Home     Contact Us         Log in
Apr 20
Wednesday
Featured Stories
A Vigil for Jampa Pawo

A letter about Jampa Pawo, addressed to the Shambhala Sangha 

from Norma Harris

hand-178x200It is all but certain, though not certain, that Jampa Pawo, a member of the Atlanta Shambhala Sangha, will be executed on Wednesday, April 27th. We will not know if clemency will be granted until the evening of April 26th or possibly the morning of April 27th.  We are now turning our mind to what we can do for Jampa if and when his time has come.

Ani Pema has suggested a passage from The Tibetan Book of the Dead as translated by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Francesca Freemantle and also tonglen practice. This is what Gampo Abbey will be doing. At the Atlanta Shambhala Center we will begin with the Shambhala Sadhana and after that we will recite the passage and do tonglen. I am attaching the passage here so that others of you who would like to be of help to Jampa Pawo at this important time can do so. The Sakyong has been saying prayers for Jampa, and so have the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa, and Ani Pema.

horseIt is difficult to let you know the exact timing. Although the hour has been set for 7:00pm, Jampa’s lawyers will be making last-minute pleas for a stay to the Supreme Court. This process does take its time. It is expected that the pleas will be refused. It is then that the execution will begin to move forward. The lawyers will call Jampa to let him know. The prison will be informed by the attorney general and then they will begin the process. I am told that from that point it takes about 30 minutes for everyone to be in place. There will be a short prayer. The actual process of death by injection takes but a few minutes.

Dan Phillips and I will be witnesses at this execution. We are not permitted to have phones. A member of Jampa’s legal team will help us to make it known to our community. If you would like to participate in tonglen and sending prayers to Jampa coinciding with the time of his death, please email your address to me: [email protected]. We will create a contact list and you will receive a text letting you know the situation. If you will be with a group, please designate one email on the group’s behalf.  

Jampa’s body will be taken to The Atlanta Shambhala Center where he will be until the afternoon of April 30th when we will have a Shing Kam (Shambhala Pure Land) ceremony.

If you would like to be mindful of Jampa along with us, know that the ceremony will take place at 3:00 p.m. on the 30th.

The funeral expenses for Jampa Pawo include $950 for transportation of his body to and from the Center and for his cremation. We will need to buy him basic clothes. We would also like to have some flowers and some simple refreshments for after the ceremony. The family is able to contribute $200. If you would like to make a donation that will help us to pay for these expenses, please click HERE.

Buddhists must have sangha. Thank you for being Jampa’s sangha.


 

Passage from The Tibetan Book of the Dead:

Inspiration-Prayer for Deliverance from the Dangerous Pathway of the Bardo

Homage to the gurus, yidams and dakinis,

with their great love may they lead us on the path.

When through confusion you wander in samsara,

on the undistracted light-path of study, reflection and meditation,

may the gurus of the sacred lineage go before you,

their consorts the hosts of dakinis behind you;

may they help you to cross the bardo’s dangerous pathway

and bring you to the perfect buddha state.

When through intense ignorance you wander in samsara,

on the luminous light-path of the dharmadhatu wisdom,

may Blessed Vairocana go before you,

his consort the Queen of Vajra Space behind you;

may they help you to cross the bardo’s dangerous pathway

and bring you to the perfect buddha state.

When through intense aggression you wander in samsara,

on the luminous light-path of the mirror-like wisdom,

may Blessed Vajrasattva go before you,

his consort Buddha-Locana behind you;

may they help you to cross the bardo’s dangerous pathway

and bring you to the perfect buddha state.

When through intense pride you wander in samsara,

on the luminous light-path of the wisdom of equality,

may Blessed Ratnasambhava go before you,

his consort Mamaki behind you;

may they help you to cross the bardo’s dangerous pathway

and bring you to the perfect buddha state.

 

When through intense desire you wander in samsara,

on the luminous light-path of discriminating wisdom,

may Blessed Amitabha go before you,

his consort Pandaravasini behind you;

may they help you to cross the bardo’s dangerous pathway

and bring you to the perfect buddha state.

 

When through intense envy you wander in samsara,

on the luminous light-path of action-accomplishing wisdom,

may Blessed Amoghasiddhi go before you,

his consort Samaya-Tara behind you;

may they help you to cross the bardo’s dangerous pathway

and bring you to the perfect buddha state.

When through strong unconscious tendencies you wander

in samsara,

on the luminous light-path of the innate wisdom,

may the vidyadhara warriors go before you,

their consorts the host of dakinis behind you;

May they help you to cross the bardo’s dangerous pathway

and bring you to the perfect buddha state.

When through fierce confused projections you wander in samsara,

on the light-path of abandoning all fear,

may the Blessed Ones, peaceful and wrathful, go before you,

the host of dakinis, Queens of Space, behind you;

May they help you to cross the bardo’s dangerous pathway

and bring you to the perfect buddha state.

May the element of space not rise up as an enemy,

may you see the Realm of the blue buddha.

May the element of water not rise up as enemy,

may you see the realm of the white buddha.

May the element of earth not rise up as an enemy,

may you see the realm of the yellow buddha.

May the element of fire not rise up as an enemy,

may you see the realm of the red buddha.

May the element of air not rise up as an enemy,

may you see the realm of the green buddha.

May the rainbow of the elements not rise up as enemies,

may you see the realms of all the buddhas.

May the sounds, lights and rays not rise up as enemies,

may you see the infinite realms of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones.

May you know all the sounds as your own sound,

may you know all the lights as your own light,

may you know all the rays as your own ray.

May you spontaneously know the bardo as yourself,

may you attain the realms of the three kayas.

Post Tags: , ,
15 responses to “ A Vigil for Jampa Pawo ”
  1. I have found the articles about and by Jampa to have been extremely heartening. I do not consider compassion for someone who committed a crime to be a “zero sum game” that would somehow lessen the compassion for the victims of the crime. His story has made me re-consider how I view people in prison for fatal crimes they committed a lifetime ago. His situation is one that I will not forget for a long time. Something about this has made me see how deep the relationship of sangha can be, and how much compassion a sangha member can show to another sangha member. I have never met Norma, but I am deeply appreciative of the challenges she has no doubt faced, and the steadfastness that she has been called upon to show. In times of need, which we all experience in some form or another, this is the kind of strength and compassion that can help to change the world.

  2. Carol Henderson
    May 1, 2016
    Reply

    Editor’s reply: Jampa Pawo’s identity was kept out of these articles for legal reasons; this also necessitated leaving out the names of his victims, as well as information about how they died and who they left behind, since that would have identified everyone concerned. Reading back through the whole series this morning (at least one of which has not yet been published), I saw that Jampa’s crime was named as murder, that he admitted his guilt and expressed regret for the suffering he had caused.

  3. Michael, thank you for posting this article. What a terrible burden to bear for this survivor of violence.

    Regarding prayers and vigils,I do not disagree with having compassion for all beings and people- that is a core teaching of the Buddha. We all strive to imbue these qualities. Praying for Jampa Pawo and his victims should be the standard, not an afterthought brought up on a comments page. Shambala’s presentation of Jampa Pawo seems to ignore the trauma he has caused this family and I find this disturbing. It is almost as though he is being presented in angelic terms in some of the articles by Shambala and the comments here. That he found the Dharma, took Refuge in the Three Jewels and practiced Dhamma sincerely is commendable, but it doesn’t excuse his crimes. He was guilty of murdering three people and left a broken family behind. I find the whitewashing of this situation by the Shambhala community to be disconcerting and troubling.

  4. I think that every human is deserving of compassion, which I believe is the most basic element of Buddhist practice. The compassion expressed by sangha members through the various articles posted about Jampa Pawo is notable, as are collections for the Jampa Pawo Sukhavati and calls to participate in tonglen practice. But I am also stunned by the fact that the suffering and death inflicted on the three people who were killed in the incident that put Jampa Pawo on death row, a father and two children, is pretty much an afterthought in all of this dialogue. If we are truly compassionate, perhaps we should express a comparable of level of compassion for the wife of the murdered father, mother of the two murdered children. Along with compassion, isn’t equanimity a virtue to be practiced? The following article deserves a look – http://www.macon.com/news/local/crime/article73953032.html.

  5. When I see the picture of Jawo smiling on this website, he seems like just another decent Shambhalian. The same exact picture on AOL with the label “pure damn evil” and he looks like a monster. I’m going to sit with that paradox.

  6. Sandra Pontius
    Apr 27, 2016
    Reply

    It is astonishing to me that all that I’ve seen written about this man has neglected to name or discuss his victims. So much suffering.

  7. Carol Henderson
    Apr 27, 2016
    Reply

    Editor’s comment: Tonglen for those who have been killed is a very good idea. I will include this family in my own practice, as well as all who have died by violence, and will encourage others to do the same.

  8. I wonder if you are doing Tonglen practice for the family he destroyed and the people he murdered? You make no mention of them for your practice and prayers. Their names are: 37-year-old Steven Moss, 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kristin if you care to include them.The way you write about this man forgets his victims. I will remember them today in my prayers.

  9. Carol Henderson
    Apr 27, 2016
    Reply

    Editor’s reply: Thank you for this request, Seweryn. A photograph of Jampa Pawo has been added to today’s story, “This Prison is Crying.”

  10. Seweryn Julin
    Apr 25, 2016
    Reply

    I am so sorry to hear of the ill fate of our Shambhala brother Jampa Pawo, whom I have never had the good fortune to meet. My wife Edyta and I will be also be praying and practicing for him. Would it be possible to post a picture of this gentleman somewhere? All my love and strength to you Jampa Pawo with heartfelt thanks for your example of kindness, courage and devotion! May your suffering and your practice be of benefit to all beings! May your passing, whenever that occurs, be swift, and may you effortlessly and swiftly wake up in the pure realm of Shambhala.

  11. I will practice as well…do tonglen, prayer and supplications. May he be spared and not suffer, and may our country realize that taking a life as a form of punishment only brings us into the lower realms.

  12. I am feeling immense gratitude in being part of a sangha such as ours. I have received messages from people from the world over. And to see here that inmates in MA are participating in tonglen practice for Jampa just melts my heart. I let Jampa know of every participant. Can you imagine how much it must mean to him?

  13. Thanks to Norma and all those who have supported Jampa Pawo. I visited some Buddhist inmates this afternoon at a male medium security prison in MA and shared the postings with them. We practiced tonglen for Jampa and had quite a conversation afterwards. One mentioned that after the formal part of the tonglen practice, he suddenly felt a first person (vs. a third person) experience of “being in his shoes.” They are informed of the details and I will try to let them know next week what the outcome is.

  14. Manuel Medeiros
    Apr 20, 2016
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this sad information with Jampa’s larger Sangha. And thanks to you, Dan, and the Atlanta Shambhala community for your immense kindness. May all beings be free from suffering and root of suffering.

  15. I submitted an incorrect email for myself! If you would like to be on the contact list, please use:
    [email protected]
    Thanks you all.


Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.



Website Development by Blue Mandala using Wordpress MU.
All content and source Copyright © 1994-2019. Shambhala International (Vajradhatu), Shambhala, Shambhala Meditation Center, Shambhala Training, Shambhala Center and Way of Shambhala are registered service marks of Shambhala USA

Facebook

Get the Facebook Likebox Slider Pro for WordPress
Translate »