The Three Most Important Tasks During A Pandemic Disease

By Rudra Shivananda

rudrashivanandainlilleoruEveryone is stressed out, whether they’re concerned about themselves or for their loved ones or most probably for both. There is no escape from the consequences of the current COVID-19 Pandemic – everyone in the whole world is experiencing the pain. The impact on our way of life would have been unimaginable even four weeks ago. Now, we are in official lockdowns in many countries and communities – movement, travel and social contact is restricted by decree or being self-imposed.

There is plenty of advice from health professionals on what we should and should not be doing and we should all pay close attention to prevent the spread of this viral disease. That is not my concern because it is not my area of expertise.

What I want to address is what you should be doing during this crisis from a spiritual perspective. Will our spiritual evolution be impeded during this time or will we. as soldiers of light, move forward and destroy the forces of darkness within us. What I want to address is not what is happening externally but what is happening internally within us.

The first task we must focus on is to maintain our Awareness. We must keep an awareness of our mental and emotional reactions, our thoughts, which are being disturbed by the external events, by the talking heads in the news media, by social media posts, by communications with our friends and family. There is currently a lot of hysteria in our community – lots of hoarding of supplies and food, as well as essential items like face-masks and hand-sanitizers. FEAR is spreading.

It is our duty to spread light and love and to decrease the fear mentality in the world. We may not be able to change what is happening around us, but we can maintain our calm and peace in the midst of this storm. We can help calm others by our self peace. As spiritual practitioners, we should be constantly aware of the disturbance in the our minds and be vigilant in letting go of or detaching from them. We must stay in our spiritual center, so that we can act from love and light.

The second task is to maintain our regular sadhana, our spiritual practice. We need to overcome the external distractions that will disturb our regular routine. It is very easy to slide into looking at social media in the morning and delaying our sadhana until evening, but when night comes, we are already too stressed out with all the negativity that is thrown at us that we do not have the will to sit for meditation. Don’t be distracted and if you have maintained your awareness per task one, you will prioritize your practice first.

However, even if you have the will to sit for your sadhana, your mind is not on lockdown and not staying at home. It is wandering all over the world, thinking about the pandemic, one’s health and the personal economic impacts. The mind is in a state of anxiety and worry. You need to control the mind and focus on your practice – this itself is a great trial. Remember that there is no bad meditation – what we judge as a disturbed meditation can be a great opportunity for expanding our consciousness beyond our mundane concerns. My master, Yogiraj teaches that ‘perseverance is the key to success’ for material as well as spiritual matters, and that vairagya or dispassion/ detachment is necessary for overcoming mental disturbances.

The third task that we can focus on during this period of uncertainty is to maintain and grow our compassion for all those who are suffering, whether physically or mentally. Although we cannot freely move about, we can still communicate through our mobile phones and on the internet. We can keep connections with those who are elderly and alone and re-assure them of our love and commitment to help them. To demonstrate that we care.

We can also send our healing light to all those in need and indeed to the whole world. After we finish our sadhana, we should open our heart and visualize rays of light being sent to the sick and needy and/or to someone we have particular concern about. If you know the Siddhanath Earth Peace Meditation, this is a good time to do this everyday, to help diminish the suffering in the world caused by this pandemic.

Do not think yourself powerless. You cannot easily change what is happening externally, but you can have total control of your internal world, your mind and emotions. This is the time to exert your will to progress on the spiritual path in spite of external hindrances, to detach from unhelpful mental and emotional states, and to develop greater compassion.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
My we devote ourselves to Earth Peace through our Self Peace.

%d bloggers like this: