Stop the World!

by Sadguru Swami Nirmalananda

If you had taken two weeks of vacation, just to stay home, what would you be doing now?  More yoga, you might say.  An at-home immersion will not only help you sail through the anxiety and family tensions, but also banish the boredom.  Or maybe you’re going to have more screen time instead.

This two weeks off is a great way to learn how important being productive is to you, being a contributing member of society.  When you go to work, you pour your energy into something that makes a difference to others.   If you’re focused on family, what you do for them makes a difference.  All types of work ultimately benefit other people, maybe even uplifting or serving the world.  Yet it also keeps you busy, perhaps even entertained.

With the whole world coming to a halt, the big question is how long will it last?  For some people, this is about starvation or paying the rent.  If the hiatus goes on too long, they’ll have some real problems.  If you’re not challenged in this way, you’re still challenged.  It is a time of whole-world austerity, even for those providing essential services who are working overtime. 

Instead of meditating or doing more yoga, most people are looking for external things to do.  Doing is an essential component of your humanness.  Internet based companies will make more money during this time of social distancing, as will cleaning product companies and food delivery services.  Consumer interest is necessarily shifted to home based activities.  This shift is likely to stay with us long past the current health crisis.  More than an economic crisis, it is a cultural change that is likely to create more distancing, alienation and loneliness, all of which fuels anxiety even more.  You do need more yoga!

What do you do when you’re doing more yoga?  There are many body-based practices:  yogic breathing, poses, improving your diet and (timely) cleaning of your physical environment. 

Your mind also needs support, for which the foremost yogic practice is mantra repetition.  How many times can you repeat mantra in the 12 hours of daylight we have each day? I’ve created a new Japa Club to help you with this. It’s free.

Other practices for your mind include study of the texts and writings of the great masters.  What if you fill your days with books by saints?  Who will you be in two weeks?  Either that or you can catch up on Netflix.  Which one will be better for you; which will be more enjoyable?

For your heart, chant.  Put on songs to God and sing along.  You can even dance along so you get your body involved too.  You can also share your heart by staying in touch with fellow yogis.  If you’re used to seeing them in yoga class or meditation satsang, reach out to them now.  If you care about them, even if you want to be cared about, connect with those who share your yogic perspective and aspirations.

One practice puts it all together:  seva (selfless service or karma yoga).  This is the practice that meets the human being in their need to be doing things.  Many organizations have opportunities to do seva that doesn’t require you be onsite.  Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram is one of them. 

In supporting any organization and serving others, you put your body, mind and heart all to work at the same time. With these three capacities all focused in one direction, you can make a difference in the world in just two weeks.  And uplift yourself at the same time.  For Ashram seva opportunities, email us at

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