Updates on Garchen Ratnashri Ukraine Sangha
5/3/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo
“Dear Ani Samten, I hope you are doing well. I am in contact with everyone. Those, who are in safe places, I contact at least once a week. Those, who are in places that are close to the frontline, I contact more often. Everyone is OK. Konchok Samten wrote me: Please tell Rinpoche, that I feel His protection. If it wouldn’t be for Rinpoche’s and Yidam’s protection, I wouldn’t be alive. Sometimes it is very difficult for me here, but when I think of Rinpoche, I pray to Him and when I try to follow Rinpoche’s instructions, even in this hell, I see a hope that everything will be ok.
Armen is ok. Anatoliy in Kharkov is OK. His team of paramedics often helps wounded after rocket strikes. The last week, when his team members were collecting bodies and helping wounded, а missile hit just 10 feet away from Anatoliy’s 19 years old co-worker. Fortunately, the boy remained unharmed. Anatoliy writes that some medical facilities in Kharkov, among them children’s hospital were ruined by rockets. Halyna and Dima from Lviv are ok. Just a few hours ago, a number of missiles were fired to different parts of Ukraine, including Lviv. This resulted in internet disruption and power outage. Halyna sent a picture of their cat during the air raid.
Alla in Odessa says that she is ok. She continues to feed animals that were left by people who run from the war. Alla’s mom is very sick and cannot sleep very well because of strong pain.
Olga is in Wien, Austria, with her pets. Olga volunteers in many projects. One of them help animals that arrived with Ukrainian refugees. Olga writes that there are so many people who did not bring any possession but brought their cats, parrots, mice.”
4/13/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo
“Konchok Samten and his crew moved to Zaporizhia area in South Eastern part of Ukraine on April 7th. He told that there may be an issue with connection. The last time he contacted family on April 9th.
Armen is ok. Alla in Odessa is ok. Anatoliy from Kharkiv writes that he is OK. I don’t know really how one can be ok riding everyday the ambulance through the city that is constantly bombed.
Svitlana is ok. I spent with her one day and was deeply impressed how much work she is accomplishing every day. She sends boxes with medical supplies to Maryupol and Luhansk area almost everyday. I still cannot comprehend how she manifests all those supplies.
This is Svitlana preparing to send tactical gloves to Ukrainian artillerists. Behind is her own painting.
Yaryna is in Kyiv. She is going through the process of grieving the death of her father.
I (Dawa Zangmo) am going to visit Tanya and Yaroslav tomorrow. I just spoke with Maryna Semenyuk. The small city where she is staying with her family has been bombed last night. Long time ago, during Soviet times, there was a military unit there. This military unit has not been operating for many years, yet there was an old ammunition depot. It seems that Ukrainian intelligence works very well, because just recently, large pieces of ammunition were relocated. Maryna says, that if this ammunition would not be relocated, thlast night bombing would destroy most part of the city.
Explosions in Maryna’s city at night.
She and her family spent half of the night in basement. Maryna says that all that time she meditated on the concept of attachment to the body and on how her mind reacts to manifestations of this relative reality. She says that this war made her to discover her own hidden propensities she was not aware of before, and her practice became more stable because she realized that real comfort comes from her own mind.
Konchok Samten wrote me now. He says that they are in Southern part of Ukraine, moving all the time. May Three Jewels protect them all!
Volodymyr is going to fight for Maryupol.”
4/5/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo
Konchok Samten spent a few days helping in Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel. He says that seeing those towns gives a very traumatic experience. My (Dawa Zangmo) neighborhood in Kyiv (Borshchahivka) is almost empty. I haven’t seen a single child outside today. The streets and parks are very quiet during day – only a few people walking with dogs or going to the food store. Feels like a dream.
4/4/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo Yaryna’s father just passed away. Yuri Kaplunenko, 73 years old, from sickness.
I (Dawa Zangmo) am in Kyiv.
4/3/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo People in Ukraine are going through terrible times. Ukrainian Armed Forces freed outskirts of Kyiv, and witnessed terrible crimes done by Russian soldiers. Today, we posted on the Ukrainian Ratnashri website pictures from Bucha, that is located 20 km from Kyiv. In 2014, Garchen Rinpoche visited Bucha and gave teachings and led Vajrakilaya drubchen there. We posted some instructions on our website for people to practice for those who were murdered.
Maks Levin, a photojournalist, disappeared on March 13. Anna Ignatova wrote before, that she could not contact him. He was shot on outskirts of Kyiv with two sniper’s bullet. His body was found just now.
Yuri, died from protecting Kyiv.
