A Spiritual & Psychological perspective
“The commitment to care opens up the best in you, making you a stronger Being” – Swami Sukhabodhananda
The student asks, “How does the wise man explain the evil which exists in the world?”
“My master does not explain, but he is busy doing something about it,” replied his friend. “He does his best. He is filled with awe and commitment. His Being only gets stronger with the problems of life,” his friend added. And that is what a wise man does. He becomes stronger when faced with problems.
Mary asks: “I am afraid of getting coronavirus. I am tired of being worried, tensed and fearful all the time. Will this ever end?”
Fear is self-damaging. Of what use is worry, when wisdom is around you? You need to log on to wisdom and not to worry. Learn how to download wisdom. Wisdom happens naturally when you bring in love, understanding, peace, and clarity. Wisdom is the fragrance of clarity.
Right now, the problem with us is that we are fit for war and not for peace. We are fit for worry and not for wisdom. The Covid19 pandemic has made sure that change enters your your life. The center of your life should be commitment and care. Fear about the virus can be at the periphery. But if there is commitment, then such fears and concerns will not crush you.
Ask yourself, does the virus issue need commitment or tension? Tension will not help in solving the problem. Being worried is like being on a rocking chair… it keeps you busy but leads you nowhere. So please master the art of being committed rather than being tensed or afraid.
You might say, “Swamiji it is easier said than done.” But while this might seem big and difficult to achieve initially, afterwards you will wonder why it was so difficult. Writing my first book (include name of First book and link here), took so much time and it felt very difficult. But now, I have authored 118 books. Similarly, you must learn to enjoy difficulty. When a person first has alcohol, it is so bitter. But later he develops the taste. I am not asking you to take alcohol, but get the spirit of the example. ( Can we change this example to — When we start a new job, it feels difficult. But with time, we develop our skills and learn to enjoy our work.)
Fear is nothing but FANTASIZED EXPERIENCES APPEARING REAL. Please understand fear is a just the movement of thought. You are the observer of thought and not the thought. You are the space in which thought comes and goes. You are not thought.
For example, when you watch a sad movie, you know the movie is just light and shade, but you get identified with the movie and go through sadness or joy. You know movies are not real but unreal, and yet you make it real by identification. Is it not?
So what should I do with corona virus? Practice “Fear Distancing”
Along with social distancing, practice fear distancing! You need to remember that if your immune system is strong, you can face this virus. It is worry and fear that make the immune system weak.
Let me give you an example. Once while travelling, Shakila and her friend were caught in a thunderstorm. So they checked into a hotel, but soon after the electricity went off. Shakila’s friend was so afraid, that she stayed awake and smoked the whole night. In comparison, Shakila slept peacefully, without reacting or getting worried. What is the learning?
No electricity is an incident. It may be a difficult incident for some . But how Shakila responded and her friend reacted are very different. Your reaction and your mental narrative will always affect your the immune system.
Reaction produces a bad effect but a response is different. If a person is even afraid of getting infected with coronavirus, their immune system will get affected. But if one is calm, then the body learns how to cope with stress. This is dealing with the pandemic in a positive way.
Please understand, we need to strengthen both the physical & psychological immune system. As you go about your life, practice fear distancing. You must also work on strengthening both your physical and psychological systems, wisely and creatively. Be committed to dealing with the pandemic stress in a positive way. Let us respond to the crisis and not react to it with fear, worry and stress.