leads to drowning. Our seemingly solid world, our expectations, hopes and dreams all seem to crash against these fragile foundations creating more fear and anxiety. If your house was about to be flooded, you would evacuate. The ego is the house with shaky foundations, we are being asked to evacuate, to move to safer ground. Thankfully, this safe place is not outside of us, it is within. Go deeper into your inner space, let that safe place envelop you and reassure you that all is well. Flow with the universe, let it lead you to safety, trusting that everything is unfolding perfectly.

Collette O’Mahony

26/03/2020

The Soul in Words

Poetry trailers (duration 2 minutes or less) uniting words, images and music to create an oasis of tranquility for the soul.

YouTube Collette OMahony

You hold me like a favoured book

Pressing my spine with your fingers

Leafing through my pages

Anticipating each phrase

You rest me on your knee

As you ponder their meaning

Feeling me weave

Lyrically through your soul

And when you return to me

You devour me from cover to cover