Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Coronavirus May be an Opportunity to Deepen Practice

Recently Brad Warner wrote some stuff on Twitter which I found, personally, somewhat irresponsible - basically stating that people should in general, not discuss the coronavirus pandemic.

His post here explains his position a little better than his Tweets, to say the least.  However, I still find it problematic.   So here's my response to his post:

Dear Brad,

I responded rather strongly to you on Twitter about your position re: the coronavirus, and reading your post on your blog I can understand your position, based on your own mental predisposition & baggage therein.

But please note it's far, far, far from universal. Those of us, such as myself, who have science backgrounds (especially historical science backgrounds)  can cut through the media and political bullshit, and in fact it's incumbent on us to speak out, to inform, to analyze, engage, and most of all, to help.   So while it might be the right thing for you, with your mental predisposition, I'd rephrase what you'd written earlier.

And frankly speaking, it's not out of the realm of impossible that we might have statewide quarantines coming.  I have in-laws in China that have been subject to their draconian quarantine measures, and they're getting by.  It's something to live with, to accept the circumstances such as they are. The point is, even in such circumstances, to be unmoved mentally and just do what needs to be done.   

The environment in which we live at present is like a really good Damascus Japanese knife made via the methods of samurai swords.  You have to pay attention to it or you'll hurt yourself.   So it is with a pandemic.  We don't want a pandemic, but what we want or don't want won't change circumstances, so we have to accept it.

As such, it's an opportunity to deepen one's practice, in somewhat the same manner as the mud at Tahoma Sogenji in February.  We have to be mindful of the mud, mindful of the sharp knives, and mindful of the possible presence of pathogens.

It's not really that difficult.