(Amended) Do You Feel the Ripples?
Impermanence characterises everything in the universe.
Both dangerous and frail is the whole earth, subject to disintegration.
All things composed of the four elements (earth, water, fire and wind)
are empty (of any fixed nature) and contain the seeds of suffering.
-The Buddha, Part of the First Realisation
(of the Sutra on the Eight Realisations of the Great Beings)
Even if you are in Singapore, free from any natural disasters, it is impossible not to feel the ripple-effects of the tsunamis on 27th December. Surely, you cannot deny the "shockwaves" of dismay when you heard news of the sudden deaths of our neigbours in the thousands. Surely you can empathise with the scenes of loss on the news. We are thus all caught in this invisible net of collective karma. If you were to look harder, there is bound to be someone you know, or someone they know, who was affected. But has this changed YOUR life? More urgently, how can you change the victims' lives for the better NOW? (click to help)
The Buddha taught us in the Metta Sutta, "As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a boundless heart with regard to all beings." The mother grieving over her lost child in Sri Lanka could be you. Yet you could have been the child too. What else can we do other than count our blessings? We can share them! Let's! (click to help)
From the epicentre radiated merciless waves of destruction. While they may be irreversible, a different kind of vibration can be set into motion from the deepest most centre of our hearts - the limitless radiation of our Metta (loving-kindness). The real disaster would be of the human heart - that is, if you remain untouched by the disaster, unmoved by compassion to do whatever you can. Did those who were swept away perish for nothing? Yes - if it their passing meant nothing to you, teaching you nothing. No, if it invoked kindness in you, if it invites you to extend an arm to help, to be one of the tireless thousand arms of Guanyin Bodhisattva. (click to help)
What can a worldwide disaster do? It can tear the world physically apart, along with countless lives and homes. Yet it can also unify the world, the human spirit, as we suddenly realise our universal vulnerability and thus our human equality. All our glaring differences and conflicts become insignificant in this light. As the Buddha taught, "You too shall pass away. Knowing this, how can you quarrel?" The pain of loss is the same no matter what colour or age you are. Suddenly, we realise the "devastatingly comforting" truth that we are family all along - we are brothers and sisters. Life is precious, no matter whose it is. If the world does not help the world, who will? We are the world. What will you do? (click to help)
An important lesson natural disasters teach us is that our physical blessings, such as houses and possessions and even lives, can be swept away in one clean merciless swipe of nature without warning. Life is this fragile. Have you got real insurance yet? Not the monetary kind, but spiritual. Time to prevent "floods" of negative karma by building a strong dam of good karma? It is near impossible to ever know how much is enough - lest you are enlightened. There is no better time to accumulate these merits - by helping those who need your unconditional help now. (click to help) -shian
HOW YOU CAN HELP : http://www.kmspks.org/community/tsunami.htm
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