|Sogyal as a child|
As you know by now, there was a massive earthquake in Japan on Friday, followed by a tsunami with waves as high as 10 metres that surged across parts of the country washing away everything and everyone in its wake. Whole villages have been washed away and huge fires caused by the earthquake are burning, affecting tens of thousands of people. The pictures of the devastation coming from Japan are shocking.
I want to express my deep sadness and heartfelt condolences to all the people of Japan, and especially to those who have lost loved ones. The next few days will be critical, and my prayers are also with all the rescue workers and everyone helping with the recovery effort.
Hundreds of people are already reported dead, hundreds more are missing, including four passenger trains, and police are reporting that 215,000 people have fled their homes. And we don't yet know the full extent of the damage.
There are also serious concerns for the safety of some of Japan's nuclear power plants in the earthquake affected area, and people living near them have been evacuated.
Please join me in holding the Japanese people in your prayers, especially those who have died or been injured, and their families.
Pray that there are no deadly aftershocks, no radiation leaks from the nuclear power plants, no more fatalities, and no obstacles for the rescue and recovery work.
Also remember that many people will have lost their homes and their livelihoods so please also pray for their well-being and safety.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recommended that Japanese Buddhist practice the Heart Sutra for those who have lost their lives, and to help prevent further disasters in the future, and has organised for it to be recited 100,000 times in Dharamsala for this purpose. And His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa has emphasised that joining together in prayer for those who had suffered in this natural disaster is one way of benefiting beings.
If you would like to make a donation towards the relief effort, you could contact the Red Cross Society in your country, or Medecins Sans Frontieres.