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Thread: How to "Shelter in Place" the Zen Way ...

  1. #1

    How to "Shelter in Place" the Zen Way ...

    My family and l went into full voluntary lock down today. No symptoms or suspicions or anything, just by choice.

    A basic Zen lesson would be that, when "Sheltering in Place" just be in that place, and find one's True Shelter.

    I came across a little article by someone who experienced a long lock down in China, not a Buddhist. Seem like good suggestions.

    I would just add to this list, of course, to spend some time sitting Zazen, reading some Zen books from our reading list (no need even to run to the bookstore these days) ...

    SUGGESTED BOOK & MEDIA LIST for TREELEAF SANGHA
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...REELEAF-SANGHA

    ... come and meet your Treeleaf friends a bit each day, go be in nature (the article says that too), and appreciate what you have more than what has been seemingly lost now. Do some cleaning and gardening if you can, and make a few little rituals ... like the sacred dish drying and the Holy Hand Washing. Doing things (while keeping some distance) to help older neighbors and others is good for all concerned too.

    Orteza shared a list of tips for making it through isolation with mental and physical health intact:

    • Keep to a schedule.
    • Eat well.
    • Get enough sleep and try to sleep at your regular time.
    • Exercise.
    • Use the time to do something that you never seem to have the time to do — learn a new language, write letters, read, take up an instrument, do virtual tours, take a free course offered by universities.
    • Do something for someone else (send drawings or letters to a nursing home, make items for homeless shelters, call or write to family members that you don't see or talk to often).
    • Connect with someone each day, even if it is to smile at someone across the street or write a short message to someone.
    • Don't spend a lot of time on social media or watching the news.
    • Get outside if you can. When the virus first surfaced in Nanjing, it was winter with dark and dreary days. The lack of sunshine was evident in my mood. Now that the sun is shining, I am sitting on my balcony most days, and it is wonderful!
    • Stay positive. Look at the big picture. For many of us, this is not threatening. It is inconvenient and may be a slight hardship, but there are many people around the world who are far worse off. Find the silver lining


    https://www.livescience.com/survivin...-in-china.html
    .
    Maybe our other members have some things to add to the list? Ideas for themselves, for the kids? I think a lot of us would be interested to hear and share. I think I will really get to work on our vegetable garden this week.

    The kids seem to understand and are helpful, although it is only the first day. We are trying to be creative in finding amusements for them, and ways that they can contact their friends (e.g., I am suggesting to my daughters' Karate group a special "outdoor 'no-touch, keep some space' Karate practice" that can be set up. The weather is lovely for it now.) My daughter and I agreed to spend the coming weeks reading all the Harry Potter books together, her first time. My son is in his room, reading a book, playing a game, chatting with friends online ... basically what he always does. His classes next month will be online. He is studying for the SAT test for college admission ... not that unhappy at all that the SATs were cancelled this round!

    Translation work is gone right now, but there is food in the pantry. The quiet is welcome. Japan is very calm about what is going on. That is what they do so well. I think people who have lived through 2000 years of earthquakes and other things just know how to line up and wait peacefully in line, not complain. It is the natural "Zen" of the Japanese.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-19-2020 at 11:43 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Thank you Jundo.

    And thank you to all that host our sits. Being in the middle of nowhere I don’t even see people so it’s nice to meet up with folks on my evening sits

    Doshin
    St

  3. #3
    Here's a start ...

    US nursing home residents are trapped in isolation amid coronavirus. Cards and letters are brightening their days.

    Residential and retirement facilities across the country are limiting visitations to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, leaving residents to be increasingly isolated. But people are answering the call to brighten residents' days with cards.

    "If your children schools are closed and looking for something to keep them busy please consider having them write letters or color pictures and send the to our residents," reads a Facebook post from St. Anthony's Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rock Island, Illinois.

    Similar requests have come from other facilities, a letter to the editor and even a celebrity.

    The trend is catching on.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...newstopstories
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Hello,

    Here in the northern hemisphere spring has arrived. Time to plant. If you have a spot of land, or a balcony, or a sunny window plant a garden. Horticultural therapy has shown that hands in the dirt is a remarkable way to soothe, heal, and generally help anyone who engages in planting and growing a garden. https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/03/healt...apy/index.html

    And growing your own food is both economical and healthy. And our current worldwide goal is to stay healthy!

    Gassho
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  5. #5
    I find that playing music is calming for me. Both playing recorded music and making my own. I am working on some acoustic tunes since this all started. So I would also add learning something new.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  6. #6
    I am prepping the larger garden, which we have not used in several years, to grow potatoes and winter squash. Not as strong as I used to be! Much sitting.

