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Communication regarding Prayer Walks for healing in Japan and the Pacific
Apr 7, 2011 - 8:40:00 PM

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Photo: Yasmin Popescu

Freeport, Bahamas - On March 20, a prayerful meditation and walk for Japan took place at the Garden of the Groves on the Grand Bahama Labyrinth. Mrs. Barbara Chester, Founder of the GB Labyrinth subsequently received and wants to share a beautiful, inspiring and very generative email from Takeda Mitsuyo, in Tokyo.

Dear Facilitators,

It is so encouraging to know so many groups walked and will walk the labyrinth in reaction to the disaster in Japan. 

It has been three weeks since the earthquake, tsunami, and the nuclear plant’s accident. The Japanese school year starts from April. 7000 kids moved out of prefectures they lived in, and joined different schools and new friends. Some temporary housing started being built but still there are 162,000 evacuators. 12,500 people died. 15,000 still missing. The tsumani took many of them away into the ocean. The earth's crust at the hypocenter moved 26 yds. We still feel some aftershocks everyday.

People working in the nuclear plant have avoided another explosion so far. However, farmers and fishermen around the area cannot sell their products and fish because of the radiation.

Now in Tokyo cherry blossoms are starting to bloom. Facing to the uncertainness of human life, I try to find healing and hope in nature, in it’s stable repetition.

Many Japanese now reread a poem, “ Undaunted by the Rain,” which was written by an author from Tohoku, Kenji Miyazawa in 1930s .
I quote it here. (I assume this translation is by Prf. Donald Keene).



Undaunted by the rain,
Undaunted by the wind,
Undaunted by the snow or the summer heat,
With a strong body
unfettered by desire
never losing temper
cultivating a quiet joy
every day four bowls of brown rice
miso and some vegetables to eat
in everything
count yourself last and put others before you
watching and listening, and understanding
and never forgetting
in the shade of the woods of the pines of the fields
being in a little thatched hut
if there is a sick child to the east
going and nursing over them
if there is a tired mother to the west
going and shouldering her sheaf of rice
if there is someone near death to the south
going and saying there's no need to be afraid
if there is a quarrel or a suit to the north
telling them to leave off with such waste
when there's drought, shedding tears of sympathy
when the summer's cold, walk in concern and empathy
called a blockhead by everyone
without being praised
without being blamed
such a person
I want to become


Thank you, again,


Mitsuyo Takeda

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