Back in the 70’s in North Beach of S.F. there was a slang usage of the word ‘naturally’ that I always liked but wasn’t used often. Someone would be telling some tale of having left North Beach and gone into the wilds of Marin County, or even deeper into Not-North-Beach, maybe even going all the way into Sonoma County or, God forbid into the Central Valley, and the story would relate to having spent hours driving into the country and back, “on the natch”, with indicated the privation of no drugs or alcohol used for a block of hours away from North Beach. This type of usage always occurred in Bar-room conversations of course.
I have been having a polar opposite experience of being on the natch during this time of consternation we are experiencing. Since I haven’t had a drug or drink in37 years and instead took up Buddhism and meditation I’ve been on the natch by choice. But, there is a natch, and there is natch.
What seems to be naturally occurring for me at this time is a settling into a rhythm of not being in a hurry while actually having no place to go and discovering there is no deep need at all, to go anywhere or do anything. In conjunction with a diminuendo of cognitive ability, as well as short-term memory fading faster than I would like, there is suddenly no real reason to be doing 90% of what I had invested habit-energy into for most of my life.
I’ve been training as a lay Buddhist for many years in conjunction with my sobriety, and have gotten used to thinking that, I go to the temple, that I go on retreats, I go and sit in meditation, I go to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for refuge. These things are all true and have been good to do. But, currently all those thing seem to coming to me; as I just go through each day in a naturally quiet mode.
Many people are dealing with anxiety and worry as their main experience during this time, and I’ve certainly had those arise as well, but they don’t seem to maintain traction.
I suspect that most of us, as we go through this period of seemingly imposed restriction, will find small opportunities in-between the worry and anxiety relating to all the practical aspects of life; like school, work, debts, family, aging and the sensing more keenly the actual impartiality of death and dying. A dying that can be brought on by a loved ones kiss or caress or pat on the head, or a stranger passing by; and we may never know which was the cause.
The other part of this time is the concern and love for others that is moving forward in our awareness, time is a precious commodity and we can never know how much we have left. There have been many families walking and biking all over town, we’re having some nice Spring weather and many young people out or young mothers with their kids.
Bee’s buzzing in cherry blossoms and kids buzzing on all manner of wheeled conveyance. In the future, the High School graduates of 2020 throughout the whole country, will be talking and reminiscing about this Spring/Summer and it will be a fond memory of a nostalgic time.
Unless of course, if after this passes, we don’t seriously get down to business and alter our habits and how we relate to the world and its environment.
We are either in a Teaching
Moment, or just experiencing
A small taste of things to come.
I’m hoping, Teaching moment.
Please, let’s all learn something
Helpful, and positive.