Thread: Coping with Solitude

  1. #1

    Coping with Solitude

    This is a 5 minute excerpt of Stephen Batchelor talking about coping with solitude during Covid 19 lockdown and also about his new book "The Art of Solitude" from an interview on that subject.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Moderator justusryans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Buckingham, Virginia
    My mother in law is so isolated, she can’t drive anymore, she keeps getting lost even though she’s lived in this house 13 years and her mother was there for twelve years. My mother in law, Barbara worked until she was just 3 months short of eighty years old. Now she doesn’t know what to do with her time. We bring her grocery pickups every week and stay and visit for awhile. Her house is 100 km from ours so not a short trip. She doesn’t read hardly at all. Doesn’t watch TV. We are trying to get her interested in some other activities but so far the only activity she has expressed a interest in is yard work. We worry about someone bringing her the virus so we sort of limit the people who see her. I think she would like to have more of her family around more often. Sadly, that just can’t be right now.
    I wish there was something that we could do with finding a vaccine sooner so things could go back to normal. Maybe this is the new normal.

  3. #3
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Strange, the sound went for his answer. Unless that was the intent? In 60 odd years I have never been unlucky enough to have enforced solitude. I've been places by myself, but always had people around to chat to if I've been away from home for any length of time. In which case I wouldn't have any advice apart from to keep busy and keep to a routine, which wouldn't work if people can't. I once spoke to a neighbour who was in tears because she was worried about when her children left home, although they were still of school age. Her whole existence had been to look after them, and she couldn't imagine a life without them. I don't think I offered any advice as she just wanted a sounding board, but what would you say?

    I've been in lockdown since March since I'm shielding. Fortunately there are three of us at home with room enough not to live in each other's pockets, but a small enough place that we can't get lost in it. I don't have to go out as I'm retired and we get deliveries, and my hobbies keep me going. My wife and stepson are into internet games such as WOW, so we are all busy much of the time. The rest of our families are couples with their own families, so we don't have to worry about them being alone either, but I am sure that there are tens of thousands of people hidden away and lonely who are finding things tough and who are at risk of developing problems associated with loneliness.

    Some of them might take to meditation, but that's not without its problems if you are isolated. Meditation is best taken up when things are going well with you, which is rather ironic since if things are going well, why would you? It is also best if you have a teacher, which isn't possible in the present situation. On the other hand, if at least some people could find meditation to be of help, then it could be worth advising people to try it for themselves. It also depends on the meditation,, which in turn depends on the psychological needs of the individual at the time. Fun meditations designed to make you relax relax and feel good might be better than those designed to make you look inwards, or to question your view of reality.

    Any long term solution to loneliness must be a problem society has to deal with, involving support groups and other professionals who can help people in isolation, from young students to the elderly. I'm sure there is a place for Buddhist work here too.

  4. #4
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
    Under the Bodhi Tree
    I enjoy solitude! It's fantastic to be alone and in silence; complete silence. I don't have TV, don't watch music and I do zazen. I am alone most of the day most of the days. I share the weekends with my husband. He is the only company I have. I'm happy.

  5. #5
    Forums Member Laura lou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    What a delightful, good karma message. I like to just spend time with my husband or by myself, mostly quiet, but for the sound of our cat’s waterfall water bowl.

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