What gift can a virus offer us?

The Guest House

By a sage poet

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

JELLALUDIN RUMI

Dear friends:

With significant change in circumstances we are presented with opportunity. Our current situation is no exception. As virtually all attractions outside our home are shut down, and as we are waiting to test for the virus out there, we have the opportunity to also test the state of our inner health.

Consider eavesdropping on the constant stream of thoughts from the vantage point of a purely neutral observer. If we determine that our thoughts leave us feeling scared, lonely, angry, abandoned or simply “not enough”,  then we have tested positive for a virus in the software of our mind.

The cause or bug in our software is that we may identify more with roles, instead of our true essence. Are we fair to define ourselves by the sum total of circumstances? Our roles are often based on profession, gender, financial status, marital status, the cars we drive, our zip code and so on. Basing our identity on the shifting sand, or the sum total of our circumstances, is a formula for suffering, confusion and fear. Could this misidentification be a more destructive virus than COVID-19?

This is not in any way to belittle the pain and havoc people are experiencing. My heart goes out to all those affected by this terrible situation. We join our community in the precautions that have been put into effect and hope that we can collectively help those in need. During our time of quarantine, we support you in finding inner peace, and neutralize any “virus” that may b