Coronavirus meditation

Before Coronavirus (or COVID-19), our interconnected world was already characterized by what many thought leaders have termed “VUCA”: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. This virus has placed VUCA on steroids, and each of us is being forced to radically reorient ourselves toward even the most mundane activities and expectations at an unprecedented scale and speed.

Given these circumstances, how do we keep from losing ourselves to mindsets of stress, fear, mistrust, and scarcity?

I believe there are four qualities most needed right now, for a positive and sustainable “radical reorientation” to ourselves, others, and the natural world. They happen to be the Buddha’s four “limitless qualities” (also called “divine abodes” and “immeasurable minds”), and they can defined as both “being” and “doing” qualities:

  1. Loving-kindness: the intent and capacity to offer joy and happiness–first to yourself, and then to others.
  2. Compassion: the intent and capacity to relieve suffering–your own and that of others.
  3. Sympathetic Joy: the intent and capacity to celebrate well-being–your own and that of others.
  4. Equanimity: the culmination of the above three qualities; a disciplined state of choosing the “middle way” between extremes, of not getting too high or too low, of accepting (not condoning) reality as it truly is, and not being attached to specific outcomes, possessions, or status.

These four qualities are applicable to any relationship, community, business, government, or nonprofit. They are simple to describe but difficult to practice, because little in modern society encourages and equips their development. The four don’t easily dovetail with capitalism in its current incarnation that elevates shareholder value above all else, and are certainly worlds apart from apathy, cheating, contempt, division, fear, greed, hate, ignorance, manipulation, mistrust, prejudice, and stealing, which society tends to directly or inadvertently reward. (At least, society before it was brought to its knees by COVID-19.)

To nurture and grow these qualities is to swim against the tide–to be willing to be unpopular, mocked, or ignored. But the deeper one secures their roots, the deeper one’s personal sense of grounding, purpose, and peace. And in this unprecedented (for many of us alive today) season of VUCA+++, grounding, purpose, and peace might matter more than ever.

My overarching goal, in all of my relationships and professional work, is to help people grow in loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, so that they might be more effective and happier spouses, parents, grandparents, siblings, leaders, managers, coworkers, teachers, doctors, nurses, attorneys, salespersons, CPAs, entrepreneurs, volunteers, and more. To learn about engaging my professional services, please contact me here. To simply learn, keep reading the content on this site.

May all beings be happy, safe, free of suffering, grateful, and unattached to temporary things or situations.


Next Steps to Consider

In my professional work, I help individuals and organizations enhance personal and business relationships and results through:

  1. Mindful Content (Books, Blogs, and Resources)
  2. Mindful Executive or Life Coaching 

What do I mean by “mindful?”

Mindfulness is my core organizing and unifying practice for every moment and dimension of life–including self-care, family, friends, community, and professional work. In a nutshell, mindfulness is the practice of becoming more fully aware of and attentive to, without judgement, what’s taking place within and around you. Some of the most common mindfulness exercises include pausing before reacting or responding, sitting meditation, breath meditation, mindful eating, mindful walking, reciting mantras, visualization, and doing a body scan–but there are many more.

Mindfulness can be your game-changer. There’s more research (such as this Forbes article) on the benefits of mindfulness than you or I can ever hope to read, but here’s the highlights of why mindfulness is worth doing:

  • Reduced stress
  • Increased focus and concentration
  • Increased productivity
  • Healthier relationships
  • Increased happiness and inner peace

I bring extensive cross-industry experience, education, and credentials to these services I offer. To inquire about my background and services, sign up for a free exploratory coaching session, or subscribe to free monthly content, please contact me here. You can also visit my LinkedIn profile and check out this post on my career journey.

Thanks and take good care,


John M. DeMarco is a writer, strategist, and executive coach based in Nashville, Tennessee.