A reflection on the Covid19 pandemic by Martine Batchelor


In March 2020 when the virus struck the world and confinement started in France, I felt that all the years of practice we did prepared us for such a strange time. It seemed it could become a time for making change and taking stock.

Some intentions made sense:

  • Taking time to do whatever was needed in a more slow and steady manner
  • Engaging in relationships more creatively
  • Caring for each other anew
  • Appreciating and being grateful for essential workers

Such a time seems to remind us of the four special qualities: friendliness, compassion, appreciative/altruistic joy and equanimity.  When teaching for the Bodhi College and other centers online it became clear that these qualities would sustain us in many different situations during these difficult times.

We might have had mixed feelings: on the one hand the extreme situation encouraged us to make important personal changes, on the other I certainly felt great sadness for the suffering and difficult circumstances of many people all over the world.

Now some questions and reflections might remain: how can we care and be careful at the same time?  How is awakening meaningful at such a time?  What do we need to let go of?  What do we need to take up afresh, anew for the benefit of all?