Courage, Compassion, Resilience

We are paying tribute to five members of a Sri Lankan family and their dear friend who all perished in a brutal attack in their Ottawa home on March 6, 2024. They were Darshani Ekanayake, her four young children: Inuka aged 7, Ashwini 4, Ranaya 2, and Kelly 2 months old, and their family friend, Gamini Amarakoon. Surviving Darshani and her four children is their devoted husband and father, Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, who was severely injured during the attack; and surviving Gamini in Sri Lanka is his beloved wife Dishani and their two young daughters.

We hold them all in our hearts, honouring the gifts they brought to each other and to all those connected with them – their kindness, generosity, courage and love. May they realize the highest blessings of complete freedom from suffering.

For Dhanushka, Dishani and all their surviving family members, may the care and support of our wider community surround them with strength and healing. May they be uplifted by the power of our compassion and their own faith, gentleness, resilience and spiritual refuge.

May our minds not be caught in the strong currents of sorrow, pain, outrage, grief or despair. Instead, may we reflect wisely and gain deeper understanding of our shared human journey.

And for all who have been touched by these tragic events or face such violence in their own lives, may powerful healing and wise compassion prevail and offer uplift, comfort, and strength.

Hatred is never overcome by hatred but by love alone together with a sense of forgiveness. In no way do we condone such acts for accountability is necessary. At the same time, we must take care to deflect the venom of ill-will that is so disabling to our peace of heart. This may seem impossible but forbearance can draw forth wisdom and resilience to enable us to abide in loving-kindness and compassion even in the face of violence.

May we realize the impermanent nature of all conditions and the truth of suffering within our own hearts – seeing its cause, its ending, and how we can cultivate the way leading to freedom.

Wishing the blessings of great compassion and peace of heart for all,

Bhikkhunis Medhānandī, Nimmalā and Anuruddhā