Om-brella (Part I)

There is a storm – no doubt about it. Covid-19 for starters. Whole neighbourhoods on lockdown. And now there are fires in the streets.

Anger. Fear. Anxiety. Hatred. Violence. Death.

Time for tools.  Let’s try an om-brella for starters.

Your om-brella has a central shaft topped with fabric panels that terminate in tiny caps. There is comfort under here – a quiet space that is yours and yours alone.

Whatever is uncalled for or unbidden, whatever rushes in, rains down, blindsides you – is put on pause outside this fabric – pain, anger, fear – run down in rivulets. No. More. Harm.

At least not here.

Droplets bouncing off the fabric, tumble to the floor – you dear heart – are dry – unharmed. You are without complaint.

How does this happen?

You practice with your tools. But you must remember how – and when – to use them.

You carry one hand on the handle of your om-brella, another hand is on the spring that launches this fabric skyward. Panels open to form a dome.

There are two axes to your om-brella.  The first is horizontal. See how the fabric stretches wide in a perfect circle around your head. This is called mindful awareness. 

The second axis is vertical –  you focus on your breath: rising/falling. The vertical axis of your om-brella is concentration. You practice concentration when you maintain focus on your breath.

Awareness and concentration = your om-brella.

Gale winds seek to overwhelm you, on or off the cushion.  You have practiced with your om-brella so you know when and how to open a space for peace.  This om-brella is your tool – a means for you to see your way through violence, grief, change, boredom and frustration, despair and even death.

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