Grassroots Organizations Needing Support
If you are in a position to offer financial support, see below for organizations that offer remarkable service at this time.
Favela da Paz is a remarkable organization building a peace community in the midst of one of the most violent slums of Sao Paolo. They do phenomenal work around art, food, education, and more. With COVID-19 and all those out of work, in lockdown etc, they committed to feeding and providing access to medicine, etc for 500 families.
Otepic (NGO) is developing massive efforts in rural Kenya to feed, provide information, masks, etc to respond to COVID-19. This area has been hit particularly hard as first they had locust come through and eat crops, then COVID-19 worsened how many people are without income and hungry, then in the past 2 weeks they’ve had extensive flooding washing away even more crops. It is a regenerative ag project in the midst of massive agro farming. Philip, who leads the organization, keeps at it with soil regeneration, planting, education, water retention, etc.
Food for the People (led by Valerie Chafograck, a well known Soul Motion dance teacher in bay area) has been feeding our houseless neighbors at least once a month for years. Organic, nourishing food and basic necessities. With COVID-19, they stepped up their efforts in the East Bay to feed and provide basic necessities to those w/out houses.
Regaining Dignity, Mahathma Gandhi Home for the Aged in Pondicherry
There are many elderly women in India who are poor and live alone. They are widows or have been abandoned by their families. They do not have money for food, medical care and other basic necessities. Many are too old or too weak to work. They are forced to beg, and are often homeless. We have visited this organization; they do remarkable work to feed, shelter and provide healthcare for these women.
In remote mountainous villages of northern Dhading District, Tamang and Dalit community members live in extreme poverty, suffering long-term marginalization, lack of access to health care, water and neglect due to geographical isolation. All of these issues have made it particularly difficult for the Tamang and Dalit community to manage the impact of COVID-19. HHC targets the root causes of poverty and illness and develops interventions with input and active involvement from the communities with women at the center.
Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration
Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration (CAAMI) seeks to challenge and dismantle mass incarceration and the systems of oppression that sustain it. We do this through coordinated actions and by opening the dialogue about mass incarceration and the criminal injustice system in a way that is empowering to all individuals and communities affected by them. Currently providing support to prisoners impacted by Covid-19.
Young Women Empowered
Y-WE cultivates the power of diverse young women, aged 13-26, to be creative leaders and courageous changemakers through transformative programs. Financial support will be used to provide meals, assistance with rental, utilities, mental health and other medical services support.
You can also contact Victoria Santos for more information.
We have gathered resources from our SAND faculty and community. We hope that this growing collection of videos, writings and practices can serve as refuge in these trying and tumultuous times. May they remind us of the deep presence, tender wisdom and relentless compassion available to us at every moment.
Charles Eisenstein, The Coronation: Charles replaces the crisis in a larger context. “Finally, ideas like student debt relief and universal basic income are blossoming. ‘How do we protect those susceptible to Covid?’ invites us into ‘How do we care for vulnerable people in general?'” Read more
Don’t Panic: The comprehensive Ars Technica guide to the coronavirus A comprehensive scientific guide to all the questions you may have about the pandemic. Read more
John Butler, Understanding the Virus: Anchored in totally peaceful, reliable Presence, how do we understand coronavirus? Like everything else in this world, it’s of a transitory nature. We need a foot in both camps. We don’t need to get rid of the world but, without contrasting peace, we soon get out of balance. Watch
Stephan Bodian, The spiritual teachings of Covid-19. “Human life as we’ve known it has ground to a halt, and we’re faced with an unprecedented crisis—and an unprecedented opportunity.” Read more
Michael Meade, Holding the Thread of Life: This video of his last SAND talk is perfect medicine to guide us through the darkness.
“Don’t try to fix the whole thing don’t try to solve it and don’t expect that you will find the answer you are looking for in the light. When we are missing something, it’s in the dark, so the ancient people say: all light comes from darkness, all knowledge comes from standing at the edge of whatever we know. We have to stand in the places where we no longer know and then the answers come from unseen places if we only have the courage to face the dark, whether it’s the dark inside or the dark outside. It’s the unknown that is holding the answers.” Watch
Peter Russell, The Exponential Explosion: A prophetic exploration into the unforeseen consequences of exponential growth.
“How do we cope with an increasingly unpredictable world? How can we prepare ourselves as the winds of change whip up into a storm? And what is the new story of humankind to which this all leads?” Watch
Joan Tollifson, The End of the World and What Remains: A piece about dealing with groundlessness and grief with an awake heart.
“But when we finally relax into groundlessness, it turns out to be freedom itself. So-called liberation is simply seeing the false as false and not grasping the Truth by trying to formulate it or pin it down. Liberation isn’t about having the right answer or the right view, but rather about waking up from all the answers and views—not landing anywhere. Being this moment, just as it is.” Read more
Thomas Hübl, Coronavirus—During this Time, Let Us Act with Love: A beautiful invitiation to self responsibility, community and love.
“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. This time should be ruled by love, because especially in times of crisis it is all about giving.” Read more
Zvi Ish-Shalom, A Kabbalistic Reflection on COVID-19
“In Kabbalah, the primary way that hidden truths are revealed is through disrobing…” Read more
Mirabai Starr, Exquisite Risk: John Of the Cross and the Power of Captivity: A particularly relevant piece of writing about the Dark Night of the Soul and power of consenting to the transformational power of divine captivity in times of crisis.
