Natural Disasters


As we have heard, on November 7th a massive typhoon hit the country of the Philippines.  In the wake of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan’s) devastation, 2.5 million people in the Philippines have been in need of emergency food assistance.  It is believed that at least 10,000 people are thought to have died in the central Philippine province of Leyte after Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever.

outer disasters:

Rescue workers have struggled to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines following the assault of this super typhoon.  It is estimated that more than 600,000 people were displaced in the wake of the storm.  We soon learned that survivors were without food, water, and medicine, and relief operations and had trouble reaching them due to damaged roads, airports, and bridges.

It was reported that victims tried to climb out from under rubble to find assistance. Later, mobs rampaged through the streets looking for food, water or medicine.  They even looted electrical goods and groceries from malls.  Sadly, eight people were killed after thousands of Haiyan survivors stormed a government-owned rice warehouse seeking food supplies. 

What can we do to help?

The Sa Chu Me Lung is recommended by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche.  It is a prayer to Guru Rinpoche and his retinue of the four elemental dakinis to remove all obstacles caused by the four elements of fire, earth, water and wind.  To help with outer disasters that happen such as typhoons, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters here are a few options:

  1. Click here to download the Sa Chu Me Lung – a one page practice text.
  2. You can recite the The High King sutra and dedicate the merits to the victims and families.
  3. You can find an organization to donate money directly here: donate

We are taught that after you say these prayers you can dedicate the merits to the unfortunate ones that are suffering.  It is a skillful way to help beings beyond the normal constraints of space and time.

inner disasters:

Radiation is an ongoing problem that people hear about but don’t take the time to investigate or protect themselves.  In March of 2011, Japan had an unprecedented earthquake that registered 9.0 on the Richter scale.  The subsequent tsunami damaged the nuclear power plant which caused massive amounts of radiation to enter the atmosphere.  Since we don’t see the negative effects on human health right away, it is hidden and more of an inner disaster.

We all know of the devastation caused by nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  It was a terrible ordeal.  If it was a necessary evil to stop further war then there is nothing more we can do.  That has been debated for a long time.  Yet, once a few nuclear experiments have been conducted we know for certainty how harmful and negative the side-effects are.  Once you read the reports and hear the devastating stories it is perfectly clear.

It really is insane that scientists still conduct such tests after all these years.  Now, other countries want to jump in to supposedly learn more about these after-effects.  MH posted this video on his forum that needs to be shared far and wide.  It will really open your eyes and wonder if we truly are suicidal on a global scale.  Here is a 14 minute video of every nuclear detonation since 1945: time lapse video

secret disasters:

The more I read certain dharma websites and forums the more I cringe at what is being posted.  If our intent is to help all sentient beings then, of course, that is good.  However, unless we study our precepts this can cause great obstacles for both ourselves and others when posting sacred materials considered inappropriate for the public.  Even though our intentions are good, it is often mixed with pride and ego.  Surely this impulse is from Mara.  A wrong impulse is that little voice of fear mixed with pride.  Since this type of disaster is hardly perceptible to ordinary minds, it is considered more of a secret disaster.

When we act wrongly, it often stems from fear rather than compassion and right knowledge.  So, we may fear that these valuable tantras will become lost.  Then prideful feelings arise, thinking that I am the only one who can help.  Without permission from our guru we take wrong action and create karma.  Our samaya has always been to NOT POST inner tantras, their mantras, and sadhanas to the public.  We have been told time and time again by our teachers not to do this.  It hardly seems anyone is listening.  I believe it should be taken to heart.  As Shakyamuni Buddha said:

“That is, collecting one’s thoughts constitutes the precepts; from the precepts comes samadhi; and out of samadhi arises wisdom.  Samadhi arises from precepts, and wisdom is revealed out of samadhi.” ~ Shurangama Sutra

Perhaps we should have more faith in the Buddha’s word.  Without precepts there is no wisdom.  And without being enlightened we wouldn’t know what is karmic or not.  That is why we follow the precepts from someone that has more wisdom than we do.  As Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse says it directly and honestly here:

“Don’t talk about your empowerments: If you think images from your weekend Vajrayana empowerment are worthy of being posted up next to photos of your cat on Facebook, you should send your cat to Nepal for enthronement.  Unless you have obtained permission from the teacher, do not post any photo, video or audio recording of Vajrayana empowerments, teachings or mantras.” — Dzongsar Khyentse

On the other hand, posting anything from the sutras has always been considered perfectly fine.  Dzongsar Khyentse goes on to say, “If you think or believe that you are a student of Vajrayana—whether or not that’s true is another matter—but as long as you think you are a Vajrayana practitioner, it becomes your responsibility to protect this profound tradition.”

You can read the rest of this article here: SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES

Light and love,
Neo

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