People are scared right now, and this fear is making them do stupid, greedy things.
The fact of the matter is that everyone gets sicks, sooner or later. But that knowledge isn’t very helpful to most people, only Seeker Buddhas can really do something useful with it.
If everyone gets sick eventually, then sickness isn’t something to worry about. We only need to worry about things that are uncertain. Sickness is certain. COVID-19 might not make us sick, but something will, sooner or later. And eventually something is gonna make us so sick that we just can’t recover from it.
And not only us, but everyone we know, human and non-human. So can we sit with that certainty? Can we let it move us so deeply that it’s no longer a source of anxiety for us? That’s the question. Because everyone knows that people get sick, and that we’ll get sick eventually. But we don’t really know that, not deep down in our hearts where it counts. We know it intellectually, but not emotionally or spiritually.
Intellect isn’t enough; only the heart can lay to rest the source of its worries: itself, the notion that it beats for itself when really it beats for everything and everyone, and it depends on everything. If there is hurt and fear, then that means there’s attachment and aversion, and if there’s attachment and aversion then there’s ignorance and denial.
Here, that ignorance is the belief that we should somehow be healthy forever. It’s a deep belief, and it’s very subtle, but it causes a lot of our pain when we’re sick or worried about getting sick.
When we turn on the news and see all the fear-mongering, when we go to the store and see a sea of empty shelves that’s fear, greed and ignorance at work. It all stems from the idea that 1) we are alive, and 2) life is sacred. We’re wrong on both accounts. We are not alive, we’re an impermanent expression of universal activity, of boundless mutuality. That universal activity is who we truly are, and it can’t be hindered by sickness or stopped by death.
To the second point, no, life isn’t sacred. All we have to do is turn on a nature show to see that. Life is violent, callous, and unkind. That’s why it’s so important that we cultivate non-violence, empathy, and kindness. These traits make life better, but they also outlast us, we can give them to everyone we meet.
So instead of worrying over whether we’re gonna have enough TP left to keep wiping our asses, we should be focused on our practice. As long as we focus wholeheartedly on the practice, then everything else will fall into place without any effort on our part.