Standing Up with Ukraine

The Abbot’s Letter

March 2022

  “Standing Up with Ukraine”

With extraordinary courage, the citizens of Ukraine are standing up to the relentless invasion of their nation. They are determined to preserve what is inherently theirs – the freedom to live their lives in accordance with their own choices. The entire free world supports them in their fight.

We all feel outrage and saddened by what is happening. And we feel a crippling helplessness when we try to envision how we can respond to the menacing forces beyond our control. But we are not entirely helpless; there are things we can do.

Although we cannot personally stand alongside people in Ukraine on their soil, we can join them in their fight against ignorance and injustice wherever we are right now. We can start by being warm, open and present to people close at hand. And if we feel touched and concerned by the war in Ukraine, we should bring that feeling forward, quietly reaching out in deed and word to whomever we meet.

We can join in spiritual solidarity with those brave people suffering half way around the world. And if an appeal or opportunity on behalf of them comes to us, we can respond with a generous mind.

Now is the time for us to renew our determination to practice care and compassion, to wrap our hearts around suffering and confusion. As Suzuki-roshi said many years ago, “We should open our dharma eyes, and together we should help each other forever”


Les Kaye Calligraphy Signature

Les Kaye
Abbot of Kannon Do