Everybody is helpless. What about the people in Japan? What about the people in Libya and all these places where they are being shot, buried or drowned? Their position before it happened was helpless, they were all helpless. This is a big lesson of the tsunami and earthquake, each person thinks that they are running their life, and the human race thinks that it’s running the world, and behaving as if it has a right to do whatever it wants to do, and then nature comes along and shows us that this is false, that it has no validity, and it shows us this on a bigger scale.

The lesson that we can have here, thousands of miles away from all these disasters, is to see that we are not in control, that we can’t make things happen the way that we want them to, and that points to the teaching that I teach: to let happen, to accept what comes your way, to make the best of it and nobody can ask more. Making the best of it doesn’t mean just putting up with it, it means finding a way to co-operate with it, and finding something in you that can accept what is happening, and even participating in what is happening as what is meant to happen to you, which may be very different from what you think that you want to happen, or what your heart would like to happen. These are just dreams, because we don’t have the power.

We don’t have the power over nature, or over other people, over our partners or our bosses or our parents or our children, we don’t have any power over the immediate environment that we have, and yet we are always fighting to control, because we believe that that is the way that one should run one’s life – to control and to get what one sets up in one’s mind as one’s goals in life. But that is not the way that I see it, and it’s not Taoistic, which is to accept that we are part of a process that is running independent of ourselves, an incredibly powerful process that is not just planetary, like the earthquake, but is cosmic. It involves the whole of the Cosmos and this has a continuously flowing energy and we are a part of that, and the way to get on terms with it is to accept it. Accept it and become one with it and say: “This is who I am and this is what happening is to me when I open up to the whole process of movement in the Cosmos.”

As for the personal response to all this, as a guy called Somendra said (I am told) 30 years ago, “ find a place where the world never blows up”.