Today morning Alla witnessed the rocket falling close to her home. She wrote to me: “I am having adrenaline rush, walking and reciting mantra of Tara”. Just a few minutes ago she wrote that she heard another very loud explosion close to her home. She wrote: ” I am scary”. Alla lives with her mom, nephew and the cat. Alla’s mom does not want to leave Odessa, and Allla will not leave without her mom. Alla feeds 30 cats and 7 dogs that were abandoned by people who left. Earlier we agreed that Galyna and Maryna(Armen’s) will send her a large bag of cat food. Angela is in Lisichansk. Misha and Inna are in Lisichansk. They invited many people and pets to stay in their house and they feed all of them. Maryna send them money for food, so they can buy some food. Stores will be closed in couple of days, not known for how long. Situation in Lisichansk can be unpredictable. Maryna is in constant contact with these people
Anatoliy in Kharkov is OK. Situation in city is dangerous, some people were wounded, and some killed. Svitlana Bohachenko is ok. She is very active in volunteering, all the time searching and shipping supplies to people in Territorial Defense and Armed Forces. She sent a message asking to thank all of you for financial support. Svitlana is able to feed her family because of your generous help. Galyna, Dima and Maryna (Armen’s) are ok. They are getting and shipping a lot of stuff to Kyiv. Yaryna’s father is very sick and in critical condition. Yaryna was in Poland but at this moment is on a train back to Ukraine in order to see her father before he will pass away.
Lilya had a few meetings on Friday with Senator Rob Portman Team, Senator Maggie Hassan Team, and Senator Bob Casey Team. During meetings she mentioned our connection with GBI. Armen is ok. Konchok Samten is ok. Olga is leading online discussions on 37 practices and providing people with emotional support. Ivan Kushnir is always on the road transporting supplies everywhere. I don’t ask him about details but anytime we ask him to pick up or drop off something, he is always there on time. Anton, Sophia, Yuri, Tania, Yaroslav, Alya, Olena and Dima, Anna, Dmytro, Liudmilla and others are using their skills, volunteering with getting supplies, and practicing love and compassion in order to help our country.
3/31/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo Hello Ani Samten, I hope you are doing well. Everyone we have been in contact with is alive.
There are a few people in Lisichansk, city in Luhansk area. It’s very tough there. Maryna sent them some money. I will write about them in my next message.
Volodymyr got contusion from the blast day before yesterday. He is OK now.
Yaryk, Armen, Anatoly are ok. We did Vajrakilaya practice today, will do Milarepa tomorrow. I am going to Kyiv in a couple of days. Mom came back to Kyiv a few days ago. She feels more comfortable at her apartment although it is close to the front line.
3/27/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo
We just had teachings. More than 30 people took a part. We did Vajrayogini sadhana, and then practiced techniques for transformation of negative emotions.
3/26/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo
“We are practicing with you right now. We have the air raid for a couple hours already. We had a few big explosions just about 2 miles from our place. So we are practicing in a hallway of apartment with Maryna, Halyna, Dima and their cat. Dima is actually practicing in the bathroom. The boxes are humanitarian help from Halyna’s co-workers from USA.
3/25/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
“Hello Ani Samten, I spoke to Svitlana Bohachenko, an artist from Kyiv. Her partner, love of her life was killed in fight on outskirts of Kyiv. His name was Bahwa Chikobhawa (1967-2022). The fight was merciless, with bombs and rockets fling from the sky. Svetlana says that parts of human bodies were scattered everywhere. Bahwa covered his wounded friends and saved their lives yet his own life ended. Svitlana says that Bahwa was a very kind person. He was Georgian, fighting for Ukraine. Please ask Garchen Rinpoche to pray for him. Armen and Konchok Samten are ok Alya is OK. Her aunt and brother were in a place close to Kyiv that has been heavily bombed and Alya did not hear from them for a couple of weeks. Alya’s aunt called yesterday. She is still on occupied territory and has a little bit of food left. These news brought a joy to the Alya’s family. Unfortunately, Alya still didn’t hear from her brother. Anatoliy, paramedic in Kharkov says that he is OK. Anatoliy wrote:” Today is a beautiful sunny day with a bit of snow. Older people are sitting on benches in a park and feeding shell-shocked pigeons. It bangs and rumbles everywhere”. People are getting used to constant shootings.
Maryna Semenyuk is ok in her village close to Kyiv.
Halyna, Dima, Anton, Sofia and Armen’s Maryna are ok. They are all here in Lviv. It is much calmer in Lviv for the past two days. Last explosions here were on March 18, when 4 cruise missiles destroyed Aircraft Repair Plant. Yuriy is ok, Alla Odessa is ok
Olena and Dima, Yaryna, Iryna are in Krakow, Poland.
