It is early morning on Södermalm, Stockholm. Usually we hear the ”Bromma flight” rush past our roof at 7.00 AM. We call it the ”seven o’clock airplane”, but now it’s quiet. Quieter than in the cottage out on the country… Only a month ago we couldn’t imagine in our wildest fantasies, that the seven-airplane would stop its route. That the borders of the world would close, that thousands would become sick and die and even more would become unemployed. For many of us this is a major change of course, but for many its just “business as usual. Sickness, death and poverty is an everyday-reality for many millions around the planet. Its easy to take our comfort and privileged life for granted. This turbulent time is exactly what our teacher Sayadaw U Tejaniya calls “the match”. The daily mindfulness meditation is our “training” before it. It is for times like these that we have practiced and prepared ourselves. Again and again he reminded us that we need to “be present, alert, minute by minute. Don’t take anything for granted. See everything as new and fresh. Here and now. Everything is changing but we are floating in an illusion of stability, that we are in control”.
Embrace all emotions
Right now, grief is here. Big and powerful. The whole body feels so incredibly sad about what is happening. I calm my sad, troubled heart by coming back to the body. To the breath, to the feeling. Breathe deeply, be with it, but don’t wallow in it either. And so comes calm/confidence and a huge gratitude to life.
I try to rest in the mantra ”I don’t know”, an energy where I actually admit that I do not know, however much the experts think they know, the content is that we have no idea what will happen or when the situation will calm down itself. We do not know. Rest there. Stay in the not knowing.
At the same time, nature recovers. The earth, the air, plants and animals are recovering and healing. We and the planet are not separate. We are one. For me and Mats it is important to practice both meditation and yinyoga a bit more diligently now. Simply strengthen our mind and body. It is a Yin time, a time of being in a “now” where the doing and “later” must step back.
Nevertheless, one thing is sure – it will end. Everything changes, nothing lasts. Be it the comfortable or the uncomfortable. Either the position Dragon or the Butterfly in Yin yoga or this crisis will remain forever. Remembering this truth is extremely important. And then, when it’s over, a new earth will be born … And already now we can visualise how we would like this earth to be. How we would like to live our precious amazing and wonderful lives. I thought about whats the most important to me. My loved ones, family and friends, nature, understanding, compassion, joy and the radiant and pounding all embracing love.
I can highly recommend a very good talk by the meditation teacher Tara Brach “Facing Pandemic Fears with an Awake Heart”.
A few days ago we sent a letter letting you know that we have rescheduled module 2 from 3 – 5 April to August. We have several modules in the planning during this spring and we have yet to decide if we will reschedule these as well. There is a possibility that we might need to reschedule all courses to late summer and/or autumn. Or….who knows…
We will inform you continuously ones we know more. All our courses are currently fully booked with waiting lists. You can read more about them here.
Our Wednesday evening workshops at Yogashala (www.yogashalastockholm.se) are affected by the situation right now. The workshop on April 8th will be moved to June the 3d and the one that was supposed to be held on May 6th will be moved to June 24th.
Our six-hour workshop at Mediyogacenter on May 3rd most probably be sent online via Zoom. You’ll be notified from the studios in a short while.
Much fuss about nothing… The ”Serenity yin yoga” app is as it has been without any current changes, and the update seems to be taking even more time. A positive thing about this is that it is now back on Google Play. The producer (LUX) writes: “Since IOS 13 this fall we had to rewrite a lot. We work on the app every week since the beginning of the year. When we have a launching date we will announce it”.
Also, the new updates inside the app will NOT be posted immediately when the “new” app is complete (meditations, new classes, etc.). This means that if you have the app you can calmly continue to use it for the foreseeable future. Do not update the app if / when the “new” app will now appear – which is currently uncertain. I will notify you when all new updates are added to the app and you can then update it. I am sorry for this and at the same time I am also glad that the app still works well and is relatively cheap. Email the producer LUX for further questions at email@example.com.
Right now i’m reading several books at the same time. One is called “The Art Of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now” by Thich Nhat Hanh, another is an old classic by Pema Chödrön “When Things Fall Apart” a fantastic book that really highlights that in order to cope with crises we need to go inward to embrace and accept our fears and our anxieties (another favourite is ”The Wisdom of no Escape ” also by Chodron).
So dear friends, as you read this, things have changed further. We encourage you to turn on the mindfulness button, breathe more consciously, feel your feet as you walk, feel the body, shoulders and not least the stomach. Now, and now, and now. Breathe and appreciate each new breath. Nothing should be taken for granted. Life is fantastic.
We wish you a calm and mindful Easter-holidays
Magdalena & Mats
”Fear is a universal experience. Even the smallest insect feels it. We wade in the tidal pools and put our finger near the soft, open bodies of sea anemones and they close up. Everything spontaneously does that. It’s not a terrible thing that we feel fear when faced with the unknown. It is part of being alive, something we all share. We react against the possibility of loneliness, of death, of not having anything to hold on to. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.
If we commit ourselves to staying right where we are, then our experience becomes very vivid. Things become very clear when there is nowhere to escape.”
From “When things fall apart” by Pema Chödrön.