June 24, 2008

A Little Bit of Compassion, from Oregon to Burma

As the tragedy in Burma continues to loom over our hearts, there are yet some uplifting stories to be found.

While looking through the April 2008 issue of Ink on the Cat (the newsletter of The Zen Community of Oregon), I came across the news that the ZCO Sangha had assisted in the sponsorship of a Burmese refugee family. They are a family of five, now in Portland, having come from a refuge camp in Thailand they lived in for four years. It is the education of their children (14, 13, and 9 years old), they say, that lead them to cross such long distances. While this issue of Ink is from a couple of months ago, a glance at the ZCO website reveals that they have already taken an even greater responsibility in the sponsoring of a second family from Burma.

In the midst of many questions about the experience to come, Nan Whittaker-Emrich, the author of the article, leaves a particular one for last:

"What does 'to save all beings' mean here, specifically, right here and right now?"

The above was asked before Cyclone Nargis occurred. Now that it has passed, has the answer changed?

-K. Kwanghee Woo, Tricycle Intern

Source: Nan Whittaker-Emrich, Sangha News, Ink on the Cat, April 2008

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