There is a special power in the coming together of religious leaders in their diversity to deliver a message at a given point in time, especially a time of global crisis. Forty important voices are taking part in this project. I am grateful to editors of Tablet magazine for their eagerness to feature the project in its entirety.Together, we set out to answer seven questions:1. What have been your greatest challenges in dealing with the present Corona crisis?2. Corona is bringing out a lot of fear in people. How does one deal with fear? What spiritual advice could you offer to people struggling with fear?3. Corona has forced people into solitude. How should time be spent in solitude? Many people do not have experience and habits that would allow them to make the most of this opportunity. What advice could they be given?4. Corona brings about deprivation. We are deprived of our freedom, of our habits. We lose things, and even more so- people we love. How does one deal with all forms of deprivation?5. What does Corona teach us about our interconnectivity? What are spiritual applications that people can practice consciously?6. Corona forces us into our own protective space, but it also calls us to solidarity. How to practice solidarity? What are teachings that support solidarity? What actions express solidarity? What can one do to express solidarity, even from within the confines of one's home and protection?7. Many people say the world will be different after this Corona crisis. What blessings do you see Corona bringing to the world? How can the world be different, for the better, following this crisis?One of the most important conceptual threads that runs through the project is the recognition that for all its hardships, the coronavirus is in some way also a blessing. To uncover that blessing we may need the eyes of the other and the experience of another spiritual tradition and how it is able to find blessing even in hardship. Introspection 13Cardinal Cristoph Schonborn, AustriaCardinal Christoph Schönborn is an Austrian Cardinal of the Catholic Church and theologian. He currently serves as the Archbishop of Vienna and President of the Austrian Bishops Conference. In this revealing interview he shares his own fears and struggles, in what is in fact the first major crisis in his lifetime. We draw courage from the historical recollection that God does not abandon us and that God is the eternal one. To be free of fear of death is a condition to be happy in this life.Corona teaches us not to take anything for granted. We appreciate things in a new way. We also have to realize that solidarity does not end at the border of our country. The global plague evokes the notion of the dark night that we are passing through. In this we need to learn to live the question, and live it with hope. Light is coming.Elder Jeffrey Holland, USAElder Jeffrey Holland is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. An educator and administrator, he is one of the highest ranking leaders in the Church. In this revealing exchange, Elder Holland shares how this period provides a first stop after forty years of intense activity. This is a transformative moment for him and it hastransformative potential for the entire Church. With more time to pray and with the deepening that is brought about by relative solitude, the sense of care for the other is made more real and more a specific to all. It also expands and is universalized, drawing closer to his awareness the fundamental realization that we are all children of one father. With this broadening and deepening of vision come new opportunities and possibilities for how he, as a leader of the Church, would wish to see the Church’s service to humanity in the future and how this recovery of a deeper unity might translate in its policies and priorities.Rabbi Dov Singer, IsraelRabbi Dov Singer is a noted educator in the religious-Zionist sector in Israel. He heads Yeshivat Mekor Chayim and is a founder of a movement of prayer groups that seek to deepen the experience of prayer. Of all participants in this project, Rabbi Singer is the only one to have contracted the Corona virus. The interview thus shares Rabbi Dov’s own process and the insights he gained going through the illness. One must accept to be weak, to be silent, to listen and not to rush back immediately to one’s previous state. Solitude is a means of peeling the shells around one and therefore was preferred by him to filling the time with communication. A deep tension was felt between the need for solitude and intimacy and the showing of public support and prayer for his healing. Rabbi Singer developed a four-step meditation, based on biblical sources, for going inwards, which he shares here. The closer one is to one’s own intimacy, solidarity increases in a broad sense. This leads to a universal identification with all. The divine maternal aspect comes to the fore as a means of extending compassion and identifying with all. The biggest fear was the possibility of harming others by infecting them and dealing with the ensuing guilt. Fear must be raised to its source and eventually leads to love for all.