We are dealing with a difficult time and difficult times are part of the human journey. Such times are potent with possibilities. We can either choose to grow and discover a larger version of ourselves, or we can fall into fear, choose to contract and retreat into being a victim of the situation. It depends on how we view the situation and use it. It shakes you or you shape it.
“Every adversity has the seeds of an equal or greater benefit.” Napoleon Hill
Seeds of Benefit in the Global Situation
What might be some of the seeds of benefit in our current situation?
One of these benefits is to strengthen our faith. Can we believe that the Mystic Law that creates and maintains the cosmos is working to produce something better during this time?
I believe that this is what we are seeing. The old ways that have divided us that have not been working are melting down, but that the new life has not emerged yet. I think that mankind is in the position of the caterpillar going through the transformation of becoming a butterfly – that as a species we are developing a different level of consciousness, that we are on the verge of taking a big evolutionary leap.
One indicator is the beginning of a new developing awareness that we are all part of a common global community. When China starts giving respirators to another country, as they have recently, it is an acknowledgment that we are all fighting a common enemy that doesn’t respect national borders and that we need to help one another. We have started to collaborate.
If this emerging awareness translates into the nations continuing to help with world problems, rather than fighting and competing, a different consciousness can emerge. We can work through collaboration rather than competition, through inclusivity and love, rather than division and separation. When mankind unites to deal with common problems, anything is possible.
Another seed of a greater benefit is that we are learning how quickly the environment can be cleared. According to my local paper, since we have been distancing from one another, the skies have cleared above China. Perhaps seeing this will encourage us to believe that we can in fact do something about global warming, and unite in our global community to deal with this threat to our species.
We have seen a couple of ways there might be a global leap. But there is also the individual leap.
Seeds of Benefit in Our Personal Lives
An important part of that leap is for each of us to fully develop the connection we have with that infinite mind, life itself. As Buddhists we know about that connection through our Buddha nature. Every day we have been practicing using that connection to overcome difficult circumstances in our lives. We’re gradually learning those circumstances don’t control us, but we can overcome them, that we have a power within that is more than any circumstance.
I believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We’re learning how to turn to that spiritual side within and come to understand the marvelous capacities of that diamond within. When we learn how to change the mental and emotional patterns which limit us from using it fully, thus mastering our mind, we have firmly put our hand on the rudder of our lives and our world will change.
Another seed of a benefit from this time, is that our forced slowdown means that we have time to go inward. Each of you is an absolutely unique. This time of reflection may identify and bring to light the unique gifts each of us have to offer the world.
Handling Fear of the Pandemic
But how do we handle our fear of the pandemic?
The first step is to notice what you are thinking. Are you thinking fearful contractive thoughts or empowering expansive thoughts. You will know by your feelings. Is the pandemic an apparent bad or can it be an apparent good. It depends on how we look at it.
Then neutralize those thoughts by accepting the fact that the pandemic is what it is. Remember when you were in school and you took math. The teacher gave you problems every time you came into class. We learned to use the invisible laws of math to solve the problems. Our lives are our curriculum and we are living in a training ground to learn how to work with the invisible laws of the universe in dealing with life concerns that come up. So what can each of us learn in these circumstances? One thing is not to give way to fear. Guard your mind. Look for things that bring you joy. Look for beauty. Get off CNN where all is doom and gloom.
Don’t deny the facts but look at them squarely. This pandemic is bigger than any of us, so let go and accept it for what it is. We can’t change the situation but we can change who we are in it and use it to become stronger. This is exactly what our Buddhist training has been teaching us.
“What do I do if I can’t pull myself out of my fearful thoughts?” How about scheduling a time three days from now when you will sit down for half an hour and write down all of the bad thoughts you have been having. Until then, when they come up, remind yourself that they can wait until your pity party. Between now and then, brainstorm any good, any benefit that might come out of this situation.
Practice for Others During This Time
“What can I do today, with what I have?” Our Buddhist training is for ourselves and others. Does someone around me need support. Is there a neighbor who needs groceries? Give them a ring and ask if you can pick up something. Do you need to check in on long lost family members? Do the people around me need encouragement. Here in Eugene, one street is having nightly singing, everyone standing on their own front porch. Another street had a dinner party, each family sitting in their own yard, but able to converse with one another. We can each be a light to others. Facetime and Zoom can connect us with friends and people we love.
Support Your Body
What about the fear of falling ill? We all know that there is a mind-body connection. We blush when we are embarrassed for example. Let’s use our thoughts to support our body, telling it we have strong immunity, that it is whole, healthy and functioning perfectly. Then do the common-sense things which we are being told to do, wash hands, maintain distance etc.
Move Your Life forward
Anticipate that good things are going to happen in your life. Remember that even during the great depression, when there were breadlines, there were more millionaires made than at any other time. So any given circumstance can collapse us or we can take charge and use those circumstances to expand our lives.
This might be the time to create a vision for your next twelve months, what you would love to have in your life. Make it specific , chant for it and then start taking small actions each day, from where you are with what you have, to take steps forward towards your vision. Then there is something positive to work for rather than obsessing about the pandemic.
Today we looked at some possible benefits arising out of this turbulent time which can lead to a global evolutionary leap.
Then we looked at how each of us might use this time to develop our faith, to strengthen our connection with the universe
We discussed how we might self- reflect and discover our own unique contribution to the world.
We discussed how to handle our fear of the pandemic and use our Buddhist practice to become stronger.
Different ways to support other people.
How to use our thoughts to support our health.
Finally, create a vision for a year from now and start taking small steps to move it forward.
Did You Know Your Life is Your Curriculum https://wp.me/p3V1J9-1bl
Do You Let Circumstances Control What You Do? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-19g
Know Why It’s Important to Master Your Mind? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-17w
Script download: How Do I Handle My Fear
As always thank you for your comments and suggestions for topics. I’ll see you in two weeks.