Earthquake and Tsunami devastates Japan

The photos and videos from Japan following the earthquake and tsunami are heart rending. Whole villages washed away. I look out my window at my own backyard and imagine, “A neighborhood like my own.” What is it to suddenly be without home, food or water and not to know if your missing loved ones have survived?” Such profound grief is unknowable. A searing lesson of impermanence. Wishing to help in some way, I feel that uncomfortable helplessness that comes from distant tragedy.

But there are things that we can do. We can send prayers and money. The Dalai Lama has asked that the Heart Sutra be recited for those in Japan. You can find the Heart Sutra on this website at We can sit in meditation with an open and compassionate heart, sending compassion and loving kindness to those who are suffering. We can be grateful for all the ordinary comforts of our life. We can bring those who are suffering into our minds throughout the day, and send them love and compassion while we continue with our lives.

The American Soto Zen Buddhist organization has asked for donations. You can send a donation to Heart Circle Sangha and mark it “for Japan” and we will send a combined donation directly to the Japanese headquarters. has launched an Earthquake and Tsunami Appeal for Japan at

Save the Children, an organization always at the front of a disaster has organized an appeal. Go to:

May all beings be free of suffering.

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