Locked

Once in my life, I had this crazy idea to lock myself in my house for a whole year. So I did. It was easy, I only left the house to go the market place once a week to buy some food. I think I entered a shop one time that year. I was inside my house and lived the yogic lifestyle as a buddhist monk. Writing books.

Every day meditation early in the morning, asanas, pranayama, prayer, chanting mantras. I entered higher levels of consciousness. Found bliss, love, happiness inside myself.

I still live the yogic lifestyle. Celibacy even. For almost nine years now (according to raja yoga and the 8 limbs of yoga). Healthy sattvic food according to the yoga diet. Doing seva (volunteering) from a deep love inside my heart.

I loved this ‘locked’ period of time and actually wanted to stay in it forever. I felt deep inner freedom. While meditating I could go any place I wanted, even to other planets in just a second.

So why is this corona-lockdown hitting me so hard? I should be happy! I can stay inside, be in connection to my higher self. Easy, because in my country we are not even allowed to enter the streets in the evening.

I have been thinking about this a lot. Why do I feel so locked? Blocked even. It makes me angry that I cannot enter the streets at night after a satisfying day of hard work behind the computer (online teaching to my students at the university). I want to go out! I want to walk in nature. I want to visit my friends and family.

At first I thought my frustration came from the fact that I’ve changed since my own lockdown of life. I enjoy being in maya (earthly life) again. I do not have the need to stay inside to make the connection to my higher self anymore: I can find it anywhere. When I’m doing my shopping, when I am working, hiking in nature, when I am with family: I’m constantly connected to a higher form of life. I am more lively and enjoying life outside. I take something, from a place of love, bliss and stillness inside, to the outside world. Others like this. They feel this. And all because of my connection to the higher, which was only possible to reach after having this radical ‘one-year-break-of-life’. Disconnected from the world to reach total detachment of earthly matters.

So why not enjoying the time inside?

It makes me sad to see young people locked against their will. I see rebelliousness. I see frustration. I feel it too.

Seeing my old grandma of almost a 100 years old, feeling lonely without visitors and not understanding anything of what is going on. Seeing her tears, her deep loneliness, her ‘skin hunger’, makes me cry. Her shivering hands wanting to touch her great grand children (but not able to), is breaking my heart into pieces.

I see depression. I see deep sadness and boredom with my students. Youngsters in the prime of their lives, who are crying inside and want to scream, yell and are craving for human contact.

Why is this hurting me? Why is this touching my heart so badly?

I now understand.

It is because we are all locked against our will. Being locked by choice is different. Being inside because I want to, is not the same as being forced to. The choice is made for me. This is taking my freedom, which is a birth right of every single person in the world. That’s for a reason. Prisoners sometimes can fulfil their time at home. The punishment is that they stay at home and not leave. It’s a punishment to be put in your home without the freedom to walk freely out of that door into the world. It takes away your freedom. Your feeling of being alive.

And yes we should make the best of it, stay positieve. But this corona lockdown is not by choice. Despite the reasons behind it, it still feels as a punishment for me. It takes my liberty away. I have been like a fish (pisces) my whole life: try to grab me and I slip away. But this last part is not possible now: I cannot slip away. I have to stay in one place without having the freedom to choose otherwise. Swimming in circles, bumping into walls.

This is against our basic rights. This is against humanity. That is my frustration. Not only for myself, but for all those youngsters, old persons and actually every single human in the world. My antenna has been trained in all those years of sadhana and I’ve reached the level that I am able to feel their frustration too. I now understand elder people who say: ‘I’d rather die of corona than of loneliness.. If I could only make this choice myself, I would know what I would do.’

I know how to -not think- of it. I know how to meditate and feel perfect and complete bliss at any given time. But the frustration stays, as long as my freedom is unwillingly taken away from me. Asking myself constantly: how would this be for somebody who cannot escape to higher dimensions and feel this deep form of happiness and inner stillness? If even I am frustrated… how would they feel? How would you feel?

‘You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.’

Mahatma Gandhi