This is a letter that was forwarded to at least some Buddhist temples in the United States as a response to worried queries. I do not know who wrote it. Permission was granted to use it, without the author’s name.
I heard this letter at services on Sunday and have been thinking about it ever since.When disaster strikes, our world is often shattered,and all the things that we associate with security. Homes are lost, food and water is not always certain, and friends and family are not close enough to touch and know that they are safe. You may know that they have died and are coping with the loss of relationship as well as home. In an earthquake, and other natural disasters, the very earth is uncertain beneath your feet.Indeed, Japan itself moved 8 feet on the earth’s surface and the earth’s rotation slowed. Nothing is permanent and nothing shows that more than the fury of wind,water, earth moving, planet shaking natural events.So many social problems are excacerbated by the conditions in which these natural events(themselves possibly triggered by human activity) occur.

However, none of this HAS to shatter our essential being..and this letter shows that it can be so.

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Hello My Lovely Family and Friends,

First I want to thank you so very much for your concern for me. I am
very touched. I also wish to apologize for a generic message to you all.
But it seems the best way at the moment to get my message to you.

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to
have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even
more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend’s home. We share
supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in
one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and
beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People
sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line
up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water
running in their home, they put out sign so people can come to fill up
their jugs and buckets.

Utterly amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in
lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an
earthquake strikes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be
in the old days when everyone helped one another.”

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens
are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for
half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on.

But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not.
No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much
more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of
non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of
caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the
entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some
places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun.

People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking
their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No
cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered
with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled.

The mountains of Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them
silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to
check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on,
and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from
whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking
to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they
need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic,
no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for
another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls,
shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is
a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is
better off than others. Last night my friend’s husband came in from the
country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed
an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world
right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now
in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I
felt so small because of all that is happening. I don’t. Rather, I feel as
part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of
birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,

With Love in return, to you all.
Hands palm-to-palm,

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