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There was a 6.0 earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, felt as far away as 600 miles from the epicenter. Happily, it didn’t trigger a tsunami! Someone from Florida posted about it on Powerful Intentions, and I was inspired to post the following. I thought you might enjoy reading it, too!


When I lived in Japan in the early '80s, we had earthquakes frequently. Excerpted from my memoirs about my time in Japan, here is my account of an earthquake that happened when I had just moved to Tokyo for the summer where I was teaching in a summer school program and living in the home of a teaching couple who went back to the States for the summer:

In the middle of the night just a week or so after I had moved in, I was awakened suddenly. As I lay there on my futon on the tatami-mat floor of the upstairs bedroom wondering why I had waked up, I noticed the night was very still—much more quiet than usual—and it seemed as if the world was holding its breath. I sensed that something was about to happen, but I had no idea what. After a few moments, the house began to move from side to side, shimmying gently as it swayed. My first response was that I ought to do something but it was instantly clear to me that there was nothing to do. I had the distinct sense of a larger, omnipotent force in control and knew that I was completely at its mercy.

Instead of frightening me, it was somehow greatly comforting, and I lay there feeling oddly at one with the floor, the house, and the quaking earth. Once I released the illusion that there was anything I could do, I relaxed and spent the rest of the thirty or forty seconds enjoying the ride. There was no rumbling, no booming and no jarring up and down motion as there had been in the other episodes that I’d experienced since my arrival. This one felt almost like the earth was dancing. As soon as it stopped, the birds began chirping loudly as if they were discussing the event, and I fell back to sleep feeling unusually safe and secure like a baby who’d been rocked in the bosom of Mother Earth.

This different kind of earthquake experience would come to serve as a model for responding to situations beyond my personal control. To this day, I can still tap into the dynamically peaceful place I found that night in the midst of what seemed at first to be catastrophe in the making, and simply let myself flow with the movement of a greater force.


(Now, to be able to consistently do that in the midst of the everyday stuff!)


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This page contains a single entry by Julia published on September 10, 2006 7:59 PM.

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