Tanya and Yaroslav in Kyiv are ok. Tanya is studying for a paramedic skills. There are only 3 days if training, then she will be responsible for people in her apartment building. Halyna received many boxes with stuff including medical supplies, small solar panels with generators, powerbanks, etc. from her colleagues in Netherlands. We will send some to Tanya, Konchok Samten, Armen, Svitlana, will give some to Anton and Ivan, so they will distribute among their friends who are on front line depending on their needs. Some stuff will go tomorrow to the hospital
Lilya is dealing with ordering plates for bullet proof vests and other equipment. The order will come to Poland and someone will drive it to Lvv or we will drive to Poland to pick it up. Now we just pray that this order comes fast.
Dima in Kyiv is OK. We spoke a lot in past few days about methods of transforming stress and strong emotions. He is making a lot of effort in his practice.
Hanna Nazarenko, instructor of ikebana in Ukrainian-Japanese center before the war. She is OK.
Everyone else I wrote before are doing ok
Everyday we are sending money to our sangha members to make sure that they can afford to pay for food and to move in case of danger. Some people were refusing money one month ago, but most of our friends didn’t have any income since February 24, so their savings are rapidly melting away. We are making sure that they don’t have to worry about food for tomorrow. And we can do it only because of boundless love and support that we receive from all of you.
3/23/2022 From Garchen Ratnashri, Ukraine Facebook:
Dear dharma brothers and sisters, we are very grateful for your prayers and support!
With the help of the White Lotus Buddhist Center that organized fund raising and thanks to the international sangha members, who made donations, our center has received some funds. This kind support enabled us to provide immediate help to Garchen Ratnashri Ukraine sangha members who suffered directly from horrors of this dreadful war. H.E. Garchen Rinpoche is aware that Lama Dawa Zangmo is in regular contact with most of our sangha members assessing their circumstances. We make sure that donations are distributed right away based on our sangha members’ immediate needs.
Recently PayPal has enabled people in Ukraine to receive funds and seamlessly transfer them to Ukrainian bank accounts. Our center decided to use PayPal for collecting donations with which we will continue supporting Garchen Ratnashri Ukraine sangha members.
If you would like to provide vital help to our dharma brothers and sisters, please donate to PayPal account of our director Maryna Semenyuk: email@example.com
May peace prevail swiftly.
3/22/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
“Dear Ani Samten, how are you doing these days? I will be writing my report in between other activities, so it might take many hours.
I (Dawa Zangmo) am with Halyna and Dima at their apartment in Lviv. We just had another air raid. Halyna and Dima work from home, and during air raids move their equipment to the bathroom and the hallway. They have a stalk of pillows there, so we can be comfortable for as long as needed. Yesterday Halyna said:” I couldn’t understand before why do we need to have an electrical outlet in our very small second washroom. Now I see – I need it when I am working from the hallway. Halyna and Dima have a beautiful and spacious shine room, and we already translated teachings from here and had a Guru Yoga practice. Some people from our sangha who are in Lviv came, others joined online.
We made this picture after practice.
Lilya is helping us in getting equipment. It is hard to find a good quality Ceramic or Kevlar protective plates for bulletproof vests. Some people have metal plates but those can weigh 10 kg, which makes it hard to move fast. Right now, Lilya is waiting for approval to buy plates for Yaryk and Armen from a trusted person. If approved, after we pay $2000, she might go to Poland to pick them up
Lilya is working online from ber home in the village that is close to Lviv, besides, she is volunteering for multiple organizations. She and her friends create this site that helps to collect proof of this war and spread information in English language. https://dattalion.com/red-line/
Maryna Semenyuk as always is optimistic and ready to help anytime. We communicate every day. A few days ago, when PayPal was accepted in Ukraine for receiving funds, we finally were able to set up information for making donations through Garchen Ratnashri Ukrainian site. Before that, Gretchen and the White Lotus sangha were collecting donations for us and sending via SWIFT. Some donations came privately from other people. This helped our Dharma siblings so much! Maryna sent me the picture of an ancient church from her village.
Everyone is ok.”
3/20/2022 From Olga:
“We did the 37 practices discussion group online with 4 Ukrainian disciples. It was very good.”
3/17/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo
“Dear Ani Samten, I (Dawa Zangmo) arrived at Ukraine last night with humanitarian convoy. We crossed the border and drove through dark villages with houses without a single light. Street lights were also off. The only places where we saw lights were roadworks where people from Territorial Defense signaled with flashlights for our truck to stop for inspection. We came to Lviv at around 3am. There is a curfew time from 10 pm to 6 am, but there is an exception for humanitarian vehicles.
