A friend writes that “I too am completely overwhelmed by the devastation in Japan. My middle son lives there and thankfully he and his girlfriend are safe. My heart aches for all those poor unfortunates.” Several zen-related blogs report on Japanese friends and teachers, all well amid the horror.
News from Japan numbs my comprehension of Nature’s relentless power and man’s loss of control over atomic powers. Opening my heart to all who suffer, I copy these words by the late John O’Donohue:
From the moment you were born,
Your death has walked beside you.
Though it seldom shows its face,
You still feel its empty touch
When fear invades your life,
Or what you love is lost
Or inner damage is incurred.
That you would gather yourself
And decide carefully
How you now can live
The live you would love
To look back on
From your deathbed.
How can we, from a place of relative safety, express gratitude and love to others. How might I reach out to someone in need and share the abundance of my being? May the horror of others’ loss be a reminder to live each moment in full awareness and appreciation. May I turn to others with kindness. May I give thanks for all that is given and taken. May all beings be free from fear.
image: REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won. text: Excerpt from “for death” in: O’Donohue, J. (2008). To bless the space between us. New York: Doubleday, p. 72.