So Covid-19 has been ‘flavor of the month’ for quite some time now, and at the end of last year I got a personal taste of it myself. Not a great taste, actually. But on the positive side, while lying in bed sick with the notorious coronavirus I got some profound, life-changing insights which you can read about in the story below.
Deep pain and deep healing all in one
I am sure many have been asking: Why Covid? Why so globally? Why now? And I have addressed some of these questions in previous articles. But at that time I wasn’t speaking from experience, I was simply sharing my theories about it without having verified them in practical terms. Well, now I have verified at least one of those theories, and I am eager to share it.
We have all heard about connectedness and oneness, and how Covid is (hopefully) bringing us a step closer to those experiences, seeing how we are all in this together. But then again, are we really all in this together? Personally, I am not so sure about that looking at the controversies in government policies (especially in countries where elections are taking place during the pandemic), the push-backs from the public against restrictions (not a lot of us are willingness to sacrifice our “precious” routines for the greater good), and more recently – the distribution of vaccines (those who pay more get more).
So what are we missing? When and how are we finally going to learn the lesson? And what is that lesson?
Actually, Covid gives us an obvious clue both about the What we need to learn and the How. What Covid patients experience and in some cases die from is lack of air. And air is the very thing that connects us all. To use one of Jessica Dibb’s observations, we can create an in-group and an out-group (i.e. manifest separation) based on race, profession, gender, age, social characteristics, looks, etc. But there is one common denominator which, when applied, leads us automatically to oneness – the breath. Thus, no matter what beliefs, traumas and preferences we have, we all belong to the group of breathers. And the breath (which, as I have come to experience, is the embodiment of Spirit), is what connects us all and gives us the physical, somatic experience of oneness. BUT only if we pay attention to it!
Surprise, surprise – Covid is bringing our attention and awareness exactly to the breath. As such, Covid is asking us to start living a more spiritually oriented life: a life where we are indeed more connected, a life lived in the NOW. Importantly, by bringing our focus to the breathing, Covid is not only showing us the lesson we need to learn, i.e. the lesson of oneness; it is also showing us how we can learn said lesion, and that’s simply by staying focused on the breath and practicing conscious breathing.
Without a doubt, conscious breathing is what can give us a direct spiritual experience (albeit in physical bodies). I personally learnt that through being forced (after getting sick with Covid) to pay attention to the breath. Not that I hadn’t dabbled in various yoga and meditation practices before. But this time the shift in awareness was so profound! Armed with a somewhat survival-driven motivation at the beginning of the disease, I dove deep into various breathing techniques, and the more intimately I got to know conscious breathing, the more my experience of separation was dissolving. I was feeling so much lighter, happier and, of course, more connected. I was getting the lesson! More importantly, I was healing a disease not brought on by the novel coronavirus but merely highlighted by it.
Sadly, I think the whole planet is sick with that same disease – the disease of Separation. Hence, we have a global pandemic. This pandemic has managed to highlight in a brilliant way the pervasiveness of the pathology we all suffer from, the breathlessness and lack of connectedness throughout the globe. Covid is just the red light here signaling we need to fix the engine. And it’s not going away in a hurry, at least not until we all become conscious of the real problem and start taking the right action towards resolving it. The real problem, indeed, is a profound spiritual disconnect. We, as a planet, have reached the apogee of Separation. Hence, Covid is screaming at us: “Use the breath, people, and connect!”
On the face of it, I wholeheartedly encourage you to seek out some conscious breathing practices and start incorporating them in your life (if you haven’t already). Talking about oneness doesn’t help you feel it. Conscious breathing, on the other hand, takes us straight to the physical experience of oneness, to the embodiment of spirituality. Try it for yourself and I am sure you will never look back. It only takes a few conscious breaths to change your point of view. And a different point of view opens doors to new, exciting and limitless possibilities.