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Cyclone in Burma and Earthquakes in Sichuan

A Message from Gyalwa Dokhampa

May 15, 2008


My dear friends,

As many of you already know, eleven days ago, Burma was hit by a tropical cyclone that killed more than 30,000 people and left many homeless.

Two days ago, no less than 19,000 people were killed in Sichuan's deadly earthquake, which measured up to 7.8 on Richter magnitude. And the death toll is still on the rise.

Many people lost their husbands, wives, children and beloved ones and this experience will be forever haunting them for the rest of their lives. We can never truly understand the sufferings and the pain they are going through right now, nor can we reverse the laws and effects of Karma, but we as spiritual practitioners can send our moral support in the forms of prayers and different practices, and we can also be doing something practical to help those affected in these natural disasters so that they are able to rebuild their homes and their lives in the shortest time possible. This is the chance for everyone and especially the followers of the Drukpa Lineage to open our hearts to the suffering of others and truly practice "Live to Love".

As the theme of the First Annual Drukpa Council is "Live to Love, Integrating Spirituality with Daily Life", it is a very crucial and testing moment for all of us. We should not be waiting for the ADC in December to start integrating spirituality with our daily life, but we should be starting now, in this tested time of troubles and natural catastrophes where so many beings are suffering.

As per the compassionate wish of His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa and as my personal appeal, I request my Dharma brothers and sisters as well as anyone who believes in "Live to Love" to join together to offer our support to the victims in Burma and in Sichuan.

Drukpa Hong Kong Foundation Ltd. has kindly agreed to help us coordinate receiving donations through deposits into bank accounts or by PayPal. Half of the collections will be channeled towards helping the victims in Burma and half will be for the victims in Sichuan. Rebuilding their homes and their confidence will take a long time, but we hope our little contribution and support will make them feel that they are not alone, and that they are being loved and cared for by so many others who live on this planet that is our common home.

It is unfortunate that we do not have the skills and the manpower to help these victims directly. Therefore, It is my personal wish that one day in the near future, our monks, nuns and lay followers will be able to form professional relief groups with skills and experience, to offer our active help and prayers to those beings suffering every now and then.

On this forthcoming third Sunday of May, I am also making an appeal to everyone who has connection with the Drukpa Lineage to engage whole-heartedly in prayers and practices and to dedicate all the virtues to suffering beings. May their sufferings and pains be eradicated immediately and may all of us, who are connected in one way or the other, be able to support each other on the spiritual path leading to Ultimate Happiness and Freedom.

I wish to thank everyone in advance for their help and support and I pray that we will all be able to develop the unconditional love and compassion that our root teacher His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa exemplifies in his everyday life and repay all his kindness and love for us.

As Shantideva said, “As Buddhas are my constant friends, boundless in benefit they bring to me, how else may I repay their goodness, except by making living beings happy?” And he also said, “Buddhas are made happy by the joy of beings; they sorrow, they lament when beings suffer, so by bringing joy to beings, then, I please the Buddhas also, and by offending them, the Buddhas I offend.”

Yours in the Dharma,
Do Kham
Writing from Tango, Bhutan