I know there is suffering and death happening with the pandemic that is afflicting humanity right now. I don't want to be glib in the face of tragedy but statistics suggest to us that the overwhelming majority of humans will not die and relatively few will require hospitalization.
The real "disease" is the fear; paralysis of will, despondency and even boredom. Grief one cannot help when a loved one suffers or dies.
I find it both amazing and inspiring to hear about all the creative ways people and businesses are responding appropriately to help others and to serve their customers. Curbside pick-ups, drive-throughs, and delivery options have been catapulted into daily life. Gardens are being planted around the world to grow real food for life. People are reaching out to check on and help one another.
Medical protocols and technologies are rapidly changing and emerging to respond to the overwhelming needs in this worldwide challenge. Health care providers and many others are rising heroically to the challenges they face.
I read an article attributed to Bill Gates (but not verified by me) but which, no matter who wrote it, made valuable and inspiring insights into the results of this pandemic. Regardless of the authorship, some of the simple and obvious points, paraphrased or rephrased, but well worth thinking more deeply about include:
- The virus doesn't exempt the high and mighty from its wrath.
- What we do affects one another.
- Borders and passports have no authority here.
- Our health and life are precious to us all.
- We need to consume food that is healthy and not contaminated with chemicals.
- To live, we need air and water that is not contaminated.
- Life is short and uncertain. We should re-examine our life's priorities to nurture our heart's finer feelings, not just our heads, bodies, and wallets.
- Helping others brings us greater satisfaction than seeking status and wealth.
- We are being forced to stay at home because we have neglected to create happy homes where children are loved and cared for with wisdom.
- A strong ego is necessary for survival and success but it must be held in check, taking into account the realities and needs of others and the world we live in.
- We have the free will to cooperate and help one another or to be selfish.
- Patience comes when we see the larger picture of time and cycles, knowing that "this too will pass." Suffering and deprivation will pass too. To panic is lose our reason and to succumb to "fight or flight."
- We have the opportunity for a new beginning or to bemoan an end. We can be creative and find new ways to live; to live more simply; to live sustainably on this earth; to live with respect and cooperation with others; and so much more.
- We are sick because our earth is sick. Our earth is sick because we have made it sick by greed and neglect.
- Life's ultimate purpose is a spiritual one: to raise our energy and consciousness beyond the limited self to include others and the Creator of Life.
Yoga practice is one of the many beneficiaries of the times. It's true that yoga studios are closed but with more time and with a desire to remain healthy and fit while having to remain "sheltered in place," online yoga practice has been catapulted into center stage. Same can be said (to a lesser degree) about the daily practice of meditation. As it used to be said in the last so-called "world war," "There are no atheists in foxholes." Prayer is spreading as fast as the virus.
While there is much to decry about substituting online learning and sharing for in-person education and relationships, nonetheless there's no going back as it relates to the willingness of people to learn in this new way. It opens the door to so much more for so many.
I am positive and optimistic about the coronavirus pandemic's impact on human consciousness. In the meantime, I do my best to stay healthy and positive, to reach out, to share what I am able to share, and to appreciate people, nature, and life ever more deeply.
But my greatest joy and appreciation go to the living presence of God in the form of my guru and lineage, and to my teacher who watches over his large family from his omnipresent blissful consciousness above.
Joy to you,