A Buddhist and yogic response to COVID-19

Here are two practices, one from Buddhist tradition and one from yoga, to help you feel a sense of agency during this unusual time and to send out loving kindness to everyone who might be suffering.

Tonglen, as described by the Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron, encourages you to:

Feel your discomfort, anxiety or pain, emotionally and wherever you can find it in your body.

Send yourself loving kindness and compassion.

Think of all the other people in the world who might be suffering just as you are right now..

Breathe in their pain. (If you’re a highly sensitive person or an empath, this may feel like too much. If that’s true for you, skip this step.)

Send them love and compassion.

The practice is done slowly, deliberately, and with an open heart towards yourself and others. It’s a beautiful meditation that connects us in a time of disconnection.

The yogic practice uses the mantra:

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.

One of the translations from the Sanskrit means:

May all beings be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all.

If you choose the mantra practice, the classic way to use it is to either sing, chant, speak, whisper or think the mantra 108 times for 40 consecutive days.

You can count the number on a string of 108 mala beads, or two cycles of a 54 bead rosary, or just use your fingers.

This is a perfect time to experiment with new tools to help ground and support you.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video of the chant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn7mhcdAqzc

(If you love doing the mantra, please check out the whole mantra section on this site.)

Copyright Nicole S. Urdang

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Nicole Urdang

Nicole S. Urdang, M.S., NCC, DHM is a Holistic Psychotherapist in Buffalo, NY. She holds a New York state license in mental health counseling and a doctorate in homeopathic medicine from the British Institute of Homeopathy.