By Pei Qi
As a Buddhist, I have been taught about the transience of all phenomenon and to see past the illusions of all that are mere reflections and consequences of karma. The Covid 19 situation has changed and taken away all that I have taken for granted. The experience of living in a Covid 19 world is a humbling one; it has shaken to the core, the foundations of the social constructs we have formed. It has got me thinking, at the end of the day, what is really mine? What is it that I am in control of? If a virus can change everything overnight, isn’t this a testimony to the truth that nothing is permanent? I thank my teachers who have taught me the Dharma. These teachings that I have held close to me, have allowed me to transit quite calmly into this new world order that is dictated by the whims and fancy of the virus.
Mindfulness in daily life
Working from home has blurred the lines between family and work. More so than ever, I must not let emotions slow me down so that I can be a good employee and mother. Multitasking is not easy and I have learnt that if I keep a calm rational mind and keep a good watch over my thoughts, I can get the job done quicker with less fuss. When in a state of mindfulness, we will not hurt people with unintended consequences as a result of unmindful words and actions. The practice of sitting meditation is very essential as we do need some quiet time to watch our mind and maintain a state of awareness in stillness, with no distractions and I do my best to make it a part of me and my children’s daily routine. The state of mindfulness should not be restricted to the time we spend on sitting meditation, but every single moment of our lives. Consistent sitting meditation practice can, and will reinforce our ability to watch our mind and return to a state of mindfulness easily as we go about our daily lives.
Empathy during these difficult times
As a Buddhist, I have also learnt to be emphatic to the needs and opinions of others during this Covid 19 situation, however diverse they may be. There have been so many opinions on how to manage the changes and in order for one not to be frustrated and confused, one needs to be able to take a step away and look at things not just from a larger perspective but also from another person’s point of view. Putting biases and personal likes aside when handling a matter or making a decision takes a lot of wisdom and self-awareness. I often fall back on Buddhist teachings when I have a difficult decision to make and when I do that, problems become less complicated.
Buddhist congregation sessions during Circuit Breaker period
To allow us to continue with Dharma practice during the Circuit Breaker period, our Dharma teachers, together with a team of volunteers have put our weekly Dharma sessions online with Zoom and I am unendingly grateful to them for providing this platform for us to practise and listen to the Dharma as a congregation. As I chant the names of the Bodhisattvas, I am so grateful to the mercy they have shown, the guidance and hope they have given to mankind. May all fellow Buddhist practitioners continue to practise the way of the Bodhisattvas and emulate the Buddhas of the Past, Present and Future. May all fellow Buddhist practitioners continue to cultivate and transfer the merit of our practice to all sentient beings in this world of suffering.
Be With Buddha.