While there have been many things that may have gone through your mind the minute you heard of Japan’s recent 8.9 earthquake, all the subsequent aftershocks, the Tsunami and threat of radiation from their impacted nuclear plants, one thing we begin to realize is how connected we really are.
A short time after the Tsunami hit the coast of Japan, large waves rolled into the Harbor of Santa Cruz, Ca thrashing the marina around. It’s become clearer to me that we’re all responsible for one another and I think that’s a huge driving force in the growing interest in compassion.
Compassion is defined as being able to put yourself in the shoes of another and inclining your heart toward wanting to help in some way.
Compassion practices have been shown to reduce stress and increase well-being.
A year ago I created the EBook A Mindful Dialogue to raise money for the people of Haiti. This book has now been expanded to include interviews with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Daniel Siegel, Sharon Salzberg, Christopher Germer, Sylvia Boorstein, Tara Brach, Zindel Segal, among so many more.
100% of the proceeds of A Mindful Dialogue go to Save the Children (www.savethechildren.org) which has been operating in Japan for the last 25 years.
I think the reason so many people are now interested in compassion is not only because it has been linked to feeling better, but because the world has become so much smaller with the advent of technology and we can actually see the suffering of the world more clearly.
It seems that a continued and intentional practice of compassion can not only change our lives individually, but the ripple effect can be significant. People do this every day by giving donations, making sandwiches for people on the street, helping someone across the street, visiting those who are dying, or even just offering a smile to someone who seems to be having a tough day.
There has never been a more important time to cultivate compassion and it happens through practice.
Right now in this moment many people need our help, but the future of this world depends on the children.
If there are other organizations that you know of that are helping the children of the world, in particular associated with Japan’s relief, please share with us below.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
Photo by Nasa Goddard Photo & Video, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.