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Mon, Sept. 28

Pandemic offers life lesson on our connection with one another

This illness sweeping the world -- what is it here to teach us? How does COVID-19 enlighten us about ourselves? What is its deeper meaning for humanity?

Look at how quickly it has brought us to our knees. With lightning speed, it has isolated us from one another, struck panic in the hearts of many, disrupted our economy and our medical community.

The virus plays no favorites and honors none of our mind-imposed boundaries. It has no regard for the social, physical, emotional, ethnic, religious and political walls we, as a human race, have erected.

We learn from COVID-19 how much we are connected.

We miss our stores, libraries, gyms, restaurants, and sports play -- all gone from our lives in a flash. The camaraderie and humanity we’ve shared through these societal structures -- gone. If we don’t grasp how intimately we are all connected now, we never will.

Although we can’t touch each other in the usual ways, we can still be in contact through invisible ways -- through heart and spiritual essence.

COVID-19 teaches and inspires us to extend solidarity across boundaries of race, gender, politics, religion and ideologies. We tap into our human connection when we break into song across balconies and fill empty streets with joyous harmonies (like our Italian brothers and sisters).

How can we help ourselves weather this hurricane?

We can “shelter-in-place” within the Stillness of this present moment. This moment represents a safe space in the eye of the hurricane. Entering its peace, we free ourselves from the anxiety of future “what-if” or past “if-only” thoughts. In this moment there is no problem -- only a situation to handle.

Gratitude helps, too. It strengthens our immune systems. Yesterday I allowed my heart to swell with love and thanksgiving for the warm, furry pup curled up in my lap. When we look with open hearts, we find lots of moments that generate that feeling throughout the day. We can choose to surrender to them.

Giving lifts us out of ourselves. It can take the form of actions like passing along a home-cooked meal, sharing a talent online, playing music outdoors, writing poetry, etc. We can give away our smiles, our money. When we do, our hearts never go hungry.

Please join me in practicing gratitude, giving, and inner Stillness. In addition, may we refrain from taking the gifts life gives (yes, even in the worst of circumstances) for granted.

These practices help us perceive, in ever-deepening ways, our connection with one another.

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