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The Asian Tsunami disaster has left our whole human family shocked and bemused. No other event in recent times has opened floodgates of compassion right deep into the depths of our hearts and we feel more than ever a sense of oneness with our fellow beings, especially those caught up in this tragedy of overwhelming proportions. It is the time, now, for our human family to pull together.

Those who are asking the questions 'why?' and 'who is to blame?' are asking the wrong questions. This is not some human tragedy caused by human fallibility, like war or a rail disaster. This is nature who works with her own agenda above and beyond us, the same nature who gives us fish to eat, seawater to bathe in, sunshine, flowers and landscapes of overwhelming beauty. We are nature's creatures and we should know that sometimes nature brings great suffering. Suffering is a part of life, after all, like death, and it is a question of how we cope with it.

Instead, there are two positive questions that we can put to ourselves. First, how do we respond to such a dreadful tragedy? It is so easy to feel helpless, unable to offer any tangible help except the giving of money. Yet money can have a wonderful capacity for doing good; it's just a question of how we use it. And to use it for such a cause is to use it for the highest good of humanity, for our dear brothers and sisters in trouble. Surely, there is no higher cause than that.

As we hear the dreadful tales of the Tsunami disaster, we can visualize the scenes and open up our hearts to those who have perished and those who are left behind. This makes us more aware than ever of the interconnectedness of all humanity, of our oneness with our brothers and sisters. Compassion develops out of such focus. Even, we can take on the suffering and so send out vibrations of caring and sharing the load. And, of course, we can hold all those caught up in the disaster in our daily prayers, linking it in with our meditation. In a sense, this is indeed a test of where we ourselves are at in our spiritual journey. Not only is it a disaster, but for us it is also an opportunity.

We must never allow ourselves to forget what has happened because the aftereffects of this tragedy are going to be with us for a very long time to come. It is now a part of our family history. It is our responsibility to help in whatever little way we can and keep it at the forefront of our awareness. How wonderful it will be if this new level of global consciousness can be maintained, for then those who died will not have died in vain. Yes, we all have work to do.

The second question is: what can we learn from this dreadful happening? Well, first of all, humility. If we are fully aware, our ego selves have become hushed and humbled as we realize the minuteness of our presence on this earth. And then, there is gratitude. How glorious to be alive and able to live our lives as we do. Thank you for my life. Let me make the best use of it that I can and allow me to shine for the sake of others by always following the positive path. And generosity. How this awful event has awakened the human spirit and encouraged a depth of giving never seen before. Is that not heartwarming? At last, we can be proud of being human beings.

And peace, a yearning for peace. As all the other news pales into insignificance besides the unfolding story of this overwhelming tragedy, we realize the futility of hatred, violence and war. What is happening in Iraq and other places is just stupid, so against people's yearning for peace and prospering. Whenever we can, we need to speak out: peace, peace, peace. So, let us take whatever is positive out of this Tsunami tragedy and enter the New Year with the memory of the lotus flower which blossoms in all its beauty out of the mire of despond. Happy New Year.

'We are what we think.
All that we are
Arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you.'
The Buddha...

From the January 2005 issue of The Reiki Way published
by Wrio Russell <wriorussell@hotmail.com>

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