East Teaches West in a Time of Stress

East Teaches West in a Time of Stress

There are many lessons and practices for those of us living in the West to embrace – especially during times of stress. Here are two suggestions

Three Minute Mindfulness Practice to Calm Ourselves

We all feel overwhelmed at times. This can happen to anyone, including the most well trained psychologist or mindfulness teachers.

On 7 April 2020, Singapore decided to have a Circuit-Breaker (Singapore’s version of partial lock down) due to the rising cases of Covid-19. Within 2 days, there was a huge increase in the number of calls and texts that I started receiving from existing clients asking about the possible interruption of therapy, what can and cannot be done during this shut down, new cases requesting for therapy and, request for funds to support various causes. I had to start charging my iPhone 3-4 times a day to cope with the ongoing messages and calls. Suddenly everything became urgent and important.

While I have my own mindfulness practice as part of my daily practices, I reapplied practicing Coping Breathing Space (CBS) and started teaching this practice to others a lot more. I would encourage you to join me in this practice. It is only 3 minutes. It is like a 3 minute investment for your wellbeing. CBS provides an opportunity to notice what is happening to you and ground yourself, especially when you notice your thoughts or emotions spiraling out of control.

How do you do this? Find a quiet corner and do this practice standing or sitting. If you have been sitting for long hours, I would suggest that you do the practice standing. Next, listen to this audio track to guide yourself: https://www.centreformindfulness.sg/audio. You can do this practice about 3-4 times a day to centre yourself.

A Medieval Indian Universal Prayer for Well Being

I always wondered, since my younger years, on how does one pray without calling out to a specific God or personhood. And then I came across this universal prayer from an Indian text in 2007 while I was attending a course in Indian Philosophical studies. I felt very connected to it because of the meaning of each word and the prayer felt very heartfelt. I chant this mantra daily in the evenings and sometimes in the morning. I have other chants for the mornings and I will share this with you down the road if you would like.

Many are suffering due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I know of many families where frustration levels have risen and so has the abuse of elderly parents, spouse and children. And it’s not just people who are suffering. The other creatures in this world such as animals are suffering too as they get abandoned, abused or starve due to lack of food.

I wanted to encourage us to explore chanting this meaningful verse every day for the wellbeing of all beings in this world. For those of us who know Sanskrit, may chant the actual verses and while the rest can recite the English version with a sincere intention. What is important here is your heartfelt connection and wish for the world rather than the language in which you chant.

Just close your eyes. Envision the entire world or planet in your mind’s eye without excluding anyone and any being. And then mentally and/or verbally say these words:

More essays and videocasts regarding psychological ramifications of the COVID-19 virus outbreak can be found at: https://communitiescollaborating.com/

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About the Author

Sunita Rai

Sunita RaiSunita has been practicing mindfulness since 2009. She is a trained Mindfulness facilitator and coach. She uses her unique ability to incorporate psychology and mindfulness into an integrated practice when conducting workshops and in her psychotherapy services. She co-develops curriculums at the Centre for Mindfulness using approaches from mindfulness, psychology and wellbeing perspectives. She conducts workshops in mindfulness for the general public, in schools for students and teachers and also in organisations for staff development. She also coaches individuals in mindfulness to help individuals lead fulfilling lives. Sunita has over 22 years of experience in local and regional marketing; corporate training and staff development; psychotherapy and counselling; education; mindfulness; and wellbeing amongst others. She is a skilled facilitator, coach, psychotherapists and lecturer. She has a Doctor of Psychology, Master of Social Science (Counselling), Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Business in Business Administration with Merit (Marketing Major) amongst her many qualifications. She can converse in English, Mandarin and Hindi.

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