What if disaster struck?


I had a dream last night that there was a natural disaster of epic proportions. Floods, fires, plane crashes, looting, riots, complete chaos.
At first, I thought perhaps these are the fires in my mind. And perhaps they are. But then I thought, what if this were to actually happen?
What kind of Buddhist would I be? I would be without my Teacher, my Sangha, and I doubt there would be time for meditation.
I would be in survival mode. Protecting my Family, finding food and shelter, and keeping them safe would be my only concerns.
So at that point, would I no longer be a Buddhist?
I believe I would be.
Because aren’t I really in survival mode now? Aren’t we all?
Tough economic times, Family hardships, natural disasters, horrific ecological concerns. These are all happening right here, right now.
And more than ever, I realize my Buddhist practice starts and ends with each breath. It is not my meditation, or my time with community on Saturdays, or the books I read. It is right here within me. This very moment.

So I see now, this epic disaster is in my mind. It is a dream and not reality. And I can choose how to view my dreams, my mind, my disasters.
With loving kindness, compassion, right view, right intention, mindfulness, I can put out the “fires in my mind”.
May I be always present in whatever is before me. The pain and sorrow, laughter and joy. There is not one without the other. Both have equal value, and I practice so I may see that clearly.

To quote the Buddha:
Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

May you all be well, happy and peaceful.