A guest-post (and video) by Taz Tagore of The Reciprocity Foundation
There is something very powerful about a big storm. Even when we’re not directly affected, we can sense the destructive energy of a major storm from within. Hurricane Sandy was like that for me. I wasn’t directly affected and yet, I felt very shaken and anxious afterwards.
As a Buddhist practitioner, I had a chance to do something about those feelings. I sat in meditation frequently over the past week, and eventually felt a realization arise—that every storm eventually passes, no matter how scary it seems when it is unfolding. Hurricane Sandy caused more death and destruction in and around New York City than we had witnessed since 9-11. But it too has passed. And slowly, we are beginning to put together the pieces of our day-to-day lives.
As one of the lucky few that was not hurt by the storm, I have the ability to serve others who were affected. As a co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation—a contemplative nonprofit for homeless and displaced youth—we have been able been able to open our doors to homeless youth to offer them food, shelter and love. But, we are also giving the gift of breathing meditation, massage/acupuncture, healthy vegetarian meals, and a space in which to “process” the fear, anxiety and suffering that resulted from Hurricane Sandy. Our loving Reciprocity community has given so much of their time and hearts in this respect.
So many of the displaced young people I have met in the past two weeks have almost no material objects or possessions—but when they sit in meditation, they realize that there is a wellspring of love and hope in their hearts. “Aha,” they say, “I do have something to give others.” At the Reciprocity Foundation, we have been sending out loving kindness to those who are still homeless, powerless and hungry. As we collectively recover from the hurricane, I am reminded once again that our only true refuge exists in our hearts.
TAZ TAGORE is the co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation and a Buddhist writer and teacher. She has contributed to the Shambhala Times, Beliefnet.com, Intent.com, the Interdependence Project and more. Taz has spent nearly twenty years volunteering at youth shelters and working with homeless youth in the U.S., Canada and India. She has been featured on countless television programs and newspaper articles for her work with homeless youth.
- Click here to learn more about the Reciprocity Foundation: reciprocityfoundation.org, or view their blog.
- View the Reciprocity Foundation’s videos, featuring homeless youth here.
- Or, donate $1, $5, $10 to support Reciprocity’s new holistic center for homeless youth.