    Here is a playlist of Buddhist YouTube that I made awhile back. Lots of Red Pine and hermits. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...lwMtmc7R9q-E8n

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  7. #7
    Thank you for sharing this excellent advice, Jundo Roshi!

    My spouse and I are working from home this week on "orders" from our employers.

    I think having work to do, even if it is tedious, is helping us both cope with being stuck indoors. We go to bed around the same time, wake up at the same time; keeping to a schedule has definitely helped as well.

    We live in a basement with just one small window in the bathroom so we don't even really get sunlight. Even so, we have bright lights, faux flowers, fairy lights, blankets and pillows and colorful tapestries on the walls. I think we've done a decent job making this place feel magical instead of dreary. We have gone out for some drives, making sure to keep our windows rolled up, just to get some sunshine and a change of scenery. The radio in our car doesn't work so that means we talk more which is very nice!

    My spouse said to me that I'm inspiring him to work because I just sit down and go at it, making sure to take regular breaks. It's taking some getting used to, but we're managing, and zazen has been a big help. I've recommended he join me; he uses it at work when he starts to feel overwhelmed and says it's made a difference in his day.

    Beyond that, we have Netflix and Prime and YouTube and Curiosity Stream to break things up a bit. He's a big fan of nature documentaries.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  8. #8
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    Thankyou jundo and all for these ideas.

    I've taken the opportunity to teach my kids to play card games, and we are writing a story with illustration to give to the new-birn cousin!

    They are asking to try DnD next, so I'll dust off the old books and dice, so far it's been opportunity to renew our relationship s.

    LaH
    SatToday
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  9. #9
    Thank you Jundo. My spouse and I are grateful to have jobs we can work remotely. She was sent home this week and because of a slight fever, I'm being sent home for a while. Stressful, but definitely a lesson in just being. I'm glad to be here with Treeleaf. Looks like a lot of brick and mortar zen centers have started zoom sits.

    Gassho,
    Tyler

    ST
    Last edited by TyZa; 03-20-2020 at 02:31 AM. Reason: clarity

  10. #10
    My MIL who lives with us is back in hospital as of this morning.

    A month ago she went in for major surgery to remove several organs as a way to halt her cancer. She then got sick with an infection while in recovery and was in hospital longer than expected. She came home and was on the road to recovery until recently when she started to feel very unwell again. Her doctor saw her and gave instructions to take her to Emergency immediately, so that was done and she briefly lost consciousness soon after walking in. She's now hospitalized, and while we're worried we're also glad she's there and not at home because we've all been worried about having her at home during this pandemic because we know she's uniquely at-risk for the worst consequences of this illness given her surgery, age, and reliance on medication to help her recover.

    Hospital visitations aren't being allowed here as of last week when a state of emergency was declared. I know she'll be okay, but it's still worrisome. I will be doing some Medicine Buddha practice for her and for everyone in the world because we are all affected by this thing.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyōsen View Post
    My MIL who lives with us is back in hospital as of this morning.
    I am sorry to hear that, Kyosen. We are sitting with you and your family. I hope she recovers soon, and I hope she is well sheltered from further complications due to what's going on. May all be healthy, and at ease through all their ills.

    Gassho
    Sat today, lah




    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  12. #12
    Thank you, Geika! I am grateful she is in good hands and the family is together. No one has to be alone in this.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LaH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  13. #13
    We are following "Shelter in place" too. I also took few weeks off from work. Here are some nice changes

    - Though COVID is bad, the bright side is that everyone gets to taste the joy of a simple life. How little we need. To be content.
    - I took time off work and notice my health has improved and I feel less stressed
    - Kept laptop away and am spending more time with kids, just attending to them and being available for them (homework, "little" things they want to share)
    - We are watching atleast one movie every day together as a family and playing board games
    - Sitting zazen as usual but more online; Passing metta twice or thrice a day regularly. My wife is sitting zazen with me these days and I find those sittings to be deeper. She gets up after 20 min or so though, while I sit my 40 min
    - My mom (doesn't stay with us) recently started sitting zazen. She is 70 years old and is sitting two 10 min sittings. She's sitting in burmese but one of her knees is not touching the floor. She doesn't know how to use computer and there is no zen center nearby for her. Will probably make her sit to our zazenkai livestreams one day

    Gassho,
    Sam
    STLah

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by shikantazen View Post
    We are following "Shelter in place" too. I also took few weeks off from work. Here are some nice changes

