Dear All, I am writing these lines from my 14 days home quarantine in Israel because of the Coronavirus. On the day I was returning from the U.S., an international travel restriction was issued by the government stating that all travelers attending gatherings of 100 people or more in the U.S. must be in self-quarantine. Since we just held the Timeless Wisdom Training meditation retreat there, I was affected by this regulation.
It is also a good opportunity for us as a community to come together for a process of intensive self-exploration in the face of an agitated situation on the outside. We can choose to raise our awareness, to create mutual support and collaboration, to find a new vision and integrate. It’s a chance to find alternative ways to think, feel and act.
The first question is always, “Who am I in relation to the current situation?” Before I jump into philosophical and political explorations about the world, and how the situation is managed by government institutions, I can check-in to see if I can represent the situation in myself. What do I feel and who am I as a human being in this situation? Once I am able to become aware of it I can move further out and relate to the wider circumstances.
We are living in a time where large cleaning processes show us the massive amount of collective fear that is arising. If we combine that understanding with presence, it’s an amazing moment for humanity to deepen our grounding and the connection to our embodiment. Without presence, I will only be scared and frightened and will allow fear to run my decisions. Or I will be detached and avoidant and just downplay what's happening. Both versions are not liberating of my engagement and potential.
Additionally, we do see that the collective vessel is not yet strong enough to contain the current global growth. We always have to strengthen the grounding and embodiment of our outreach and growth, as a collective and as individuals. When this interplay is in good synchronization, nature and spirit are in a good relation. If we get ahead of ourselves then life will call us back. That’s another message of the current situation in the world. We especially need to integrate the global expansion, the global collaboration and the explosive development of technology since it is not yet synced with our capacity to embody it.
A collective crisis needs a collective response. The collective trauma layers are getting reactivated in times of strong uncertainty. This is a good time to apply all the inner practices that we have equipped ourselves with.
The global situation shows the fragility of our world – our deep interconnectedness and interdependence becomes abundantly clear. Although it may often seem we can solve everything alone, now we see that we really need each other and that we depend on each other. The hyper-individualized arrogance must soften into outreach and a way of being more humble and engaged.
What we can do
It is good to look at whatever we can do to support people that work in the health care system who are in very strong stress and overload right now. Everyone can call a family member, a friends or neighbor and support those who are the most exposed and have the highest risk of infection
The protection of elderly people and those with weakened immune systems is equally important. It is important to find ways to protect the part of the population that is more endangered by the virus . We will need to find new ways of establishing contact and maintaining relationships if the outer freedom of movement and travel is restricted.
This is the time to be aware of one’s inner vulnerability and relation to the situation, to be really engaged and response-able. As a world community we can see how the ghost of our collective fears and the potential separation might arise and how that is an opportunity for a new level of healing and integration.
This is the time to really put the practice we have been learning into our daily life, moment by moment. It is important that we actively take care of those who need help, whether they are family members, neighbors or people in the sangha. This time should be ruled by love, because especially in times of crisis it is all about giving.
It’s a time where responsibility for one’s own inner process, for fears, uncertainty and change is needed in a way that is not drowning and not avoidant, but is vulnerable. That we can really see our humanity and the current situation as a way to come back to our hearts and to connection – both inside and outside.
Thomas Hübl, March 13, 2020
This article was first published on Thomas Hübl's site