Halyna (also Galyna, more close to Russian pronunciation, sometimes the same name could be spelled differently) and Dima, the IT professionals, greeted me and helped me to bring my bags with medical supplies and bullet proof vest to their apartment. Right after that I heard sirens. We went to a big bathroom, set on pillows on the floor and had a conversation for about an hour.
Maryna ( Armen’s wife) came to visit and pick up a box of combat supplies that Galyna and Dima ordered from Poland for Armen. Galyna and Dima paid 2000 euros of their money for the box. Previously, I told my mom that I am planning to stay in Poland and I did not mention about my plan to go to Ukraine. But today my mom felt something and wrote me: “Where are you? Are you in Ukraine?” So, because my mother’s intuition, I got busted. Now she knows.
Yarko is OK
Armen is OK Svitlana, an artist from Kyiv says it is dangerous there. She is volunteering in getting supplies for people on a battalion that stays on outskirts of Kyiv.
Anton is ok
Anatoliy in Kharkov is OK. He says that today there is a big fire at the center of the city but no casualties. He always keeps in his heart his Lama, Tara and all objects of Refuge.
Olena and Dmytro are in Poland. They are safe but say that their hearts are broken.
Maryna is OK. Today she led the White Tara practice online.
Every day we discuss who in our sangha are in an immediate need of finances and how much each particular person or family needs depending on their situation, and then we send it right away. We already sent help to a number of people. Everyone is expressing their deep gratitude to Lama Garchen Rinpoche and our vajra brothers and sisters from Western countries. For example, Dmytro from Kyiv wrote: “Thank you so much my dear Lama and his students for your kindness! May you all have a long life, may your pure intentions be fulfilled, and may you reach enlightenment very soon!” Dmytro says that they live on an apartment building with his old parents close to the forest and often hear shots. His father was depressed and angry at Dmytro for following the Buddhist path, but after receiving money offered by buddhists, he was in a good mood and relaxed a bit.
Yaryna is OK. She arrived to Lviv. We met at the center of Lviv and exchanged information about our friends and families. Lviv is so beautiful!
Ivan is OK. I don’t always know what exactly is he doing but I know that he is doing a lot. He is also often buying snacks for people from Territorial Defense who guard different areas of Kyiv.
Lioudmilla from Kyiv is trying to support everyone around with her optimism. She cannot leave Kyiv because her daughter’s 1 year old baby has serious medical condition. He takes a lot of pills and eats special food that costs a lot of money. We sent her money 2 days ago. Of course, she was extremely happy and grateful. Lioudmilla says that only about 20% of all people who have apartments in her building are still in Kyiv. People are very organized. They take care of each other, guard their building, they make shopping lists and send a few people to buy food for everyone. Lioudmilla says that people in other buildings in their neighborhood do the same.
Iryna is in Krakow, Poland. She stays with her dog in a shelter free of charge till March 30. We sent her some money. Iryna says:” Thank you, dear Rinpoche and entire sangha for your kindness! I bow to you!
Alla from Odessa and some other people also received offerings from sangha. They all expressed their sincere appreciation for financial and emotional support during these unpredictable days.
Tanya and Yaroslav wrote that they are doing well. They are in Kyiv. I will try to call them tomorrow. They feed so many dogs and cats that were left without their owners.
These are difficult times but our people understand importance of methods that help to balance their mood. Sometimes things happen that make us to laugh. For example the story below:
Yarko just shared real story that he heard from someone. Near town Sumy, in North Eastern Ukraine many pets were left when people had to escape. Some people try to catch dogs and cats and return to owners. One lady comes to the vet clinic and tells the doctor :” I found a husky dog. His owner probably left in a hurry. The dog is a bit angry. It took some time to catch him in fields”. She opens the door of her car and the veterinary doctor sees a real wolf. How Russians can defeat Ukrainians whose women can do such things?
Thank you for reading. I am going to rest. Today I will teach on Zoom.”
3/15/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
Konchok Samten is OK, going through training with Canadian legion.
Dawa Zangmo. I am in Poland. Someone from humanitarian convoy will drive me tomorrow to Ukraine. I got bullet proof vests, hope people in Lviv will make the plates that inserted in those vests to create highest protection.
Olga is in Austria with her pets. She will work for benefit of Ukraine.
Ivan is volunteering in Kyiv. Besides, he is giving ride to our people to the train station.
Anatoliy, paranedic from Kharkiv, writes that had a relatively calm morning. I asked him if he needs money but he refused.
Armen is ok.
