“How are you coping with the lockdown restrictions?” This is a common question these days. Many of us are faced with things like isolation, changes in daily routines, inability to get food and supplies, loss of income, and confinement at home. Any or all of these can take their toll.

Yet we needn’t feel as if we’re being punished by our mother who’s saying, “You need to stay in your room now.” Instead we can see it as our Divine Mother saying, “Stay in your true home within, and you will find happiness there.”

If we approach it wisely, we can use this time to improve the quality of our life, deepen our spiritual commitment, and increase our level of joy. Here are four things to move your experience from lockdown to lift-off:

1. See Everything as Service to God

We’re all faced with many demanding chores at home which may seem more onerous now that we’re confined there. How can we do them in a way that increases our energy and joy?

One of the most popular offerings at The Expanding Light, Ananda Village’s retreat center, is the Karma Yoga program. Participants learn the principles of karma yoga: serving with concentration and focus; bringing enthusiasm and joy into everything they do; non-attachment to the fruits of their labor; seeing all activities as service to God. Mentally chanting or repeating a mantra while serving also helps to transform their experience.

One woman from a wealthy family commented about her experience here as a karma yogi washing dishes and cleaning guest rooms, “At home I have servants to do these things, but here it’s actually fun!”

So remember: No task is so menial or unimportant that it can’t joyfully be offered to God. When you do, you’ll feel His energy flowing to and through you in all your activities.

2. Find Joy in Simple Pleasures

If you are in lockdown with family members, take the time to enjoy their company. Get to know your children, spouse, or parents on a deeper level. Have those personal conversations you’ve been hoping for, in which you share what’s important in your life.

Often people tell me, “I wish I had taken the time to know my children (or parents) better while we were still living together.” This is your opportunity.

If you’re alone, find creative, fun things to do. Jyotish is working on a beautiful new painting which we’ll show you when he’s done. I’m cooking up a storm and on the lookout for new recipes to try. Good books are wonderful companions, especially those that bring inspiration.

3. Offer Support and Strength to Others

When we shift our focus from “How am I doing?” to “How are you doing?” a whole new world of opportunity opens up. Reach out to those who are struggling, sick, or alone. Call them, write them, let them know you care. Pray for them and for the whole world. If we can act as channels of support and strength for others, we are the ones ultimately who are most blessed. In this spirit, we invite you to join us for Ananda’s weekly worldwide prayer campaign, “Be a Warrior for the Light.”

4. Change Isolation into Inner Stillness

A friend in quarantine asked us recently, “I’m discouraged because I feel my devotion is wavering. What can I do?” One cause of diminished devotion is allowing the mind to become restless and externalized. There’s a natural tendency towards restlessness when we can’t leave home or engage in normal activities. To counter this, give more quality time and energy to your meditation practice. When we feel God’s presence in still, interior awareness, devotion is automatically awakened.

Try to avoid reading too much news or watching too many movies. These things keep us restlessly stimulated so that we can’t perceive God’s subtle vibrations.

Remember to pause at certain points of the day and observe your breath. A friend told us that with every inhalation he feels he is drawing in God’s love, and with every exhalation sharing that love with the world. Try practicing this for a few minutes throughout the day.

Paramhansa Yogananda offered us this beautiful prayer:

“In the solitude of my mind my devotion bursts to hear Thy voice. Take away every dream-memory of earthly sounds that yet lurks in my mind. I want to hear Thy still voice, ever singing in the silence of my soul.”

Finally, cast aside fear and have faith in God’s all-protecting power. Be always ready for the moment when you know that nothing in this world has the power to hold you down. Then you’ll experience the thrill of an unimpeded lift-off towards the unchanging joy of God.

With joy,

Nayaswami Devi

Subscribe to the Touch of Light podcast. Download the audio recording of this week’s blog by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (6:12):

23 Comments

  1. Right from the title to every word in this blog its very very uplifting dearest Devi Ji. Love the 4 points – wonderful directions to follow. Aum Aum Aum to an awesome lift-off.

  2. Thank you for the wonderful and uplifting words,they serve as light house on a stormy night.

  3. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji, Thank you very much for this inspiring blog! Very useful guidelines to practice and keep ourselves uplifted and be a Warrior of light!

    At Master’s Service
    Prem

  4. Dear Deviji,

    Thank you so much for this inspiring points. Very nice.. “know that nothing in this world has the power to hold you down..” so apt!

    Love,
    ilango

  5. So Beautiful and God-Infused, Devi. Great Thanks to You and Jyotish and this Sangha.

  6. Thank you Devi for this beautiful reminder. You nailed it once again. You and Jyotish are such extraordinary channels for Master and Swamiji. With love and appreciation, uma

  7. Thank you for these lovely thoughts. Needed a Boost today! Will practice.

  8. I am hoping against hope that this would become the new normal baseline if and when the virus subsides.

  9. Extremely motivating at this crucial junction of time. Feel so very blessed

  10. Wonderful and timely message, dear Devi. The last month has been the richest time ever for my inner life, by far.
    Bless you.

  11. Thank you so much for all your beautiful thoughts and reminders . I do not find the social distancing a hinderance. Acceptance is the key to everything. There are things to to whether in or out of the home. Actually, I am finding this a time to attend to matters, mostly internal, that had been receiving less attention than usual due to the business of life. “Be still, and know that I am God,” (Proverbs 46:10) has always been my favorite bible quote. What better time than now, to sit in silent meditation and be with God.

  12. Thank you so much for your advice on making the lockdown joyful. I particularly loved the
    suggestion of drawing in God’s love while inhaling and sharing that love with the world when
    exhaling a few minutes during the day.

  13. Dear Deviji,
    Thanks for reaching out to me during this difficult time. What I see is we are all in the same storm but in different ships. For all the yogis of Ananda it is a time to go inward, deep within and see God in everything but I wonder about other people who do not have this teaching. As you have written we need to reach out to these people for any help or guidance they need. It is wonderful receiving these letters from you and Jyotishji weekly, keeps me inspired and motivated.
    Thank you again
    Ritu

  14. Thank you Devi, it is very useful for me that suggestion on how to recharge our devotion, as sometimes I feel far from God’s Love, even if I know that it’s beacause I can’t stay focused and with my heart open and receptive.
    Love to you and Joitish and Ananda Village.

  15. Another opportunity to express appreciation for God, Gurus, Swamiji, this path — and for the Divine Friendship you offer to all.

    Thank you,
    In loving prayers, love, and joy
    lahari

  16. Thank you Swaminijee for the communication.

    Me and my wife are carefully at home.
    We are having time to dwelve deep into Upanisads and Geetha.
    Thank you again.
    S.G.Krishnamurthy

  17. A beautiful and inspiring read, Devi. Your words of wisdom never cease to amaze. Thank you. God bless you and Jyotish in this wonderful service.

  18. Reading you, listening to you, it feels like a golden breeze entering me, and my heart can rest in peace, Thank You,❤Gloria

  19. Dear Deviji,

    Thank you so much for your articles. I always look forward to receive your emails infused with words of wisdom.

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful articles. They act as a charge to my soul, just as a cellphones need a charge after battery is drained off.

  20. Devi, you look younger and younger. It must be bliss. Love both of your musing in Touch of Light. Many Blessings!

  21. Thank you Deviji for these pearls of wisdom.Look forward to your articles each time .They are always so beautiful inspiring and reassuring .Thank you and Joy and love to you. Om

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