CCSCBE ( Emory Compassion Center) Response to COVID-19

A Response to the Coronavirus and COVID-19 from the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics

We realize that many of you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the number of e-mail messages, news stories and other communications you are receiving related to COVID-19. Information on what to do can feel overwhelming or contradictory and on top of this, many of us have had our routines entirely upended which adds to the feeling that things are “out of control.”  It is only natural to feel anxious about how we will handle these added stressors while trying to keep our families and communities healthy and safe. We may feel lonely as we have to physically distance ourselves and unmoored in the face of so much uncertainty.

In the midst of this, we invite you to pause for a moment to just take a breath—literally and figuratively.

Let’s focus for a moment on what we can do as the world responds to this invisible adversary. First, remember that you are not in this alone, nor is your family, community, or country.  Our best defense is through cooperation—humans working together can address seemingly insurmountable problems—and by considering the greater good along with our own wellbeing and that of our families. Our world is both interconnected and interdependent, and each of us can make a positive contribution given our individual situation and resources. Some of us may be able to provide medical treatment or material 

resources to those in need, but all of us can offer kind words and thoughtful gestures to one another, and especially to those who are struggling physically, psychologically, or financially.  And it’s also incredibly important to practice self-compassion: to see our own vulnerabilities with kindness.

Our vision statement, “a compassionate and ethical world for all,” now feels even more urgent. As we face the inevitable difficulties that accompany this crisis, we invite each of you to do your best to practice the empathy, integrity, patience, tolerance, generosity, forgiveness, gratitude and discernment that is within each of us. Through “wise compassion,” we can cultivate a deeper connection to others that in turn will bolster resilience and psychological wellbeing— thus making an important contribution to creating a compassionate and ethical world for all.

For now, the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics has suspended live meetings, travel, workshops and courses in accordance with the best practices recommended by the university and the CDC. This does not mean, however, that we are not continuing our work. SEE Learning™ remains incredibly meaningful and relevant as we continue to support educators and students around the world; CBCT® is offering daily online community meditation to facilitate connection and the skill-building that can help us weather the turmoil, and ETSI is deeply committed to its work of building bridges between science and Buddhism—precisely to create new knowledge that can be brought to bear on the problems of humanity.

One other thing that we would like to mention is that for twenty years the CCSCBE (formerly the Emory-Tibet Partnership) has facilitated Tibet Week. A time to celebrate Tibetan culture, Tibet Week also provides a chance to acknowledge our Tibetan collaborators and partner organization and the impact that the Tibetan tradition has had on our programs.  It is also an opportunity to honor the special relationship that Emory and our center has with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. While Tibet Week 2020 (March 23-27) has been canceled, as an offering of wellbeing to Emory and our worldwide community, we have requested the monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery to continue with the creation of a sand mandala. In response to COVID-19, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recommended the practice of Green Tara for solace in this time of uncertainty. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Green Tara is regarded as the embodiment of enlightened wisdom energy.  The name “Tara” means “the liberator mother” and she represents both nurturance and protection from danger and illness.

The mandala construction will be livestreamed via from 10am to 5pm each weekday beginning on March 30th and continuing until completion (tentative end date is April 10th). Currently there is no date set for the closing ceremony as the process will be slower only having one monk working at a time. At 5pm each weekday, the monks will offer a short session of chanted prayers and meditations for wellbeing, also accessible at

Please stay well and know that everyone on our staff is doing their best to continue working toward a compassionate and ethical world for all.


Please see the COVID-19 Letters from all of our programs!

CBCT COVID-19 Letter

SEE Learning COVID-19 Letter

ETSI COVID-19 Letter