I am calmer and more peaceful. I don´t get upset in the way I did before, and when listening to the news, for instance, I have a new way of seeing things then I did before.

When everything with the coronavirus came up, it got me, and most of the people around me upset and affected in different ways. Speculations and a lot of so-called “experts” inside all of us showed up, even in myself. Though no one in the whole wide world could be sure of anything and know what was going on, this type of coronavirus was not like other coronavirus in earlier times. In Sweden, this uncertainty was pointed out, and various approaches were presented to the public on how to handle the situation.

I think many of us felt a sort of knot, or a lot of knots, inside. It was hard to know what could happen – to ourselves as well as to society. Sadness and worry arose, but also some hope and respect. People were solving problems as they arose, all while deaths were happening near and beside them. Researchers and other people from around the world began working together without boundaries. How could it be possible to understand the coronavirus, to understand how this virus worked and spread, and find a solution. Could there be any possibilities in this situation? Researchers and officials came together to find solutions. Different countries tried to find different ways and directions according to their laws, cultures, and societies.

With Yuan Tze´s retreat, I found a lot of tools to handle myself, and tools to use in my life. I have read and used the method of working on patterns before. Now Yuan Tze pointed out some questions and suggestions to ask if the position our societies are in today could be because of patterns.

Through questions and his teachings, Yuan Tze invited us to consider our own lives and to take responsibility for ourselves. Also, to take responsibility for our closest people, to take responsibility for nature, and to find solutions. He gave us good guidance on the road forward. “Where are you in this crisis?”, he asked. “What’s your reaction when we talk about the coronavirus as a teacher?” The questions were challenging, and suddenly, everything was “upside-down,” but I was open to following the reasoning.

Now, Yuan Tze discussed the coronavirus from a different point of view and from the perspective of the very deep Heart-qualities (Five Xin) – trust, openness, love, gratitude, and Gongjing. The questions he presented lead me further on my path inside me. It was astonishing. It was very interesting, and it moved me deeply. Though it is hard to explain.

Think of the globe as Mother Earth,” he said. Inside me, an image emerged of Mother Earth shaking herself to get rid of things that should not be upon her – stress, pollution, climate issues caused by the technical industry, and so on. Mother Earth seemed to be like a moose coming up from being in water and shaking away water drops, but for Mother Earth, it was to get rid of things created by humans – the coronavirus as well. Mother Earth must open up, be healthy, and be able to breath. The patterns by humanity caused problems, and now humanity was standing at a crossroad. In all parts of human lives and societies it is now time to choose the way forward. We can see the side effects of the virus when we observe the clean air in towns that were previously polluted. Clean water in cities such as Vienna, Deli, and other cities. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pink Flamingos in one area in Bombay. Animals undisturbed by humans in closed National Parks. We must open our eyes in a true way and go further with our response for change.

Yuan Tze suggested to us that there are different alternatives, and said: “Think of the coronavirus as a teacher coming to us with a message.” We cannot stop or change what has happened, but we can affect what comes out of the situation. The teacher could give us the opportunity to learn, to take responsibility, and to find a way for a better life and the possibility to meet our true selves. Now is the time to think and to do some inner work. We have to stay at home, and we could use the time for ourselves and our life cultivation. We are being presented with an opportunity to change the direction of our lives. There was a sort of openness and respect in Yuan Tze’s talk.

We could, for instance, look at this teacher—the coronavirus—as the one giving us the possibility to look at our lives and to think of the possibilities for change; change to get healthier, to cultivate life, to do things that before seemed too hard to do.

I was thinking of this strange invisible coronavirus playing around with researchers, virus-experts, officials, persons in private—old people, middle-aged people, youths, and children. The virus is playing around with all of us—people in different cultures, people in different countries all over the globe. No matter who we are. No matter wherever we come from.

Through the different practices and the different perspectives and questions that Yuan Tze served us, I learned how to reach quietness inside and to be in a state where I could accept different perspectives, take in different news, different politicians, and different coronavirus experts. Humanity is waking up. I am walking up. Politicians in my small country said: “Now we have to put political quarrels aside. This is serious, very serious. Only one thing is important: we will manage to go through this crisis together…”. Other officials did say: “keep distance, stay at home if you are slightly unwell, wash your hands, be observant of the fake new,s and please critically evaluate where you obtain your information. We have to find a straight way and go through this together”.

Responsibility and possibility to choose direction in life, to choose and to be the true teacher of oneself. Humanity is waking up. I am slowly waking up.

We are living here and now in this special moment. We don’t need to be lost in the past or worry about the future. We are living here, and we have to ask ourselves what has to be done?

When death comes near, and we stand face-to-face with it, we are standing there alone. There is a sort of quietness there – quietness in not knowing exactly what is coming or not coming. I realized the important words “Zi Du, Du Ren” – Uplift yourself and help others.

Now is time to take responsibility for our own lives, to find health and happiness. It is time to find trust in oneself, to find love in oneself, to be kind and open to oneself, to feel gratitude to all experiences through life so far, to feel the true respect for oneself and all living beings. We are all parts in an endless universe.

I feel grateful to Yuan Tze, Melissa, my teacher Arne, all teachers and all of you working to give me and all of us the possibility to go further in our life-cultivation in this way. To reflect and use new perspectives has been good for me. I have a new and more creative way of considering the news and media statements, and even fake news. I feel calmer inside. Even my husband says that he can see and feel the change and differences.

~ Inger Stenman


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