I can’t imagine . . .

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in Japan right now. What are people thinking about as they wait, wait for so many things: bare necessities, word about family and friends, about the air they’re breathing, the condition of their homes, the next hour, the next day. And wondering what’s happening, and what will happen.

Viewing a catastrophe from the other side allows for many questions, too. How is it possible to watch real time events from a distance, and not be affected by them? The problem with witnessing world events, as we do daily, – some pleasant, but mostly not – is that we are helpless to render much support. The period in which we live gives us the technology to watch suffering on a huge scale. What’s incompatible with the watching is that most of us will not, for different reasons, be able to lend a hand. To observe the amount of suffering that occurs throughout the world, and not be equipped to help, doesn’t seem natural. What then do we, the people, do with our compassion, our anxiety, our inability to be of help?

Sarcasm, humor, depression, restlessness, alcohol, drugs, sex are some of the ways we cope, and in the process try to disguise our feelings. They’re not solutions. What’s the answer then? We’re not going to eliminate technology so that we can slide back to a time when we were ignorant of global events. We can wish for a better world, but it won’t happen overnight. It’s been said that to find answers to challenges we have to focus on the solutions, and not the problems. Time after time we sit and watch cruelty displayed before our eyes – torture inflicted on innumerable innocent civilians, killings in all forms from wars and the aftermath of wars, dictators running amok – all kinds of intolerable suffering. And we watch suffering brought about by tsunamis, earthquakes, and yes, nuclear disasters.

What can we do to help? I think that prayer is a practical method that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. For years I’ve read books, articles, and heard stories about the power of prayer, and the right way to pray. And until recently, none of it clicked for me, and so I didn’t give prayer the attention it deserves. Then one day I decided to buckle down and learn “what all the fuss is about,” and so I began reading, observing, and really listening to what those who have experienced the power of prayer were writing and talking about. It’s said that when the feelings of the mind match the feelings of the heart we connect to Cosmic Power (God). In new and used bookshops and in libraries, I found a wonderful array of books and magazines explaining the power of the heart and mind joined in prayer. We all have to find the book that sings to our heart. It’s a personal quest. That’s okay, discovery is a delightful part of learning.

So, in lieu of physically being able to help those in need, we can put our watches away for 20 minutes or so, twice daily, and quietly focus only on the Cosmic Power within. We let go of all worldly concerns and allow our heart and mind to join at the same frequency, then we pray and listen. It’s written in sacred books that that is where our Higher Self resides – waiting for us to respond to it. We practice praying in the same way we practice cooking, skiing, painting, driving, etc. – to be good at whatever it is we want to learn, we practice. To be a master, we practice over and over and over.

May the Creator of the universe guide, protect, direct, and guard the people of the world, especially those now in need of your help. Thank you.

* * * * * * *

When I was first going to add to this entry, I had so much to say that I couldn’t say anything. I think the most truthful and balanced words I’ve heard in the past few weeks come from Japanese people themselves. They know they can rebuild and rebuild stronger and in a way that is more congruent with the world, so that they can flourish and bloom. That is how we should all look at every instance that appears to be a damage situation. There is always rebuilding. The world will never stop improving and reshaping and for that I am glad to be here. I continue to learn from other people’s amazing perseverance and ability to shine in all stages of life. -Emi

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