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  • Neil Pillai

Challenging Times

TMG Covid-19 Response We are in the midst of an rapidly evolving situation which is creating a great deal of understandable fear, anxiety and uncertainty. We do not know how this will develop, although we can be sure cases will rapidly rise over the next few weeks, and will affect all our day to day lives. There are many people,across the globe, working together to use our considerable scientific expertise to try and find a solution, but that is a while off still. There is a balance to be struck between an appropriate response to these very pressing issues and allowing our reactive minds to be driven by fear and acting from this place,creating panic and the additional problems that brings. We are all in this together and can to do our best to use some of the lessons that we may have learnt through our Mindfulness practice to retain a cool head yet remain open,with a warm heart, to the distress that is all around us and that which may be being created in our own minds too. Standing in the midst of these difficulties is where we can learn some important lessons for our lives. We can ground ourselves,feeling the weight of the feet on the floor or the warmth of our hands. We can see the flurry of thoughts of what this may mean for me,for my family. We can feel what fear feels like in the body. And then we can step back, holding it all in the wider space of the body and from here we may be able to pause and to have a little more choice in what we do next. It is so easy and understandable to continue to throw those logs on the fires of reactivity that create more problems for us,or to zone out of reality in all the ways we have at our disposal to do so. Or….we may be more able to choose a way to respond in a way that is helpful not just to ourselves but to the community we live in. Making a choice borne of discernment rather than the habitual reactivity that may come more easily to us-especially in times like these. I have reflected on this at some length and sadly I think that future 8 week Mindfulness group meetings and upcoming courses should be put on hold for the time being. At the present time cases are relatively few and the risks low, but in the coming weeks that will not be the case and with a greater prevalence comes a greater risk that even those without obvious symptoms may potentially transfer this virus. Coming together for a Mindfulness class of up to 20 people or more seems unwise in these exceptional circumstances. It is my opinion that this is an appropriate response to the current situation. TMG are currently looking at online ways to support your Mindfulness practice so watch this space! Its at precisely times like these that Mindfulness practice can seem dispensable, but I would argue that it is precisely what can support us through these times. I would encourage you to spend a little time each day in whatever way works for you to bring some stillness, awareness and kindness into your life.

  • Enjoying a cup of tea staring out of the window and noticing when your mind wanders (which it will) and gently bringing it back.

  • Going for a walk and feeling your feet on the ground, appreciating the wonders of nature at this time of year

  • A 3 Step Breathing space or a practice that helps.

  • Spending some time reflecting on all the positive things we have in our lives can be so resourceful and help to re-balance that negativity bias that we are all experiencing in this moment.

  • Choosing to do what helps.

And remembering that even this chapter of our shared human experience will pass. "You can cut all the flowers but you cannot stop Spring from coming “ Pablo Neruda Warmest Wishes Neil Chair TMG

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