Listening (and a message to COVID-19)
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
It will be a lie if I say I am not afraid or not worried.
Not only from falling sick or losing a loved one.
But also feeling despair and hopeless if this turns into a big global economic depression.
Today, I read Mark Schaefer's blog, "Looking into the void".
I was touched by the brutal honesty he had in that article. His honesty got me to write this one.
Sometimes, I hear the voice of doubt.
"It is the worst time to be in the industry you are in. Coaching-training? Who needs those when people just try to survive? It was immature of you to leave a nice corporate job. See what happened!"
But, also I remember the words of wise people.
Thich Nhat Hanh advises us to say, "I have more than enough conditions to be happy."
or "Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves."
Elif Shafak's The Forty Rules of Love has this one: "Başına ne gelirse gelsin, karamsarlığa kapılma. Bütün kapılar kapansa bile, sonunda O sana kimsenin bilmediği gizli bir patika açar. Sen şu anda göremesen de, dar geçitler ardında nice cennet bahçeleri var. Şükret! istediğini elde edince şükretmek kolaydır. Sufi, dileği gerçekleşmediğinde de şükredebilendir."
Its translation from Turkish can be like this: Never fall into despair. Even when all doors get closed, He will open a hidden path nobody knew. Even if you cannot see it now, there will be gardens of plenty behind those hidden passages. Be grateful! It is easy to be grateful when you get what you want. Sufi is the one who also can be grateful when his wishes do not come true.
All these different voices. What do all these mean?
Back in May, when I attended the annual Plum Village Mindfulness Retreat near Mt. Fuji, one of the monks explained to us how to observe the practice of Noble Silence from the time of last Dharma Talk till the end of breakfast in the morning. She said, once we get used to silence and not talking with others, we could hear the voices from our hearts we usually don't pay much attention.
I cannot shut down the voice of doubt. It is in me. It is also there to help me.
When I listened to it, I realize that it is asking me to look beyond what I do now.
Since last year, I was busy doing many things. Some brought results, some are still work in progress. It is time to change things.
Maybe I need to,
Look deeper into what I REALLY want to do.
Focus on things that bring REAL and BIGGER value.
Be more COURAGEOUS, BOLD.
Maybe I have nothing to lose from this point on.
Looking into the darkness, I am starting to see some shapes.
(A message to COVID-19:
Thank you for making me stop, take a look at where I am, and choose a new direction.
Also thank you that you made many of us realize the value of what we have: our fragile lives, our work, our loved ones.
But, I hope you also realize that you crossed into human-beings by mistake. Humans will try to fight back. And you will fight back.
Can we have a ceasefire?
It may be a good idea that you retreat back to the species you have been living in co-existence for ages.
And we go our way, hopefully after having learned some lessons (about our vulnerability, false pride, and the illusion that we are almost immortal.)