Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book
|Offering Comfort and Help to the Sick|
|A student wrote to Rinpoche about her nursing work. She hoped to offer service as a nurse at one of Rinpoche’s projects or centers in the future. She also asked Rinpoche about practices and a yidam in this life.|
My very dear Julie,
Thank you very much for your kind letter. I am sorry it took so long to reply.
Yuthok Yonten Gonpo, a great lama who established the knowledge and lineage of Tibetan medicine, gave this advice from his experience of the benefits of meditating on and reciting the seven Medicine Buddha’s names and the Medicine Buddha mantra for sick people. He said that patients are the great merit field of all the collected merits, and even though there are very extensive and very, very profound means of collecting merit that have been taught by Buddha, there is no comparison with serving someone who is sick.
- If you take seven steps to help one patient, it is the same as circumambulating all the buddhas.
- If you give medicine one time to one patient, it is the same as having made charity to all sentient beings.
- When you fulfill the wishes of one patient, it is equal to having made offerings to all the worthwhile objects.
|Healing With Medicine Buddha Practice|
|A student wrote about his healing, which he attributes to Rinpoche’s teachings. About two years ago he developed two autoimmune diseases —a neurological disorder and fibromyalgia. He had so much pain and fatigue that he had to stop working and his prognosis was poor. After reading Rinpoche’s book Ultimate Healing, he did the Medicine Buddha practice every day and his health began to improve, so he could return to fulltime work. He still has quite a bit of pain and fatigue, but his health has continued to improve. In addition to the Medicine Buddha practice, he does powa for dead animals, including deer, foxes, squirrels and cats. He now dedicates the merit of everything he does to the well-being of all those with sickness and pain. The student thanked Rinpoche for all his wonderful teachings, and for the opportunity to do the home study program now available through the FPMT.|
My very dear Michael,
Thank you very much for your kind letter. I am so sorry for the many eons of delay, I had your letter with me for a long time, but wasn’t able to reply.
Besides that book I have also translated a small Medicine Buddha practice, which is really, really good. It is the essence of the Medicine Buddha sutra taught by Buddha and the extensive Medicine Buddha puja by the 5th Dalai Lama, and the short practice by Panchen Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen. This is a small text, but it is very, very powerful, that you can use also.
I am right now making another Medicine Buddha practice, with the longest Medicine Buddha mantra, and some short practice with my own suggestions. I’m trying to do the longest Medicine Buddha mantra and some of the prayers each day. When I finish this I will send to you.
Reciting the Medicine Buddha mantra is so powerful, it is the same as reciting all the buddhas’ mantra. If you circumambulate the Medicine Buddha, you get the same merit as having circumambulated all the buddhas. If you make offerings to Medicine Buddha, you get the same merit as having made offerings to all the buddhas. If you recite the Seven Medicine Buddha names and recite the Medicine Buddha mantra it fulfills all your wishes and prayers. It is so incredibly powerful.
So even if you have not completely recovered but are much better, this is really due to the power of the Medicine Buddha practice.
I was really very happy to receive your letter and hear about your experience. Please make your life most meaningful with the thought of bodhicitta, day and night and in everything you do.
With much love and prayers...
|Study with Healer|
|A student wrote asking if she should study with a healer.|
My very dear Lorna,
Thank you for your very kind email.
Regarding your questions, I checked, and if you practice Medicine Buddha very strongly every day—recite the mantra and make strong prayers—then it comes out beneficial to train with the healer. Otherwise, if it is not combined with Medicine Buddha, it is not so beneficial.
With much love and prayers...
|Mantras for Healing|
|Rinpoche sent the following letter to a student who does healing using sound.|
My very dear Nina,
It is very good if you can recite these mantras before doing the healing:
1) Stainless Light mantra (you can also recite this mantra while doing the healing, if appropriate)
2) Mantra taught by Buddha Droden Gwayla cho
3) Celestial Jewel Mansion—Great Increasing Jewel
You should recite these three mantras in the morning before you do the healings. By reciting these mantras in the morning, any person you then meet has their five uninterrupted negative karmas purified. By reciting them in the morning, it makes your whole day meaningful.
You should recite the Celestial Jewel Great Increasing mantra in the morning as part of your daily practice. Also, you can recite it to the patients.
When you are doing the healings, these are the mantras to recite out loud, so the person can hear them. You can make them into a song if you want to:
- Medicine Buddha mantra
- Chenrezig mantra
- Wish granting wheel mantra number five, in the Five Great Mantras booklet. Reciting this at least seven times or more is best.
- Stainless Pinnacle, number four in the booklet
- Maitreya Buddha mantra
- Mitukpa mantra
- Namgyalma mantra
If you can chant these in front of the person, singing a tune, it is incredibly beneficial for them. These mantras are very good for the people to hear, as the mantra purifies their negative karma, so there is much deep benefit. They can even heal the sicknesses, since through hearing the mantras it purifies their negative karma, even the five uninterrupted negative karmas. That is an unbelievable gift to those people; it is priceless and wish-fulfilling. They get to hear Dharma and that creates an imprint for their next life, to bring them to enlightenment. By chanting the mantras they receive unbelievable purification.
If they ask you what you are chanting, you can just say it is for healing and purification.
By reciting Medicine Buddha mantra, one isn’t reborn in the lower realms. This not only relates to human beings, but also to animals.
Maitreya Buddha mantra helps them to not be reborn in the lower realms, helps their mind to go to virtue, and also helps them to develop prosperity, to be reborn as one thousand wheel-turning Kings or as a deva. When Maitreya Buddha descends into this world, Maitreya Buddha will look for them, and anyone who hears this mantra will then become first disciples of Maitreya and receive a prediction of their enlightenment.
