94: KEEP CALM AND CHANGE THE WORLD
WEDS 08 APR 03:35 - Mooning Monthly trying to avoid its inner drama queen....
Greetings from the lockdown dear Mooners,
Regardless of global movement restrictions, the coming week brings us a Libra Full Moon that might struggle to keep it's balance. The stage is set for the drama queens amongst us (plenty here at Mooning HQ) to excel. Calm might be in short supply. Dramatic narratives may take centre stage, destabilizing common rationality if not checked before running away with the show. These fear drenched, often fanciful storylines may be written into the script of our long running geo-political and economic soap operas or they may find themselves playing out on the sets of our personal life experience but neither are likely to be easy viewing. The drama at hand, currently presented in the 'horror' genre, may contravene the bogus traditional Hollywood happy endings on this occasion. How many of us face an uncertain future regarding our health, employment, finances and cultural expectations? The practicalities of keeping ourselves, family, friends and the wider public safe whilst finding funds for rent, mortgage, bills and food without paid employment, are becoming the uncomfortable reality for thousands. The systems we have come to depend upon, the rules by which we played the game of life and were 'rewarded', are being rewritten by necessity. The goal posts have shifted, we don't know who (what) we're playing against and in which direction to shoot in the hope of a result. Those not already frozen, gripped by the spectre of fear, are certainly caught in the swirling vortex of uncertainty. So what can we here at Mooning HQ offer that doesn't feed the insatiable beast of negativity created on a daily basis by our chattering international media outlets? Never before has humanity been so socially interconnected yet happy to gorge itself on a media spewed diet of such impoverished nutrition, one that quite literally beleaguers our immune system. (What Negativity Does to Your Immune System article here). Information, of course, is important during the current pandemic but consistently dressing it up as 'infotainment' seems pitiful/painful. There is nothing 'entertaining' about the circumstances humanity has created for itself and must now take time to address. Whether we take responsibility for the decades of carelessness, recklessness and irresponsibility that have given rise to Covid-19 and the many other symptomatic issues of our collective behaviour, remains to be seen. What will the local and geo-political landscape look like in the aftermath of the current emergency? Will we be patting ourselves on the back for having overcome the problem with a vaccine and return to consumerist, capital hoarding business as usual, or find consensus to ensure the well documented imbalances that contributed to the crisis never occur again. This Libra Full Moon is not the time to play 'spectator'. Now is the moment to become a conscious, active member of the communities in which we engage - online and otherwise. Our input should be entirely positive, offering help where it is needed, with the well being of others our paramount concern. That family of others extends far further than just the diversity of our species. Our widest family is the interconnected planetary web of existence on which we depend but have barely scraped the surface of understanding. Yet, from that most limited of human perspectives, we have chosen to trample all over it to create My Little Pony and other great innovations of 21st century consumerism. The irreparable damage is not confined solely to the lives of six year old girls. Now is the time to repair our relationship with the natural world that our generation has plundered for short term material gain. Now is the time to walk, cycle and sit alone in nature (kids permitting) as we reacquaint ourselves with the ever generous means to our survival not, as some would have it, the cause of our demise. Under this Libra Full Moon all we really seek is balance amidst the very apparent, chaotic imbalances but equity can be the most difficult thing to find in such an emergency. The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh gave a pertinent teaching on this issue. Less a paean to the trite "Keep Calm and Carry On", more an anthem to keeping calm and changing the world:
"Many of us worry about the world situation. We feel that we are on the edge of time. As individuals, we feel helpless, despairing. The situation is so dangerous, injustice is so widespread, the danger is close. In this kind of situation, if we panic, things will only become worse. We need to remain calm, to see clearly. Meditation is to be aware, and to try to help.
I like to use the example of a small boat crossing the Gulf of Siam. In Vietnam during the war, there were many people, called boat people, who left the country in small boats. Often the boats encountered pirates or were caught in rough seas and storms, the people might panic, and boats could sink. But if even one person aboard remains calm, lucid, knowing what to do and what not to do, he or she can help the boat survive. His or her expression – face, voice – communicates clarity and calmness, and people have trust in that person. They will listen to what he or she says. One such person can save the lives of many.
