Response to Coronavirus

Last updated: July 25, 2020

Dear Friends,

It was with a heavy heart, in light of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, that Gampo Abbey made the decision to close to guests in March this year.

We have an obligation to our residents and visitors, as well as a responsibility to our local community, and we strongly believe that continuing to welcome people from all over the world is still not the responsible thing to do at this time.

We are very concerned that there is no risk whatsoever to anyone in our community and are particularly mindful of minimising the risk of infection to those who are older or have underlying health issues. We do apologise to anyone whom this will affect, as we are sure it will be very disappointing to many.

At our monastery we have the privilege to contemplate our interconnectedness as human beings and can see, in many cases, that fear is spreading even faster than the virus. It is a powerful reminder to see how fear can affect our behaviours to hear about price gouging and empty shelves at the supermarket.

However, if distress and anxiety about this global health crisis can spread so quickly, then love, compassion, and wisdom can also spread, if we make them the heartfelt focus of our response to this current situation. It is in this spirit that we hope we can be a cause for inspiration and spiritual warriorship to others.

We hope you will join us in dedicating your practice in these coming weeks to those most affected by this crisis, and their families, to people who may not have access to resources that help fight the virus, as well as all those who are experiencing increased fear and sadness.

Our practice can be very formal, like Tonglen or the Six Paramitas, or informal, like reducing our exposure to the news. Whatever our practice, may we all aspire to make decisions that naturally benefit all sentient beings.

We will continue to review the official guidance on this matter and make any further updates on our website as required.

Thank you,

Ani Pema and the Gampo Abbey community.