Emotions and Mindfulness
Here I will repeat a dialogue which took place between King Kosala and his Queen, Malika. Once the king asked the queen: “Is there now Malika, anyone dearer to you than you?” “There is no one, Sire, dearer to me than myself. To you, Sire, is there anyone dearer than you?,” asked the queen. “Nor to me either, Malika, is there anyone dearer than myself.” Then the king went to Buddha and told him of this conversation. The Master uttered a stanza which may be translated like this:
“We traverse the whole wide world with our thoughts, but find nothing in it dearer to man/woman than themselves. Since to everyone self is so dear, let not the self-lover harm others.”
We have traversed many days, months, and now years since Covid 19 appeared on our radar. World-wide this pandemic has affected many people in myriad places and remains difficult to control to prevent from continual spread. There are many reasons for this and the mutations of the virus are one of these hard to get a grip on conditions. Keeping up scientifically with more effective vaccines, and preventative or ameliorating medicines is another condition that modern medicine has to face daily.
Yet, aside from these factors there are the human choices that include accepting that the virus is real or not; a willingness to get vaccinated or not; disinformation and false rhetoric about the side effects of the virus or the vaccine; trusting scientists and government to care and protect its citizenry; and political manipulation that has unfortunately entered into the debate.
As a person who cares about other people and wants the best for all sentient beings, I accept and heed the teachings of the Buddha concerning ethical behavior, Sila, and wise thought about how we can best protect ourselves from the ravages of this potent virus. It is with love, caring, compassion, generosity and wisdom that we can make choices to halt the overwhelming spread of this disease.
The Buddha said “recognizing the preciousness of this human birth”. These words reinforce those spoken by the Buddha and quoted at the beginning of this newsletter. There he said, and I paraphrase, that we can traverse the whole world over and never find anyone more important than ourselves. This traverse must be undertaken without greed or aversion towards anyone else. When we live in this way we find freedom, good will, happiness, and understanding within ourselves; and also acceptance, balance and harmony with all life forms.
Please do not take anything for granted in keeping safe. I still see so many people who are unmasked when I am out shopping or in a restaurant or at the hair salon. Part of the cause for case numbers and hospitalizations still being so high in Arizona are due to these mindless actions. Can you make the choice to take excellent care of your virus exposure and do the same for theirs?
In loving friendliness,