Benefits of Coronavirus Lockdown

I’m not being glib about what we’re all facing. However, there are some benefits of lockdown and self-isolation which are becoming apparent to me, and which are worth talking about.

Here in the UK, we’re not on total lockdown. We are allowed to:

  1. Go shopping for essential items (one person per household)
  2. Go outside for daily exercise (provided you stay two metres away from other people)
  3. Go to work (only if you are “key workers”)

So, most of the country is working at home (if they can), and walking, running or cycling around the park in the evening.

Here are the benefits I’ve seen so far.

1. Family time

I live with my mother and older brother, and we now have a family meal every night. These people drive me insane but I am forced to recognize that if they push my buttons, it’s because I have a button to push. We’re mirrors of each other. Good humour is developing to smooth things over. It feels like the way things should be.

Outside, kids are riding bikes and families are playing Frisbee with each other. Why did it take a life-threatening virus to make us value one another?

2. Fewer people outside

My ideal city is any city except with only one quarter of the people. That is now the reality on daily walks. It’s bliss.

The two-metre “social distancing” rule suits me just fine, because I don’t want people to be closer to me than two metres anyway. I now have personal space when walking around shops. This feels like unprecedented freedom.

3. Scenic beauty

There is a sense of awe when looking down a dual carriageway that has literally no cars on it, and having a full view of the sunset at the end of it.

The streets are quiet, allowing trees, wind, and stillness to permeate the urban sprawl. Time has effectively stopped, and the present moment hangs in the air. There is truth and beauty in the world, and all it took was for people to put their problems down for a while.

4. Community spirit

Everyone’s now saying hello to each other in the street. Why did it take a life-threatening virus to make us say hello to each other? It’s a wartime mentality. We’re all in this together.

The UK just had a “Clap for Carers” event, where everyone stood in front of their houses and applauded the NHS. This brought tears to my eyes.

When the government asked for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS, 405,000 signed up in a single day. This brought tears to my eyes.

5. An eruption in the arts

With so much free time, creativity is punching through. We have Italians singing across the streets.

A girl from work messaged me to let me know she’s started learning guitar. Another is writing, and another is looking into learning piano. We have YouTube. You can learn any skill you want. You now have no excuse not to! This may be an unprecedented time for personal expression, through actual artistic means, not just whingeing on Twitter.

I’ve started writing more, and I’ve plugged in my digital piano to start composing music again. Hell, I might even finish some of those ancients projects I’ve been meaning to complete.

6. Rationing

I use a pea-sized amount of shampoo and it goes just as far. That would probably save me £50 a year. Why don’t I do that all the time?

I make my own salad dressing out of vinegar, olive oil, honey and mustard. It costs about 2p instead of £2.50. Why don’t I do that all the time?

7. Time for sadhana

While locked down, you can effectively create retreat conditions. There is no excuse not to meditate, or to take some steps to improve your wellbeing.

You could watch all the hours of Ajahn Brahm available on YouTube and learn how to actually meditate, actually for real. I sure am.


Maybe it took nearly being dead to learn how to be alive.

Now it’s done, would you really want to go back to your old life?

I am grateful for what coronavirus has taught us.

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15 Responses

  1. Pretheesh says:

    After the lock down period, I would like to get into a routine where I could wake up very early(undisturbed sacred mornings🙂), and sit for some minutes for body to free from the tensions without forcing (21 days at home means no excuse to force body and mess up hopefully) have some coding routing, code, make fiction writing a daily habit.

    So that by 9am/10am I can take a nap and proceed with reading, or anything else interesting and then evening stuffs.🙂

  2. Ciul says:

    I was staying at home all the time(except for work when employed) even before virus so nothing really changed for me.

  3. Hesychasmos says:

    1- ”If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.’ ‘ (ram dass)
    2- Aso the best pretext for UK to finally send milions imigrants back to eastern europe.
    3-I bet it feels nice over there with empty streets because they came here in my country with corona and all…
    4- I see fights evrywhere starting because someone coughs or doesn’t keep the safe distance. I can’t even imagine how the world would act if there will be food shortages.
    5 – How bout finishing that fascia guide first 🙂
    6 – As a joke, be careful not to become a minimalist, it’s just a drop in testosterone side effect. Abundance is better .
    7- do you consider Ajahn Brahm as enlightened? For me it looks just gay, in both meanings. Why are his methods superior to others like Shinzen or Sadhguru or Thich Nhat Hanh?

