Time Change Again!

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. March 2021

The COVID pandemic has seemed to squelch my writing somewhat, odd. But here comes the change in our clocks, just like clockwork! I am never ready for it. I know many of my early morning buddies aren’t either! So much better to wake in the light than to have light late and sometimes find oneself going to bed in the light.

When the talk around our nation comes to maybe scrapping the whole changing thing, I get hopeful. Now is the time of COVID, the days’ activities take on a new light, so to speak. Many of us railed at the closures of our beloved Panorama activities way back last year! Was it time change even then?? But here we are into year two.

I am not sure how we, personally, will embrace the opening up of activities. Panorama has been so successful at getting us all vaccinated; the percentages are amazingly high. We have not had the decimation of COVID hospitalized residents that so many communities have had to weather. The greater community we must deal with are way behind us in getting immunity. This leaves us with some real questions as to how active to get out there.

Everyone I have talked with has made new daily routines, not only to fill the hours, but to actually live comfortably without all the amenities. We have found ways to exercise away from the usual activities of hiking and such. The pool being open again has been a godsend. But I think we are all looking forward to putting the fun stuff back on the calendar and making room for friends and outings.

We have all become intimately acquainted with our yards and the doings of the wild things. I watched a hummingbird scour around the trunk of our huge Douglas fir at the side of our house, just outside the office window. Usually, those little guys work the camelias and mahonia for nectar, so this must be the protein source from little bugs, gnats and spiders? Time surely slowed down.

Now we are hearing of the “reopening” of some things on campus. We are ready and we can stop telling new neighbors how “it used to be.” They always say,” But we don’t know what we have missed,” so they are all in for a treat! If the auditorium can get a procedure for ½ capacity and a repeat for the other ½ of those folks who wanted to see whatever was offered, it will be a great new day!!!

Patience has been a watch-word over this long haul. And we will be marking time for a bit longer. But the sun is out and going into the blooming spring time at Panorama is such a spirit lifter. We look forward to some use of the restaurant again, though they have done yeoman duty providing delivery of hot meals and lunches and heat/serve meals for later. Panorama has been so great at keeping those employed that wanted to be.

Let us all hope that we can live and prosper as things try to settle into a “normal,” whatever that may be. We all are resilient and have been wise in minding the difficult behavior changes that have been necessary. We can keep our Panorama safe and friendly; we know how to do that! Just some thoughts on a soon-to-be-spring with clocks changing.

Yoga: A Moving Meditation

Written by Panorama resident, Charles Kasler. February 2021

We are still under quarantine and have not held classes in a year. Panorama is doing an excellent job keeping residents and staff safe. Many students are practicing at home with audio recordings, some practicing daily! It is time for the spring meditation retreat and again we will send out audio recordings and instructions for people to follow at home. Hopefully, the fall retreat will be back in our chapel. Students miss our quarterly social gatherings almost as much as class. We bond with each other in silence during practice, and then enjoy the companionship when we get together.

People commonly think yoga is about stretching into different positions. We do that of course, but that’s the least of it. Yoga is really about inner peace, and that comes from a steady, calm and focused mind. Many people say they can’t meditate but they have no problem moving. Yoga postures are really a moving meditation. The yoga mat is a great place to cultivate energy flow and breath, both of which focus and quiet the mind. The mat becomes a refuge for peace and contentment.

Mind and body are inseparable. We can work with the body to release chronic tension, improving energy flow, quieting the mind. We can practice breathing to steady both mind and body. And we can do meditation observing our thoughts and their effect on the body. There are many different gates to enter the experience of yoga, not to mention the collective group experience. The shared silence is a healing balm. You don’t have to be good or accomplished; everyone works at their own level. And the fruit of practice does not end when class is over, but we integrate into daily life – walking, gardening, housework, relationships. We get insight into our experience of life, how to use the body harmoniously, aware of the thought process and emotions. They say we don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. As we deepen in yoga practice, we begin to see with greater clarity and speak and act with greater discrimination. We become more grounded, centered, and in touch with reality in the present moment.
Training our awareness is really essential for aging – to remain alert, prevent falls, and stay engaged with life. We can practice at any age; we simply modify and adapt practice to fit our own needs. Yoga is about embodiment, making friends with this body we live in, and listening to the wisdom of our bodies. This takes practice and the rewards are well worth it.