Shastro’s contribution in the time of the coronavirus, to his series ‘Insights from the Cushion’.
I remember one evening, just over 30 years ago, I was sitting in India in the large Buddha Hall listening to Osho talking to us… at one point he said, “The opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is fear.”
There and then I was surprised because in my little mind I was very used to considering hatred as the opposite of love.
Yesterday morning, more than 30 years later, while doing my morning meditation practice, I recalled that moment, while an understanding was arising within me: that this situation, so dramatic for many people, this virus that seems to grip the collective subconscious of Italy, is leading me to a very clear crossroads… I perceived it as a cusp: if I lean too much to one side I fall into the vortex of fear and if I lean to the other side I fall into the arms of love.
That’s right. And looking at these two poles I could perceive their opposite qualities: Fear with its sense of contraction, isolation, tension, diffidence and coldness towards others and towards life, and Love with its expansion, inclusion, trust, relaxation, empathy and compassion towards each other and towards the planet. Fear wants to control and makes you more easily controlled, and love gives freedom and makes you realize that you are free.
So I found myself on top of this cusp asking myself: which way do you want to let yourself fall?
I think that collectively we all are right now at this crossroads and I think there is a great lesson waiting to be learned… a great opportunity for growth.
It is not an easy situation…
Osho also said that the fear of death lies behind all fears. I see, understand and know this fear in me as I am sure almost all of you do, and these are the moments in which it is triggered and oftentimes even exploited by those who have their own private agenda; but these are also the moments in which our spirit can rise from the dark valleys of fear and move towards the luminous peaks of one of the most powerful qualities that man has within himself: the ability to love.
Love in the true sense of the word. A love that is bigger than our small world. A love that can embrace (symbolically now!) not only the other but all living beings on the planet. This is the glory of man who is able to destroy but at the same time able to feel and share love, one of the most divine creative forces that resides right in our hearts. It is up to us now to let it awaken. The time is ripe.
A warm virtual hug!
During the coronavirus emergency, Shastro is offering free online meditation webinars that include 6 sessions in 3 weeks. (It’s possible to participate only from the start.) Ideal for those who are just approaching meditation, and more experienced practitioners who would enjoy sitting together in the same ‘virtual meditation hall’. For more info: shastro.com or facebook.com/shastro.veet
Illustration: ‘Herzhaus’ by Shivananda – shivananda.ch