My parents were from “The Greatest Generation" that ever lived. My whole life I heard stories about the Great Depression and about World War II. My mother even escaped from the Nazis through the underground from what was then German occupied Norway.
We are now in the throes of the Covid-19 Pandemic. While this is occurring, and when this is over, the stories that come out of this event are going to be a mix of tragic, heartbreaking stories of countless lives lost, jobs lost, and an endangered economy, to the tales of heroes who stood up to the face of the enemy and fought with all of their might to bring people back from the brink. We will hear stories about the people who served us and our communities by continuing to work in grocery stores and drug stores. There will be tales of creative imagination, and how new ideas were spawned through the internet to help people stay connected during times of isolation. I have one grandnephew, Barrett. Right now he is only a year old, and thankfully his biggest concern is getting to spend lots of play time with his mommy and daddy.
His is the joy in our family's lives, and when he grows up he will undoubtedly hear stories from his parents and their friends of what took place during this time.
How will you tell your story? This is not a question of ego, but one of accountability, responsibility, and spirituality.
This pandemic is not a political issue. It does not care if you are a republican, or a democrat, a socialist or a nationalist. Covid-19 does not care about politics, nor religion, or who should pay more or less taxes. It does not care if you have enough food to eat, or if you are poor and your children are starving. It doesn’t care how old you are, and it doesn’t care about borders. Covid-19 doesn’t care if you have followed every law in the book, or if you have just committed a heinous crime. It does not care what color your skin is. It does not discriminate. If we learn anything from this pandemic, let it be that humanity finally understands that We Are All One.
Everyone is going to be affected by this event. They are either going to have the virus, or they are going to know someone who had it, or someone who fought for someone’s life from it.
Historians will be writing about this global event for years to come, and without a doubt there will be an onslaught of pandemic movies once the industries are up and running again. We have yet to find out how this plays out, and what the ending will be, - for nations, and for individuals. In the meantime, while we are all in this together, and we are all in this together, it is important that we consider how we respond to these events.
There is no “Us Against Them.”
Each of us has a role to play in this event. Some are on the Front Line, but most, like me, are on the sidelines. We want to be helpful, and we want to be supportive, but many feel helpless, and many feel scared.
So we have a choice. We can react with fear and anxiety, we can become aggressive and store up enough TP to last us for the rest of our lifetimes, OR, we can decide to be The Next Great Generation. We can be known for our strength and courage, and we can respond with compassion, empathy, kindness, and caring. We ARE one big family because we all belong to the Human Species. We are all connected through Source. Our weapons for fighting this war against the virus are not guns, but words and actions of compassion, healing, and grace. Those of us on the sidelines can hold sacred space for those that are fighting for their lives, and those that are fighting with them. We can hold sacred space for the people who run our governments; that they make good choices not based on politics, but on the wellbeing of our communities, our countries, and our global community.
We can choose not to be fearful. We can choose not to feel aggression and anger. We can choose not to hoard. Instead, we can show empathy, we can share what we have with others, we can choose to look at the bigger picture. We can choose not to get caught up in the maya.
Taken from the text “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda, maya is defined as “the power in creation by which limitations and divisions seem to exist in the Oneness that is true reality.” In the Vedic tradition the word “Maya” has multiple meanings, in some cases literally meaning “illusion,” or “magic.”
What does that mean?
According to Paramhansa Yogananda, “the ancient Vedic scriptures say that the physical world operates under one fundamental law of maya, the principle of relativity and duality. Since God in his absolute form is Complete Unity, the only way He can appear as the separate and diverse manifestations of creation is under a false or unreal veil of maya, or illusion.”
With many staying at home, now is a good time to look inward and remember your true essence. Look into the mirror and take the time to see who is looking back at you. Look into your heart space and remember who you are, and where you come from….God, the Source, the Ultimate Reality.
Do your part not to get caught up in the fear and the anxiety, - the maya that surrounds us. Now is the time for healing, for ourselves and for our planet. Whether you proclaim to be on a spiritual path or not, as Ram Das said, “We are all just walking each other Home.”
We will all have moments of anxiety during this time. The trick is to stay grounded, stay centered, and focus on the bigger picture. If it helps, think of that magnificent photo that astronaut William Anders took of the famous “Earthrise.” Fifty years after he took that photo, Major General William Anders gave the world a Christmas Eve message to remind us of what the astronauts had experienced on Dec. 24, 1968. “Earthrise – the lingering imprint of our mission – stands sentinel. It reminds us that distance and borders and division are merely a matter of perspective. We are all linked in a joined human enterprise - we are bound to a planet we all must share. We are all, together, stewards of this fragile treasure.”
The Earth is fragile, and she has been out of balance for a long time, (many thanks to the human species,) but now there is an imposed “cleansing period” of the planet, and she is taking full advantage of that. We would do well to follow her lead by taking this time to do some inner work on our spiritual growth, our mental health, and our emotional wellbeing. Whatever your practice is, do that and expand on it. If you do not have a practice, try some out, see what resonates with you, or reach out to friends who do have a spiritual practice and ask them to share theirs with you. Skype and Face Time are just some of the forms of social media available to us to stay connected during this time, and there is an extraordinary amount of information on the internet to help someone get started. Having a spiritual practice will automatically lead to a healthier mental state of mind and a more equanimous emotional state of being. Over the years I have heard friends say over and over, “I wish I had the time to meditate.” “I wish I had the time to have a spiritual practice.” Looks like we have the time folks! And it isn’t so much about making the time to do a practice, but about making the practice a part of who you are.
We are all in this together, and we can help each other through this. Let us become The Next Great Generation.
Om shanti, shanti, shanti.