I hope my letter finds you well. You don’t know me and I live very far away from you but we both share one special trait – we are practising Buddhists, and have an interest in helping others. I hope that is enough for us to have a common understanding of one another, and to exercise a mutual respect for each others’ opinions
I live in a town where we are fortunate to have a diverse group of Buddhists, because we have a handful of Dharma centres who practise different traditions. For the most part, although we all follow Shakyamuni’s tradition, our paths don’t cross except on major Buddhist holidays like Saga Dawa. So my town’s Buddhists accept each other, and we have no problems.
I am thankful for this because I belong to a tradition that Tibetan politics does not agree with – the practice of Dorje Shugden – and I hear that many of my fellow Dharma brothers and sisters do not share the same privilege as I do. I am not writing to you because I want to convince you to remove the ban. I wanted to write to you, to let you know why I practise Dorje Shugden despite my unwavering love and respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
I practise Dorje Shugden because he saved my mother’s life. Since she is the central figure in our home, it means Dorje Shugden also saved my family. One year, we were suddenly informed that my mother’s negative karma from past lives was going to fruition. This news came without warning and things were so urgent because there was a very real chance she could die. When my Lama told me this news, I believed him because in the recent times, she was always falling sick (even though she was normally very healthy), and had been getting into a lot of car accidents that could not be explained. So my Guru gave her the Dorje Shugden practice and she has been doing it ever since.
The effect was quite obvious. She stopped becoming sick and lost a lot of weight which she put on because of her illnesses. Her car accidents also stopped. She became a lighter and happier person. And because she is so important to my family, when she became happier, everyone became happier too. Dorje Shugden saved my mother’s life and I am sure he has saved many other people’s lives too.
He has never asked us for anything in return, which makes me feel that he cannot be bad. I just wanted to let you know about my experience with him because I feel it does not match what Tibetan politics says. From one Buddhist to another, I am not asking you for anything, I only want you to listen to my story. I truly hope you are well. May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live long to spread the teachings of the Buddha in the ten directions, and may your government continue to grow and prosper for the sake of your people.
My best wishes and deepest prayers,
~ Clare Sanderson ~