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Bodhisattva Action Alert: Ways to Help Japan

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Member of Japan Self-Defence Forces carries a man in Natori city, in Miyagi prefecture March 12, 2011. REUTERS/Yomiuri

When disasters or crises hit Asian Buddhist countries, I believe that we as Western Buddhists are offered a way to re-pay the gift of dharma that has been shared with us so generously by our dharma brothers and sisters in the East.

Now, the people of Japan are in great need in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11. Some of my Buddhist blogging colleagues have collected lists of ways to help with the relief efforts in Japan:

If you’re looking for a reputable and respected Buddhist organization to support, I’d highly recommend making a donation to the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation. Tzu Chi is one of the world’s first socially engaged Buddhist organizations and they have done tremendous relief work at other natural disaster sites, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Tzu Chi has announced that it has set up a command center to prepare for launching relief aid to Japan.  You can learn more and make a donation here.

About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.

10 responses »

  1. Pingback: step into the fire – helping Japan and the world « 108zenbooks

  2. Maia, this is beautiful…thank you. I plan to make the Tzu Chi Foundation one that I donate to. I am also linking up this post in my post on my blog tomorrow so others can see these ways to help.

  3. Thank you, Maia – this information is very helpful and clearly and accessible. I know have learned about Tzu Chi through you. Deep bow.

  4. Thanks for the links, Maia. I would like to add a caveat to my post. Please refer to the Charity Navigator first before you give to any organization that you are not familiar with.

    Even from the USA Today article that I thought was reliable, when I looked into the specific organizations I found many of them Evangelicals that put preaching above providing aid.

    If you check my post now, I listed the “Most Trusted” list from the Charity Navigator for groups that are helping Japan in this time of crisis.

    A few other resources for people worried about loved ones:

    Google Person Finder
    Google has launched its Person Finder for the Japan Earthquake. Users can input information about someone in the service or search it to see if any information is available about someone who might have been impacted by the tsunami. The resource currently has 6,900 records and growin.

    NTT Docomo Safety Response
    One of Japan’s mobile-phone providers is allowing users to input a loved one’s mobile phone number into a search to confirm the safety of that person.

    KDDI Disaster Message Board
    Similar to NTT Docomo’s service, the KDDI Disaster Message Board lets people place messages on its service to find out about a loved one’s condition. That loved one’s safety can then be confirmed via mobile phone or on a PC.

    Softbank Message Board:
    Softbank’s Message Board mimics KDDI’s service, allowing users to post a message to loved ones, which can then be viewed on the person’s mobile phone. They can respond from that device to confirm they’re safe.

    Japan Shelter Map:
    A Google Map has been created for around Tokyo, listing lodging places for people who have been affected by the tsunami to stay the night.

  5. Mary Sojourner

    For the animals, google The Conscious Cat – animal rescue groups organizing…

  6. Pingback: Ways to help Japan « Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic

  7. Pingback: Bodhisattva Action Alert: Ways to Help Japan |

  8. Hi all,

    I got an email from Ultimate Rewards, the company that admins my credit card rewards that contained a link to a page that lets you donate your rewards to the Red Cross. We donated all of ours and I posted a note on Facebook asking that others do the same. My sister donated all of her Amex points, of which apparently there were a LOT! I believe you can also donate your frequent flyer points too, though I am not sure where. Everything helps, let’s all please remember our incredible good fortune and give what we can.

  9. Pingback: Four Ways to Show Your Love for Japan -- and the Whole World | The Liberated Life Project

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