Thursday, March 17, 2011
You Are All My Babies
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had been a midwife for years already and was in absolute bliss to be finally having my OWN baby. I loved my baby so much that my pregnancy was marked by fits of joyous laughter for no "reason", and a deep joy that came with me everywhere I went. (once the nausea had passed, of course) I glowed. In my ninth month, my husband took me to San Fransisco to see a very holy Tibetan Buddhist teacher, who was staying with a friend of his. This teacher, the Venerable Khenpo Palden Sherab, was performing sacred ceremonies for generating peace and awakening for hundreds of people. Because he was staying with our friend, I was given a private audience with him. Here is information on this holy man: http://www.dharmafellowship.org/biographies/contemporarymasters/khenchen-palden-sherab.htm
Khenpo Palden blessed me and my ripe belly, and then he gave me an instruction, which I have held in my heart as my path ever since. He told me I must love ALL BEINGS as if they were my precious baby. This is a nearly impossible task, but I am trying. When I remember, my heart is filled with compassion, and anger, hatred, and judgement melt away. It is the perfect instruction for a midwife, isn't it? And he didn't even "know" that is what I am!
When disaster strikes, I pray for all the people and creatures who are experiencing harm and tragedy. I do my best to meditate and send them all my motherly love. I remember Khenpo's words and remember that we are all brothers and sisters. I feel the saddness deeply, even if I don't "know anyone" directly who was harmed. This week, it has been hard for me to focus on anything but Japan. I experienced the same with the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, the earthquake in Haiti, when "we" invaded Iraq, and on and on. I will someday, when my kids are grown, be a midwife for international disaster relief. But for now, I pray, feel the sorrow, and also cherish all the sweetness of our precious fleeting lives.
The photo at the top shows a four month old baby reunited with her father after the tsunami. This baby was found in water, under mud and debris, after three days! A soldier heard a baby cry, and then thought "no, I am hearing things'" and kept walking. He heard it again, went back, lifted up some boards, and debris, and there she was. She was wet, but otherwise unharmed! She is so round and radiant, isn't she? Hard to believe she has been through that. She is a testament to humanity's amazing resilience. She is my baby, and all the children who did not make it, are my babies.
And this one is my baby. And I am that mother, nervously watching the numbers as my precious one is scanned for radiation. And now you will hear my maternal roar "RRRROOOAAAAARRRRRRHHHH!"
I have always been, and always will be, opposed to nuclear power. I hold us all responsible for this evolving nuclear tragedy. How have we been so complacent, and let so many old, crusty reactors continue to operate, and new ones be built? How have we allowed our lifestyle to become so dependent on toxic, dangerous energy sources? What can we, as the community of caring humans, do to stop nuclear energy? What can we do with all the spent fuel rods already kicking around our fragile planet? Actually, we are the fragile ones, the planet is not. I don't have answers to these questions, but I am thinking about it deeply.
A few days ago, I posted this on Facebook:
"Dear Everyone, in Every Government, Everywhere,
Please do not call nuclear energy "clean energy". Please. Are you insane?
A fragile specimen of life who loves and cherishes all fragile specimens of life.
ps. I WILL sit in the dark each night stargazing with my family and cook over a fire of dry shit. Try me.
NOW.... the general scientific consensus is that we on the West Coast will be "safe" from radioactive contamination. HOWEVER, since the jet stream is carrying everything toward us from Japan, it might be wise to feed your family superfoods that are radiation-protective. Especially if you are pregnant, or have young children, please check out the following links, and add miso, kelp, nettle tea, and the other mentioned plants and superfoods to your diets for the next several weeks, as things "fall out". Here is Susan Weed http://www.wisewomantradition.com/wisewomanweb/2010/11/surviving-radiation-the-wise-woman-way.html
and here is another excellent one from Christian Bates http://christianbates.com/?p=748
In closing I would like to leave you all with a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk and peace activist.
Dear friends in Japan, As we contemplate the great number of people who have died in this tragedy, we may feel very strongly that we ourselves, in some part or manner, also have died. The pain of one part of humankind is the pain of the whole of human...kind. And the human species and the planet Earth are one body. What happens to one part of the body happens to the whole body. An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives. It helps us remember that what's most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive. This is the best that we can do for those who have died: we can live in such a way that they continue, beautifully, in us. Here in France and at our practice centers all over the world, our brothers and sisters will continue to chant for you, sending you the energy of peace, healing and protection. Our prayers are with you. Thich Nhat Hanh
Posted by Dena Moes