“The great mystics of all traditions teach us that the spiritual life is not really about consolation; it is about annihilation. It is about allowing the small self, which suffers from the illusion of separation from God, to burn in the flames of transformation so that the True Self may emerge. “In this way,” John writes, “God makes the soul die to all that is not inherently of God. When the soul is stripped bare of her old skin, God clothes her afresh. Like the eagle, her youth is revitalized. She is clothed in newness of being.” Read more
Pema Chödrön, Three Methods for Working with Chaos: Times of chaos and challenge can be the most spiritually powerful if we are brave enough to rest in their space of uncertainty. Pema describes three ways to use our problems as the path to awakening.
“When we feel squeezed, there’s a tendency for mind to become small. We feel miserable, like a victim, like a pathetic, hopeless case. Yet believe it or not, at that moment of hassle or bewilderment or embarrassment, our minds could become bigger…We could be there, feeling off guard, not knowing what to do, just hanging out there with the raw and tender energy of the moment. This is the place where we begin to learn the meaning behind the concepts and the words.” Read more
angel Kyodo williams, The World is our Field of Practice: In this tender interview about love, identity and the importance of coming undone with OnBeing, she speaks eloquently to the moment.
“There is something dying in our society, in our culture, and there’s something dying in us individually. And what is dying, I think, is the willingness to be in denial. And that is extraordinary. ” Read more
Rupert Spira, Finding peace during the COVID-19 outbreak: On the eve of his 60th birthday, Rupert shares his thoughts on how we can find peace during these uncertain times.
“These are changing and uncertain times but the rapid change and iuncertainty and insecurity of our times brings into sharp focus thaqt which is certain, that which is unchanging and that which is secure. Namely our own Being. Our own being is the one constant factor in the allchanging uncertain experience. And if we seek security and peace we should look for it where it resides, namely in our own being.” Watch
Stefana Serafina, Corona the Crone––We Must Be Changed: A powerful reflection on the mythic element and transformational potential of this difficult and sacred moment.
“It seems to me that like a true Crone, Corona is mandating a single and inevitable unfolding: That we must do this together. We may be closing borders and socially distancing, but the truth is that under the spell of pause, we are beginning to sense and to feel our vast and irrevocable togetherness––that we are connected in terrifying and powerful ways, and that, quite literally, we hold our lives in each other’s hands!” Read more
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, We Were Made for These Times: In perhaps the most powerful incantation for every time of crisis, Dr. Estes reminds us that we are great ships made for these waters and these times.
“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.” Read more
John Butler, Spiritual Unfoldment: John encourages us to use our common sense—feeling, looking, listening. When we’re present, we’re not absent. “If we’re present, we cannot be lost in the future or buried in the past, and all our worries disappear.” Watch
Thich Nhat Hanh, A Zen Master’s Tips for Staying Sane in Challenging Times. How do monks structure their day, balancing meditation, work & rest? Here are Thich Nhat Hanh’s key teachings on the art of living each day well. Read more
Bessel van der Kolk, When the COVID-19 Pandemic Leaves Us Feeling Helpless: According to Bessel, there are insights we can draw from trauma therapy that could help patients when they’re feeling helpless or reeling from the unpredictability of life during a pandemic. Watch
Richard Rohr, Love Alone Overcomes Fear: Father Richard reminds us in these difficult times not to turn away from our wounds or the wounds of the world.
“For God to reach us, we have to allow suffering to wound us. Now is no time for an academic solidarity with the world. Real solidarity needs to be felt and suffered. That’s the real meaning of the word “suffer” – to allow someone else’s pain to influence us in a real way. We need to move beyond our own personal feelings and take in the whole.” Read more
Jonathan Hadas Edwards & Julia Hartsell, What if the Virus is the Medicine? A beautiful reflection on our times through the wisdom of initiation.
“Imagine what happens when an entire society finds itself in the midst of a critical initiation. Except you don’t have to imagine: it’s already happening, or starting to. It looks like chaos, a meltdown. We’re in a moment of collective, global-level crisis and uncertainty that has little precedent in living memory…We are all facing the cessation of non-essential activities. There is opportunity here, if we claim it.This is a sacred time.” Read more
Adyashanti, The Quiet and Formless Presence that is Our True Nature: A deep invitation from Adyashanti to stay connected to ground of our being, the unified wholeness that we truly are.
“It is now so very important to be dedicated to our inner presence of being and the peace that is always awaiting our attention and acknowledgement—not just for our individual peace of mind, but also for one another. The more we are reminded of the great resiliency that exists within the heart of humanity, the more that we can embody, relate, and act from the Spirit of love and compassion that resides within us all.” Read more
Brook Anderson, Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine: Brook Anderson reminds us that it’s even a privilege to go into shelter in place before discussing the 6 questions. Read more
Camille Busette, Protecting Our Most Economically Vulnerable Neighbors: Camille Busette offers some steps that can be taken to protect the most vulnerable. Read more
Charlie Werzel: Feeling Powerless About Coronavirus? Join a Mutual-Aid Network: Charlie Warzel reminds us of the importance of community and opportunities to support each other through Mutual Aid Networks. Read more