Searching for Inner Peace: Meditation Brings Solace Amid Pandemic

Sometimes it takes a pandemic to find the most important thing in ones life.

When the District of Columbia issued quarantine orders, Courtney Dowe rushed to 10 stores in search of cleaning supplies and toilet paper, which panicked consumers had all but stripped from store shelves.

Fear and self-doubt began to take hold as Dowe flashed back to her traumatic childhood, when Child Protective Services took her and her siblings from her substance-abusing parents. The children, the youngest just six months old, were all separated. Growing up, Dowe moved around various foster homes and spent eight years roaming around like a “semi-nomad.”

Her days spent homeless are long past, but the same sense of insecurity again enveloped her amid the recent chaos.

“Am I going to be able to take care of my son? … Am I going to be able to function like regular people?” Dowe, a 43-year-old single mother, asked.

She then spent three days consumed by stress, before recognizing an element she had long neglected: her meditation.

“It was like a light bulb went on in my head,” she said in an interview. “I felt like this is why Ive been trying to work so hard to build up a spiritual foundation. In times like this, you cant predict whats going to happen in the physical world, so its important to have a spiritual foundation.”

Dowe practices Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, an ancient spiritual meditation practice with moral teachings centered around the core tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. She took up the practice 12 years ago and attributes her spiritual faith with helping her to find stability in life.

After her revelation, she started waking up earlier to make sure she had at least one hour to meditate in the mornings. That one hour, she said, brought a transformative difference to her outlook.

“I was still able to see everything, still able to understand everything, but I was not so overwhelmed by it—I was witnessing it,” she said.

Courtney Dowe
Courtney Dowe
Courtney Dowe. (Courtesy of Courtney Dowe)

Grateful for her faith, Dowe, a musician, will be performing as part of a virtual concert in celebration of World Falun Dafa Day on May 13, when practitioners around the world commemorate the day the practice was first introduced in China in 1992.

On May 13, Sam Brownback, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, wrote a message of support on Twitter: “On World Falun Dafa Day, we strive to uphold the universal tenets of truthfulness, compassion, & forbearance, ideals that are fundamental to the expression of the Falun Gong faith.

“No one should be persecuted for their beliefs, including Falun Gong in China.”

On World Falun Dafa Day, we strive to uphold the universal tenets of truthfulness, compassion, & forbearance, ideals that are fundamental to the expression of the #FalunGong faith and we reiterate that no one should be persecuted for their beliefs, including Falun Gong in #China.

— Ambassador Sam Brownback (@IRF_Ambassador) May 13, 2020

The practice has been heavily suppressed in mainland China since July 1999, when then-Party leader Jiang Zemin began a nationwide persecution. Hundreds of thousands of adherents have been arrested, tortured, and detained in prisons, labor camps, and brainwashing centers, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.

Letting Go

As the pandemic has kept hundreds of millions around the world isolated at home, the need to maintain spiritual well-being has become ever more urgent.

Amy Isabelle Duncan, a 29-year-old Falun Gong adherent from Australia, breathed a sigh of relief after the pandemic halted her plans.

Before the virus hit, Duncan was working a high-pressure corporate job, studying part-time, and starting up her own coaching business while attending various conferences. She was always busy ticking things off her to-do list. There was little time to chat with family members over a meal or keep up with her meditation.

Amy isabelle duncan
Amy isabelle duncan
Amy Isabelle Duncan meditating at home. (Courtesy of Amy Isabelle Duncan)

“With [all my activities] being forcibly taken away from me, it just really helps me get things into perspective of whats most important—because all of a sudden, I had more time on my hands,” she told The Epoch Times.

Recently let go from her job, her daily routine now consists of meditating, walking in the sun, and sitting at the dining table with her family.

She described the pandemic as “a bit of a wake-up call.”

“Ive got all my fancy clothes and shoes in the cupboard, and theyre just kind of sitting there. … It all feels very unimportant at the moment,” she said.

For Dowe, having spiritual guidance also instilled newfound patience and calm when dealing with the unexpected.

Recently, her son, who is turning 8 and studying at home since local schools moved classes online, accidentally splashed black watercolor paRead More – Source