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The Saving Each Other Together (SEOT) Project

A Tibetan Buddhist Prophecy

As humans, part of a deeply interconnected world, when we hear, see, or experience stories of natural disasters, climate change, and civil unrest, our first question is usually, “What can I do?”

The answer is rarely clear, and knowing where to begin is challenging. Some of us may respond by trying to do everything immediately and then burning out. Some of us may freeze, get overwhelmed, and never start. Fortunately, there is a voice far wiser and more ancient than ours that helps us understand what’s happening and what will happen and provides us with collective actions for change.

Who is Guru Rinpoche?

We’re unimaginably lucky to hear from Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), the leader who transformed Tibet into a Buddhist country and is arguably the reincarnation the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni) predicted would be his last reincarnation. More than a millennium ago, Guru Rinpoche made many prophecies scattered in text across many lineages of Tibet. Those were compiled in recent years into a text titled, “An Encouragement to Avert the Hindrances of Dark Times in the Year of the Iron Dog.”

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A statue of Guru Rinpoche at the Namchak Retreat Ranch.
The text provides specific predictions indicating whether the “Negative Times” are in full swing. Many of those predictions, such as SARS, global heating, and others, have already come to pass. Thankfully he doesn’t stop there but offers us clear guidance for averting the worst effects before they have a chance to manifest. He offers inspiration and hope to those who are discouraged and fearful and facing challenges and obstacles in these “Negative Times.”
While this text may not be something you’d come across at the public library, it is considered an important work in Tibetan Buddhism. Guru Rinpoche wrote the text to provide encouragement and guidance for individuals facing present-day difficulties, with the goal of helping them overcome the hindrances and challenges that would arise during this time.

It is widely studied and practiced in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools. The text predicts difficulties and obstacles in a specific astrological year, the Year of the Iron Dog.

For a more in-depth explanation, listen to this talk by Lama Tsomo.

Many important high lamas in and outside Tibet have organized and collected these prophecies for over two decades

Why should we help others?

According to the prophecy, the root of the problem is ego-clinging, that pesky old attitude of “I’m taking care of number one.” Sound familiar? We’ve all been guilty of that attitude at one time or another. Ok, pretty much always, to some extent. We’ve probably also experienced how denying our interdependence can cause great harm to ourselves and others.

How does this prophecy apply to current times?

The predictions are very specific. One of them is that the elements will rise up against us. If we look around, we can see record-breaking heat, record-breaking rainfall, and more. Fortunately, the prophecy also states that we now have a window of opportunity to work on inner levels and change the biorhythms of our consciousness.

What do we mean by “biorhythms of consciousness”? Sometimes, we’re less caught up in our ego-clinging and can see the whole ocean rather than just the tips of the waves—mainly OUR wave. But through the ages, that ability goes up and down. When the Tibetans refer to the “Dü Ngen” or Negative Times, they’re referring to a downswing in consciousness.

In this downswing time, with all of our marvelous inventions for extracting and burning oil, turning it into megatons of plastic, and exploding atom bombs, we’re using them toward a disastrous end. The freight train has left the station, and Guru Rinpoche knew of this 1,200 years ago.

What can we do to help?

Great, so what do we DO? The prophecy details multiple methods for taking action. We can begin with reciting the Guru Rinpoche mantra and the Spontaneous Fulfillment of Wishes prayer.

Interestingly, the brain behaves differently when we chant than when we read prose, so we encourage you to recite or chant with Lama Tsomo, your loved ones, and your Learning Circles.
Click below for a downloadable mantra and prayer.
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Guru Rinpoche. Image courtesy of Lama Tsomo LLC.
This mantra and prayer are powerful ways to release our ego-clinging. The power of these sacred verses and words grows as people recite them. We’re happy to report that people in Asia are doing these recitations with you. They are also doing weeklong, powerful group practices that Guru Rinpoche prescribed.
With these tools, we’re calling on Guru Rinpoche. We can visualize him above and in front of us, pouring down blessings. These prayers are wishes for everyone to wake up and let go of ego attachment. That doesn’t mean that we eliminate the ego entirely. Instead, with awareness and wisdom, we stay in the right relationship with our egos—and with everyone else.

Why do humans depend on each other?

Imagine if we all did that. Well, we can start with ourselves. Of course, we’re all deeply affected by this low tide biorhythm, so it’s absolutely essential that we rely on each other and support each other in our communities in this effort.

What else can we do to help?

If we take swift action for the benefit of all, we can prevent the worst catastrophic events and create a better future. We must let go of the current consciousness and adopt a new paradigm. This will require us to practice wisdom and compassion, moving from a place of self-grasping to an orientation of interdependence.

Despite our American culture of rugged individualism, we simply can’t do it alone. In the face of the strong winds of the Negative Times, we can link arms together and move forward; for the sake of ourselves, this earth, and all of the beings—humans and others—who will never know us but will have a way forward, too.

Let us know how your recitations go! In upcoming weeks, we will share more about what actions you can take and how to get involved! Stay tuned. You can also explore the Saving Each Other Together website to learn more.