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Jan 16
Scene and Heard
Tonglen for Haiti
Reuters, courtesy of AlertNet

Photo Source: Reuters, courtesy of AlertNet

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake recently struck the most densely populated, poorest island in the Caribbean with two major aftershocks (about 6.0 each) in the first 24 hours. The earthquake was so strong that it was felt in Santiago de Cuba. There are still not many details, but it is clear that people on the street are terrified and in shock. It will be a long recovery for Haiti.

Please send tonglen and prayers to these sentient beings who are suffering physically and emotionally from this disaster.

A few suggestions from the editors for relief organizations, working in Haiti:

Mercy Corps – http://www.mercycorps.org/
Oxfam America – http://www.oxfamamerica.org/
Doctors without Borders – http://doctorswithoutborders.org/
Global Giving – http://www.globalgiving.org/

Read recent news on the Haiti crisis at AlterNet: http://www.alertnet.org/

Poeme pour Haiti
by Rachel Faro

It came without warning
At the end of a long, busy day
Wives preparing dinner
Children walking home from school
Workers closing up
Everything in motion

It spared no one
Not the bankers, nor the diplomats
Whose homes were on the hill
Nor the priests in the National Cathedral
From the smallest fragile shack
To the Presidential Palace
Attacking all with equal ferocity

Everything collapsed upon itself
The end of the world
Soon the night fell, inevitable,
like a heavy black shroud
Impossible to pull back
The streets filled with the sound of singing
Mingled with the sounds of screaming
Vast choirs of hundreds throughout the night
Hymns to heal and comfort
Supplications to an inexplicable destiny

The world wondered why
What curse followed these innocents?
Four hurricanes in four years
And now this
As if the gods had said “All right,
“Let’s just finish the job once and for all!”

O invisible world
What gods and demons have battled on this site?
What African magic was so powerful
— Drumming and dancing and invocation —
That it could shift tectonic plates?
Or was it simply, as the Chinese call it, “bad earth luck”

As days go by
And bodies start to pile up and rot
And the powers of the world plot their future strategy
This, the first black republic in the world,
Has far more laughter left than you can imagine
Deep within this unimaginable horror
The human heart still shines and the spirit flashes
And strength arises beyond comprehension

Everything gone, everything turned to death and dust
Time to start again, start again, start again

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2 responses to “ Tonglen for Haiti ”
  1. Dear Richard,

    Thanks for your note. We would warmly welcome an article from you with a synopsis on the situation in Haiti or an opinion piece about why Shambhala as a community should be more involved in humanitarian efforts. No doubt many Shambhalians are deeply concerned about the situation in Haiti and have given generously on their own. But that’s different from organizing such an effort as a community.

    The Shambhala Times is your community news magazine. The stories that appear here are generated by the Shambhala community itself. For example, this post was prompted by a sangha_announce by Rachel Faro, who kindly offered to share her poem with the Times.

    In essence, it’s up to community members such as yourself to step forward and share their passions and concerns. That’s what makes up the Times and you are invited to join in.

    Best wishes, Holly

  2. Richard Semper
    Jan 23, 2010

    Why is Shambhala so shy and silent about Haiti, and humanitarian causes in general? As a practitioner, it’s really hard to understand the self-centered mandala campaigns side-to-side with this silence and shyness, mainly considering the extension of suffering right now. No news bulletin, only this post here. As a practitioner I’m not judging but raising a question that speaks to me.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

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