Advice Regarding September 11, 2001 in the USA

Within the three realms of existence, karma manifests in a variety of ways. Beings are led astray by the effects of ignorance, self-cherishing and arrogance – three poisons which influence the majority of our actions. When we carefully evaluate the effects of these afflictive emotions, we realize that they produce unfavorable outcomes for us in both this lifetime and the next. One can understand that they are a source of suffering and harm to oneself and others. I am deeply saddened when I think of those who either do not understand this fact or understand but remain controlled by their afflictive emotions. When thoughtfully evaluated, it is clear that no benefit can result from trying to achieve one’s objectives through hatred and attachment. Instead, one will achieve only unfavorable results.

It is important that we not take seriously the suffering we feel by failing to fulfill our desires. Always remember the far greater suffering of cyclic existence and the three lower realms. With an uncontrived state of mind, strive to realize the nature of reality. For the benefit of all sentient beings, generate the altruistic thought of enlightenment (bodhicitta) and perform the meditation of giving joy and taking on the suffering of others (tonglen). Pray to your guru and the triple gem with devotion and dedicate the merit you and others have accumulated throughout the three times to all sentient beings. By following these instructions, you will benefit both yourself and others in this life as well future lives.

I am deeply saddened by the tragic events of recent days and offer my condolences to those affected. People of many different countries were killed or injured at the World Trade Center and other places in the U.S. The attack has also caused a great deal of financial and economic damage as well. But I am fearful and saddened by the prospect of these events leading to war and becoming a major obstacle for peace in the world. I sincerely request world leaders to consider their actions carefully and decide upon a course that will be beneficial to all beings. May their decisions be clear and motivated by pure intent.

I pray to the triple gems for peace and happiness in the world, especially now in America. I dedicate the merit I have accumulated in the three times to the people who died in these tragic events and all motherly sentient beings. I request all my dharma friends, students and devotees all over the world who are directly or indirectly connected to me, to come together in practicing tonglen, dedicating merit and praying for peace without allowing ourselves to be carried away by delusion or afflictive emotions.

Penor Rinpoche
September 20, 2001

We are in the process of transcribing one of HH Penor Rinpoche’s teachings on Tonglen.