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Zen warrior meets the pandemic

The Zen Warrior is different from what we think of as a common warrior. He or she knows that to defeat the enemy is to disengage, to distance, to separate. The Zen Warrior is like the invisible man—not to be seen, or heard, fighting with a bewildering challenge: “Try to find me.”

I see a town with many doors, all closed. The Infectious Agent is going house to house, knocking on doors, yelling aloud for the Warrior to come out and fight. But the doors remain closed, the curtains drawn, the lights turned out.

The Zen Warrior knows that his best weapon is disengagement. Simply doing nothing, sitting quietly in the house, will lead to the infectious agent’s destruction. The Infectious Agent’s constant banging on the door is met only with silence. The Zen warrior observes, detaches, stays silent.

As the days go by the Infectious Agent stumbles through the streets of the ghost town where everyone is living behind closed doors. Finally, we can see the Infectious Agent riding a tired old mule, moving slowly and aimlessly toward the gates of the town, riding away. Voiceless.

And in the town the Zen Warrior celebrates with silence. —Robert H. Leahy, Ph.D. and Don DeMaio

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