The Buddhist way of life to deal with an epidemic of coronavirus
The recent outbreak of coronavirus has created a panic environment. Everybody is cautious and is following preventive measures as prescribed by the World Health Organization. These include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Additionally, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. Even though people follow preventive measures, there are people stressed due to news circulating on social media. So in this situation, one can follow a Buddhist’s way of life to manage stress levels.
Understanding the teachings of Buddha helps to understand the world and the true meaning of life. It helps to change the perception positively. On the other hand, meditation provides a sense of calm, peace, and a balanced environment that benefits both your emotional well-being and overall health. Additionally, mindfulness meditation has benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and enhanced cognitive function.
Teachings of Buddha, in brief
Buddha has engaged himself for forty-five years spreading Buddha’s wisdom and teachings in India. Later his disciple spread the teachings to other nearby countries. These teachings are three universal questions, four noble truths, and the noble eightfold path.
Three universal truths explain everything that exists in this world is impermanent and changing, Impermanence leads to suffering which makes life imperfect. The last truth is there is no such thing as a self.
Four noble truths explain the world is full of suffering, the origin of the suffering is desire and attachment, this desire and attachment can be overcome and the way to overcome is by the practice of the eightfold path.
The noble eightfold path is eight behavioral guidelines to overcome desire and attachment. These guidelines are right seeing and understanding, right thought or intention, right speech, right action, right work or livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. Since these guidelines are dependent on each other, all these paths have to be followed to overcome suffering.
Practicing the eightfold path, one can understand the coronavirus outbreak and undertake proper action to minimize the spread of the virus. They will be responsible for their behavior and can properly concentrate on the precautions.
Mindfulness Meditation Practice
Mindfulness meditation is the practice where an individual purposefully brings one attention to surrounding experiences without judgment. The research has shown that mindfulness provides numerous benefits - decreased stress and sadness, increased level of focus and happiness, improved immune function, enhanced cognitive function, etc. There are various mindfulness techniques from simple to advance. One of the easiest and simple to follow is breathing exercises.
To practice the exercise, find a calm and quiet place. You can sit on the chair or cushion. If you have a Buddha statue then you can practice meditation in front of the statue. You can either place it inside the room. Relax and be straight. Place your hands on the top of your leg with your upper arm at your side. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feel and focus on the rise of your chest and expansion of your belly, when you breathe in. Likely, when you breathe out, feel and focus the fall of your chest and contraction of your belly. Additionally, you can observe the coolness of the air as you breathe in and warm air as you breathe out. Relax and be natural. During the practice, your focus may shift but don’t pass judgment. When your focus shifts, as you become aware gently return your focus to your breath and experience the moment. You can practice this simple technique for 10 minutes a day. The practice is beneficial only when it is practiced continuously. Additionally, you can place a Buddha statue inside the room as it helps to foster peace to the mind, heart, and soul.
Henceforth, when you practice meditation daily you will be able to develop calmness and improve the immune system within yourself. You can manage stress levels regarding the epidemic of coronavirus along with focusing on following preventive measures.