Many things, good or bad, nourishing or destructive, true or false can bring us closer together. The global health emergency is doing it by reminding us, as the environmental emergency should, of the reality that we are a single family; we share a beautiful home; our differences are really interesting not threatening; and we need to learn how to share better and to live in a more joyful way. This crisis can bring us together for the sake of goodness, for new depth of wisdom and kindness. It is not all about fear.
This health crisis is shaking modern lifestyle to its foundations, dramatically and rapidly. Things we have taken for granted, luxuries we took for granted are suddenly unavailable. And many of the most vulnerable in our families and communities are in real danger. The poor, as usual, will suffer first and worst
We can panic. We can become addicted to 24/7 news bulletins. We can feel that everything is ending. Of course, these are serious and unsettling times: economically, politically and in social interactions. But, do we have to panic, feel depressed, become reactive, think only the worst? Is there another, a ‘contemplative’ response to this crisis, and to handling its fear and uncertainties?
Your life and mine have already been blessed by discovering a contemplative path. Can we put the teaching into deeper practice in this crisis? And can we share the peace that it gives us with others who may be falling into anxiety, fear or sadness?
I have been consulting with some of our teachers and leaders around the community recently. And we feel the answer to both these questions is yes. We can help to deepen our own interior peace and bring it to others during this global epidemic of fear and anxiety.
We can all be part of a shared contemplative response that makes a difference to those around us even if we are physically separated. Social distancing can bring us closer together spiritually. We only need to go deeper. To go deeper we need only to be still. Meditation does both.
This peace need not only be a temporary relief. It can open us to new and hope-filled depths of faith. Maybe if we use this opportunity, we will not only get through this storm. We will also remember, after the present fear has passed, the lesson of how to live a good life better.
Where Can I Turn for Support Now?
The most obvious things we can do as part of the World Community to strengthen our contemplative resilience are:
• Renew fidelity to your daily practice, morning and evening. If you don’t do so already, think of adding a reading, chant or music before or after the meditation as these will help to steady the mind and feelings. Try to bring the time up to 20-30 minutes. meditate with others weekly (or more often if you can) online. If you are at home, try a midday meditation.
• Go here www.onlinemeditationwccm.org for a list of the online groups already meeting. Probably we will add new groups to this list soon.
• Register in our online courses at The School of Meditation website
• If you lead a weekly group, consider putting it online if a physical meeting isn’t possible. If you need advice on how to do this, email here firstname.lastname@example.org
• Feel personally connected to the community through the Daily Wisdom photo-message, the Weekly Teachings and Weekly Readings
• Sign up for the Contemplative Revolution Podcast for an inspiring weekly talk by one of our teachers or dialogue partners: WCCM Podcast or your usual podcast source
• Choose from a variety of formats of teaching from our all-in-one media page
• Subscribe here to receive updates on this new initiative, A Contemplative Path Through the Crisis.