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 12Singh Sahib Giani Harpreet Singh, IndiaSingh Sahib is Jathedar, the appointed head, of Sikh religion’s highest administrative seat, the Akal Tkhat. His message, based on questions presented to him for the coronaspection project, focuses on the work the Sikh community has undertaken in its response and highlights the spiritual principles we must bring to bear during this period - self-discipline, meditation, optimism, a positive mental approach, and a natural way of life.Imam Dr. Muhammad Suheyl Umar, PakistanMuhammad Suheyl Umar is a Pakistani scholar, author and religious leader. He narrates a little known process of addressing popular religious responses to Coronavirus in Pakistan by means of appropriate religious teaching. Religious understanding is key in dealing with both the practical and theoretical issues posed by the virus.Religious communities are always in danger of losing their priorities. Decadence can set into all religions and teachers and reformers are required to elevate a religion’s teaching with the passage of time. Parallels between some contemporary Jewish and Muslim responses to Coronavirus invite us to reflect on different levels of the religious life and what appropriate religious response is life-giving. The prayer that was most useful is the opening of the Quran, the Fatiha, which is recited at the end of the interview.Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, IsraelRabbi Tamar Elad-Applebaum is Rabbi of Kehilat Zion, Jerusalem and co-founder of the Beit Midrash (seminary) for Israeli Rabbis. My days are full with the voices of the people I serve and love in my community. We are building the infrastructure of solidarity in the community. Rabbis too need support in this time of crisis, and this leads to creating new networks of support, across denominations. Our challenge now is – how close can we be? We are recreating our ability to give attention to each other. Attention expands to nature, and to every person. We are all in gentle, holy attentivity to each other. We must take a step back and to allow God to do what only he can do. Through the use of breath, we can connect to God and bring his presence close to us.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 11Matta Amritanandayi Devi, IndiaMatta Amritanandayi Devi, or Amma, as she is known all over the world, is one of India’s most popular and visible religious leaders. She has inspired and started innumerable humanitarian services. She is known in India and internationally for her special form of receiving people, through a prayerful embrace. Amma’s special message for COVID-19 highlights courage in the face of fear, the need for prayer and appeal for divine grace, alongside taking all needed practical precautions. It concludes with the prayer she recommends for these times: “May all beings be happy”.Archbishop Justin Welby, EnglandArchbishop Justin Welby is the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican communion. “I’ve never been so busy, or pressurized”, says the Archbishop, as he describes the Church shifting its work online. Meeting, learning, praying and community shifts online, with tenfold attendance. In confronting fear, this has been a time of spiritual growth and self-recognition. The sincerity of prayer, in its many dimensions, including lament and protest, allow one to face fear andbreaks the heart open to God’s comforting presence.Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, IsraelRabbi Yuval Cherlow is head of the hesder Yeshiva Orot Shaul, head of the Religious and Ethics Center in Jerusalem and a prominent voice in the religious Zionist stream of Judaism. Issues of medical ethics are explored in relation to priority of treatment, in response to COVID-19.Religious guidelines can aid medical staff in making crucial ethical decisions. True freedom allows one to rise above all deprivations in external circumstances. Even though prayer in Judaism is largely a public reality, the present situation provides us with the opportunity to deepen our prayer experience individually. At the same time, horizons broaden from our group to all of humanity.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 10Shrivatsa Goswami, IndiaShrivatsa Goswami is a Hindu teacher of global note, located in Vrindavan, India, where he is priest in Radharaman Temple, in the city most noted for the worship of Lord Krishna. He describes the situation in India under lockdown, where Temples are closed and the entire rhythm of religious life has been disrupted. COVID 19 has an amazing homogenizing effect on humanity and the challenges of a Hindu religious leader are identical to those in other religions. Everything in the universe is interconnected. A sense of one human family has become stronger from the solidarity of suffering.It allows us to tackle the great problems that humanity still needs to tackle. Prayer is our most important resource at this time.Karma Lekshe Tsomo, USAKarma Lekshe Tsomo is Prof. of Buddhist studies at the university of San Diego, an ordained nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and co-founder of Sakyadhita, International Association of Buddhist Women.All of life’s spiritual practice is preparation for a moment like this, for the big moments that demonstrate the fundamental principle of impermanence. The present moment can be seen as a retreat. We must consider the implications of the present moment for the less fortunate, who do not have enough to eat. Looking at the source of attachment is a means of dealing with loss and deprivation. Giving gratitude is a way of keeping our hearts happy. We must keep a calm and happy mind. Confinement is an opportunity for learning patience, as the antidote to anger. Lovingkindess for all includes also the perpetrators of the present global crisis. Lekshe guides us through a process of generating lovingkindness to all, including animals.Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, EnglandRabbi Jonathan Wittenberg is Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg is Rabbi of the New North London Synagogue and head of the Masorti movement in England. Solidarity is one of the main outcomes of the crisis in the community. Networks of support emerge. A spirit of closeness arises, in humanity across the globe. This is also an opportunity for engaging in learning. We can transcend space in our loving thoughts and prayers and reach the sick and distant. We must cultivate a sense of the world as sacred. A meditation service is offered to aid in the present, and taught by the Rabbi.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 9Patriarch Daniel, RomaniaPatriarch Daniel is Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. In this brief message, delivered specifically for the coronaspection project, Patriarch Daniel considers the pandemic as a test to verify our spiritual state and the intensity of their love for God and for each other. Prayer is a source of peace and hope, solidarity with those who suffer is a source of courage and joy. The pandemic calls us to transform suffering into hope and isolation into a desire for more communion among people. Prayer strengthens us in faith and is an expression of love. Given the closure of churches, the home becomes part of the parish. Faith, hope and love emerge as the key qualities that carry us through this difficult period.Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, IndiaMaulana Wahiduddin Khan is an Indian scholar and religious leader, aged 95, who is considered one of the most influential muslims globally. Under lockdown, he was unable to conduct an interview, and we are grateful for a message that he was nevertheless able to share with us, under these conditions, reflecting on key points relating to COVID-19. Coronavirus is a warning given to humanity, as it could steer off the divinely desired course. It is an opportunity for self-correction. Values and respect for the creator and gratitude should be our interior attitude. We now have time to engage in introspection and to cultivate these attitudes, leading to a God-oriented life. A new and better world, a world of blessings, is coming.Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, EnglandMetropolitan Kallistos Ware is is one of the best-known contemporary Eastern Orthodox hierarchs and theologians. Retired university professor at Oxford, he is titular Metropolitan under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. His experiences under lockdown provide an insight into the spiritual life and make available to others specific tools of prayer. COVID-19 is not a punishment. It is a challenge and an opportunity. Fear and doubt are analyzed theoretically and engaged from his own personal experience. Stopping the mind from thinking negatively, especially in relation to God, as the pandemic might lead one, is achieved by trust in God and prayer. Repetitive prayer and arrow prayer are forms of prayer that are practiced in Orthodox tradition, but universally available. Several examples are drawn from Metropolitan’s personal practice. Relationship is something personal. This applies to upholding a personal relationship with God as well as seeing the face of the other person, as an essential component of human relationship. I am only a person if I greet other people.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 8Bishop Domenico Sorrentino, ItalyBishop Domenico Sorrentino is theologian by training and serves as Bishop of Assisi. He offers us a view of Corona and its challenges from Italy. Pain and solidarity are channeled through prayer and praise of God in the building in which St. Francis spent weeks before his death. Here he delivered the canticle of creatures. If St. Francis were to look upon us he would recommend us to recite the canticle. Just as one can speak of sister death, we can speak of brother coronavirus. For all the pain and tragedy, crisis is also a grace. There are many positive elements that emerge from the crisis, including discovering the power of family and prayer in a family context, following the Jewish precedent. It is a time for deepening education and prayer. The suffering creates a broader sense of solidarity, and a broader sense of community, that extends beyond Christianity to members of other faiths. The interview concludes with a presentation in English and then a