Avoiding Distraction to Make the Most of My Time

“A person whose mind is distracted stands between the fangs of defilements. Distraction does not occur if body and mind are kept sequestered. Therefore, one should renounce the world and disregard distracting thoughts” (88). When I first read these lines, that opened this impactful chapter, I laughed to myself. I laughed because we are all sequestered in this moment and we are actively seeking distractions to pass the time. Tiger King would not have been a world wide success if it was not for this quarantine. It was a distraction that more than served its purpose. Śāntideva did not have Tiger King or any other tv show in mind when he wrote this, distraction to him was in regards to bad thoughts, thoughts that revolved around attachment. What is the modern equivalent? In my opinion, it is the self pitying thoughts that I hear, occasionally feeling them on my own, everyday about this situation. The worried anxieties of people who can not stand staying home. I understand them, but I think we need to move past it. This quarantine can be awful if we make it awful, but it can easily be tolerable. We need to focus on ourselves, this is a time where we can experiment. Trying new things to find new hobbies. One of my close friends is now obsessed with woodworking and I commend him for it. We need to ignore our baseless thoughts that we have to go out, thoughts that we know at the moment should not happen, and attempt to make our current situation better.

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