Practice considerations during widespread contagion

Many of you will quite naturally be applying your practice skills to the present situation.  You may wish to contribute to our extending our recommendations. However, here is a helpful checklist of some attitudes and practices suggested by teachers and practitioners with whom we recently spoke:

  • Sending loving kindness to all who are unwell or afraid
  • Dedicating merit to those on the frontline of the effort to prevent, contain and treat the contagion.
  • Remaining of good cheer.  No matter what illness we may endure, wholesome emotional states support proper function of our bodies as well as giving ease to those around us. 
  • Making crisis an opportunity for cultivation. Our bodies are unfamiliar with this illness, and we are just learning as a society how to respond. We are amidst a crisis. The qualities required of all of us are many of the ones we seek to develop on the Buddhist path such as – awareness (sati), circumspection (sampajañña), heedfulness (appamāda), kindness (mettā), and compassion (karuṇā)
  • Equanimously extending care beyond ourselves. Let’s all do our best to understand where and how we can safely help people around us. This nurtures a healthy heart-mind.
  • Meditating daily, we are supporting the body’s health, and doing our best for all beings. 
  • Being mindful that nothing lasts. Whatever suffering comes, we have an opportunity to pay closer attention.

You may wish to read a related Vimalakirti Sutra teaching on great compassion – here.