Suffering CoVid from a Buddhist Perspective

#Inspiration Sunday

Why me? Suffering CoViD from a Buddhist Perspective

"The Truth of Suffering was the first teaching taught by Lord Shakyamuni Buddha."

If we look at our current situation of COVID-19, there is a lot of fear, worry, depression, and uncertainty in the whole world. Everybody is feeling the same thing. So let us first set a Buddhist intention that we all want to be free from the cycle of birth and death and ultimately become awakened to perfect Buddhas ourselves.

In the beginning, this intent is lovely, but somewhere in the middle, things get screwed up by conditions, and therefore the results are not always exactly what we want. This is called the truth of suffering. Look at each of us now. We thought that everything was going well, but now we have this situation. So we ask, "Why me?" and then we have to move on to ask, "Why not me?"


What triggers us to say "why me" is our ego. We have to see that this COVID-19 is very kind to all of us now. It affects all of us, affecting anyone at any time. It is the best living example of why we all need to protect our minds. We also need to take the necessary precautions to protect our bodies. So it's essential to cultivate meditation and some physical and mental discipline.


The beginning of awakening always starts with pain. It can be physical pain or mental suffering. If our minds cannot be calmed and subdued, if we cannot make everything smooth and we are still always chasing after something, then we know that we are not yet enlightened. Enlightenment is like one tight slap of awareness. It's the mind that is free from everything, which takes constant and consistent effort and purification.


Why is it that we all are suffering? It is so that we can all grow greater than ourselves. So that you can connect with your friends and neighbors, and support one another. There is no point in being a Buddha if there is no one to help. But before all of the mantras, the recitations, pujas, meditation, and refuge, your mind needs to have the thoughts that connect you to all sentient beings.


We have suddenly realized how human connection is such an important thing. So think about it and be grateful for this challenging time. We thought some things were perfect, and now the underlying imperfection of them is manifesting out. All that we thought was good is not a long-lasting good. What is a long-lasting good? It's your good heart, your perseverance, and your love. So now it is no longer "why me" or even "why not me," it's in accepting everything that comes.

Dharma Teaching by Singha Rinpoche & Edited by Sandeep Nath

 4 October 2020