As we come to grips with the speechlessness we have felt from facing terrible almost daily occurring events around the world with deepening sorrow over the entire last year, a new era is already beginning…

Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis when each and every one of us is pressed upon to have an even stronger sense of self-restraint, the great transformation the world is undergoing will surely leave a lasting effect, dividing everything into BC (Before Corona) and AC (After Corona) once we overcome this tragedy.

In the current Coronavirus Pandemic when each and every one of us is pressed upon to exercise utmost self-restraint, we are on the cusp of a great transformation of the world that will surely leave a lasting effect, so that we will start to categorise everything into BC (Before Corona) and AC (After Corona) once we overcome this tragedy.

Similar to 19th century Europe after the Industrial Revolution where the large-scale mechanization of the means of production advanced by leaps and bounds after epidemic-induced labour shortages, life as we knew it in the early 21st century is again undergoing drastic changes with the proliferation of digitization (including internet-conferencing) and even AI (artificial intelligence) accelerated by the rapid spread of COVID-19.

Moreover, the spread of COVID-19 has been challenging our basic humanity and our human rights, in addition to our social life based on trust and cooperation…

Mt. Ohmine, Nara (Photo by Miro Ito)

Lotus positon

As it happens, statues depicting the enlightened Buddha Shakyamuni are seated in the padmasana position, the legs crossed and feet resting on the opposing thighs. Although an uncomfortable position, it is one of the most stable and even frequently used in Zen meditation practice where it is known as the lotus position.

The enlightened Buddha Shakyamuni compared the world itself to a lotus flower. The lotus flower that is rooted in the bottom mud of a pond, yet emerges as a beautiful blossom on the water surface, is a metaphor for a purified heart. It symbolises that a pure, untainted state of mind can emerge even from an earth tainted by worldly desires.

Image by Miro Ito

Awakening to the infinite from the confines of the finite

While the social freedom of so many people around the world is restricted by the Coronavirus measures, one effective method to keep your mind calm is meditation. Sitting meditating in the lotus position, despite the physical confines of one’s body, one can open ones mind to the infinite.  By releasing a sense of self toward the incomprehensible universe, about what essentially to do and where to be oriented towards, our answers will emerge in due course, as long as we earnestly seek the truth.

Beyond this, the great wisdom of nature —where everything comes and goes in an endless cycle in which we all are fellow travellers— can be perceived: nature itself, in which everything is interconnected and interdependent is the fundamental essence of our being.

What mother nature seems to be telling us now is that life on our planet is poised to evolve in a wholly new form of globalization which attaches priority to all living beings and their wellbeing instead of seamlessly reverting to the previous model that prioritized ever greater efficiencies at all cost.

In the hope of ushering in a new era characterized by a sustainable co-existence drawing from the wisdom of mother nature…

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