“Tashi Delegs – May all be auspicious in the Water Tiger Year.
On Thursday we celebrated the Tibetan New Year (Losar) here at the Hermitage with plenty of you online celebrating with us – candles on the stupa, repaired just in time after the storm damage, blessing the prayer flags, smoke offerings and singing yogic songs. We made special dedication and prayers for all those who are the victims and perpetrators of the Ukraine crisis – praying especially to Guru Rinpoche whose power is said to grow the stronger as the times get darker – which is certainly what is happening now.
May Putin’s power to continue this aggression completely collapse, may he be replaced with peace loving leaders with wisdom and courage, may the Ukrainian people soon be saved from further destruction and oppression, may all the refugees find what they need and soon be able to return to their homeland, may the whole world unite in opposing oppression of this kind everywhere and may all the actions of peacemakers be effective.
The brave Ukrainians are standing up to a powerful bully who will only go from bad to worse if he is seen to succeed. Although as Buddhists we are against violence – it is not obvious what is right in terms of standing up to bullies – it is our motivation that determines the full karmic effect of our actions even if those actions involve violent responses in order to protect life.
Our hearts really go out to the Ukrainian people, all those terrified people looking on in nearby countries such as Poland, the Russian people dying in the conflict and who will suffer the economic repercussions of the sanctions, the whole world that is threatened with economic chaos and a very real nuclear threat. At a time like this it is important to remember this is samsara and the only way it ends is by following the Dharma – putting our trust in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha – praying to them for protection and making pranidhanas for the peace of the world.
It is important to keep a positive state of mind – practising the four apramanas with a heart full of love and faith in the Three Jewels. Even in the darkest hour it is still only a dream and an illusion – the solution is to wake up and discover the true nature of our existence and our heart connection with all beings. So have courage and face whatever comes with confidence and conviction in doing whatever you can to help.”
Lama Shenpen Hookham
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