Kobe, Japan- January 17, 1995, Amidst the rubble, the Indian community huddled together in an evacuation center. They were thirsty, hungry and afraid.
At 5.46 in the morning, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the city. Kobe was in shambles- 150,000 buildings were ruined, 1 km of the Hanshin Expressway collapsed, 120 of the 150 It was difficult for help to come in immediately because of the massive destruction. (In fact, the 45 minute car ride to Kobe from Osaka became a 12 hour journey.) in the port were destroyed, and fires raged.
Moreover, there were no electricity and drinking water. Every hour, aftershocks could be felt. Every aftershock, there were loud screaming, dogs barking and people running out from their makeshift shelter to the devasted streets covered in their quilts and blankets. The whole day, the people of Kobe froze in the middle of winter- uncertain of their fate.
Inside the center, there was an Indian lady in white sari who kept her calm in the midst of the turbulence. Rajni Daulatram, Brahma Kumaris coordinator for Philippines and Japan was simply observing the situation and meditating.
"Why are you so calm?", asked some people in the community.
"My consciousness is I am an eternal soul. The soul doesn't die. If anything happens- only this body dies.", she answered.
"How can you be so stable?", they prodded.
"I have been practicing meditation everyday for 20 years. I have trained my mind to be calm."
"What is meditation?", they continued to query.
"Meditation is the practice of being the king of the mind. It also allows one to declutter all the wastes so the mind can think clearly. Like right now, it is not necessary to worry or question why this is happening. Of what use is that?"
"Can you teach us how to meditate?", they asked.
"I've been inviting you to come to our center for years and it's only now that you want to learn? Meditation is not a pill that you can take which will instantly make you feel good. It requires practice.", she gently explained.
"Please teach us", they pleaded.
So, she did.
"First, stop complaining in your mind. Put a halt to all your questions."
"Then, remember who you are. I am a peaceful soul and experience that peace."
"Finally, send good wishes to nature because nature helped us survive this calamity."
So, on that fateday day of January 17,1995 the Indian lady in white sari taught meditation to the community in the middle of the rubble and the aftershocks.
Manila, Philippines- June 2015, 20 years after the Kobe earthquake, amidst news of an impending earthquake in Manila, Daulatram invites the public to learn and experience meditation on June 4 at 6pm in Onstage, Greenbelt 1.
She advises, "It is good that the Philippine government released earthquake safety tips and reminded the citizens to be prepared. However, preparation for such a calamity must be two-fold: spiritual and physical."
She explains, "Earthquakes happen unexpectedly, you only have some few seconds to respond. If you are not spritually prepared, you will be scared and confused. However, if you can keep your mind calm and alert, you will be able to do what is necessary at the right time."
"A daily meditation practice allows one to accumulate peaceful energy which is very useful in times of crisis", she stressed.
Do you want to learn how to be spiritually prepared?