Killing Mosquitoes in Times Like These

All the time I pray to Buddha

I keep on

killing mosquitoes.


I came upon this Haiku this morning and laughed. The poet captures the human condition beautifully. At least he captures mine. There’s the ideal I set out for myself and then the reality of the situation I find myself in. The two don’t always match.

In the past I would come back to this disjunction and feel sad or disappointed. These days, I notice the chasm and, instead, smile and offer kindness to myself, knowing that offering that kindness is tied to my ability to offer it to others and somehow move toward healing.

In times of trouble and stress, we often descend down an escalator of finger pointing,, righteous indignation, and accusations. When we get to ground floor, however, we find that we are there along with everyone else we may be blaming. We can’t escape ourselves and one another.

That floor of common humanity is a beautiful space, one that is messy and potentially transformative. We each want to be happy. We each want our families to be safe. We each want a possible future for our children and grandchildren. But we often don’t know how to deal with the pesky mosquitoes buzzing in our ears, sometimes drawing blood and spreading dengue.

When I get on my mat every Monday and Thursday with our little yoga community, I’m often tired and hoping for a ride back up the escalator to where I can see more clearly. The ride up is not an escape, it’s a bit of that kindness I talked about, that need to rest and give myself time to work out whatever it is that is buzzing.

We move not just to stretch the body but to find space and spaciousness. We also find ourselves sometimes swatting the literal mosquitoes (I practice outside) and the more dangerous metaphorical ones. As we do, we smile and know that without the pesky critters there would not be a possibility to practice and grow.

Join me for mosquito yoga. Bring a mat and a friend. No bug spray necessary. We will be swatting away!

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