"'I shall protect myself,' in that way the foundations of mindfulness should be practiced. 'I shall protect others,' in that way the foundations of mindfulness should be practiced. Protecting oneself one protects others; protecting others one protects oneself. And how does one, in protecting oneself, protect others? By the repeated and frequent practice of meditation. And how does one, in protecting others, protect oneself? By patience and forbearance, by a non-violent and harmless life, by compassion and loving kindness." -- Sn 52,8
How the Dhamma protects
The great fire in Surin resulted in lot of suffering: a huge destruction of property and a great sense of loss. Some folks even went out of their minds. People came in a stream to see Luang Pu and to bemoan the good they had done in the past, saying, "We've been making merit at the temple and practicing the Dhamma since the time of our grandparents. Why didn't that merit help us? Why didn't the Dhamma protect us? The fire totally destroyed our homes." Many of these people stopped coming to the monastery to make merit because the Dhamma didn't help protect their homes from burning down.
Luang Pu said,
"The Dhamma doesn't help people in that way at all. The fire simply acted in line with its function. What this means is that destruction, loss, disintegration, separation have always been with us in this world. As for those who practice the Dhamma, who have the Dhamma in their hearts, when they meet with these things they understand how to place the mind in such a way that it doesn't suffer. That's how the Dhamma helps. It's not the case that it helps by preventing aging or death or hunger or fire. That's not the case at all."