21 Oct Cultivating a Good Attitude by Swami Turiyananda
Cultivating a Good Attitude
by Swami Turiyananda, written in September 2021
We’re in the midst of yet another lockdown here in Melbourne. It’s a real downer! There are many people really struggling; it’s frustrating and challenging.
When the lockdown was first announced, I felt a sense of frustration coming up and I said to myself, “Oh NO, not again! We can’t go anywhere, do anything or see anyone”. I felt resistant and annoyed.
Guruji said something that stuck in my mind, he said, “The yogi always adapts to his circumstances and turns everything to his advantage. When the world is open and the people come, we enjoy their company and the bliss of the world. When in solitude, we enjoy the peace and take the time to be with ourselves.”
Devi Ma added, “The lockdown is a test of our understanding. Can you see Covid as the play of Shakti? It’s a cosmic force or power that’s operating on us, and on the whole world. Some people are losing everything. On the most part, most of us here are quite fortunate. It’s good being adaptable and trying to find the positive in the negative.”
In his, Learn to Meditate course, Guruji teaches about attitude. We’ve all experienced how a bad attitude, whether in ourselves or others, can bring down an otherwise good situation. And Guruji says, “There’s no bad situation a good attitude can’t improve”. So, I thought, this is all great advice, but and how do I put it into practice? How can I turn this lockdown environment to my advantage and find the positive in it?
One of the positives I found was to place my focus on my sadhana. I noticed my attitude about lockdown was negative. So, I focused on meditation and mantra practice. I looked for the positive aspects of lockdown, like enjoying nature and going for walks, taking in all the fresh air and open spaces. With no external pressure from the world, nowhere to go, and nothing to plan, life gets very simple. The simplicity of being present and enjoying the simple freedoms of long walk and enjoying the sunshine, the plants, the animals and trees was a big relief from the psychic tension of lockdown.
Next, I thought about my life at the Ashram. Due to the lockdown restrictions a number of the Ashramites were no longer working off site. Now all the Ashramites were part of the daily ashram routine, and I saw how I get to see more of them and enjoy their company. I became grateful for the simple joy of good company.
By practicing being present to my situation and looking for positives, I noticed immediately that my frustration about lockdown melted away and a new acceptance started to dawn. I even started to enjoy the lockdown rhythm! Accepting life as it is actually brought peace and most of my frustrations melted away.
Applying Guruji’s teaching helped me to meet a very difficult situation as it is, in the present moment. And as Devi Ma encouraged, learning to adapt my attitude from a negative one to a positive one felt inspiring. I’ve worked to hold this understanding since then as part of my sadhana, and I don’t feel so resistant or frustrated with the lockdown environment anymore.
I can’t wait for the world to open so we can all bask in the bliss of being together again, but in the meantime, I can adapt and bring a good attitude to daily life.
Swami Turiyananda, a disciple of Swami Shankarananda at The Ashram in Mount Eliza.