American spiritual teacher, Jack Kornfield, has some particularly good advice to give us as we all face the losses and challenges posed by this greedy pandemic. In a longer article published in Lion's Roar Weekly newsletter appearing on my computer today, he shared his wisdom and compassion:
This is a time of mystery and uncertainty. Take a breath. The veils of separation are parting and the reality of interconnection is apparent to everyone on earth. We have needed this pause, perhaps even needed our isolation to see how much we need one another.
Now it is time to add our part.
The bodhisattva deliberately turns towards the suffering around to serve and help those around in whatever way they can.
This is the test we have been waiting for.
We know how to do this.
Time to renew your vow.
Sit quietly again and ask your heart: what is my best most intention, my most noble aspiration for this difficult time?
Your heart will answer.
Let this vow become your North Star. Whenever you feel lost, remember and it will remind you what matters.
The world awaits your compassionate heart.
It is time to be the medicine, the uplifting music, the lamp in the darkness.
Burst out with love. Be a carrier of hope.
If there is a funeral, send them off with a song.
Trust your dignity and goodness.
Where others hoard… help.
Where others deceive… stand up for truth.
Where others are overwhelmed or uncaring, be kind and respectful.
When you worry about your parents, your children, your beloveds, let your heart open to share in everyone’s care for their parents, their children, and their love ones. This is the great heart of compassion. The bodhisattva directs compassion toward everyone. Those who are suffering and vulnerable and those who are causing suffering. We are in this together.
It is time to reimagine a new world, to envision sharing our common humanity, to vision how we can live in the deepest most beautiful way possible.
Coming through this difficulty, what we intend and nurture, we can do.
In the end, remember who you are is timeless awareness, the consciousness that was born into your body. You were born a child of the spirit, and even now you can turn toward the awareness, and become the loving awareness that witnesses yourself reading and feeling and reflecting.
When a baby is born our first response is love.
When a dear one dies, the hand we hold is a gesture of love.
Timeless love and awareness is who you are.
the world awaits your compassionate heart.
Let’s join in this great task together.
...and from Jacqui:
Jack Kornfield says it all. What I can do is share it.
May you all be well and happy