Nuclear energy is not worth the risk. I'm watching the footage out of Japan with bewilderment and disappointment that our greed for cheap energy is contributing to an already epic disaster. The nuclear genie is restless in Fukashima, north of Tokyo, and it appears at this hour that a partial meltdown of a severely damaged nuclear reactor may be unfolding before our horrified eyes. Flashbacks of the Chernobyl holocaust race through my mind with chilling anxiety. But, In the back of it all I hear Master Thich Nhat Hanh telling me to, "just breath." It's times like these that our Dharma practice can carry us through some uncertain and frightening events. As we all know, it's something that we should incorporate into our daily routine, so that it becomes us and naturally unfolds, especially in times of crisis.
According to the Dalai Lama, and others, we practice the Dharma for not only life, but death. He explains that the death bed can be a frightening time but if we are practiced in the Dharma, it can be less of a stress upon ourselves, and the loved-ones around us. It will have already prepared us for the dying process. Our breathing techniques and contemplations upon impermanence, no-self and interdependence can really bring a lot of peace to the frightened mind. After a life lived of letting go of the fear of death, I would think it would be easier to accept death's clinical and unbiased verdict.
Now, having said all of this, such a strong practice is easier said than done, but even simple knowledge about deep breathing can really calm a person down in a crisis. I use it often to calm myself down when I have a panic attack from my psychological disorder. I realize that it would be harder to practice under an environment of total devastation, but any practice under the belt is better than none. It is my hope, that should I be caught in such a horrifying disaster, my training would carry me through--even, hopefully a possible nuclear nightmare.
But, humans have a consumption problem--we are greedy to the point of risking the death of countless people, and even more injuries, just for cheap power, so that we can continue our life of unchecked desire. And, yet, we take a risk with nuclear energy on something we still don't fully understand or know how to contain upon meltdown because we don't want to have to live a life with less luxury and fulfillment of desires. Well, I don't like saying this, but this is what happens when we gamble with samsara.
The time is now to commit, as a world, to putting the nuclear genie, back into the bottle, as much as possible. We owe it not just to our children, and their children, but the billions of innocent sentient beings, who are living within their means, in balance and harmony with nature's limits and abilities. We must learn the lessons of interdependence, because if we human's mess up and ruin Earth, making it inhabitable, then we have the karmic weight of the death of all those beings to bear into the next life. I know that I don't want that on my conscience, so let's work together to make this world a little safer and peaceful.