Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Prayers for Nepal

"Prayer Flags" by Michael Day
On April 25th, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake devastated Nepal. No matter where you were, it dominated the news. It was hard not to see the photos of the destruction, of the people living in the streets and open spaces, of the bodies buried in rubble. Over 8,000 people died as a result of that quake, and another 17,000 people were injured.
Last Tuesday morning, on May 12th, a second earthquake, magnitude 7.3, struck outside Kathmandu again, this time to the east. From reports, many people had yet to return to living indoors. As of this past Sunday a total of 8,583 deaths occurred between the two quakes.
I cannot imagine having such fear of the earth beneath my feet, like the people of Nepal. Or of the ocean along the shore, like those who survived the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011; we’re still watching them try to rebuild. And what of the thousands who were recently evacuated from their homes near the volcano in Chile? Can you imagine watching lighting, lava, and ash blow into the sky. Your sky? Into the air you breathe?
Nature is full of awe, and in its stretching and pulling we are shown that we are no more important to the planet than the ants seem to us; little buggery nuisances that get into our pantry and eat our food. As I pack for a yearly excursion to the mountains, I wonder what would happen if they woke briefly and turned in their slumber? How would we, who build on earth with the expectation that the stone will support us, feel if it were to suddenly shift beneath us?
And I pray for those people, for the lives lost and for the ones surviving those losses. I pray for the ones still living in tents in the streets, wondering when the next will come. I pray for the worried villagers whose folklore says that once the mountain wakes, it will never quiet.
I am not saying that prayer will help those who lost homes and families and ways of living in the earthquake. It won’t help them recover. It won’t bring the dead to life. But it does something else, energetically in the world. It builds compassion.
When we pray, we put ourselves in the shoes of those who are suffering. From the purist place of our spirit, we ask the universe, through whatever divinity we ascribe to (which all pool into the same energy source when you go back far enough, just like genealogy):
May the hands of those who can save the injured be steady and strong.
May the hands of those searching for life and death find purchase in the rubble.
May those hearts that have felt loss and terror be healed.
May those hearts, displaced and fearful, know comfort in such dark times.
May those in power with the ability to aid the people in need do so.
May this be a time of magic, miracles, love, and hope.
Whether or not we choose to find compassion for those in need, it should not matter who it is happening to or where they are in reference to ourselves. We are all dependent on this earth to support and sustain us. What happens to one of us could happen to any of us. To all of us. So we reach out to those in need because we would hope someone would do the same for us.

We create a world of compassion and brotherhood in these actions and it ripples out. Kindness is remembered. When we engage in acts of kindness, we build up the web of compassion, an energy source that others can tap into during dark times. We add our light to hope, and the world is better for it. 

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