    Don’t you have the feeling that this virus can’t be contained and everyone will be infected? Check out the rate of spreading in europe and have in mind that UK is considered to be next largest hotspot after USA. It’s common sense to predict that already the undiagnosed cases are hundred of times more than gouverment numbers. The rate of positives is doubling every 4 days.
    My prediction… Total shutdown, world gouverment, micro chips in the head.

    • James says:

      Try Ajahn Brahms method yourself, if it works you’ll see why, if it doesn’t you’ll catch the gay and it will sort out your love life.

    • Illuminatus says:

      2- Aso the best pretext for UK to finally send milions imigrants back to eastern europe.

      That will never happen.

      3-I bet it feels nice over there with empty streets because they came here in my country with corona and all…

      Not sure who “they” are…

      6 – As a joke, be careful not to become a minimalist, it’s just a drop in testosterone side effect. Abundance is better .

      Bro science at its finest.

      7- do you consider Ajahn Brahm as enlightened? For me it looks just gay, in both meanings.

      If he took a big fat cock every night, that would not affect my view of whether he’s enlightened or not.

      God, you sound juvenile.

      I do not find him gay at all, except in the original meaning of the word, “light-hearted and carefree”. He is totally jovial and at peace in this world.

      Why are his methods superior to others like Shinzen or Sadhguru or Thich Nhat Hanh?

      I never said he was superior; do not load questions or put words in my mouth like that.

      I am studying Ajahn Brahm because he has the strictest criteria for what constitutes jhana, and these criteria match the refined descriptions in Visuddhimagga. I have had his jhana fully just once, and it is the same one reported by Vern Lovic. It is nondual, there is no “doer”, one cannot give orders, and there is no time perception. It renders most contemporary authors (Daniel Ingram, Leigh Brasington, Kenneth Folk, and myself, almost every time I’ve mentioned “jhana” on this site) as basically talking shit.

      I have also “touched into” Brahm’s jhana a few times, without crossing the threshold. Even touching into, or just working with the first showing of the nimittas in his style, is more powerful and mind-blowing than anything in those other authors’ methods. E.g. just seeing the light strongly even for a moment once rendered me unable to lie (so, Right Speech arose from the practice). I suspect Buddhist principles flow from the jhana rather than the other way around.

      • Jrager says:

        >It renders most contemporary authors (Daniel Ingram, Leigh Brasington, Kenneth Folk, and myself, almost every time I’ve mentioned “jhana” on this site) as basically talking shit.

        Lol this reminds me of when I posted something by you in a group chat a while ago and one of the advanced practitioners there was critical of your usage of the term jhana in response. Here is their post if you’re interested:

        “What pops out of what you quoted to me is “with bliss generated in its purest form in the dream state, free of the limitation of the body”. What limitations of the body exactly? Those are expressly what is said to be cultivated and what a monk who practices jhana becomes free of.
        And that goes back to something I’ve read in the past in a sutra or shastra and it was called the five factors of one pointedness I think. When I read it, I said “wow, this cleans up a lot of the silly jhana talk”
        And it gave actual very precise things that indicate that yes indeed, this is one pointedness. And those factors aren’t the common jhana factors you see everywhere which are basically just bliss and mental quiet. With those vague factors, everyone who experiences a bit of bliss is an adept monk…
        The precise factors said things like “when the 4 elements appear and disappear, sometimes warm, sometimes cold, sometimes heavy, sometimes light and there is arising, passing and going away, equanimous to those changes, this is the fifth factor to one pointedness” and so on and so on, very precise descriptions.
        And I’ve never been able to find those again, I remember reading them in a book that compiled sutras and shastras. And every time I bring it up, people bring the other common very vague factors instead. And Jhana was a HUGE part of early buddhism and sutras are EXTREMELY precise. There’s 500 page sutras discussing the very subtle layers of mind, but there’s no five paragraphs discussing the subtle distinctions between what’s jhana and not jhana?
        And I bring this up here to get the ball rolling in regards to finding it”

      • Hesychasmos says:

        How is Ajahn Brahm’s definition of deep jhana different from beeing unconscious? From what i see on reddit and lions roar that’s exactly what he is describing with his interpretation of the lack of five hyndrances and all. There’s the story from his book with his student that ‘fluked a deep jhana’ and got to the hospital with no brain activity and no hartbeat. I been there few times and saw the light too. Anaesthesia, induced coma, blackouts from hits to the head, ssri megadose.

