I sit in my chair to meditate this morning. Gusts of wind heave heavy rain at my windows and the tears finally come. They don’t stop, so I am here with you, holding vigil for the people of Oso. Forty Five miles north of me loved ones stand in the rain over a 1.5 mile expanse of mud and debris waiting to confirm the fate of family and friends. King 5 News reports that “…tons of earth and ambulance-sized boulders of clay” from Hazel Hill loosened by steady, pounding rain, came crashing down on the houses below last week. They wait to have news of death crash down on their souls housed in now spent bodies. The official count today is seventeen dead…but the missing list bears ninety names- half the population of Oso, Washington, USA.
The constant rain has brought geologists to the area to monitor the very real threat of more landslides to the rescue workers in the valley. It is too much to dwell on it further. The video embedded below recounts the story of the rescue of a four-year-old boy. It helped me to understand better what this experience was for the people who died, and for those who wait. My thoughts from two recent posts bear repeating here.
One spiritual practice we can do for Oso is to step away from the role of spectator, and take the time and solitude to feel empathy for the people who suffer. Although we cannot fully know their experience of suffering, we know that it matters that they suffer, and it matters that we stand with them spiritually. Whatever the suffering is, it is. In our prayer we can ask that they be given the grace to be faithful and true to the process of living through it. May they eventually come to a juncture in their grieving, that they can embrace the reality of the experience and emerge whole again. By holding vigil with them we can live the suffering with them from inside the presence of God, vulnerable, clean and stripped to our essence. May they hold themselves together while training a vigilant eye toward grace. For those of us from afar, words are ineffective. We must send spiritual energy. You may find the meditations below helpful.
Buddhist Practice of Metta, Sending Loving Kindness
May you be safe from harm.
May you be happy and peaceful.
May you be strong and healthy.
May you take care of yourself with joy.
Tonglen Meditation Practice: Compassion
A fellow blogger at http://wildninjablog.com/ has gifted us with links for sending donations and helping in other ways. This is an in-person look at life in the 530 corridor at this horrific time It holds up for us the people of Oso and their strength and committment to the common good of their community.
Photo Credit: http://www.3news.co.nz/Photos-Washington-landslide-search-and-rescue/tabid/1125/articleID/337624/Default.aspx