Australia bushfires: Karmapa’s message

January 3, 2020

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message concerning the wildfires in Australia and floods in Indonesia:

Dear dharma friends

The devastation caused by the Australian bushfires is almost unimaginable. Lives are being lost. Millions of hectares of land lie in ashes. And thousands of people have lost their homes and livelihoods. With the fires spreading every day, it is challenging to see where there is hope.

From a Buddhist perspective, one of the four seals states that all compounded things are impermanent. Everything is in constant flux. In the midst of such a disaster, when no end seems in sight, when we reflect on the nature of impermanence, we understand that there will be an end. There must be an end.

When impermanence strikes, whether it is the Australian bushfires, or the Jakarta floods in which at least 43 people have lost their lives, it can cause a great deal of suffering. Nevertheless, greater suffering can arise when we can see no end in sight, when we believe that our suffering will never end. When we are sick, when we go through emotional or financial difficulties, it is the idea that our current condition will somehow last forever that is the cause of our greatest anxiety. Again, when we reflect on the nature of impermanence, we understand that nothing lasts forever.

Therefore, as we send our prayers and compassion to the people of Australia, and Indonesia, let us continue to meditate on the impermanent nature of life. In this impermanence, may we find the hope that we seek.

With compassion

Thaye Dorje

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa