Rinpoche gave two weekends of teachings on the topic Meditation and Conduct in the Face of War. These teachings were organised by Kamalashila Institute on Zoom.
Rinpoche will show us ways to overcome feelings of helplessness and powerlessness in the face of war, and instead increasingly recognise and further develop and deepen love and compassion as innate qualities within us. It is not just about the war in Ukraine, but about the cause of all wars and about recognising and transforming our tendencies toward anger and hatred.
In talks 3 and 4 Rinpoche gives a detailed teaching on The Prayer to Pacify the Fear of War by Thangtong Gyalpo.
In talks 5-8 he gives a teaching on Chatral Rinpoche’s Prayer to Avert Nuclear War. In the last session (part 8) Rinpoche used this other translation of the prayer: The Rishi’s Maledictory Incantation
by Maggy Jones
We have a world-wide pandemic, and now we have Russia Ukraine war and the threat of nuclear bombing. What should we do? We have to think and find a way to deal with the situation. War is most devastating and creates immeasurable suffering and pain, to both sides and many others. In war people stop seeing others as fellow human beings. We also glorify war. Murder is punished, war is not. It is our kleshas* that start all conflict – personal and international. Understand this, and try to change. What helped the Tibetans was their understanding of samsara. We can understand and develop kindness and compassion. It is all karma. Rinpoche shares his personal experiences. Q & A Putin and karma
* Kleshas (Skt.) nyon mongs (Tib.) Destructive emotions Anger, Pride, Jealousy, Fear/Greed, Ignorance
We need to face these problems whether we like it or not, so try to be positive. Shantideva says if there is something you can do, do it. If there is not, no point in anger, just try to make something better and this will help you. Our attitude, our reactions create our world. Things happen through many causes and conditions and if just one thing is changed the whole scene may change. Focus on Bodhicitta. If the majority of human beings accepted that war is bad, pointless, it would stop but our destructive emotions are too strong.
True dharma is the development of Bodhicitta. All the sadhanas, rituals, prayers are for this purpose. Q & A
During civil war in Tibet a great master, Thangtong Gyalpo composed this prayer* and the war ended; this prayer seems very relevant today. We all say we want peace so why does it not happen?
Rinpoche explains the prayer which invokes the power of all the Compassionate and the Wrathful Ones. Fear is often the cause of conflict. Story of the lion, the buffalo and the fox who caused the fear. There are also non-human forces.
From the spiritual point of view “living longer” is not the number of years but how positive they are. “Riches” are not material goods but satisfaction. Kleshas are stronger these days, developing the ego, creating violence. This “I” and “you” will cause conflict until we develop compassionate wisdom. Speech can create fear and foster aggression mis-called “defence”.
Rinpoche continues the prayer. Hatred stemming from fear becomes the main motivation for war – on both sides. The antidote is “kindness”. Develop a positive attitude to ALL and if everyone does this, the collective energy will spread and “drown” the hatred. Recite the mantra and focus on that then we are healing ourselves and others. Q My pacifist attitude seems like cowardice. A There are many ways to help Ukraine, not only military but unless peace comes the problem will not stop. Different people help in different ways, fighting is also needed. In Europe there was terrible war, and now there is E:U. and peace.
There are both human and non-human influences creating aggression. Prayers and practices help to counter these. Battle sites can retain negative energies. Only Peace brings prosperity. 1. There are always opportunities for good actions 2. Cause and effect always operate, so positive acts are necessary. 3. Connect with the Enlightened Beings for support. Put all together and dedicate. Q & A
“Prayer to avert Nuclear War” by Chatrul Rinpoche, a famous Dzogchen Master (brief biography). He received many indications that there would be a nuclear war and wrote this prayer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUmM9mCdy4g He invokes the powers for support. With extensive practice your speech will also gain power. Rinpoche goes through the prayer.
In the beginning our solar system was called “Fortunate” but times have degenerated. Guru Rinpoche vowed that in times of peace he would be still, but if times became hard his strength would increase. All the lineage masters, the yidams, the dakinis, are invoked. NB Beings can manifest in any form male or female. The Protectors, devas and many others are invoked. Q & A A. If you do nothing to stop bad actions, then you are contributing. Your anger contributes.
These are the Beings we pray to. Buddha Shakyamuni is the 4th Buddha on this earth there will be 996 more to come with fluctuating prosperity. We are on a down swing but with effort we could rouse ourselves. When violence becomes acceptable, the force of light dims, our compassion shrinks and negative forces become stronger and take over. These forces could influence nuclear war. Resources are spent on armaments. The importance of a positive dedication. Nuclear war maybe imminent, but, motivated by greed and fear, people do not realise this. The only hope is the power and compassion of the Enlightened Beings. We approach them, pleading for their support . Q & A A. To the best of my knowledge this is the only prayer written specifically for nuclear war.
Rinpoche continues his explanation. We pray that the minds of those creating and revelling in war will be changed to reason and compassion.
Many people do not understand how important peace is but without peace nothing can be achieved. Prayer is a very genuine, strong wish coming from the heart. If many have this same wish then things may happen. Yes, prayer is not enough but it is the start. Prayer can change hearts and fear is the main cause of war. We must eliminate, root, branch and leaf, the human and non-human violent forces until our earth is empty of them. Our cumulative positive karma builds on our innate Buddha nature and our actions become stronger. Do not expect immediate results.
Another better translation of the text includes an important colophon. https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/chatral-rinpoche/rishis-maledictory-incantation Chatrul Rinpoche feels that the time is coming when this destructive weapon will be used to destroy the earth and all living beings. We must pray with all our strength, like children calling on their parents, to avert this devastation. Print this prayer on cloth and hang it everywhere. Q & A A. Permission, and encouragement to share the prayer with Christian friends. Q Personal problem with mother with alzheimers disease. A. Always difficult but as a practice it’s far more sincere and beneficial than prayers.
For more information, visit: https://kamalashila-campus.com/courses/meditation-und-verhalten-im-angesicht-des-krieges/