chanting in the original Italian of St. Francis’ celebrated hymn of creatures.Prof. Marcia Hermansen, USAProf. Marcia Hermansen is Director of the Islamic World Studies Program and Professor in the Theology Department at Loyola University Chicago and a thought leader in the American Muslim community. Taking place at the beginning of Ramadan, the interview examines various ways in which COVID-19 impacts Ramadan observance, and which hold potential and promise, as well as presenting challenges. Religion moves from the mosque to the home. This opens up possibilities for including the entire family in certain celebrations as well as for greater gender balance. The home becomes the place of retreat that is often a component of Ramadan celebrations, again opening up opportunities for women to participate in ways they typically do not. The potential contribution of religion to coping with various challenges of the moment is considered both from its outward and its inner aspects. Stability of religious habits provides the kind of security that can help relieve anxiety. The stability of ritual is also an opportunity for the raising of the intuition to God consciousness which provides us with the ultimate perspective for addressing the variety of challenges presented by the pandemic.Rabbi David Wolpe, USARabbi David Wolpe is Rabbi of Temple Sinai, Los Angeles, and has been named the most influential rabbi in the United States by Newsweek Magazine. “Corona provides opportunities for doing things I might have never had a chance to do”. It produces a mixture of the sacred and the profane. The Rabbi’s responsibility is to calm people, to assure them things are going to be OK. To avoid anxiety, detach yourself from constant listening to the news. Prayer is powerful, no matter what your theological convictions are. Consider this time not as a pause, but as a preparation. How will you be different when this is over? We are in this together. And this togetherness echoes the depth of Jewish experience. Our interconnectedness is not such between humans but between all living creatures, which leads to my own vegetarianism.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 7Archbishop Antje Jackelén, SwedenArchbishop Antje Jackelen, is the Archbishop of Uppsala and primate (prima inter pares) of the Church of Sweden, the national church. She describes the struggles of the national church during these times. She puts forth the notion of “adapting” as the appropriate way of practicing religion in these times. She skillfully negotiates psychological and spiritual dimensions in confronting fear and solitude. Coronavirus is also a time for revisiting classical theological challenges, which she outlines for us. She concludes by offering a prayer for all, echoing the liturgical time leading up to Easter.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, IndiaSri Sri Ravi Shankar is one of India’s most prominent spiritual teachers. Through his Art of Living Foundation he has taught meditation and breathing techniques to millions in India and internationally and engaged in various educational and humanitarian activities. The presentation of his teachings in interview form profiles Sri Sri’s combination of practical realism and spiritual teaching. He suggests a variety of practical ways of spending time fruitfully in lockdown, shows concern for the wellbeing of day-workers who struggle with lockdown and shows concern for physical and mental health in facing the Corona virus. The majority of the presentation is devoted to a series of breathing techniques by means of which one can cope with one of the major challenges of the present situation – fear and anxiety.Abbot Norman Fischer, USAAbbot Norman Fischer is a noted Zen teacher, formerly Abbot of San Francisco Zen Center and poet who integrates his Jewish identity with his Zen practice. For him, the present crisis is an opportunity to go inwards and be quiet. It is a moment to go beyond the distraction of busyness, even of doing good things. COVID-19 teaches us what it is that is really necessary for us. The wisdom shared by Fischer is shared as a process of guided meditation, based on the use of the breath,by means of which one confronts fear and transforms it into compassion. This compassion opens one up to a more profound sense of solidarity and interconnectedness.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 6Rabbi Ephraim Kenig, IsraelRabbi Ephraim Kenig is head of the Hassidic community of Breslav in Safed. He applies the wisdom of R. Nachman of Breslav to the present moment. Fear must be raised to its spiritual source in God. If things do not go the way you want, then want things as they are. The crisis is an opportunity for going inwards, for introspection and for identifying areas for self-improvement.Prof. Nader Saeidi, USAProf. Nader Saeidi is Professor of Bahai Studies at University of California, Los Angeles and one of the world’s greatest experts belonging to the Bahai faith, a religion that does not have offices like priests, rabbis etc. Through the lens of addressing COVID-19’s spiritual challenges, Prof. Saeidi offers us a masterful presentation of the essentials of Bahai faith. It is a faith based on hope and optimism, that sees every situation as a stage towards greater perfection. The present pandemic provides us with spiritual opportunities. Solitude is an opportunity to return to the self. Our aim is transform victory into suffering. This requires an expansion of consciousness that underscores our interconnectivity, union and togetherness and that allows us to move from the fulfillment of selfish desires to seeing the infinite within the finite and how everything is a reflection of GodProf. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, USAProf. Seyyed Hossein Nasr is Muslim theologian, leader of a Sufi community and one of the most prominent Islamic scholars worldwide, who teaches at George Washington University. He brings a classical Muslim philosophical and mystical perspective to the realities created by Corona. Tragedies are opportunities for regaining perspective and therefore as a form of grace. Fear of God leads us to run back to God. Fear can be positive by returning us to the abiding reality. Corona places us before the limits of our knowledge and invites us to reexamine how we have over-trusted science and technology. Separation from others forces us to a spiritual retreat. We are born alone and we die alone. Going into retreat is a practice of death, to be alone with God. Having been nurtured by divine presence equips you to better serve society. Prof. Nasr walks us through an exercise of how to be with oneself. Delving into the depth of oneself, we discover the inner being of the other is nothing other than ourselves.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 5Maria Voce, ItalyMaria Voce is president of the Focolare Movement, international organization that promotes the ideals of unity and universal brotherhood. This interview, conducted on behalf of Elijah in Italian by a Focolare journalist, profiles the centrality of love as a religious ideal that informs the movement and that receives particular expression during the COVID-19 crisis. It is love the informs Voce’s decisions and actions during the crisis. Love is also the antidote to fear, one of the most common reactions, and hence challenges raised by the Corona virus. A mother can throw herself into the flames to save a child from burning; a mother can face bombings to escape with her child - even under the bombs - to save that child. A mother's love is able to resist the feeling of fear without it going away. Love, of course, informs solidarity at these times, and we learn of activities undertaken by the movement in this spirit. Solitude and staying at home should not block love, but make room for love. And love should be creative. Let love suggest not hundreds but a thousandways we can be there for others, whether they are nearby or far away, also by using all the technical meansavailable to us. We must face the pain and problems that may still come in future, even when this pandemic is over, believing there is Someone who brings history forward for our good and that this Someone is God who is Love, who loves everyone and who therefore cannot fail to bring good out of all these situations.Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, USAFeisal Abdul Rauf is an American Imam of note. He is Sufi by orientation, a thinker and author, a peace activist and a long term practitioner of interfaith dialogue. Abdul Rauf positions his spiritual journey as an attempt to gain a God’s-eye view of reality, a perspective he also applies to the Corona crisis. Corona is a process of testing and uniting humanity could be its goal. Our choice is whether to turn Corona into a unifying or a polarizing force. The role of religious leaders is to cultivate a vision of unity in the image of God. God’s unity manifests in the twofold love command: love of God and love of neighbor.Sr. Jayanti, EnglandSister Jayanti is the European Director of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and their NGO Representative to the United Nations, Geneva. The study of scripture is a powerful tool by means to raise the mind above the present moment and the fears it generates. Nourish your mind and you will receive strength for the day. So is meditation. Take a break every two hours for meditation, even if brief.And so is prayer when it is truly talking to God. The highest form of prayer is the engagement of love when the soul communicates with the divine. Solidarity manifests in meditation, that brings to light our fundamental unity and soul consciousness. Stop for a short time, focus on the highest of all, the one who is the supreme, so that thatlight and might can reach everyone and help the world. That is the most important contribution we can make at this time. This recognition leads to a facilitated meditation guided by Sr. Jayanti.