    - Though COVID is bad, the bright side is that everyone gets to taste the joy of a simple life. How little we need. To be content.
    - I took time off work and notice my health has improved and I feel less stressed
    - Kept laptop away and am spending more time with kids, just attending to them and being available for them (homework, "little" things they want to share)
    - We are watching atleast one movie every day together as a family and playing board games
    - Sitting zazen as usual but more online; Passing metta twice or thrice a day regularly. My wife is sitting zazen with me these days and I find those sittings to be deeper. She gets up after 20 min or so though, while I sit my 40 min
    - My mom (doesn't stay with us) recently started sitting zazen. She is 70 years old and is sitting two 10 min sittings. She's sitting in burmese but one of her knees is not touching the floor. She doesn't know how to use computer and there is no zen center nearby for her. Will probably make her sit to our zazenkai livestreams one day

    Gassho,
    Sam
    STLah
    That's great Sam. I am starting to limit my tv and spend the time with family too.

    Gassho Kyotai
    St

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  15. #15
    You're right, Sam, there are so many bright sides... The environment, people learning some skillful means, enjoying time together, cooking meals together, calling each other on the phone, doing arts and crafts with their children, walking the dog... I am so interested to see how America becomes once we have all seen that we don't all need to be out buying things and experiences to stay fulfilled, or working long hours every day, or working from home.

    Gassho
    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyōsen View Post
    My MIL who lives with us is back in hospital as of this morning.

    A month ago she went in for major surgery to remove several organs as a way to halt her cancer. She then got sick with an infection while in recovery and was in hospital longer than expected. She came home and was on the road to recovery until recently when she started to feel very unwell again. Her doctor saw her and gave instructions to take her to Emergency immediately, so that was done and she briefly lost consciousness soon after walking in. She's now hospitalized, and while we're worried we're also glad she's there and not at home because we've all been worried about having her at home during this pandemic because we know she's uniquely at-risk for the worst consequences of this illness given her surgery, age, and reliance on medication to help her recover.

    Hospital visitations aren't being allowed here as of last week when a state of emergency was declared. I know she'll be okay, but it's still worrisome. I will be doing some Medicine Buddha practice for her and for everyone in the world because we are all affected by this thing.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    Iím sad to hear this, Kyōsen.
    May she be free from suffering. May she be healthy and well cared. Much metta to her, to you and to all your family.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  17. #17
    maybe an impromptu Ango - or a mini-quarantine retreat where we help our family and friends and those we encounter calm; I think focusing on practice and anything else that helps as has been suggested: exercise, good nutrition, avoiding indulgences in negative things for distraction that harm us (this is a huge one for me).

    Gassho

    Rish
    -st

  18. #18
    I enjoy doing nothing so sheltering in place is not difficult.
    Actually have been busy taking care of new plants and flowers, bike riding, cleaning and fixing stuff, cooking and eating more to gain weight.

    I get most of my news and information from Google.

    Sat/lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  19. #19
    Metta to MIL and all; it's been a tough week. _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  20. #20
    maybe an impromptu Ango - or a mini-quarantine retreat where we help our family and friends and those we encounter calm
    We are thinking about this, Risho.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  21. #21
    It is too long / much to explain all the changes my family and I are experiencing due to current conditions.

    All religions/many people claim to hold the answers and relief, if things are done their way.

    The one constant -- bedrock -- I am finding, daily -- sitting. Short periods. My mind does not stay. Time drifts, I drift. I gave up on focusing. I just sit, breathe, and that's all. Time vanishes.

    But it's there, and it's the one solid thing - aside from my breathing, and the earth - that i know is real at this time.

    Gassho2
    Meian st

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Underestimating a warrior, serves the warrior's advantage.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Meian View Post

    But it's there, and it's the one solid thing - aside from my breathing, and the earth - that i know is real at this time.


    earth touching mudra

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    Kyosen, I'm sorry to hear about your mother in law. I will sit metta for her.

    We've been in lockdown for about 2 weeks now. I'm working from home with a toddler so I don't have as much free time as I thought I would but it's great to have more family time.

    As lockdowns go it's fairly well timed from a horticultural perspective as we have been planting and getting the garden and allotment ready for the coming season. As a few people have mentioned it feels great to get my hands in the soil after what seems like a long winter. I've also got into a good rhythm of getting up to chant, sit, studying a zen text then going out for a run before logging on to work.

    I'd like to spend some time learning some origami cranes and working on haiku but we'll see.

    Doyu - that playlist looks great, thank you.

    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post


    earth touching mudra

    Thank you for this, Jundo. I will save this photo. I like it. It reminds me of Medicine Buddha for some reason.

    I want to sit on the grass when my body can handle the temperature/weather. Been sitting on the porch for short periods with thick blankets.

    Gassho, meian

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Underestimating a warrior, serves the warrior's advantage.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

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