Maryna is ok.
Milarepa center in Germany is offering for members of our sangha to stay. They also sent us some money.
Lilya will drive tomorrow
Robyn to Poland then she will come back to Lviv.
Anna is OK.
Yaryna right now is on train from Kyiv to Lviv. Hope I will see her there tomorrow. Yaryna postponed her leaving because her son Phillip refused to leave Kyiv, yet at this time it is too dangerous there. Russian soldiers rape and hang women, so it is better to move to more safe location.
Iryna is in Poland, we will send her some money.
Lioudmila is in Kyiv with her daughter and two grandchildren. The youngest one is 1 year old and in poor health so they cannot leave. We will send them money as well.
Galyna, Dima and Anton in Lviv are OK.
Dmytro in Kyivsyays with his old parents.
Yuri from Chernihiv and his family is OK. They are in a safe place. Yuri says that houses of his neighbors have been burned, all windows in his house shattered.
This is Alya. When this war started she was outside of Ukraine, receiving a medical treatment in one the of Western Europe countries. Her family is in Western Ukraine. Her daughters are volunteering. Husband is not telling her what he is really doing. Actually some men don’t tell their families that they are fighting in order to protect them from worrying. Brother and aunt were in a place near Kyiv that has been heavily bombed, and she was not able to reach them for 1 week. Alya said that first day of the war she got lost then she concentrated on the practice of shamatha. Every time, the negative emotion of fear would arise, Alya would offer money to the Ukrainian fund named “Come back alive”. Alya is very knowledgeable about computers, and works on blocking Russian programs. At some point she was wondering streets reciting, “Calling Lama from afar and then suddenly saw a rainbow.
Dmytro stays in Kyiv with his old parents.
Svitlana Bogachebko is an artist. Her beautiful paintings are known in Ukraine and in Western Europe. She sent her children to Western Ukraine and stayed in Kyiv to volunteer. She says that no matter how tired she is, she always thinks that every minute of her work is saving someone’s life. Today she left me a message:” Zhuravka, they bomb very close to my home”.
3/13/2022 Message from Ina
Olga and her dog and cat arrived in Poland.
3/10/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
Yarko said you can post this story for everyone. Yesterday Yarko and his friend were completing their task on checking area. At the forest by the road, they were detected by a Russian drone. The next moment they both were under mortar fire. They started to run. When they heard explosions, they dropped to the ground, then they ran. The drone continued to fly over their heads, providing the mortar with direction to fire. It looked like a hunt. Shells were exploding 5-10 meters from their bodies. Yarko said: “We dropped in ditches, into small pits, squeezed into the ground while debris and shells’ fragments were covering us. We reached our car and got out of there. I prayed to my Lama and Yidam all the time. My friend who is an experienced soldier, said that explosions were so close, that he doesn’t understand how we got out of there. Pease tell my Lama that I expienced today how powerful are prayers and blessing of my Guru-Yidam. My friend ended up with a wounded leg, I got some cuts on my face from a shell fragment – light contusion. At the hospital I saw how spirituality strong are doctors and nurses. They joke with patients, tell them stories and are doing their best to help people overcome emotional shock. Actually, entire medical staff lives at the hospital these days”
Ivan is very busy helping different people make connections, searching for many things requested by many people. Today Ivan and Yaryna were searching for armors.
Robyn (American wife of Denis, she is pregnant) and Denis might have to go to a small town where Maryna’s mother will try to help them to obtain necessary documents, then to Lviv. We will try to organize a place, maybe a room where they can stop after arrival to Lviv. Lviv is overcrowded, so if they will decide to stay in Western Ukraine for a few months, we will look for a space in other beautiful and quiet Western Ukraine city.
Anton and Sofia are very helpful in accommodating people. Today Sofia was also doing research on obtaining bullet proof vests. Ina shared extremely helpful information that she got from her friend on how to recognize chemical weapons and what to do during chemical attacks.
Arnen is OK. Says, there are drones in his area as well. Sometimes it is quiet, other times not. He recites semifold prayer of Atisha.
Anatoli is OK. In good spirit. He sent me the picture of his friend’s dog resting in a bathtub.
3/8/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
Thank you very much for all support. We all pray to our Precious Guru for our minds be inseparable from his. Please know that as soon as we receive money, we will start immediately to send money to those sangha members who are in need. We are infinitely thankful to Rinpoche and our brothers and sisters who support Ukrainian Sangha and Ukraine these days. Your pure intention doubles our strength and brings the day when peace will be restored closer.