        You can get into that state easy if you cut the oxigen to the head. Do what kids did in my school if your don’t have a hart or respiratory condition. Take 10 deep breaths, exhale all air from lungs, have someone push your chest against the wall untill you faint, the other guy catches you so you don’t hit your head, waits 10 seconds or more but less than 30, then he slaps you untill you wake up. If you don’t wake up the other guy has to bite you nails so you don’t die. You wake up refreshed and blisfull, and you want more. I guess skilled meditators cand reduce hartbeats and slow brain activity at will but why bother when it’s the same principle and same results. I bet those who choke themselves when masturbating experience same things, euphoria, blis, rapture and the lights.

        • James says:

          none of those are even close, his book is free, its a great read and will answer all your questions and then some.

          • Hesychasmos says:

            I’ve read the book ‘The jhanas’ by him and his description of nibanna it’s exactly same with beeing unconscious. Cessation of all.
            At chapter – part three in his book- the landmarks of all jhanas:
            ‘A lay disciple once told me how he had “fluked” a deep Jhana while meditating at home. His wife thought he had died and sent for an ambulance. He was rushed to hospital in a wail of loud sirens. In the emergency room, there was no heartbeat registered on the E.C.G., nor brain activity to be seen by the E.E.G. So the doctor on put defibrillators on his chest to reactivate his heart. Even though he was being bounced up and down on the hospital bed through the force of the electric shocks, he didn’t feel a thing! When he emerged from the Jhana in the emergency room, perfectly all right, he had no knowledge of how he had got there, nor of ambulances and sirens, nor of body-jerking defibrillators. All that long time that he was in Jhana, he was fully aware, but only of bliss. This is an example of what is meant by the five senses shutting down within the experience of Jhana.”

    • Illuminatus says:

      Don’t you have the feeling that this virus can’t be contained and everyone will be infected? Check out the rate of spreading in europe and have in mind that UK is considered to be next largest hotspot after USA. It’s common sense to predict that already the undiagnosed cases are hundred of times more than gouverment numbers. The rate of positives is doubling every 4 days.
      My prediction… Total shutdown, world gouverment, micro chips in the head.

      My personal opinion is that coronavirus is FAR more contagious than anyone ever gave it credit for. I think EVERYONE already has it, or has had it and have cured themselves. I think I had it last week (dry tickly cough for a couple of days).

      I also think it is FAR more benign for the majority of cases than what is being reported. I.e. most people will barely notice it, and it will pass uneventfully.

      I think the overwhelming number of hospital admissions and deaths is because EVERYONE basically got it in the first few weeks, so everyone who’s going to die, died in those first few weeks. If this is right, we will see hospital admissions tail off rapidly, now. In a couple of weeks we will wonder what we were so worried about.

      Edit: I am talking about the UK, here. It has been here since January.

      • Pretheesh says:

        Saw a video on coronavirus by Sadhguru. He says just like human beings destroy the place they survive on, the virus also does the same, but it is intelligent enough to recognize it and will hence have some mutations which finally allows it to survive on the host without messing up the host. This virus have been living happily within animals without causing any trouble to animals, but it had just entered human beings for the first time, probably because in some areas in China, people eat all sorts of animals.

      • James says:

        that’s how I see it too, I think most everyone has it. I think the media hysteria has caused most the problems, also I see a lot of new articles pop up about it involving someone dying and then saying they were never actually tested for it.

        A lot of deaths are being attributed to it wrongly.

        Also, the flue kills 10-40x the number of people this has and not once have we quarantine the population due to the flue.

      • Fellababa says:

        I don’t think that’s true since people in different countries are being tested in the thousands and its not like they all test positive for covid-19, only a minority does, so we can’t possible conclude that everyone has had covid

        • James says:

          If you think about China where it “started” (although I’ve hear Iran is where the first case actually is, who knows?).

          With as easy as it seems so spread, the fact china lied about it, and how long its taken for any type of measures to be taken against it.

          look at hongkong, international business hub – flights go from their to newyork, california, atlanta, etc… how long has someone who doesn’t have symptoms and no one even knows the thing exsists been flying around from airpor to airport on business? Its impossible to tell but my guess is covid-19 has already been in every single major airport.

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