I lived my life with a “sky is falling” mentality for several years following that vision. But then a calamity hit hard in Japan, where I was living. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit in the Tohoku region of Japan. The giant tsunami that followed reached up to 133 feet high. The combination devastated the country by washing away tens of thousands of people and an entire region of prime Japanese agricultural lands. Electricity nationwide shut down as a nuclear power plant in Fukushima went into catastrophic meltdown. The spring winds laced the entire country with toxic radioactive particles, even as tons of radiation-laden coolant water ran unimpeded into the Pacific Ocean each day.
I remember watching the country utterly freeze in the aftermath of that event. I was frozen too. I didn’t know what to do. The trains were not running, and the roads were so clogged with cars that walking became the only expedient option. Most of the shops were closed to save energy, and within three hours of the earthquake the shelves in smaller towns were emptied of any food or durable goods that could be useful. What was there to do?
Having been fortunate enough to experience that event and live to tell of it has been profoundly helpful to me psychologically. It was that tragic event which ultimately led to my realizing that any road to spiritual unfoldment must be rooted in daily life for it to be of real value in the event of dire calamity. The popular “spiritual retreat” mentality is impotent under the fast-paced, high-pressure circumstances of our daily lives, let alone the possible earth-shattering events to come. No, we need to take spiritual unfoldment to the place of total serenity under unimaginable external pressures. It is comparatively easy to be peaceful when times are easy, yet many self-described spiritual people find themselves lacking inner-peace even under relatively ideal circumstances. Is this a true expression of awakening? It is a question well worth asking, isn’t it?
A shift in perspective and attitude is required to unveil the deep, peaceful wellspring of being within that can weather any coming storm. In this way we can be at peace, connected to our deepest place of being, through and beyond the changes to come. Challenge your stability under pressure constantly, and look to the unconditioned nature that is at your very root of being. Your life today will be better for it.
Thanks for reading and, as always, if you have any questions or insights, please post them on my blog, and I will be happy to address. Give us a share, won’t you?