We have launched healing and blessing ceremony programs in shelters where people are taking refuge after the earthquake. The blessing ceremony is followed by a Dhamma talk by a senior monk and free dinner for everybody. I was happy to sponsor the event and the dinner for more than 300 people who attended our first healing ceremony that evening.
A high level of anxiety and stress is causing a lot of suffering and emotional pain to everybody these days. They live in constant fear. As monks and spiritual teachers, we need to help them come to terms with such unexpected disasters.
After discussing our idea with the monks at the Sumangala Bihar temple in Patan, we organized our first event in the Yasodara School where more than 300 people have taken shelter because of constant aftershocks.
The monks and nuns were eager and enthusiastic. Twelve monks and nuns participated in the blessing ceremony. Although three weeks have passed since the earthquake, this kind of event was never held in this shelter. The participants also felt happy and encouraged.
The earthquake damaged and destroyed many buildings and killed thousands of people. The physical damage in many regions is unimaginable. The earthquake also left emotional scars and terrorized the minds of many people. After such a devastating earthquake, as much as we build homes, provide drinking water, clothing and medicine, we also need to help people heal emotional wounds and deal with stress and anxiety.
Aftershocks are terrorizing people daily. I have seen many times how people scream, cry, and run out of homes each time a tremor shakes the building. Of course I have joined them many times and run to open space.