You are probably aware of the awful situation in Myanmar, a country that is dear to many who spent time there studying and practicing the Dharma.
The people and the Sangha in Myanmar are in a very difficult position. Most western monastics and yogis have already left the country. The military is using extreme forms of armed violence and terror tactics against civilians, even going through neighborhoods shooting people at random. Doctors are routinely targeted with violence by the military, and prevented from treating the victims of its bloody attacks. Buddhist monastics are also arrested and faced with violence when they take part in peaceful protests or place pictures on their social media accounts. Monks and nuns are taking up leadership roles in the civil disobedience movement as too many others have been killed, injured, or forced to flee and go into hiding. The most senior Buddhist monks in Myanmar have called on the country’s military to halt its increasingly violent crackdown on civilian pro-democracy demonstrators protesting February’s coup. The State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee (Ma Ha Na), a government-appointed body that oversees Myanmar’s Buddhist monastic community, has drafted a statement decrying an “armed minority” for killing and torturing innocent civilians.
But the soldiers are also afraid of the karma they are making and the effects they may have in their next life so they go to the temples to offer food. Many monks and nuns have refused their offerings, overturning their alms-bowls and some have been arrested for doing so. Others accept the food because they feel intimidated. Most monks do not go on alms-round any more.
Maybe we cannot do much from outside the country, but sometimes doing nothing in the face of evil is to be complicit. Therefore we are asking your help now to show the Myanmar Sangha and their lay supporters that we support them in their non-violent protests. We are starting an action on 9th May by asking monastics worldwide and across all traditions and ordination lineages to make pictures of themselves with their alms-bowl overturned and placing these on social media with the hashtags #Sangha4Myanmar and #StandWithMyanmar . This action will run until 26th May (Vesak).
You can also help by sharing the pictures of monastics with overturned alms-bowls on social media and/or by posting a picture of yourself making the 3 finger symbol (see picture) using the above hashtags and posting it on our FaceBook group or in our event from Facebook https://fb.me/e/zEVpryLz
Thank you so much for supporting the Sangha and people of Myanmar! Let’s show people around the world that we care!
For more background information:
INEB, Clear View Project Launch Humanitarian Appeal for Buddhist Monastics in Myanmar
Senior Buddhist Monks Urge Military Junta to End Violence in Myanmar
If you want to support the non-violent movement, please consider a donation to the below organisations:
Insight Myanmar, or their new website Better Burma
Global Myanmar Volunteers
Mutual Aid Myanmar
Humanitarian Aid for Myanmar