Dzogchen in the middle of war

In the middle of a civil war that is taking place in the Eastern Ukraine there’s Phuntsokling, the Dzogchen Community of Donetsk. The city is controlled by armed pro-Russian rebels and is shelled by Ukrainian big caliber and reactive artillery. Some of the shells erupted within a few hundreds meters from the gonpa but fortunately it was not damaged. Neither was any practitioner injured.

But Phuntsokling is functioning with collective practices, SMS study, Yantra Yoga and Vajra Dance. About 15-20 practitioners for various reasons decided to remain in the midst of this turmoil and they continue the life of Phuntsokling. There are even new people who are joining the Community during the war.

There in Donetsk it’s very rare that someone still has some income, people are used to sleeping during heavy cannonades, there’s a shortage of food and medicine supply since the Ukrainian government cut almost all the economic and transport ties with the insurgent territory. Most humanitarian aid is coming from Russia. Kunsangar North is also collecting money for helping those vajra brothers and sisters who remain in Donetsk. Many of those who escaped from the war zone found their shelter in Moscow.

On May 4, we had an SMS Base retreat in Rinchenling, Moscow, connecting the two gonpas via Skype: 7 people in Phuntsokling and more than 30 in Rinchenling could see each other. We studied the view of Dzogchen and practiced the essence of rushens. In the first picture you can see the gonpa of Rinchenling with Phuntsokling on a big screen. In the second picture, three of those who fled from Donetsk to Moscow “together” with those who remained in the war zone. Internet is not stable in Donetsk but we had only few interruptions and finally there was a strong feeling of joy of being together even being physically divided by the front line and check-points.

While everybody is so concerned with the catastrophe that recently happened in Nepal, I believe that it’s important to let everyone in the Community know that we have vajra brothers and sisters who live and practice in the front line city of the Ukrainian civil war.

From Igor Berkhin’s post on facebook

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