Pandemic Survival Kit – Part 1

By Keith Sherwood

You may be quarantined, self-isolating or locked down by the government. In any event, your living situation has changed in one of three ways; you’re going to be alone much of the time; you’re going to be sharing your lonely space with your pet Fluffy, or you’re going to be sharing your space with a Fluffy, your partner, one or more kids, maybe even your in-laws.

Given that cabin fever is almost certainly on the menu, I’ve came up with a two-part survival kit. Part 1 includes some practical spiritual hints on how to manage your time and your relationships. Part 2 will arrive as soon as I finish it.

Before we get into the meat of the subject, it may surprise you to learn that Shakespeare wrote three of his most important plays King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra while quarantined during a plague that struck England in 1606, and Miguel de Cervantes conceived of and wrote the prologue for Don Quixote while in prison. So, if you’ve still got a creative bone inside your body, Shakti has just provided you a golden opportunity.

With that in mind let’s get started.

Spiritual Hint # 1. First things first: You have to keep it together! No matter how long you’re stuck at home, you can’t freak out if you want to make it through this crisis. This is especially true if you live with a partner, kids and-or dependents.

To avoid freaking out, I recommend that you perform the Keep it Together Mudra.

I recognize that some of you may believe, before the fact, that indulging yourself in a well-deserved meltdown is a good idea – but there may be unintended consequences after the fact – especially if you have other people including your dog who will have to deal with it.

The Keep it Together Mudra was designed specifically to prevent your energy field from getting overloaded. An overloaded energy field is the principal cause of burn out, chronic fatigue syndrome and the meltdown you want to avoid. Once you’ve learned to perform the mudra, you can combine it with two other activities that will help you avoid a freak-out or mitigate the fallout from a freak-out that has already begun.

Step one – stop what you’re doing and take a cold shower. This will saturate your body with negative ions. Negative ions will increase the level of the mood-enhancing chemical serotonin in your brain. That will help to relieve stress and boost your energy level; both will help you avoid a total freak-out and mitigate its worse effects.

After you’ve showered, sit down in a comfortable place and perform the Keep it Together Mudra. You’ll find it in the following text. Hold the mudra for two to three minutes; then chant ohm while you continue to hold the mudra for at least five minutes more.

Ohm is the cosmic sound. It emerged when the universe was created. Its therapeutic effect is well known – especially when it’s used with the appropriate meditations and mudras.

The Keep it Together Mudra

To perform the Keep it Together Mudra, find a comfortable position with your back straight. Keep the soles of your feet on the floor and your tongue in its normal position. Then bring the tip of your tongue to the top of your mouth. Next slide it back until the palate becomes soft and hold it there. Continue by crossing your right thumb over your left thumb. Then bend your index fingers and press them together from the tip to the first joint. Next, create two triangles by placing the tips of your middle fingers together and by placing the tips of your ring fingers together. Bend your pinkies and bring them together so that they’re touching from the first to the second joint.

Spiritual Hint #2. Cabin fever is primarily about you. So, make sure you have what you need and what you like at home before a total lockdown goes into effect. And remember this; it makes no sense to develop an overbearing social conscience at a time like this. That means it’s OK to feel good and have fun – even when everything around you is falling apart.

Another important point – feeling good is more important than you think – especially if you’re a primary care giver. People who are miserable, depressed or who are suffering from chronic anxiety project those fields at other people, which can make it even more difficult for them to cope.

Spiritual Hint # 3. It will be hard to fill each day with interesting activities – so before you flip out, subscribe to Disney+ or do something worse fill the empty space with something intoxicating. I’m not kidding. We’re in a slow-moving crisis, and to survive a crisis like this, you must be able to declare a time-out. So, choose your poison (in moderation of course) and enjoy yourself.

Anthropologists have found that humans, in every culture they’ve studied as well as many species of birds and mammals, need to zone out periodically: Hallucinogens in the Amazon, alcohol in much of the world, marijuana, meditation, chanting, even twirling if you’re a Dervish. So, don’t feel bad about getting wasted – you’re only human.

Spiritual Hint # 4. Don’t dump your personal baggage on the people you live with – especially if your living space is limited. These are words to live by; especially now that you’re no longer in control and you must stay at home with loved ones some of whom, like yourself, can become a bit tiresome, difficult or downright ornery.

In order to safeguard everyone’s mental, emotional and spiritual health – including your pet who can also absorb your projections – practice the Keep it Together Mudra before a meltdown takes place; then perform the Family Circle Meditation once a day with the other inmates.

The Family Circle Meditation

The Family Circle Meditation is based on the principle that family members living in the same household create their own unique family field. The field surrounds each family member in the household and fills them with energy and its essence or manifestation. To use the family field to maintain and enhance family relationships during the crises, have everyone in your household sit together in a circle with their eyes closed.

One family member can lead the meditation by having all family members breathe deeply through their noses for two to three minutes. The meditation leader should continue by having everyone assert, “It’s my intent to experience my personal family field.” After two to three minutes, everyone should continue by asserting, “It’s my intent to center my body, soul and spirit in my personal family field.” Everyone should enjoy the experience for another two to three minutes. Then the meditation leader can continue by having everyone assert, “It’s my intent to fill my family field with life-affirming energy and its essence.” Everyone should continue for five minutes. Then they should assert, “It’s my intent to share the excess energy and its essence, in my personal family field, with the members of my family field.” Everyone should enjoy the experience for ten more minutes. Then the meditation leader should count from one to five. When s-he has reached the number five, everyone can open their eyes and bring themselves out of the meditation.

Spiritual Hint # 5. Remain in balance. The ancient Greeks knew a lot about plagues and pandemics. The Athenians suffered one of their worst plagues during their war with Sparta in 430 BCE. As you might expect, the war didn’t go well for them.

In any case, Greek philosophers, including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, recommended that you live like a ‘mensch’, which would be difficult without having a sound body and a sound mind. Since we all know that there is a double feedback mechanism at work here, keeping physically fit is essential if you plan to keep yourself mentally fit during your confinement. So, instead of sitting on the couch all day watching grade C movies on Netflix, get off your ‘tuchus’ and get the exercise you need. This will be easy even if you don’t have fitness equipment because there’s a plethora of fitness and hatha yoga videos available on the internet, especially on YouTube. You might also take the Buddha’s advice. He asserted that, “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate trouble, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

The End of Part 1