What the __is Happening?

Going Deeper With Covid-19

“Do not lose hope,
We were made for these times.”

–Dr. Clarisa Pinkola Estes

One of the interesting insights floating around about the pandemic we are experiencing is the realization that everyone is thinking about the same thing every day, all around the world. That in itself is a first in human history and worth some reflection. I find it very powerful and somehow comforting to recognize in a heightened way that in this very moment, all of humanity shares my concerns.

What else is “new” is that while we are all deeply concerned about our own and other people’s physical and economic health, there is an almost universal reflecting on the deeper questions that are as old as humanity: “What is important? Why am I here? Who or what am I? What is death? Is there an intelligence greater than humans that is present? What is really going on?” There are those of us who believe that this questioning is as important an effect of the Covid-19 experience as anything else, that it brings us the opportunity to make a fundamental shift in the consciousness of humanity.

An opportunity, not a given. The health consequences will be determined by the intelligent (or not) use of our medical resources and skills as well as social cooperation. And just as the direction of the economic and political consequences will be determined by choices we make in those realms, the direction of the shift in human consciousness will be determined by how we individually and collectively respond in our hearts and minds.

We are fortunate in many ways. We have the ability to communicate with one another, even see each other, and learn from each other across great distances. As part of this, wisdom teachings from all over the world have become widespread and individuals who have probed deeply into these teachings are known to many of us and can offer guidance in these times.

I’ve gathered some of those that have come my way at the site, https://medium.com/@covid.inspirations, and am calling attention to a few recent additions here. I will keep adding to the site, so check it out, share it, and please feel free to send me items you feel are helpful.

May you stay healthy, be resilient, and find in these times what you are called to be and do.

With deep appreciation for those on the front lines and with love and blessings to all,

Alan Levin

A Message From Jack Kornfield:


Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield, is widely respected for his wise and deep heart teachings. Here he calls to our attention that this time, (perhaps like all times when we are paying attention) we are called to bring forth the Bodhisattva within us.

“A Bodhisattva chooses to live with dignity and courage and radiates compassion for all, no matter where they find themselves.”

“Dear Friends,
We have a choice.
Epidemics, like earthquakes, tornadoes 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 with generosity, clarity, steadiness and love?
This is the time for love.
Time for Bodhisattvas……….

From Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Do Not Lose Heart – We Were Made for These Times


Written as a letter to a young activist, this message from the eminent scholar and long-time activist herself, Dr. Estes, is a timeless message of inspiration to us all.

“I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able crafts in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

I would like to take your hands for a moment and assure you that you are built well for these times. Despite your stints of doubt, your frustrations in arighting all that needs change right now, or even feeling you have lost the map entirely, you are not without resource. You are not alone.”

From Charles Eisenstein
The Coronation

Eisenstein is a unique, out-of-the-box, thinker/visionary who recognizes that the core cause of most all human problems is our way of perceiving reality, the illusory belief that we are separate beings rather than a mutually inter-dependent web of connected life. Unlike many who speak from this basic spiritual understanding, he stays very grounded in the science and numbers of it all and is willing to consider all possibilities.
In this essay on the Covid-19 pandemic he challenges us on every front to look with new eyes at this and all the challenges we face.


“Now, all of a sudden, we go around a bend and here it is. We stop, hardly able to believe that now it is happening, hardly able to believe, after years of confinement to the road of our predecessors, that now we finally have a choice. We are right to stop, stunned at the newness of our situation. Because of the hundred paths that radiate out in front of us, some lead in the same direction we’ve already been headed. Some lead to hell on earth. And some lead to a world more healed and more beautiful than we ever dared believe to be possible.”

And for your pleasure:
Here is something I found funny and at the same time brought tears to my eyes. Humans have such an immense capacity to be creative, find humor and derive strength in times of trouble. It’s gone viral, so you may have seen it. Here’s the family singing about lockdown to the tune from Les Miserables.