How do we deal with devastation? How do we deal with painful, unimaginable losses? How do we deal with the death or injury of our loved ones? How can we deal with our own impending death?

The recent earthquake in Nepal has brought these questions to my mind. I spent over a year in Nepal many years ago and developed a fondness for the people there and a bond with the country. The people had a charming warmth with big smiles. The landscape was breathtakingly beautiful. Nepal taught me a lot and holds a special place in my heart.

I cannot imagine what it feels like to be living through this tragedy and the uncertainty of the next tremor and the impending monsoon season. Nepal has always been poor materially but rich spiritually. So much of Nepal is unreachable by road making rescue difficult. The medical infrastructure is sketchy at best.

Events like this happen periodically throughout the world. It seems the only way to survive is to come together and help each other. Help can be in the form of rebuilding physical structures, giving medical help, and supplying needed shelter food and water.  It can also be in the form of  giving a hug, holding hands, listening with full attention, and showing love and compassion for the things that we cannot change.

Sometimes we can be there to physically help others, sometimes we can give financial help, but we can always send our thoughts, prayers, and healing energy to those in need.

Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment’s sunlight
Fading in the grass

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

~The Youngbloods

At some point in life, everyone is faced with devastation. We might lose our parents, a friend, a beloved pet, our health, our career, a marriage, a child. All of these are very painful and can leave us feeling helpless and lost. So how do we get past these difficult times?

We must allow ourselves time to grieve and be willing to share and talk about our feelings. We must be gentle with ourselves and we must be able to accept help when it is offered.

Often times great tragedies also bring out the best in people. There have been great acts of heroism when people risk their own lives to help others in need. These kind acts help to restore our faith in the blessings life holds for us. Working together can make the impossible possible.

The goal of yoga is union. Union of mind, body, spirit, union with each other, and union with the Divine. Difficult asanas (poses) are meant to teach us how to deal with challenges in a healthy way. We must learn acceptance of things we can’t do,  as well as learning to dig deep inside ourselves to tap into our inner most strengths.

Physical death is inevitable. We are all in this life together and we all impact each other whether we realize it or not. Let’s use the power of coming together to help others and help ourselves in the process.

In some ways dealing with devastation prepares us for our own death. It makes us more aware of our mortality and how these tragedies could happen to us.

We are like sunlight, fading in the grass. Let’s come together and love each other right now.