Library Collection of Donations for Japan Earthquake

The Buddhist Library is collecting donations for the Japan disaster and will be directing it through Tzu Chi 

Members who are visiting the Buddhist Library premises may offer their support and donations through the collection box at the counter.   You may also donate directly to Tzu Chi to offer your aid for the Japanese people.

Why donate via Tzu Chi Foundation?

There are many reasons why I would recommend donating via Tzu  Chi Foundation.  But of these reasons, one prime consideration is the spirit of voluntarism in their organisation.  It is said that volunteers who go on overseas relief mission pay for their own travel expenses and do not get reimbursed for their time.  This way, there is a minimum or virtually no overhead slapped onto your donation.


Instead of going through a third party, Tzu Chi volunteers personally deliver relief goods to the hands of each household in need,. Hence, all of the donations go directly to the hands of the needy.


Tzu Chi relief team assesses the needs and conditions before deciding which areas to provide aid to, ensuring that aid goes to areas where they are most needed.


Wherever Tzu Chi relief workers go to help, they must respect the lifestyle, the customs and the cultural tradition of that place. Relief workers are not superior to the victims, but reach out to them as friends.


Quick action makes relief more effective. Tzu Chi responds immediately after a disaster strikes and provides relief in a timely manner.


Tzu Chi relief team thoroughly and carefully assesses the needs and conditions in each location before conducting distributions and relief work program, providing medical services, and rebuilding in the long run. This is to ensure that the aid provided is needed and practical.

Water, Power, Food Scarce in Vast Waths of Japan

To the south, in Miyagi prefecture, or state, the police chief told a gathering of disaster relief officials that his estimate for deaths was more than 10,000, police spokesman Go Sugawara told The Associated Press. Miyagi has a population of 2.3 million and is one of the three prefectures hardest hit in Friday’s disaster. Fewer than 400 people have officially been confirmed as dead in Miyagi.

I feel compelled to stop existing classes and volunteer myself to join aid services in Japan.  Dedicating merits and send metta just does not cut it for me.  Can someone enlighten me on this?

Suki hontu. -__-

Japan Suffers Major Damage from Tsunami after Earthquake Hits

A magnitude 8.9 earthquake slammed Japan’s northeastern coast Friday, unleashing a 13-foot (4-meter) tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland. Fires triggered by the quake burned out of control up and down the coast.

Prayers, support and aid goes out to them.  If there is any support group setup, please share and disseminate.

Suki hontu. -__-

Mass Animal Die Offs … Is the World Coming to An End? Or the Sound the Hare Heard!

There’s been recent reports of animals dying off world wide.  Some people are panicking and declaring that the world is finally coming to an end with an “Aflockalypse”.

Scientists however, are not so quick to draw such a conclusion.  According to US government agencies, mass die offs are common but merely unreported.  Others note that the advent of camera phones and internet has made it easier to highlight and report such occurrences; it does not mean that it is only happening now or is happening more frequently or intensely.

This reminds me of the earthquake reports that went online quite frequently last year.  While a few of the major earthquakes were really catastrophic and their reports was certainly helpful to bring awareness and aids to those who needed, the ease of capturing and reporting information online has meant that the general public may start to think that there is an increase in natural disaster when in fact the perceived increase is also due to an increase in reports of major and minor earthquakes made possible by advancement in technology.

Is the world coming to an end?  I think not.  But if this spur us to appreciate our daily life, our every breathing moment with our friends, family and love ones, even those with our enemies or those we dislike, then perhaps it can be positive too.  But if we get all paranoid and start behaving irrationally or irresponsibly, harming ourselves and others in the process, then we may want to take a page from the Jataka Stories (Birth stories) of the Buddha, and learn something from “Jat 322: Duddubha Jataka: The Sound the Hare Heard”

China Earthquake Kills Hundreds in Qinghai

Our condolences and prayers of metta goes out to them.

Please extend your thoughts and support to them where you can.


At least 300 people have died and others are trapped under rubble after a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck China’s Qinghai province, officials say.
The powerful tremor hit remote Yushu county, 500km (310 miles) south-west of provincial capital Xining, at 0749 (2349 GMT), at a shallow depth of 10km.

At least 300 people have died and others are trapped under rubble after a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck China’s Qinghai province, officials say.
The powerful tremor hit remote Yushu county, 500km (310 miles) south-west of provincial capital Xining, at 0749 (2349 GMT), at a shallow depth of 10km.


Earthquakes in the Past Few Weeks

Today, an 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey.  This follows the series of earthquakes that occurred in the past few weeks.  It is easy for us to forget how fortunate we are to have whatever peace and safety we presently have, until we see how terribly wrong things can turn out.

In the “Sutra on the Eight Great Realization of Great Beings” 《佛說八大人覺經 》, the first stanza of the first realisation is


The world is impermanent, the country and land are fragile.

Let us not take things for granted and assume things will be, must be or should be in a certain manner tomorrow just because it is today.  For all are impermanent, and that which is impermanent is subject to change.  Something that is subject to change, tends more towards agitation than not.  Something that is subject to change and tends towards agitation brings uncertainty, anxiety and unease.  This in turn does not promote happiness.

If we forget this, we become complacent and start having presumptions about things and people around us.  We become used to how things are and when they suddenly change, or more rightly exhibit significant change, we fret, we tremble, we are vexed.


Earthquakes in the past few weeks
Please join me in dedicating to those who perished or are still suffering.

8 March 2010 – Strong quake hits eastern Turkey

TURKEY — A strong earthquake has struck eastern Turkey, killing at least 38 people, officials have said.

The 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck the village of Basyurt in Elazig province at 0432 (0232 GMT). It was followed by several aftershocks.

4 March 2010 – Strong earthquake hits Taiwan; injuries reported

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday, causing widespread damage and disrupting communications around the island. Local news reports said several people were injured.

The quake was centered in the county of Kaohsiung, and struck at a depth of about 3.1 miles (5 kilometers). Kaohsiung is about 249 miles (400 kilometers) south of the capital Taipei.

No tsunami alert was issued.

27 February 2010 – State of Catastrophe Declared
in Chile After Massive 8.8-Magnitude Quake,2933,587565,00.html

CHILE — Chile’s president declared a state of catastrophe in the aftermath of a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake Saturday that left bodies, crumbled buildings and outages in its wake.

Chile’s interior minister says at least 214 people had been found dead as of Saturday afternoon, and the pre-dawn quake, the most powerful quake to hit the country in a half century, also cut electricity, water and phone lines to many outlying areas, meaning there was no immediate word of death or damage there.

The quake also unleashed a tsunami across the ocean, putting much of the Pacific Rim on alert for potentially devastating waves.

12 January 2010 – A massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake has struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti

HAITI — The quake, which struck about 15km (10 miles) south-west of Port-au-Prince, was quickly followed by two strong aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5 magnitude. The tremor hit at 1653 (2153 GMT) on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said. Phone lines to the country failed shortly afterwards.

There is still no official word on casualties and the extent of the devastation is only now becoming clearer with dawn breaking

HAITI — Tuesday afternoon, January 12th, the worst earthquake in 200 years – 7.0 in magnitude – struck less than ten miles from the Caribbean city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The initial quake was later followed by twelve aftershocks greater than magnitude 5.0. Structures of all kinds were damaged or collapsed, from shantytown homes to national landmarks. It is still very early in the recovery effort, but millions are likely displaced, and thousands are feared dead as rescue teams from all over the world are now descending on Haiti to help where they are able. As this is a developing subject, I will be adding photos to this entry over the next few days, but at the moment, here is a collection of photos from Haiti over the past 24 hours.