June 10, 2002

Our first priority is to help ourselves (before we are able to begin to help others). We want renown. It’s often what we work for. We also want to gain an advantage for ourselves. We work to get more money. There is a lot of self-clinging these days. Everything is for our own benefit, advantage and self-interest. 

Regarding the Ukrainian war, it’s difficult to know these days what news is true. If you watch too much news, it’s easy to increase our attachment (to our kind of people) and aversion (to those who look, act, or feel differently). Additionally, we can’t use worldly measures of good and bad. Each side says that “Truth is on my side.” This is not what we want to take as our basis.

It all starts with the self. We need to make connections with everyone. We should not fixate on who is right and who is wrong. Stop thoughts of attachment and aversion. We should have thoughts of loving-kindness even if the other (side) does not feel this. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between a friend and an enemy when hatred is strong.

If we don’t know all the facts we should relax, make our minds more peaceful and gentle, and decrease our hatred for the other. Only then will we have peace and happiness. It begins with ourselves. We can’t bring peace (to ourselves and others) if we have hatred in our minds.

To have true loving-kindness is difficult even when things are going well and we have greater opportunities to wish peace and happiness for others. If there is nowhere where people have peace and happiness, we must pray without bias to achieve happiness for both sides.

Now is the best opportunity to develop loving-kindness and compassion. Do not look outside yourself. Find and share the gentle, workable character of our minds. 

Please pray that the entire world enjoys peace and happiness, that the Ukrainian war will end, and that all suffering due to wars in different countries all over the world ends.

Transcribed by Ellie–all mistakes are my own.