Your prayers are urgently needed.
In 2007, one of the retreatants at Palyul Retreat Center in New York, a wonderful man named David, was introduced to a sweet Chinese woman named Hongxiu Mao. They fell in love, so happy together. To seal their vows to one another, they decided to get married in a ceremony at the gazebo on the lawn at the end of last year’s retreat. I was there, and it was a joyful occasion.
As horrifying as it is to do so, I need to report that Hongxiu Mao was among those murdered today in the mass shooting at the American Civic Center in Binghamton, NY.
For those of you who know the practices, prayers to Amitabha and Chenresig would directly help Hongxiu Mao right now. But, as always, any positive energy generated her way in whatever way is yours will also help, for sure.
We also mustn’t forget David, the other victims and their loved ones, and the killer himself and the loved ones he must have had.
Update: I was suddenly reminded of a story that a Western student of Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche, 'Hermit Yeshe Dorje,' told over at E-sangha here:
"Chatral Rinpoche's first root Guru was Khenpo Ngakchung, who was the
foremost disciple of Patrul Rinpoche's heart son and primary heir,
Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpa'i Nyima. Sometimes he is referred to as Khenpo
Ngaga but in his writing he often signed works as Pema Laydrel Tsel
since he is renowned as the incarnation of Kunkhyen Longchen Rabjampa. Prior
to meeting him, Rinpoche's name was 'Trogyal Dorje', Vajra King of
Wrath. It was Khenpo Ngakchung who gave him the name 'Sangye Dorje,'
"Once some students of his came to visit Khenpo Ngakchung. They made lavish offerings and then pleaded with Khen Rinpoche to give them instruction on Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa's pinnacle of teachings, Tri Yeshe Lama (khrid yig ye shes bla ma). Khenpo Ngaga didn't reply to their request but simply said that he had a riddle which he wanted them to answer:
" 'A hunter was out in the woods all day trying to find some game. Finally he spotted a deer, drew his bow and shot it. The arrow hit the deer and quickly killed it. What is your immediate reaction?'
"All of the students were saying things like, 'Ah ka ka! Nyingje for the deer!' 'Poor helpless deer.' 'Pity for the deer!'
"Khenpo Ngakchung waved his hand dismissively to send them away. 'Go back and study "blo ldog rnam bzhi" (the four mind changings or four reflections—Most precious human body with freedoms and endowments; Death and impermanence; Karma, cause and effect; and The viciousness of samsara). None of you are ready for the Dzogchen teachings. You all should have instantly felt compassion for the hunter!' "
Update II: Hongxiu's husband, David, left a comment to this post of such exquisite sentiment that I felt moved to reproduce it here so no one misses it:
"In this difficult and unfortunately very public moment, I would like to offer this thought:
"If this very confused person thought he could use hate and destruction to send a message, his purpose is easily defeated.
"My wife Hongxiu Mao was a beautiful, happy and loving person. She loved people and the outpouring of love and response from those who knew her demonstrate the awesome power of this love.
"For Hongxiu to survive, all that needs to happen is for all of us to respond as my teacher Penor Rinpoche always taught me, display loving kindness and compassion to all. In this way one loving heart can be transformed into a million loving hearts, and the killer's purpose is undone.
"Many of us feel that His Holiness went to be with all who died that day, especially this confused man, who I hope will now see my perfect teacher's fact and hear his voice.
"Many, many thanks to the sangha as I know that thousands and thousands of people are doing pujas and practice."