Covid19 and the view of a concerned monk
It’s been quite a while since I posted an update as to myself, Dhamma Tāpasā and my faithful companion Marley Moo, we were about to embark once again on our walking or wanderings then the coronavirus struck everyone, first Asia then Europe and then followed by the rest of the world, everywhere went into lockdown.
Marley and myself have been in Portugal for the last few years, a wonderful country full of inquisitive hospitable and extremely tolerant people who have slowly stolen my heart. This post is not going to try and be all political or which countries have done better than others. All I know is this has been an extraordinary world event that has caused massive amounts of suffering. Nowhere and no one on our awesome planet has been left untouched by this one event.
This is more of what we marley Moo and myself Dhamma Tāpāsa have been doing during this time. How a monk, living a simple and austere life has managed to survive.
As someone who relies on the kindness of strangers for food and our basic needs, corona and the lockdown effect has been an interesting journey. At first I tried treating the lockdown as an extended retreat and continued meditating as if I was on a rains period. We were extremely lucky to be living on 88 hectares of land during the winter months and continued to stay during corona, allowing me and Marley to also spend long days walking. We have of course had our ups and downs just like everyone, but understanding the reality of seeing the impermanence in everything we knew this too shall pass.
As lockdown eased slightly we started to wander a little further each day, always returning to our chosen base. We have struggled money wise and have lost our internet connection for, sometimes, long periods at a time. It has been difficult to fund this website or keep it regularly updated as library’s shut to the public. Even now trying to organise enough time on the internet to revamp the website after a disastrous change of service caused page crashes and broken links, but we are managing slowly, just like the rest of humanity, to get back to normality.
We have been extremely lucky here in Portugal and have seen relatively low numbers of people infected. Even with these low numbers there are hundreds and thousands of people who are suffering greatly. My heart goes out to everyone, around the world as we all try and get to grips with this changing world.
As someone who practices meditation everyday, I would highly recommend at least giving this new age, hippy dippy, concept a go. Not only will your anxiety and stress reduce, it will help us all become calmer and more tolerant of people and our surroundings. Just the simple task of sitting comfortably and closing our eyes for ten minutes will have a tremendous effect on our well being. Meditation for Beginners is a great place to start if your contemplating dipping you toe into this wonderful exercise of mindfulness.
We would still like to continue our walking and maybe one day soon the conditions will be just right again for us to do just that. As for the moment myself and Marley Moo have wandered and travelled away from our sanctuary of 88 hectares in Portugal’s Algarve and have moved a little further to central Portugal and close to the Estrella mountains. We have a couple of friends here and will use this area as a base for the foreseeable future.
We really can see first hand how dangerous this virus really is, not just as a disease that can kill and cause millions of us to die, but the act of social distancing on our mental health, frightened to see older parents in case we pass on a disease. People scared to go to hospital for normal regular stuff, the loss of work and income for millions of families around the world and small business, the push for a cashless society so small independent people can be controlled and monitored more easily. Corporations begging for bailouts to save even more loss of jobs. Unprecedented times indeed.
There are millions and millions more people who our suffering greatly in this time than the actual disease will kill. We are asked to care for a system so that it can care for us, and by doing so must self isolate, social distance and loose household income. It has created a divide between old and young, different nations, different politics and even caused differences of opinion amongst friends and family. This one event we all share in common has and is causing more suffering to millions than anything in my living history.
This is a very very scary time and I urge each and everyone to take time to breath, meditate and relax. Take a look at your life values and reassess your ideas, dreams and look at what is truly important for you.
To help support Dhamma Tāpasā and Marley Moo with this website and the creation of unique Motivational Moral Stories perhaps you could help by donating the price of a coffee or cost of a newspaper using this PayPal Link below.
Please note that Dhamma Tāpasā is a real life Monk and the spiritual name of Andrew Hallas, I have been continuously using my spiritual name Dhamma Tāpasā, the name given to me upon full ordination as a Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand, however it wasn’t until I needed a bank account did I realise I had to use my birth name as well..