Whether it’s the recent earthquake in Haiti or the Asian Tsunami of 2004, the world becomes a little smaller and kinder as humanity bands together and suffers with the suffering, as well as pouring in aid. These are heart-wrenching events, together with remarkable responses in the form of millions of dollars donated via text messaging and social media.
There’s no doubt that aid on the ground is sorely needed. Rescue workers, medical help, drinking water, food and other supplies are how we respond to natural disasters because these are what the situation calls for. Everyone is “praying” too, giving thanks that it’s not them and in general “thinking” of the victims.
As spiritual practitioners we have even more specific and powerful methods at our disposal. This is what I’d like to explore. Consider these words from Paramahansa Yogananda, one of the greatest representatives of Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Truth) from India who lived and taught in the West. He said this in 1940, right around the start of WWII:
Everything that has happened throughout the ages is recorded in the ether. The vibrations of evil that mankind leaves in the ether upset the normal harmonious balance of the earth. When the earth becomes very heavy with disease and evil, these etheric disturbances cause the world to give way to earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters (…)
So, just like the human body, the earth suffers from inharmonies and disease. And it is because the combined actions of all people all over the world affect the planet on which we live. There is no question about that. The good and bad karmic conditions created by man determine and influence the climate; they affect the wind and the ocean, even the very structure of the earth, sometimes causing earthquakes. All the hatred, the anger, the evil we send out into the world, and the agony and rebellion they cause — all these are disturbing the magnetic force of the earth, like static in the air.
On-the-ground aid and healing help in the form of distant Reiki or other subtle action such as prayer is fine. These must and naturally take place. We can’t exactly stand around and watch. But, responding to single events simply doesn’t get to the root. It doesn’t address the next natural disaster, war or injustice.
Yogananda also said, “When materiality predominates in man’s consciousness, there is an emission of subtle negative rays; their cumulative power disturbs the electrical balance of nature…” By “materiality” he doesn’t mean only materialism but also spiritual ignorance: that there’s an enlivening subtle reality underpinning all we perceive as real with our five senses, central nervous system and brain.
Certainly take your subtle and overt action! As you donate time, funds, goods, and from your heart chant “May the Great Light bring everything Haiti needs to heal and rebuild!” also, ALSO set a steady intention that we, humanity, find and abide in a new balance, a new peace at the causal level. The solution is at a causal place and that’s what needs to be addressed.
To further illustrate the point, let’s look at a different, living teacher, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche from the Shambhala tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
According to many wisdom traditions, we are in a dark age. More than a thousand years ago, Padmasambhava, the great teacher who brought Buddhism from India to Tibet, predicted that this particular age would be distinguished by our increasing cleverness. We would create myriad ways to keep ourselves entertained, becoming experts in how to spend free time. We would use our intellect not for betterment but for hanging out in one form of distraction or another, constantly on holiday. Our discursive minds would run rampant. Padmasambhava predicted that as we became shrewder and cleverer, compassion would seem increasingly futile and we would forget to bring meaning to our lives.
Think aimless texting, YouTube, Cheese Whiz and other junk foods, lolcats, MySpace, and “there’s an app for that” mentality, to name a few. Now, read on:
In the Shambhala teachings, we call this dark age the “setting sun.” The Tibetan word for “setting sun” literally means the dregs, the remains of the day. “Remains” refers to the last remnants of virtue, the positive activity that takes us forward and open our hearts and minds rather than shuts them down. Virtues like compassion and loving-kindness lead to happiness because they uplift our being. In a time when positive activity is not valued, turmoil and negativity thicken our minds, causing confusion and unhappiness. We don’t have a clear understanding of our purpose or potential. When an activity that enables us to move forward to enlightenment is on the wane, our life-force energy is low. If we do not really understand where things are going or what the journey is — if we do not have a map, so to speak — we lose energy by spinning in circles, not practicing in the right direction.
As spiritual practitioners we have at our disposal a range of methods to shift humanity and the Earth. Instead of healing each situation as it occurs and recurs (engage that as well), intend a shift in life’s vibratory essence, a shift to wholeness and harmony. If you’ve been watching the news about Haiti, despite millions in aid much of it can’t even land at the airport in Port-au-Prince.
The mechanical solution is a hard one. By the time this aid is distributed how much good will it do? It makes more sense to bring our healing action to the causal level and ensure future generations don’t bear the burden of unenlightened ways that are perpetuated blindly. Make it count!
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Authentic Japanese Reiki Master Teacher / Healer at my Oasis Reiki Dojo – Available globally. Meditation, Healing, and Spirituality training and services. Meditation Guide. Intuitive Coach. Spirituality Writer. Photographer. Poet. Artist. Dad. Plant-based.