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Apr 18
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Joining in with the Bodhisattva Activity in Jyekundo
Tibetan monks chant at cremation for the earthquake victims in Jyekundo, courtesy of Alernet

Tibetan monks chant at cremation for the earthquake victims in Jyekundo, courtesy of Alernet

By Lydon Comstock

In the midst of the immense destruction and loss of life in Jyekundo and the surrounding area, I’ve been strongly struck by how hard so many people there are working to help those who are in need. Perhaps this is coming through more vividly for me because I’ve had the opportunity to speak briefly by cellphone each day with Khenpo Tsering of Surmang Dutsi Til. (Astonishingly, cell phones are still working intermittently, even though all power and landlines are out). The team which has come up from Surmang Dutsi Til, which is now more than thirty people, is clearly working as hard as they can to be helpful to people. And they are far from being the only ones.

The vigor which the many monks now at work in Jyekundo are bringing to the task comes through in the short video below.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/pOEtK9H50go" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

One is also struck by how central their dharma practice is to the monks who are helping with the earthquake relief. Most obviously, as numerous reports have stated, it is because they are doing practices for those who have died. Indeed, a video about Thrangu monastery indicates that some monks who have been on three year retreat are doing practices for the dead full time. Khenpo Tsering told me that a very important part of the family visits each day for Trungpa XII Rinpoche and Aten Rinpoche and him is doing practices for the dead.

At the same time, one can’t help but feel that the strength of their practice is closely related to how quickly and wholeheartedly the monks have jumped in to start helping in whatever way that is needed. (I’m sorry to not mention nuns, but I just don’t have any word yet about nuns.) It’s been inspiring to feel a little tingle of the energy of this bodhisattva activity, coming through even at this remove.

In my conversations with Khenpo Tsering, he is most interested to know about those who are practicing on behalf of those who have died in the earthquake. He regarded it as very important news that H.H. Karmapa has arranged for many monks in India to do practices for those who have died. He has already requested that people from the Shambhala community in the West do practices for those who have suffered in this earthquake, especially for those who died.

I think it really ought to be noted as well that, however dubious the motivations of the Chinese government might be, and as unprecedented as this seems to be relative to Tibet, it seems clear that a number of the Chinese soldiers in Jyekundo are really trying to be helpful. Whether this actually bodes anything for the future seems unfathomable but it is such a departure from the history of the past sixty years in Tibet, that it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Donations may be made to Konchok Foundation for earthquake relief.

Read more news and updates on the earthquake.

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2 responses to “ Joining in with the Bodhisattva Activity in Jyekundo ”
  1. Linda Gould
    Aug 12, 2010

    peter pls contact

  2. Peter Buemi, Baltimore Shambhala
    Apr 27, 2010

    With tremendous sadness and compassion for the Kyrigundo area, It occurred that this will probably happen again. Perhaps it would be wise , along with relief funds, to include, (by a visit of experts if possible) expertise on how to rebuild earthquake resistant buidlings. A daunting task perhaps given the remotness of the area, but seemingly absolutely necessary.

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