Sitting Medicine

The whole Earth is medicine.

– Yunmen Wenyan

I am sick, for the second time, with COVID. I’ve been isolating at home for the last few days, mostly napping and watching too much television. I’ve not had the energy to do much more than that. I don’t think I even had the mental energy to think about whether I should do anything else.

Today I’m still very sick, but stable. Although I’m still physically exhausted, my mind has cleared up enough to get me to do a little more.

I started to do my sitting meditation in my usual spot at home, in my chair since it’s difficult for me to sit on the floor, but within seconds I thought of that quote that was just texted to me: The whole Earth is medicine. The next line is “Where do you find yourself?”

So I had a sudden need to be outside. Grabbed one of the wooden chairs and set myself up outside in the sunlight. I am a person who loves shade, cloudy days, who jokes about being a vampire at times because I don’t tend to enjoy sunny days. I wanted the sun today. I wanted the Earth under my bare feet.

So I sat in my chair and meditated in the warm sunlight, felt the ants crawl over my feet, felt the cool wind like an embrace. It was a healing wind, a healing sunshine, a healing connection to the Earth. I still have COVID, but mentally I feel better. Tomorrow I hope to physically feel better, and soon fully recover. COVID’s now unfortunately a familiar part of our lives. Although its strength is largely reduced, it’s no joke.

I will use this as a reminder to look for opportunities for healing, beyond the day when I’m all recovered. I think we need a lot more healing than we sometimes recognize. The whole Earth is available, right now. Earth medicine, right there. Sun medicine. Wind medicine. Sitting medicine. It’s all available.

I wasn’t in the mood to write at the moment. I nearly didn’t. Yet I know that I need to show up more often, because creative expression is also medicine. So here it is, a dose of my own medicine, no spoonful of sugar to accompany it.

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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