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WSZC Statement on Michigan State Mass Shootings

Ven. Dr. David Am Koe Su Beighley, Sunim Abbot

February 15, 2023

The White Sands Zen Center stands in solidarity with Michigan State University, sending Metta, loving kindness, and compassion, to all students, faculty, staff, and the MSU community in the wake of the February 13 mass shooting that killed three students and critically wounded five others. in what became the 67th mass shooting in the US this year, and many more world wide.

The result of pain and suffering has reverberated through E. Lansing, the community, the State of Michigan, our nation, and worldwide. We hold the victims, families, friends who are suffering deep in our hearts in what is both unimaginable and all to real.

Our hearts also go out to the family of the shooter, who was known to have a history of mental illness and previous convictions for firearms possession which appeared after the death of his own mother. There is no relief from the suffering caused as a result of these actions.

We will choose to feel the depth of this pain and not run from it, knowing that the only appropriate response is to embrace it with our heart-mind and proceed with loving kindness and compassion, as the Buddha consistently taught. Through the teachings we understand that we are all interconnected and beings, all part of the great mystery of the beginningless and endless cycle of life and death with zero degrees of separation between us, from the students who were killed or injured, their families, and the gunman who was incapable of thinking clearly or having his heart awakened to love, kindness, and acceptance. The impact of these actions flood the universe; none of us can escape them. We must face them directly and continue a course of love for ALL beings and things. When we feel the tendency to lash out and blame, we must understand that none are blameless and we can love one another and ourselves. We all have that capacity.

On behalf of the Dharma Council, Board of Directors, and Staff of the White Sands Zen Center, we want you all to know that we stand beside you, will lend a hand in reducing the suffering wherever we are able, and wish only relief and peace to everyone affected.

May you be safe, may you be at peace, and may you be well.

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