I hope this message finds you well during these times of uncertainty and rapidly changing conditions. We are sending love and compassion to all those affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)—in both big and small ways.
While monitoring the situation carefully, we ultimately feel that moving all upcoming retreats to livestream only is best for the safety and comfort of all involved. We invite you to join Khen Rinpoche online for an upcoming Shamata or Vipassana retreat. Follow link above for details.
In crucial times such as these, I think the best practice is thorough hand washing. In all seriousness, the most important practice is that which allows us to keep a stance of being watchful and well-informed, while still grounded and open-hearted.
There are many unknowns about Coronavirus (COVID-19), that it can be easy to get pulled into our heads, caught up in a frenzy of fear. Yet, if we can maintain our awareness and stay well-informed, it will not only feel better, but it will actually lead to better behavior.
At times like these we can feel confused and worried. Our equipoise can go out the window, just when we need it most. The contemplative practices you’ve been doing are really helpful for resting in the present, rather than worrying about the future, and generally in navigating this situation. When working with the cycle of meditating, forgetting you were meditating, then remembering, bringing your focus back, then repeat—you are building awareness. This focus and awareness of mind will serve you (and the rest of us) well in the critical months to come.
The other thing that can go out the window is compassion. And again, this is just when we need to stand in compassion, the most. There is no doubt that there are many who are experiencing tremendous suffering—of physical pain, loss of a loved one, fear of losing work, etc. It can be tempting to let our worries and physical isolation separate us mentally. Instead, let’s use our Tonglen practice to extend compassion, the relief of suffering to all beings, especially those directly affected by this disease … and to expand and deepen our connection with everyone.
Let’s ground in our practice, move from fear to love, and hold each other with care.
Stay well—physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Love (and air kisses),