A Special Thanksgiving Message:
Heeding the Cry For Peace
Lama Dawa Rinpoche and I are in central Mexico, giving Dharma teachings to our students here. The country is in shock, in turmoil over the disappearance of 43 college students who appear to have been brutally massacred by their own government. Protests are growing more violent every day. Government buildings are being burned, local airports are being shut down. As we go through a toll station in the state of Puebla, protesters have taken over the toll booths, collecting the money and passing out literature for their cause. The police gather nearby, helpless, watching. People here tell me that they are on the verge of civil war. They have had enough. The thought occurs to me that perhaps we will have difficulty leaving the country—like the time the King of Nepal closed down the county on the day we were scheduled to fly back to the U.S.
I am painfully aware of the silence from America about the unfolding tragedy here. But drugs and military are big business, and big business is protected by government. The silence from America is deafening. Meanwhile, riots are brewing across America from the grand jury decision on the Ferguson shooting.
“What can we do?” students ask us. “How can the Dharma help?” they want to know. I feel the fear in their voice, the shock in their hearts. They are helpless, watching their country being taken over by violent gangs, police and government officials being bought by the drug cartels. There are daily kidnappings. I see the anguish in the faces of the people who come for mirror divinations, looking for family members who have disappeared. “Are they alive?,” they ask, terrified that they might be next.
Generating Vajrakilaya’s Compassionate Activity
Vajrakilaya is the remover of obstacles, the destroyer of negativity, the most powerful antidote to hatred and violence. Padmasambhava prophesied the need for Vajrakilaya’s energy during this time of increased warfare, disease, and suffering. For that reason, we are endeavoring to build a two-story, three dimensional Vajrakilaya mandala along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River—the central channel of America—its waters carrying all the blessing to the sea, and from there spreading throughout the world.
Why build Vajrakilaya’s mandala in the heartland of the United States? Because the U.S. has one of the largest militaries in the world, with military bases in over 100 countries. Because the U.S. foreign policy of invading countries in the name of peace has actually created the opposite and has caused unbearable suffering for countless beings—human and otherwise—and is creating huge imbalances in the elemental world with its terrible weapons of mass destruction. Peace can only be established in the world when this aggressive force is pacified through peaceful means. That peaceful means is through the divine power of Vajrakilaya and the sacred geometry of his mandala.
Here in Mexico on the eve of the P’howa retreat, after the protective boundaries have been placed and the Four Direction Kings invoked, I wonder why we don’t build a Vajrakilaya mandala in Mexico too? Four years ago Lama Dawa Rinpoche established a Dharma center here and named it Duddul Namgyal Ling—the victorious remover of obstacles—after he had an encounter with the local mountain spirit which inhabits the great volcano, Popocatlpetl. At that time, he wrote an invocation and offering prayer to the local spirit, whom he named Mazakala, and entrusted the Mexican Sangha to make daily propitiations to him. The Mexican people have a strong connection to their land and the elemental spirits inhabiting it. Indigenous traditions that worship the mountain spirits are still strong. They want to bring healing and peace to their land and the beings living here. They have suffered for so long
It occurred to me that building a second Vajrakilaya mandala in Mexico can strengthen that power and build sacred bridges between the two countries, working in unison to create peace from within. Here, the suffering and violence is more acute and the people are ready to take action.
That night I had dreams of building many temples, which were full of practitioners reciting Vajrakilaya’s mantra. I woke with such a strong aspiration that we need to also create a Peace Mandala here in central Mexico. I shared my dream and thoughts with Lama Dawa, who immediately consulted the mirror divination to see whether this was a viable idea or not. Much to our surprsie, Dorje Yudronma exhorted us to build not only a Vajrakilaya Mandala in the U.S. and Mexico, but also in Pharping, Nepal—the spot where Padamasambhava accomplished Vajrakilaya and subjugated hosts of demonic energies. We sat in silence for some time, absorbing the magnitude of what the mirror foretold. It made perfect sense, and yet we wondered, “Can we do it? Do we have the resources? Is it possible?” I silently ask myself whether or not I have the capacity, abilities, and energy to commit to such a project. It feels daunting, overwhelming, and yet, I know that if I am not here to benefit others, to uphold my promise to help all beings to the best of my abilities, then what else would I do with my life?