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 4Swami Atmapriyananda, IndiaSwami Atmapriyananda is physicist by training, a monk of the Ramakrishna order and founder and Vice Chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University. Corona allows us to go deeper into ourselves by forcing us to distance from the other. We learn to appreciate our own company. We must develop an aloneness that is beyond loneliness. In it we embrace all humans and all life. We discover the higher dimension of our own Self. The teaching is viewed as practical and Swamiji offers a meditative exercise how to implement this understanding and be with oneself. The pandemic is also the creation of mother of the universe. This is an occasion to surrender to this great power, and a moment to turn in prayer, to go beyond our little intellect and understanding and to trust in God’s protective power. Go on your knees and cry – oh God protect this universe from calamity and we shall promise that we will love and help one another and we shall not exploit nature.Yahya Cholil Staquf, IndonesiaYahya Cholil Staquf is secretary general of the world's largest Muslim organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Supreme Council, Indonesia. Religion, including Islam, is all too often used as a basis for constructing collective identity, inherited from history and community. This in turn also leads to religiously based conflict. We are now entering a point in time in which boundaries between communities are shifting. We must nurture life together as different religions within a more unified global civilization. This requires us to cultivate a more spiritual and interior religious identity. This is a mandate for the time of Ramadan. It is also one of the ways of looking at the impact of COVID-19. It forces us into our interior spaces and provides us with opportunities to reflect and to grow spiritually. Inwardness and interiority are the means for discovering God and discovering the self. By means of this we overcome the fears and sense of loss that arise in view of the pandemic. That interior movement produces universal solidarity that helps people address common challenges.Rabbi Arthur Green, USARabbi Arthur Green is theologian, scholar of Jewish mysticism and a leader in American Judaism. He is founder of a post-denominational rabbinical school in Boston. The reflection offered in the interview explores the notion of God as the great mother, binah, as a source of redemption, transformation and strength. This is a source of deep universalism. Corona has to show us the foolishness of the petty things that divide us. Dealing with fears and human reactions requires us to go back to the root, going back to the One.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 3Pope Francis, VaticanPope Francis has sent a message of support and contribution for the “coronaspection” project., based on his ongoing daily teaching. Responses to our guiding questions are taken from the many messages he has been putting out in relation to the present pandemic. His message is deeply couched in the preaching he is engaged in, especially around the time of Easter. The Corona finds us afraid and lost like the disciples. We have constructed our lives around false certainties. Fear is to be met with hope. We are called to faith, that is a movement of trust in God. This is a time for our choosing between what matters and what passes away, a time to get our lives back on track. Life in the spirit shows us how all our lives are interwoven, pointing to their unity. We discover that life is of no use if it is not used for the service of others. This is not a time for indifference, self-centerdness or division. Our deepest joy comes when we say yes to love, without ifs and buts.Rabbi Shmuel Ricardo Di Segni, ItalyRabbi Di Segni is Chief Rabbi of Rome. He shares his experience as head of a Jewish congregation in Italy, hard hit by Corona and struggling to keep up its spiritual practices and the faith of its members.Prayer is a particular challenge in these times, given the communal nature of Jewish prayer. We cannot perform the prayers properly. Unlike churches that remained open for personal prayer, the synagogues are shut. The challenge is finding the value of being isolated. It calls for greater intention in the practice of prayer. This is a blessing in disguise. There is a huge thirst for learning and an increase in the audience. Messages issued to the Jewish community have reached beyond and had an impact on the Christian community as well. The Rabbi’s role emerges as threefold – educational, making legal decisions and pastoral and psychological support. We must put the hardships of the moment in context by recalling the long history of hardships we have undergone and that we have overcome. This includes also earlier instances of the plague in Rome itself.Ven. Chân Không, VietnamVen. Chân Không is closest disciple and collaborator of Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Corona helps us awaken past our selfishness. Corona allows us to think of the other and to discover our interconnectedness and unity. It invites us to discovering a way of living together peacefully. Corona allows us to stop running and to connect with ourselves, thereby allowing us to rise above fear. Venerable walks us through a process of meditation by means of which we can be in the present moment and overcome fear and loss.