My mother is outside of Kyiv, maybe 100 km. Olga with her dog and cat safely made to her friend’s place in Ternopil, a city in Western Ukraine. She will rest there for a few days. Iryna made to Lviv with her dog Pema. For more then 10 hours she stood at the cold vestibule of train until train arrived to the station of Lviv today early morning. Anton took Iryna and her dog to his apartment, fed them, then they slept. A few days ago, Anton wrote me how important it is to have a strong rear. He is an example that our rear is strong and humane. Iryna will be heading to her nephew who lives in Poland. As her finances are limited at the moment, we will send her some money from the funds that were generously collected by our sangha members with the help of Gretchen from the White Lotus Sangha. Some people also sent me money privately via Western Union. I will add it to the fund. Yarko Konchok Samten is OK. His aunt and uncle were refusing to leave Kyiv as long as Yarko is there. Finally, he convinced them to go. Anatoliy from Kharkiv says : “we are holding on”. Kharkiv is bombed a lot, so I try to check on Anatoliy every day. He continues with his work saving lives. Armen is ok. His wife Maryna was sick for a few days. Now she is better. Armen rented for her and his parents an apartment in Lviv. She practices a lot. She understands that as her mind is inseparable from her husband’s, her ability to cultivate balanced state of mind will help him. Tatyana and Yaroslav do not want to leave Kyiv. They are very active helping people, building roadblocks and doing whatever is needed whenever is needed. Number of people evacuated from Irpen were settled in nearby kindergarten building. Tanya is collecting warm clothes to give them tomorrow. Local pet store asks people to take birds, chinchilla and hamsters. Tanya says :”I have cats, but I think I can manage hamsters”. Tanya offered her help in making clothes for Ukrainian Armed Forces, now she is waiting for reply. I wrote to Tanya that Maryna and will send her some money. Tanya was refusing although we know that her finances are very limited. I know that she does not want to be a burden to me. I will explain to her that this is an offering from our Sangha. It is very strange that NOBODY is complaining about not having money even though some of them don’t have it. No matter how hard their situation might be, they think that maybe other people need it more. How is it possible for the country where people care about others more than about themselves in these terrible conditions to fall?
Galyna and Dima are sick these days, so they stay at home. They are searching for bullet proof vests and helmets and tourniquets to send them to Yarko and his friends. Ina wrote me yesterday about Robyn. She is an American citizen married to Ukrainian. She is expecting a baby and her condition is fragile. She is in Kyiv and waiting for volunteers to help to move to Lviv. Ina asked to find a clinic for Robyn in Lviv. Galyna said that she will help with clinic. Ludmilla cannot leave Kyiv as her daughter has small children and it is very difficult to travel with them right now. I asked her to let me know if she needs money for food. Dmytro is in Kyiv with his old parents. He sent me a picture with beautiful flowers. We will send him some money as well. I spoke to Yaryna. She is in Kyiv. She is a Doctor of Psychology and coping very well with recent situation. She told me about volunteer programs that help to evacuate maternity hospitals. Ivan Kushnir is OK. Maryna is Ok. Anna is OK. One more thing: Chopon from Moscow sangha wrote that they collected money for members of Ukrainian sangha who needs help and for volunteers who provide people with food. They are trying to figure out how to transfer money to Ukraine or to Poland.
3/7/2022 Messages conveyed by Ina:
From Konchok Samten: I am in army. Fighting. It is a hard everyday job in the front line, with – under army contract – total concentration, no time for anything else. Otherwise it is more chance for the soldier to get killed. Please tell my Guru that I love him very very much. He is my most true protection, and I feel it every minute here.
Dawa Zangmo just called and said that there is a good chance Kiev will stand. Maryna is hiding in a village, but today she went to her apartment in Kiev to do laundry and go shopping. They say it’s currently pretty calm in Kiev. I got a message from Maryna. She says she is doing fine and is very strong. She says please send her love to you all and she misses you.
Maryna is helping Robyn, an american pregnant girl in Kiev. she is using the rest of the money Rinpoche sent her to help Robyn. she is helping her to plan her leaving, talking to the hospital people, buying food for Robyn, keeping her calm, getting her paperwork in order etc.
Donata from Poland is helping Robyn. Rinpoche stayed with Donata in Poland, the older lady with dog. Her job is to bring refugees to Poland. She actually brought many Tibetans too. Our entire Polish Sangha is taking in refugees. The houses of every one of our center members are full. They let them stay however long necessary and provide them with food and medical care. They are also our Bodhisattva heroes.
3/6/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
Anataliy – paramedic is still in Kharkiv. He is saving lives risking his own. His family is also in Kharkiv in different parts of city.
