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#4193 - Thursday, March 17, 2011 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The Nonduality Highlights

"I sit firmly on my dried-up mat,
thoughts dead as ashes,
When the boy rushes in to announce
that spring has returned-
The empty cold smashed to bits,
the heavens dance with blossoms
That stir up what I've tried
all my futile life to still!"

~Gido Susshin

posted to Daily Dharma by Amrita Nadi


A letter from Sendai

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 a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and

It's utterly amazingly that 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, Anne

posted by Anne Thomas on 3/14/2011 11:30 am


A spirit of endurance in Japan

I am writing this as I make the decision whether to leave Sendai or not. I
have just heard that a bus will be available to evacuate American citizens
from Sendai tomorrow morning. I have not yet made up my mind what I will
do. I have been in this city for twenty-two years. My life is here..

Earlier this evening I wrote the following essay about my experiences
during the day:

Life here has become one of living day to day. I am staying with the mother
of my best friend, Izumi. Her home is two minutes from my unlivable shack.
Izumi has moved in there, too, as her own home is in shambles after the
major quake. She goes there daily to straighten things out.

Each morning and evening we watch the news. Our daily lives are nose to
nose with the immediate world around us, so seeing a larger picture is
important. But even so, we are much more focused on day-to-day living.

As I said, in the morning Izumi usually heads to her home, while I set out to
find food. Lack of rice is a big problem. But vegetables and protein are
also high on the list. I know of a small four-generation grocery store tucked
way back in a neighborhood with narrow, twisting alleyways. The chain
stores on main streets are closed or only open a few hours each day due to
lack of supplies. But smaller ones off the beaten track are more promising.

To my utter amazement and delight, this place was to open at 3:00 p.m. So,
I joined the line of people waiting for that hope-filled hour. The wind was
fiercely cold and the wait almost two hours before I was able to enter the

Very wisely, the owners were allowing only five people in at one time. They
had food because of farmer relatives who had brought in a large truck of
vegetables and fruit earlier in the day. Most places permit people to buy
only five or ten items, but in this beautiful place, the owners, deep with
understanding, did not set a limit.

It was such a delight to watch people come out of the shop with bags full of
such items as potatoes, cabbage, daikon, carrots, yams, and other such
sturdy vegetables. The look of joy on their faces was palpable. I got my
share, too, and as I pedaled home on my bicycle, I found another wee shop
selling two-kilo bags of rice. So it was indeed a fortunate day. When I got
back to Izumi’s mom’s home, we all laughed and clapped for joy.

Since I will have to move from this shack of mine, I wandered over to a real
estate office nearby to let them know my desires. Miraculously it was open.
The woman was there to clean up and also because there was running water.
There was none in her home and with her daughter’s newborn child, washing
diapers was a problem. So she scrubbed nappies while we discussed housing
for me.

Shifting focus off my immediate experiences, please let me continue sharing
beautiful, life-affirming things that are happening all around. I am
ceaselessly in awe of the emergency infrastructure here. There are not
enough supplies, which everyone knows, but the excellently organized
system is running like clockwork to the best of its stretched abilities..

To give a few examples, evacuation shelters are all over every city. Food,
water, and heat are there, although very limited. Mats and blankets, again
in short supply, are also there. People are collecting wood from damaged
buildings and making fires for heating and cooking. Volunteers welcome
evacuees and to help in whatever way they can. Firefighters and policemen
carry the old and injured into shelters on their backs. And shelters have
designated leaders to head meetings and make decisions.

People in the shelters are supporting one another. They massage each others’
legs and shoulders, sit in close circles for human contact, read stories to
kids, or simply hold hands. They are grateful for whatever goodness comes
their way. “I feel so fortunate. We are able to eat at least once a day,” one
woman said.

And people are being very creative. Some are out collecting snow in plastic
bags. The water from it can be used to flush toilets or wash dishes.

Today one young able man, who was helping his parents clean up the remains
of their home, was called into the reserves. He had no choice, but was not
happy about this turn of events. But his mother said, “We need him here, of
course, but his service to others, to many, is more important than for only

During the day people go out to search for missing family members. TV
crews are there, of course, and often stop people for interviews. Emotional
wounds are deep and vast. People’s intense efforts to contain grief is
painful to witness. No overt wailing. But tears and silence everywhere.

“Shigata ga nai” is a Japanese expression that roughly translated means, “It
cannot be helped.” It also implies a sense of enduring what is happening and
of making the best of whatever situation you are in. That concept is an
integral part of everyday life here, not only now, but always. This
emergency situation is surely one of “shigata ga nai”. And everywhere
people are saying, “We have to soldier on. There is no other way.”

Gambarimashou with Love, Anne

posted by Anne Thomas on 3/17/2011 2:45 pm

Photo via AP Photo/Kyodo News


"Life is, by nature, constant flow and interaction of numberless elements.
Nothing ever stays the same, even from one moment to the next. Everything
is on its way to becoming something else, and therefore, nothing can be held
onto. If you see this clearly, if you consider and examine this deeply and
fully, then letting go is the only thing left to do. How can you hold on?
What is there to hold onto?

So the art of spiritual surrender is really the art of not knowing. Then it
doesn't make any difference at all whether you are walking down the street
or eating lunch or responding to your email or making love or sitting alone
on your couch. This is the first and last time you will ever be doing this. If
you truly understand that, it changes everything."

~Scott Morrison

posted to Daily Dharma by Dainen Kelley

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