It is time to be the medicine, the uplifting music, the lamp in the darkness.
Burst out with love. Be a carrier of hope.
~ Jack Kornfield

Dear Friends,

We have a choice. Epidemics, like earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, and floods are part of the cycle of life on planet earth. How will we respond? With greed, hatred, fear and ignorance? This only brings more suffering. Or will we respond with generosity, clarity, steadiness and love? This is the time for love. Time for bodhisattvas.

In Buddhist teachings, the bodhisattva is someone who vows to alleviate suffering and bring blessings in every circumstance. A bodhisattva chooses to live with dignity and courage and radiates compassion for all, no matter where they find themselves. As bodhisattvas, we are now asked to hold a certain measure of the tragedy of the world and respond with love. The bodhisattva path is in front of us.

We can sit quietly, take a deep breath, and acknowledge our fear, apprehension, and helplessness – and hold these feelings with a compassionate heart. We can say to our feelings, “Thank you for trying to protect me. I am OK for now.” When we do, we can feel ourselves as part of something greater, of generations of survivors in the vast web of life.

This is a time of mystery and uncertainty. The veils of separation are parting and the reality of interconnection is apparent to everyone on earth. We have needed this pause, perhaps even needed our isolation to see how much we need one another.

Sit quietly again and ask your heart: What is my part? What is my best intention, my most noble aspiration for this difficult time? Your heart will answer. Let this answer become your North Star and whenever you feel lost, remember it. It will remind you of what matters.

It is time to be the medicine, the uplifting music, the lamp in the darkness. Burst out with love. Be a carrier of hope. The bodhisattva directs compassion toward everyone – those who are suffering and vulnerable and those who are causing suffering. We are in this together.

It is time to re-imagine a new world, to envision sharing our common humanity, to vision how we can live in the deepest most beautiful way possible. In the end, remember who you are is timeless awareness, the consciousness that was born into your body.

Timeless love and awareness is who you are. Trust it. The world awaits your compassionate heart.

With metta,


Liberally edited extracts from The Bodhisattva Response to Coronavirus, Lion’s Roar magazine, July 2020.
“Metta” means benevolence, loving-kindness, friendliness, amity, good will, and active interest in others.
Kwan Yin is the Buddhist bodhisattva (goddess) of compassion.


Photo by Barbara
Kwan Yin in our kitchen
Minneapolis, MN