Making Due with Less

Today is day _x?x_ of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was swabbed today. And now 5-7 days till I get the answer. Am I positive or negative? If I’m positive, I’m happy that I have a milder case which may protect me in the future. And I will notify everyone possible that I’ve been in contact with over the last 14 days.

But I suppose the real reason I sit here is because of a small incident this morning. This incident led me to think about ‘vairagya‘ or dispassion towards things of the world and independence from ‘the pairs of opposites‘.

My fiancé decided that, today of all days, was a good time to try out ‘something’ in the fridge that he doesn’t usually eat. A ‘something’ that my 3-yr-old grandson LOVES to eat at this point. (And these ‘somethings’ that my grandson loves to eat are very few during these finicky toddler years. Some days I think he is a true breatharian! lol)

When I pointed this out to my fiancé, he became very angry that he couldn’t have this ‘something’ when, in fact, he probably paid for it too. ?!*?!

I was stunned. For weeks, I’ve risked exposure, trying to organize and plan so there is very little disruption to our everyday existence – maybe to my own detriment if I’m actually sick. I’ve done this most especially for my grandson who can’t wrap his 3-yr-old brain around a pandemic that means he can’t go out and play, do, or potentially eat the things he wants when he wants to, including this ‘something’ my fiancé just had to have.

I digress…

Basically, the teachings ask if you can be ok (i.e., have equanimity in the mind/no anger or ill feelings) with black coffee, even when you ‘prefer’ coffee with cream and sugar? [I have to admit this is one of my practices. I much prefer a fancy sweet Starbucks coffee, but drink it black as a reminder to maintain vairagya.] Can you be ok with a cold and rainy day when your mind ‘prefers’ a warm and sunny one? [Sometimes I enjoy going out on cold blustery days just to take in the crispness of the air and I try to find the beauty in that which I find most difficult to endure.] Can you be ok with having less when you are used to having whatever you want?

Also, can you be ok when you do things for others without appreciation? Ha!

And so, we are ALL being asked to PRACTICE these things right now. Not easy, but this is the practice.

My mind drifts back to my grandmother going through the Great Depression. She certainly didn’t want to have to eat food that was on the verge of spoilage, but it was better than nothing at all. Her family didn’t want to have to forage for food, but since items weren’t readily available for purchase in the grocery store, they lived off the land and used herbs in lieu of medicine.

And maybe that’s where things will lead us too. I don’t know.

So ask yourself: can I maintain equanimity – without vikshepa (tossing of the mind) – if I don’t have exactly what my mind and ego are telling me that I need today?

That is the practice. Hari Om Tat Sat.