President’s Message on Nepal
Like many of you, I have been saddened by the images and reports of devastation and death in Nepal as a result of the earthquake that struck on Saturday and subsequent aftershocks. It is clear that we are only beginning to comprehend the scale of loss being experienced by our sisters and brothers in Nepal.
While Nepal is half a world away in distance, this disaster hits close to home for our community. Our students and faculty have spent time in Nepal - time that has forged powerful memories and relationships. It is a place that holds special significance for our Buddhist sisters and brothers at the University of the West and throughout Southern California. And as a community located in Southern California, we are reminded of our own fragility living along an active fault line. On many levels, this new suffering endured by the people of Nepal is our suffering which we feel even from thousands of miles away.
In the immediate aftermath of such disasters, we seek ways to take action. One way of taking action is to give of our financial resources to support the Nepalese people. There are many worthy relief agencies that will make good use of your financial contributions. In particular, I lift up the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) that does extraordinary work in responding to natural disasters. You can give directly to a fund designated for this relief effort here.
Wherever and however you choose to give, I encourage you to give generously.
It is also fundamentally important for us to acknowledge the significance of spiritual support, as we did at the conference we hosted last week on grieving the loss of a child. The scale of such loss being experienced in Nepal less than a week later is heartbreaking. I ask you to hold all those affected by this earthquake in your thoughts, prayers and meditations this week and into the future.
I want to extend a special invitation to the CST community to attend an event that will devote special attention to providing spiritual support for Nepal. As you may know, a celebration of Buddha Jayanti (the Buddha's birthday) had been planned for this coming Sunday, May 3rd at 6:00 PM in Mudd Theater. In response to the earthquake, a prayer vigil led by Buddhist monks will be held in place of that celebration. I encourage you to join us.
This is a stressful time on our campus as we approach the end of the academic year. It is especially important that we all remain steadfast in our spiritual practices and hold all those in need, both near and far, close to our hearts. If you find yourself in a state of grief or despair, please reach out for help. We are here to support you.
blog comments powered by Disqus