After the horrifying and sad news of the shooting in Las Vegas,
we received many inquiries about what Buddhists would do in the wake
of such a tragedy. First let me say, I feel that any response I could offer will be inadequate.
But I will still make my best effort to represent the Buddhist resources for such times.
There are so many people who will be in suffering and sorrow.
There are those who passed under horrible circumstances.
There are the family members of those who lost their lives.
There are those for whom these events provoke fear and even trigger
post-traumatic stress. There is the sense of powerlessness of living in
an ambiance of violence. Our prayers are with everyone affected.
“When you feel pain – breathe.”
– Geoffrey Shugen Arnold
As for what practices to do – the White Tara practice or the White Tara mantra could be
useful ways to channel the emotion we feel into compassionate, benevolent and helpful energy.
White Tara prayers are used for disasters, to avert further violence, to promote peace and
compassion. The following video is the White Tara Mantra being chanted slowly by myself and
some sangha from our August meditation retreat.
Expressing loving prayers and comforting those around you are worthwhile practices.
With a culture of aggression and conflict all around us, mantras are not enough, they are
only a beginning. Yet having a clear, compassionate mindset is the crucial beginning. From compassion comes the possibility of genuine change. From the sense of possible change
comes greater endurance.
May the suffering of every being be completely cleared away.
With sadness and love,