Dear Friends of the Dharma,
On Sunday, September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma touched down in Florida. Like most of you, many days were spent in preparation for this event, and many days after in cleaning up. I sincerely hope that those of you I have not seen or heard from made it safely through the storm and its aftermath. At Service last Sunday we shared our gratitude for having survived and for the help given to us by many others. It was so good to see one another after a two-week hiatus. We also thought about how events like this can make one rethink what is important in life. If you have to evacuate quickly, you can only take a limited number of things. You must take what you need for survival and no more, and all loved ones must also be included. We realize that besides the basic necessities of life we really need little else. But I also think we saw how our Buddhist practice that we have been working on helped us deal with this in a more calm and mindful way. We can now look back and see this as another encounter given to us from the Buddha, one that we must cherish. Let us now extend our prayers and whatever help we can to those around us still in need from Irma, as well as to the many others that were devastated by Maria. May the peoples of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean get the help they need to again have safe and happy lives.