Friday, March 18, 2011

A letter from Sendai, Japan

Received this from my good friend, Riza, from the Philippines

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 buckets.

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 are 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

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Being busy in India

Today is my 28th day in India. Life had been a little on the go because of Losar (Tibetan New Year) and with my Tibetan friend’s wedding and also the wedding of the friendly neighbourhood vegetable seller. It was my first time attending a Tibetan and Indian wedding. Also took time off to attend the Graduation Day at the Shedra and yesterday was the start of the 3rd International Gongchig Conference, also at the Shedra. Samdung Rinpoche, the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile, graced the occasion. Also had the company of some Malaysian friends (thanks for all the goodies you left behind Hun & Steven) who dropped by for 10 days. Lunches and dinners also were time stealers.
3rd International Gongchig Conference. Samdung Rinpoche arrival
Shedra graduation
Losar with Khenchen Rinpoche
Paldon La's house for lunch. Amarula wine from South Africa
At The Orchard
Losar with Tenzin La and family
Lhamo La's wedding (Tibetan style)
DKI had a tea party for us
Indian wedding
Teachings with Khenchen Rinpoche in his room
Tea with Khenpo Rangdol and family

This year’s spring is as cold as winter in November last year. There were 2 days where the mountains behind the Library were snow capped in the early mornings. Thunder roared and the wind howled. Dorje’s (the Library’s dog) barkings were silenced by the howling wind. Even up to last week we had to keep warm. Now the sun is out. We are enjoying Malaysian weather with cool, crisp wind (like in Cameron Highlands).
Bidding farewell to 6 Canada bound Lamas
Lunch at Lhamo La's house

This trip had been eventful – with all the above happenings plus the opportunity of meeting this little boy who is stricken with polio. I put a post in Facebook seeking sponsorship to get him a walking aid and within minutes a friend took up the full sponsorship (thanks Kong). I also received some contributions for the family to rebuild their house in Ladakh which was washed away during August 2010 mudslide
My new found friend

In another 10 days I will be heading to Amritsar, to the Golden Temple. Then I will be back into the real world – homebound. I look forward to that as I will have lots to catch up with my grandson.