Suddenly I feel the pull towards old habits that I thought I had relaxed away from. As I walk through the aisles of the grocery store, noticing shelves empty of canned beans and toilet paper, immediately I am revisited by my familiar friends, feelings of insufficiency & fear. Especially as I lean in to grab the last few cans of black beans, that too before anyone else does. Naively I am forced to recognize how my sense of ease has been so closely knitted with excess & abundance. How the possibility of scarcity throws my fragile equanimity out the window.
Grasping and guarding seems to be what is being suggesting to us these days. Not entirely a novel proposition. Rather we are taking it exponentially to a another level perhaps.
What we observe however is that it actually does not relieve us of any fear. The grasping and the guarding seems to only increase our sense of vulnerability, as we are continuously brought back to the suggestion of not having enough, not being prepared enough nor protected enough, no matter how much toilet paper we accumulate or hand sanitizer we put on our hands.
As a response to this fear based need to collect, we are suggested by the great Buddhist Masters, that when we feel ourselves becoming closed hearted, we can reverse the direction of this energy with the ‘simple but potent gesture’ of mentally offering that which we treasure most right now. And one of the things that we treasure most these days, that we are most protective of is our health. And so we may make a mental offering of just that.
“May all beings be healthy! May all beings be healthy! May all beings be healthy!”, becomes our mantra, that which we repeat internally. It may seem simplistic. Yet like any thought, even a mental offering through its repetition, redirects our energy over and over again from a deepening contraction back into broad expansion, ‘ventilating the claustrophobia’ of our current emotional and physical confinement.
As such we encourage ourselves to keep moving closer to a mind free of confusion & clutter, rather than halting and turning back on the distance we have traveled thus far together through our shared self inquiry.
For all those ailing in the world, Until their every sickness has been healed, May I myself become for them The doctor, nurse, the medicine itself. Raining down a flood of food and drink, May I dispel the ills of thirst and famine. And in the ages marked by scarcity and want, May I myself appear as drink and sustenance. - Shantideva "The Way of the Bodhisattva" (8th century)