Our world is something like a small boat. Compared with the cosmos, our planet is a very small boat. We are about to panic because our situation is no better than the situation of the small boat in the sea. We need people who can sit still and be able to smile, who can walk peacefully. We need people like that in order to save us. Mahayana Buddhism says that you are that person, that each of you is that person." Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace (pp. 21-22) As always at full moon, our emotions and instinctive behaviours (conditioned responses) reach their peak. With our emotional responses consciously named (fear, frustration, sadness, helplessness, despair, anxiety amongst other jolly tunes....) and out in the open, illuminated by the full shining face of the Moon, we are ideally placed to mindfully challenge their influence over our life experience. It takes courage, patience and determined concentration to become attentively responsive rather than compulsively reactive to life circumstances, so here are a few do's and don'ts that might help light our way to a balanced perspective under this Libra Full Moon. DO keep those news apps and outlets switched off. Limit your screen time and stick to your ruling. Check in with a trusted source of information once, every other day. Enough. If you are to socialise online, keep it entirely positive - no one needs your 'witty' put down. News channels are the mouthpiece of a failing ideology. Don't trust 'em, certainly don't hang out with them - listen to your own choice of music whilst dreaming of a utopian New Earth (Ekhart Tolle's inspiring 2005 tome excerpt here) instead. DON'T get caught up in or cause unnecessary drama. Let the drama queens take the stage but don't encourage them with applause. On occasion, have the diplomatic social dexterity to quietly exeunt stage left. Drama doesn't last long without an audience. DO stay safe. Keep those social distances and familiarise yourself with your capabilities to live a meaningful, fulfilled life without much of the stuff you had grown to think you couldn't do without. DON'T delude yourself that life's circumstances can be controlled. Our best bet for happiness still lies in aligning with what it is actually occurring around us and remaining flexible in our responses. Heaven forbid, we might even discover new aspects of living to enjoy as a result of this mess. DO tune into the natural world. Even if you're confined to a top floor apartment, open the windows and let the world in. Bird life in the UK has found its voice again, dawn chorus south of Staines has returned to volumes not remembered since childhood. The absence of road and air traffic remains thrilling and our feathered friends seem to be enjoying the palpably cleaner air.. Nurture any patch of earth you have access to. Window boxes, gardens, patios, house plants. Libra likes to listen and nurture so why not listen to and nurture the Earth herself, get her under your fingernails, love her - she repays in bounty. DON'T use slug pellets! There is growing evidence that their widespread use has had a significant effect in the declining population of British hedgehogs (British Hedgehog Preservation Society link here) DO find time for a purge. Full moons are a great time to have a cleanse or a clear up. Grasp the nettle (btw detox by drinking delish fresh nettle tea - recipe and medicinal benefits here), rearrange the home furniture, rooms, layout and dispense with any preconceived notions that there is only one feng shui way to skin a particular cat. Libra tends toward a fair minded, compassionate approach and, even under the strain of current testing circumstances, a negotiated path may be found with loved ones through any issue that arises in the next fortnight. DON'T leave stuff lying around unfinished. You might not have to be at work tomorrow but if you start something under this Libra Full Moon make sure you bring it to completion. So much time on our hands might lull us into a false sense of security about what we might achieve and by when. Pick one project at a time and see it through. DO keep your immune system boosted. We are lucky enough to include fellow Mooner and nutritionist Becs Jones in our number. Last month, at the advent of the Coronavirus outbreak she hosted an invaluable, hugely informative webinar 'Boost Your Immune System' with great advice on ways to keep your natural antiviral defences in top shape. She has made the webinar available to everyone on her Inspired Wellbeing website HERE so you can go to it at anytime for reference. Grateful thanks to Becs for her wonderful work.
DON'T eat that sugary shit - how many times do you need Becs to tell you? Lols. DO sit around a bit doing nothing everyday, save focusing exclusively on your breath. Count five on the inbreath; five on the outbreath. Concentrate on nothing else for ten minutes, more if you can hack it, and be prepared to witness the transformation regular practice can have on your general outlook. Mindful Mooning Mooners - it's the only way to moon. DON'T stop washing your frickin' hands. This message is germ free, benign and sent from beyond four metres of reach. Do please share with friends of similar sensibilities without fear of reproach from governmental authorities.
Keep it sanitized dear Mooners 'Til next time....
FULL MOON MARKS
EACH MONTH WE PUBLISH A LUNAR INSPIRED DRAWING BY MARK WEIGHTON
FULL MOON IN LIBRA 2020
18 x 18cm charcoal on paper
The fourth of 13 Full Moon inspired drawings for 2020 by artist Mark Weighton