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 2Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric, BosniaDr. Mustafa Ceric is Grand Mufti emeritus of Bosnia. He is a noted advocate for interreligious relations.Solitude was practiced by Hasan al Basri, the paramount devoted worshipper and is part of Ramadan celebration. Corona creates a similar effect. It is a message that our houses of worship are becoming useless to us, when our devotion is insincere. Rumi – I came home and found God in my heart. This is today’s invitation. Dr. Ceric puts forth a grand vision for how humanity must reset its priorities and cultivate unity. Corona unites us by fear. Now we must grow to unity in love and respect. Our connection must be enhanced to a genuine spiritual connection.Geshe Tashi Tsering, IndiaGeshe Tashi Tsering is a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Abbot of Sera May monastery in India, where he oversees the life of 5,000 monks. He is the Dalai Lama’s representative to the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders. He shares his worries in protecting his monks under conditions of lockdown and the possible onset of the virus. We Geshe must realize and internalize the inevitability of disease as a function of our bodily existence.This is a means of reducing our anxieties. In reality we are not more insecure now than before the virus came into being.Shantideva, the great Buddhist teacher, stated – if there is something to be done, what’s the point of being upset? And if there is nothing to be done, what’s the point of getting upset? The interview concludes with a chanting of the Tara Mantra, that calls for liberation from all dissatisfaction. The Dalai Lama has recommended chanting this mantra during the present COVID crisis.Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, IndiaSadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati is an American born renunciant in the Hindu tradition (sanyasi), who serves humanity through her position at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh. Administrator, social and religious activist, popular speaker and author, she is a driving force for spiritually-based social activism. Her message is a call for spiritually based activism precisely at this point in time. The depth of meditation bears fruit in our service. If we seek a better tomorrow, we must draw into the fields of service and activism the finest of spiritual practitioners. If those remain apart from the field of service, we will not be able to rebuild our world.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.Introspection 1Rabbi Berel Lazar, RussiaRabbi Berel Lazar is Chief Rabbi of Russia and the emissary of the Chabad movement. Corona is an opportunity to practice trust in God. Positivity impacts our health and recovery if we were to get sick. We must trust that we will come out better people and more compassionate in our orientation. Corona places us before our limits and teaches us humility, and hence invites us to trust. Community shifts to the family and there is a discovery of how religion is practiced in the family. The message of the interview is encapsulated in a concluding song: I do not fear anyone; There is nothing besides God. Everything is God. Don’t despair.Patriarch Sahag II Mashalian, TurkeyPatriarch Mashalian is the recently elected Patriarch of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople/Turkey. In Turkey, the Christian faithful pray at the same time as theminarets call for prayer, as a sign of union in praying for the sick across the world. Coronavirus unites us. We become brothers in sickness. It is an invitation to cultivate this unity at other times. The finest spiritual medicine at the moment for dealing with our fears is prayer. We should build up a storage of spirituality so we can use it at the time of need. Prayer brings us to spiritual consolation with the fullness of faith and a deep relationship with God. Our being is founded on God and the living God infuses us with the feeling of security. By reciting the Psalms we gain courage. The solitude forced upon still leaves us with freedom of choice: will we use it for distraction and entertainment or for spirituality and coming closer to God.\nSwami Chidanand Saraswati, IndiaSwami Chidanand Saraswati is President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh and the initiator of multiple ecological and humanitarian programs, relating to water, hygiene and care of rivers, nature and culture. Swamiji profiles the opportunities that Corona brings into our lives. Primary among them is the opportunity for spending quality time in the family. Swamiji also addresses head on the issue of domestic violence and its potential increase during lockdown. Being locked down is an invitation to gain inner freedom from shopping, to discover the coherence and meaning of our lives and to take up spiritual practices that in fact will boost our immune system. Our hearts must be open, even if our doors are closed and we must use this as an opportunity to deepen our sense of interconnectedness and care for nature and culture. Swamiji’s way of teaching through word play combines potent and direct life messages with catchy phrases by means of which his message is delivered.What does this introspection teach us? Click here.