These mantras bless their body, speech, and mind, so there is no question that if you touch the patients, even if your shadow touches them (this is referring to the first three mantras), that their negative karma is purified and also helps them to not be reborn in the lower realms.
Then, if they hear the mantras (referring to the next seven mantras), it also purifies their negative karma and they aren’t reborn in the lower realms. You can see how important this is.
You don’t have to recite all the mantras, just any of these; you could do one, two, or three. The main thing is for them to hear you reciting the mantras, which creates unbelievable benefit, deep like the ocean.
With much love and prayers...
|Rinpoche sent the following message to a hospice.|
A loving, compassionate person heals others simply by existing. Wherever they are, compassionate people are healing, because they do everything they can to help others with their body, speech, and mind.
Merely being near a compassionate person heals us because it brings us peace and happiness.
Thank you for your kind and compassionate support for these hospice services.
|Buddhism and Healing|
|A student wrote to Rinpoche regarding making a bridge between healing and Buddhism, and spreading Buddhism in his country.|
My very dear Juan,
Thank you for your kind letter. I am sorry I did not have time to meet with you at Kopan Monastery.
Regarding your question of bridging Buddhism and healing, if you practice healing with refuge in your mind, renunciation of samsara, compassion, emptiness, and with right view, then the healing becomes Buddhism; it becomes a remedy for samsara. If you practice healing with bodhicitta, then the healing becomes a cause to achieve enlightenment for sentient beings. Also, healing can be performed along with Buddhist tantric practices.
It would be very good for you to study Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, also other books on the lam-rim, including ones by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, philosophical books that give an overall view of Buddhism, as well as my books, Door to Satisfaction, Transforming Problems, and Ultimate Healing.
It would be very good for you to do retreat from time to time on the lam-rim and also on deities such as Chenrezig, Tara, and Medicine Buddha. Then, on top of that practice, as much as you can in your daily life, meditate on the lam-rim, whenever you can, and perform all your daily activities with renunciation. Also, you can try to have right view (emptiness) and, especially, perform all your activities with bodhicitta—making your life most beneficial. In this way, you collect vast amounts of merit.
This way not only do you have intellectual understanding, and with that you can benefit others, but also through meditating and performing your daily activities with the lam-rim, you can benefit others from your own experience of the lam-rim. Therefore, your meditation practice is very important.
It is very good to talk about Dharma to others, especially to talk about compassion.
With much love and prayers...
|Rinpoche gave the following advice for healing sessions.|
Medicine Buddha is extremely important, and the group can also do Amitayus long life meditation. There is a version in Chinese. There is also the White Tara long life meditation, which you can get from the Dharma center if you don’t have it. You can also do the 21 Praises to Tara, with strong meditation and prayer, then visualize the nectar coming out from the heart of the 21 Taras to those who need the healing (those who are present, those at home, and those in hospital). Also, think the light is going out to all sentient beings.
As you recite the mantras it is excellent to bless water. You do this by blowing on the water after reciting a number of mantras. The order of the session, if possible, is first do Medicine Buddha practice and then other deity meditations like thousand-arm Chenrezig. The reason for doing Medicine Buddha first is it helps to bring success for the prayers and wishes for self and others.
Find out from the geshe the best day to start the first class. You only need the date on which to begin.
If water has already been blessed from a previous session, then everyone can sip it at the beginning of the next session, particularly the patients.
It is also good to set up holy objects for people to circumambulate. This is for the patients in particular. Visualize nectar, energy, and light emanating from the holy objects to the patients, healing all disease, negative karma, spirit harm, and obstacles. It would be good to have a Medicine Buddha statue to circumambulate, if possible. Slowly, the same healing practice can be established in our other centers.
There is a collection of healing advice that you should study (I have put it together). I will let you know how you can get this information.
The most important thing for the healing to be a success is strong faith. Healing comes from the power of the mind (of those participating) and Buddha's omniscient mind and great compassion.
With much love and prayer...
|A Discussion About Healing|
|A student who is a healer met with Rinpoche and they discussed healing together.|
The most important thing is the pure heart—the good heart and pure mind—to understand and see the problem. Healing affects the mind—it helps the mind to become peaceful and compassionate. If you focus on the mind and heal the mind, then you will be healthy and have a long life. A healthy mind equals a good heart. When you cherish others more, you will have a longer life. When you have a good heart, then you do not harm others or yourself. So, a good heart also protects you from receiving harm from others and the result of this is happiness, no fear, and no worry, also success and wealth.
The way to stop sickness in this and future lives is to have a good heart, a pure heart. The Buddha was like us, he also had problems, but was liberated forever from the causes of suffering and defilements, and then achieved great enlightenment because of bodhicitta. That is why buddhas are able, in every second, to manifest countless forms to suit the minds of beings. Each buddha is able to liberate all sentient beings.
By directly touching the causes of sickness, the imprints, and showing how to purify them, the effect is gain—not only are you curing sickness but also you are developing good qualities to achieve full enlightenment. Then you will be able to do perfect work for all beings, and free them from all sufferings. You become like the sun rising in the sky, so that all beings can enjoy. Bodhicitta. This brings happiness. By wishing to free others from suffering and trying to do that, immediately you have so much peace and fulfillment, and your life becomes worthwhile for yourself and for others. Then, when you die, you feel so happy, because you made your life so beneficial for others; you have so much satisfaction and fulfillment.
It would be good for you to practice Medicine Buddha—it has a lot of power and protection and benefits animals and people.