Taiwan earthquake: Karmapa’s message

September 20, 2022

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message after an earthquake in Taiwan.

Letter by Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, on the recent earthquake in Taiwan

A transcript of the message follows:

Dear Dharma friends,

It is with great sadness that I learned of the earthquake that struck in the southeast of Taiwan last Sunday. While the death count has remained mercifully low, nevertheless such calamities create tremendous sorrow for all those directly affected by them. Thus, as a result of this earthquake many people have suffered injuries, and many more have lost their livelihood.

And this is just one of so many natural and manmade disasters that we have been seeing around the globe in recent times: from the devastating floods in Pakistan, the typhoon in Japan, and the catastrophic forest fires affecting numerous parts of the world, to the various man-made disasters such as war and different forms of violence.

In view of all this suffering around us it would be all too easy to be disheartened; to feel overwhelmed and powerless.

However, as the teachings on Mind Training (Lojong) tell us, the Buddha Dharma can help us transform all difficulties into the path to liberation, awakening.

Through our practice we can transform suffering and obstacles into opportunities to gain a clearer understanding of the nature of our human existence.

We can gain the wisdom to see that life is, by its very nature, fleeting and impermanent, and that the only thing we can rely on is the complete acceptance of this ever-changing and fluctuating world that is ours.

We can let go of our deep-rooted wishful thinking that our experience is permanent, that life is nothing but pleasure, and that what we consider as happiness will last forever.

At the same time, this insight will help us to naturally develop compassion for all other beings who are caught up in the same kind of wishful thinking, and give rise to the genuine wish to benefit them – not out of a sense of mission, but out of a genuine aspiration to be of support.

Therefore, dear Dharma friends, please utilise your precious human life and these challenging times we live in to the best of your ability, by transforming every experience into fuel for generating wisdom and compassion.

And please join me in dedicating your practice and your virtue to all those affected by misfortunes and disasters.

With prayers
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa