Pray for Japan

March 12, 2011 by  

When I think of Japan I reflect upon Mount Fuji's majesty and the serene gracefulness of Zen Temples. I can see clearly the quiet repose and arresting posture of monks and their ease of movement as they work in the gardens and offer prayers and chants in the temples. I reflect on my own Zen master, Nomura Roshi who by initiating me, forever connected my spirit to Asia. When I think of Japan I meditate on its natural beauty, the hush of the mountain fastness , the sound of clear streams. Sometimes, it is so easy to forget what we do not wish to remember. Until news of the 8.9 earthquake which shook Japan to its core, and the massive Tsunami which followed, I had all but forgotten Hiroshima and Nakasaki, those cities of Japan who suffered devastation from another force of nature called man. Just as quickly was the destruction from beneath the earth and over the Pacific. "Like snowflakes over a hot stove," (A zen saying). Something ... someone is here, then gone, so quickly. Japan is prone to earthquakes. In preparation, its building codes are among the most stringent in the world. Watching skyscrapers swaying back and forth during the quake like so many trees, was proof that the engineers had found the right design for the job. Yet, people, children, pets and property were swallowed by the great waters. No one was ready for this earthquake ... this tsunami.
One of my students wanted to know if these events meant that the 2012 theorists were right. "Does this mean that this is the end of the world? I sat his mind at ease, "No man can predict when the world will end. We can predict some disasters. We did not create the world or ourselves. It is not for us to call. What we can do," I suggested to him,"is stand with our fellowmen in their period of troubles and pray." He wanted to know if all the minds expecting "2012" disasters help create such problems. "The mind is powerful. When thousands, perhaps, millions focus on a single negative idea, it does have effect but it goes both ways. We can set our focus on restoration, and revitalization of life." You can use your mind to help. You can focus it through prayer and meditation and seek Divine Intervention ... Divine help. People ask why does God allow things to happen such as this tragic occurrence. I remind them that free-will means we make our own decisions and create our own problems. We must request help to get it. We must surrender ego-space and will to make room for Divine Guidance. That calls for humility. We rely on our own minds, our own thoughts and knowledge, and we are limited by that. We are not so powerful as we think. When nature rises up in a major show of force we are humbled, if only for a little while. It is a good idea to humble ourselves before we are brought to our knees by force. Worship, praise or Bhakti in Sanscrit is a way of reminding our Creator that we remember, as a matter of course. Pray for the people of Japan, of Hawaii, the West Coast of the United States, for all who were effected by this upheaval or those of man-made origin. It is taught that prayer changes things. Prayer does change things along with putting forth whatever effort we can to assist in the manifestation. With all the chaos and after-shocks shaking the island nation of Japan, I know that very soon the temple bells will sound and the sun will rise over majestic Mount Fuji. I know the people will resume the rhythm of their nation. Through the years I have admired one thing above all about my Japanese brothers and sisters, mo chi chu., they know how to go straight on without looking back. They have given us great teachers, and those teachings will serve them well once again. God expresses His spirit through many forms, see that manifestation in the "House of The Rising Sun, it will reflect back on you." Each day we rise again, as a people, as nations but we are one major disaster from a fall. We need to help each other. You may not be able to go to Japan or Haiti, for that matter but your money can help those who do. Here is an easy way to support the relief missions to Japan. Links to reputable relief missions have been provided by PayPal. All of the money goes to aide Japan. The Soul Sword Zen Mission also relies on PayPal. They have my trust. Do all you can. Make your love for humanity count. Ciick on my name below to transfer to the PayPal site. Kitabu Roshi

Kitabu Roshi Mind Like Water

Painting of Kitabu Roshi by his son-in-law, Jomar Sharp This painting was a Christmas gift to me from my son-in-law, Jomar. He was inspired, not only by my "Mind Like Water,"theme but by a real photo of me, meditating by the Atlantic Ocean. It oddly fits into the theme of East and West. The Pacific rose to flood the homeland of Japanese Zen masters and I sit beneath an oncoming wave from the Atlantic Ocean in America..


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