Making Sense of the Tsunami

I found a great article (CNN’s Jessica Ravitz’s “Finding Faith Amid Disaster”) that compiled comments from various belief sectors (including ones from a rabbi, a Buddhist priest, a Jesuit priest, one of the directors of the Islamic Society, a Buddhist monk, an atheist, a Buddhist nun, and the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association).  I thought it was a nice mix.  I loved that so many voices were taken into account.  I also loved how many of the interviewees focused on how we respond in such a situation.  Rather than trying to figure out what happened and why, we can ask ourselves, “We feel their pain, and we want to help in some way.  How might we do that?”

My favorite quote is from Thich Nhat Hanh.

An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives.  It helps us remember that what’s most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive.  This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them.

It makes me think, “How can I live “more profoundly, more beautifully….”?

Reminder: Remember to check out yesterday’s Living the Questions podcast entitled “When Do You Feel Most Alive?” if you haven’t already.  And for your hearing pleasure, you can always subscribe on iTunes.

[Post image: Recent tsunami hitting Natori City, Japan; photo courtesy of REUTERS/YOMIURI at]


  1. Don Rogers
    Mar 23, 2011

    Why is it that on occasions of this type, it always seems that Buddhists of all the various schools, seem to offer the most comforting words?

    • Elissa
      Mar 23, 2011

      Maybe it’s because their words always seem so tangible, so okay-I’m-going-to-do-this-now, rather than offering up just head knowledge or beautiful sentiments…?? I don’t know…

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