Yarko is OK. Today they were evacuating women and children from totally destroyed city close
to Kyiv. Yarko says that reality of what those people went through and what they tell about cruelty of enemy was so painful.
Yaryna is OK, waiting for her parents to leave Kyiv tomorrow. When her parents will be in a safe place, she will decide whether she stays or leave. Her son Phiip is determined to stay in Kyiv no matter what.
Armen – lawyer. He signed contract with Armed forces of Ukraine, had a training for 3 days. Today they are moving to the battle point (I don’t know if this correct translation) Armen says that people with no experience in battle will not be placed to the mist dangerous places. I reminded Armen that Garchen Rinpoche and the entire sangha is praying for him.
Volodymyr, he is also Rinpoche’s student .He helps evacuation operation.
Іvan Kushnir – an architect is OK. No details.
Tanya and Yaroslav are OK No details
Yuri from Chernihiv still on the road. Now he and his family are a few hundred kilometers from Kyiv. They made maybe 400 kilometers in 3 days. Yuri says they drive 120-200 kilometers a day. Now they rest in Vynnytsia. Yuri said that it is so unusual to see traffic lights and even asphalt road. Yuri says he is surprised how much his mind shifted in 9 days while he was witnessing how his beautiful town Chernihiv with medieval architecture was turned into ruins. Now quiet streets and lights of Vynnytsia are perceived as unusual.
Olena and Dmytro – musician want to leave Kyiv. Today we are trying to move them to the train station. Olena asked me :”What do we need to take? Thankas? Statues? We have so many Dharma objects! Dmytro has weak health conditions and Olena has a fragile body constitution. I suggested that they pack their shrine into a box and place that box into a pantry or beside the weight-bearing wall. Travel to Lviv might take a few days, so they need to take enough water and food and wear many layers of clothes.
Anna is OK. Iryna will try to leave Kyiv by train. She takes her dog and a cat in a carrier.
Maryna is in fighting mood. She says: “Zhuravka, gain your strength- we will kick their butts”
Anton from Lviv and his friends volunteer in helping people who arrive from the Central and Eastern Ukraine. He says: It is very important for our Armed Forces to have a good rear – people who are working and make sure that our warriors have everything they need”.
Moon and her friends created a beautiful handout on emotional support for children in Ukraine, and Maryna translated into Ukrainian.
Lilya in Lviv is helping refugees with accommodation.
Ludmila is OK.
Did not hear from Alla from Odessa. Will try to contact her tomorrow.
Previously I wrote that we could not contact our friend from a town Irpin that has been destroyed. Yesterday we learned that he is alive. He was in a village, and there was no power. Today Ivan went there, yet the village already has been evacuated. Ivan just saw a big black dog on our friend’s front yard. So Ivan put the dog in his car and took it to his apartment in Kyiv. Ivan is not sure whether the dog belongs to our friend, but it doesn’t matter.
I could not contact Olga for a few days. Finally, at 5 am Toronto time she picked up her phone. The area she was staying was heavily attacked by Grad rocket launchers and bombing. When I spoke to her, she and her friends were leaving area. She contacted me at around 4 pm she wrote me that she left area and is safe with her pets. Olga said : “I constantly visualized and recited mantras of Tara, Jigten Sumgon, Buddha Kashyapa, Vajrakilaya Yamantaka Guru Rinpoche and Guru Yoga. My brain couldn’t think of anything else, but it worked. There was no point to ask where she was heading because these days you are going wherever road is safe. But at least she is approaching to more safe places. Olga told me that she will keep me updated.
3/4/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
Konchok Samten is ok. He told me that now we tell everyone openly that although he is a Canadian citizen, he joined Armed Forces of Ukraine and protects Kyiv these days. He was telling me terrible things that Russian soldiers have done to girls in a town just 20 km from Kyiv. Cannot even write here.
Anatoli -paramedic in Kharkov is at work now. He says that at this time it is relatively quiet, he just hears flying airplanes. Anatoli prays to Guru and the objects of Refuge all the time. I told him that his Guru shields him with love continuously.
Yaryna was celebrating her daughter’s birthday. Yaryna’s daughter is staying in different part of Kyiv. By the way, I did not mention previously that Yaryna is Garchen Rinpoche’s student since 2003. She was one of those who founded our center, and at the beginning our group practiced at her apartment.
Yaroslav and Tanya host doctors at their apartment whose homes are far from the hospital. They say those doctors work 48 hours non stop.
Yuri and his family left Chernihiv. He sent me a voice message early morning, that they were on their way to the Western part of Ukraine. Yuri wrote me now. He says “We slept last night in a small town. Tara protected us. Now we are driving to Western Ukraine where our friends give us a place to stay” Yuri says:”Thank you, Rinpoche, for your support” He will try to join Army yet he might not be qualified due to health condition.
