How to be here and what to do, now?
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In a unique opportunity of these times of uncertainty, anxiety, and - sometimes - mindless fear, we can take stock, breathe together, share feelings together, and give mindful consideration to the two pronged question above.
Many years ago I took an opportunity to design and produce a course that I called “How to be here” - it was for prisoners in HMP Brixton. 25 years later, many of us will now be beginning to experience the humbling imposition of sudden incarceration.
Previously, I missed off the “what to do” part of the question - the prison system had already arranged some routine activities as an imposition!
But to now - our broken socio-economic system; apart from offering back the education of our children to us - our system leaves us to it. How, now, will we fill our days?
The first step on that old prison course was to invite prisoners to embrace - as best they could - the routine and boundaries the prison imposed upon them. To accept in order to optimise!
And then to begin to grow into a mindful relationship with their new situation.
Back then, I know it was helpful to many in prison. But consider; always, and in many ways, "We're all doing time". For us now, our ‘business as usual’ model has been suspended indefinitely. For all of us individually, and for consumer capitalism, the implicit belief in perpetual economic growth has been shattered. Some of us are beginning to remember again how much we value the other beings in our lives, our social connections, our “us-ness” experiences. And we may begin to yearn for the intimately personal experience of outdoors in and with nature.
Being and doing: First embrace - as best we can - the routines and boundaries that the pandemic imposes upon us, and then begin to invest in our new future: personal, collective and ecological.
What qualities will we bring to our human being and our human doing? In ‘what ways’ will we be and do?
Only you have the answer to that question, and so do I, etc, etc, etc. It’s a question of personal values. Though we had best consider the collective interest too because - “what’s bad for the hive is bad for the bee” (Marcus Aurelius)
Whenever it becomes time to rebuild the “back to work economy” let’s aim for a more inclusive, more equitable, more sustainable, more loving & compassionate way of being and doing? And let’s begin to create that now - in this time that is becoming known as “The Big Pause” - What a blessing (however mixed).
Thank you, Gaia for your viral message - stopping us in the tracks of our headlong rush towards terminal ecological catastrophe; let’s gratefully accept the big pause and consider carefully about where we’re heading before revving up our fossil fuelled engine again?
The weekly drop-ins are offered on a dana basis: free of charge, donations accepted with gratitude - see www.bwis.online/dana
When you receive the link to join us - just make it a few mins before Wednesday 7pm. Simple as that!