Buddhist Teachings, Wisdom, and Practices for the Coronavirus Era

A collection of Buddhist teachings, wisdom, and practices for these uncertain times.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao.

The coronavirus crisis changed our world in just a matter of weeks, thrusting us into danger, uncertainty, fear, and of course social isolation. Adjusting to all this is a challenge for us all. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of Buddhist wisdom to help us.

Here you’ll find a collection of deeply helpful teachings, practices, and advice for these uncertain times. May they soothe your anxieties and help you cultivate compassion for yourself and others along the way. 

Practices for the Coronavirus Era

These helpful, grounding practices from Buddhist teachers and practitioners will help you combat fear, cultivate compassion, and maintain a mind of equanimity through this time.

Watch “A Steady Heart in Time of Coronavirus,” from Tara Brach & Jack Kornfield

Meditation teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield share a new two-part talk, plus an online retreat experience, exploring practices and teachings that can open us to loving-awareness and contribute to the healing of our world. Included are guided meditations that can help us feel more grounded and more lovingly aware.

Practicing Love in a Pandemic

Meditation teacher Kimberly Brown offers a short practice for cultivating a loving connection to ourselves and the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.

3 Small Practices for Living in the Coronavirus Era

From Bonnie Myotai Treace of Hermitage Heart Zen come these three “small” (but powerful!) reflections and practices to help us stay open-hearted and connected as we reckon with the fear and uncertainty that the coronavirus has brought so suddenly into our lives.

Watch: Practices for When You Are Sick, led by Roshi Joan Halifax

Roshi Joan Halifax leads us through a short and simple practice to help us navigate the illness and fear brought on by the coronavirus crisis.


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Practicing Equanimity in a State of Emergency

In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Gary Gach shares how we can soothe our feelings of denial, anger, and fear with a helpful dose of equanimity.

3 Ways to Work with Your Financial Fears

COVID-19 is more than a global health risk. It’s shaken the world’s economy and has many of us worrying about our financial future. Investment advisor and meditator Spencer Sherman shares ways to work with your financial fears, and even use them as an opportunity for personal growth.


Wisdom & Teachings for this Time

This collection of wisdom from Buddhist teachers and practitioners shows us how to work with the fear, grief, and uncertainty we’re all feeling in a way that’s beneficial to both ourselves and others.

Guanyin, the Bodhisattava of Compassion. Ming dynasty, early 17th century. Courtesy of The Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

The Bodhisattva Response to Coronavirus

Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield on what we can do in this confusing, tough time.

Living in This Strange Moment Together

As the COVID-19 outbreak shakes the world, Lama Willa Miller offers a personal reflection on what it means to exist in this strange moment together.

Take a Mindful Approach to Coronavirus

Dr. Christiane Wolf on how to mindfully curtail the spread of coronavirus — and keep a cool head about it, too.

Bring Attention to Your Fear

The coronavirus crisis is pushing each of us up against our edge, says Jeremy Mohler. By bringing compassionate attention to our fear and anxiety, we can learn to respond instead of react.

Holding Still in the Middle of Fire

Lama Elizabeth Monson was on pilgrimage in Bhutan with her husband when borders began to close as coronavirus cases expanded around the world. Trying to get home, she learns the power of finding stillness in the midst of chaos.

Reach Down and Touch the Earth

Now more than ever, says Buddhist teacher Pamela Weiss, we need to do away with patriarchal values and reweave women’s voices into the torn fabric of our world. As the Buddha did in the face of Mara, we need to reach down and touch the earth.

The Solidarity Sutra

Scholar and Soto Zen Buddhist priest Duncan Ryuken Williams shares his Solidarity Sutra for the coronavirus age.

Exhaling Into a Brighter Future

As the COVID-19 crisis separates us through self-isolation and social distancing, Anne Cushman shares how we can use this moment to remember how deeply our lives are intertwined.

How Not to Freak Out

You’re not alone if you despair about the present and fear for the future. If you find all the bad news overwhelming, these meditations from Buddhist teacher Judy Lief may help relieve your anxiety.

Here at the End of the World

“Grief is how we love in the face of loss,” wrote Joan Sutherland in the Fall 2019 issue of Buddhadharma. Now, in this new time of so much loss, her teaching on coming to terms with grief feels especially relevant.


What You Can Do

Though the coronavirus crisis has many feeling helpless, there’s plenty we can each do to help. Whether it’s donating to your Buddhist community, helping efforts like Dharma Relief provide face masks to under-supplied hospitals, or following the sound advice of an ER doctor, there’s much you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

Photo by Thomas Riggs.

The COVID-19 Era Sangha Needs You

As we all learn to adapt to our new reality with the coronavirus in our midst, we should keep in mind those who work so dedicatedly to keep the Buddhist community going. They might need our support now more than ever.

“Dharma Relief” to help COVID-19 medical supply shortage

A new organization-fueled effort seeks to bring Buddhists together for a relief project “in an effort to generate the resources to help our healthcare workers,” starting with FDA-approved facemasks.

Watch: Buddhist teachers offer coronavirus-age advice in new Dharma Relief video

A video from Dharma Relief features Buddhist teachers offering advice and leading us in practices to help us in the face of Covid-19.

Meet the ER doctor who’s advocating meditation in the coronavirus era

Dr. James Maskalyk, an emergency room physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto is sharing advice on Covid-19 via Facebook Live — meditation included.

Other Buddhist Organizations Doing Relief Work

Tzu Chi USA

The USA outlet of the Taiwan-based Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation is hosting a COVID-19 relief campaign titled “Flatten the Curve.” The campaign is donating medical supplies and PPE to hospitals and medical centers across the United States. They have donated to 469 institutions thus far.

Buddhist Global Relief

Buddhist Global Relief has made donations to the World Food Program USA to “provide food relief to people in other countries afflicted by hunger worsened by the pandemic.” They are continuing to fund projects providing food, education, and other necessary support to the world’s most vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Can you help us at a critical time?

COVID-19 has brought tremendous suffering, uncertainty, fear, and strain to the world.

Our sincere wish is that these Buddhist teachings, guided practices, and stories can be a balm in these difficult times. Over the past month, over 400,000 readers like you have visited our site, reading almost a million pages and streaming over 120,000 hours of video teachings. We want to provide even more Buddhist wisdom but our resources are strained. Can you help us?

No one is free from the pandemic’s impact, including Lion’s Roar. We rely significantly on advertising and newsstand sales to support our work — both of which have dropped precipitously this year. Can you lend your support to Lion’s Roar at this critical time?


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