The cry for peace is too loud, I cannot ignore the images from the news of a world in pain. And I cannot ignore the pain in front of me now. We seem to be on the brink of collapse and destruction on a global scale. What can we, as Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners, do? I have full faith in the power of the Dharma and the profound skillful methods created by divine masters such as Padmasambhava. He prophesied all that is happening now, with remarkable accuracy. Through his great compassion and through the wisdom of his partner, Yeshe Tsogyal, they left us a great legacy of divine intervention. The creation of sacred mandalas to generate powerful enlightened energy, which pervades through all dimensions and worlds, is the most skillful method to address the suffering we face now.
In the U.S. we located the perfect location, according to divinations and omens, and with the help of generous donors, acquired the perfect piece of land overlooking the Upper Mississippi River Valley, situated on a bluff in the shape of a p’hurba, pointing east towards the Mississippi River, and surrounded by a 2,000 acre wildlife refuge. A retreat center, P’hurba Thinley Ling, has been established there, and annual retreats are held on the land. A temple for an amazing antique Buddha statue was built, and infrastructure of water and electricity has been created. In 2015 we will start building the foundation for the main temple, which will house the mandala. Meanwhile, we continue to research the necessary artisans and materials for building the mandala, according to the ancient traditions.
Now we are in the process of creating a committee in Mexico to begin the process of creating a similar temple and mandala. We are now looking at land near the active volcano, Popocatlpetl, which is considered to be one of the most powerful and dangerous volcanoes in the world. Sitting on a huge underground caldera, this active volcano threatens the lives of more then 20 million people who live in nearby Mexico City and the state of Puebla. But as Lama Dawa prophesied four years ago, when he wrote aspiration and offering prayers to the mountain deity there, the same power that can destroy can also be used to benefit and protect. Lama Dawa assures us that as long as we continue to recite the daily supplication prayer to Mazakala, the volcano will never erupt. Instead that energy can be directed towards removing negativity.
We are also in discussion of how to set up the same kind of committee for the building of a Vajrakilaya mandala in Yanglesho (Pharping), Nepal, the place where Padmasambhava first opened these sacred practices in the eighth century.
Earth, fire and water
By harnessing the elemental forces of the waters of the great Mississippi River, the fire of the powerful volcano, Popocatlpetl, with the sacred ground of Yanglesho; these mandalas would serve as a kind of power station—combining the blessings of the Buddha Vajrakilaya’s mandala with the power of the natural forces of water, fire and earth, and directing it at anger, aggression, greed and arrogance – thus establishing peace in the minds of beings throughout the three worlds.
It is clear to me that we cannot do this without the help of many, many people across the globe who share the same vision of peace, who share the same devotion and trust in the words and prophesies of Padmasambhava. We need your help! Let’s join together in a shared vision of world peace. Let’s join together in manifesting Vajrakilaya’s energy to quell the violence and aggression in the minds of all beings. Will you join us?
How you can be a part of this shared vision:
- You can start by financially supporting the Peace Mandala Project in Lansing, Iowa. Any donation, large or small, is appreciated. We are committed to building this without bank loans and incurring debt – a difficult task in these economic times! But we are optimistic that with the help of devoted individuals like yourself, we can do it!
- You can make donations, through PayPal or Network For Good by following the ‘Giving’ menu tab above. Or you can mail a personal check to: Saraswati Bhawan to PO Box 237, Lansing, IA, 52151
- For our Mexican and Latin American friends, we created a website in Spanish: www.thepeacemandalaproject.com.mx.
- Soon we will create a website dedicated to the project in Mexico. If you would like to support the Peace Mandala project in Mexico, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will also have separate website and organization dedicated to supporting the building of Vajrakilaya Mandala in Nepal.
- Join our mailing list (by clicking the link in the right column) and receive updates to these activities. Follow our newly created facebook page: Phurba Peace Mandala Project International.
- You can also write to me personally at email@example.com. I would love to hear your ideas, inspirations, thoughts and concerns. I would love to talk with you on how you can join us and contribute your skills to this noble cause.
Praying for Peace,