Iryna says that her area in Kiyv was shelled with Grad rocket launcher. I am glad that Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense system was working well.
I was in contact with Maryna, Dmytro, Lioudmilla and a few other people. Everyone is alive
3/3/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
Times are very difficult now. I was told that in a small town just outside of Kyiv, Russian killed all civilians. Our friend and his family were there, and we cannot contact them. Things need the most are: tourniquets, medications to stop bleeding, strong painkillers, antiseptics and antibiotics.
Yuri from Chernihiv asked all of us to pray for him and his family. Chernihiv is under heavy fire, Yuri will try to drive his family to Western Ukraine in the morning.
Anatoly – paramedic from Kharkov wrote me after air raid that he is OK.
Halyna and Dima. I wrote you yesterday about them. They are in Lviv. Today Dima tried to register for Territorial Defense. The line of people who wanted to sigh in was huge! After waiting for a long time, Dima had to leave. There are so many people who want to register that sometimes it is hard to do so.
Maryna was leading White Tara practice today on Źoom.
Yaroslav and Tanya are saying they are holding on.
Maryna spoke to Olga. Olga did not respond for 2 days because of power outage.
3/3/2022 Report from Anna in Poland:
Andriy Glushko is Rinpoche’s student, helping on organizing Rinpoche’s Teachings in Kiev last time. He is in Mariupol now, in the center of war, working like journalist, giving people information what is going on and helping.
3/1/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo
In Odessa they were preparing to meet 11 Russian ships with naval landing that were heading from Crimea. There was a big storm on Black sea that night. Then later message came from Russian ships with request to Ukrainians to let them leave the bay peacefully as they have no intention to attack. It appeared that a rebellion took a place on Russian ships and Russian naval landing refused to attack Odessa, so they left.
For those who does not know, Konchok Samten (Yarko) joined Ukrainan Territoral Defence that protects Kyiv. Please pray to White Tara to protect Konchok Samten, Armen, and everyone who is risking their lives right now.
Konchok Samten (Уarko) went with his group. Last time I was in contact with him about 5 hours ago. He did not speak about his location.
Rockets fly everywhere in Eastern and Central Ukraine and hit houses wit people inside. Olga and Maryna are safe. People I wrote you previously about are OK. One sangha member in Odessa, her name is Alla, said ” we are expecting Russian war ships, and we just pray all the time as they can show up anytime.”
Some people are very scared. One lady wrote me that she is crying all the time, other couple in Kyiv sleeps in a bathroom. One student of Rinpoche who always attends my teachings Anatoliy is a paramedic in Kharkov where Russian army was heavily bombing civilians, shared a video where paramedics tried to save a wounded child without success.
There is an app called Telegram. Now they are posting recent news and videos long before those news are shown on TV. Sometimes, very rare someone posts fake news, yet they always fix that. Below is the link. You just have first download Telegram app from Google play, open the link and press Join. Then you will be receiving short news and videos to that app.
2/27/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
Maryna and Armen. They married in October. Armen was leading online practices on Guru Yoga and Vajra Recitation. He is a lawyer and his wife Maryna is artist. Today Armen accompanied Maryna to Lviv in Western Ukraine, settled her and parents in a safe place and right now is heading back to Kyiv. When he was parting with his wife, he told her that he is going to protect Ukraine. He says that he cannot do otherwise.
Some people made it to Western Ukraine. Sangha in Lviv helping those who arrive from other parts of Ukraine.
Garchen Rinpoche’s student Iryna Verlyuk, today she had an opportunity to leave dangerous Kyiv and go to Poland in someone’s car, yet at the last moment she gave her seat to someone with a child understanding that this can cost her life. I am not sure she even knew this person very well. She just said :”children are important, I accept whatever happens to me”.
My entire family in Kyiv – mother, brother with wife and three children. My mom is 74 and in poor health yet she wants to help at hospital.
They are all heroes.
Yuriy from Chernigiv. He is hosting 4 families at his house.
2/26/2022 report regarding our friends in Ukraine from Dawa Zangmo:
At this moment everybody we know is alive although not everyone in a safe place.
Maryna and Olga left Kyiv 2 days ago and are in villages with friends and families. We have a number of people from our Sangha who are in Kyiv and will not be able to leave until blockade around Kyiv will be over. Also, roads are not safe now to travel. Some people are in Western Ukraine. Today all day I was in contact with Konchok Samten. I just received another message from him 10 minutes ago. He is OK right now at his apartment.