Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book
|Acute Mental Illness|
|A man suffering from a complex mental illness is being treated with medication and occasional hospitalization. He still has severe paranoia, depression and psychosis, and for the past two years he has believed that someone is going to kill him. He and his wife are tired, weak and scared.|
Rinpoche spent a long time checking for your husband, Jason, and this is what came out:
1) Do the wrathful puja throwing the torma of Most Secret Hayagriva. This is what came out most beneficial, but it is a very big puja that takes a few days to prepare and the puja is for a day or more. It is best if you are going to sponsor this puja, to combine it so the monks dedicate for others who are sick. Maybe there are others you know in a similar situation or having spirit harm, so please also include their names in the dedication. Can you please include one girl called Rheanna. She is also in hospital and in a very difficult situation, similar to your husband. This puja needs to be done by Sera Je Monastery.
2) Releasing from the harm of naga and landlord (lü-dang-sadag-gi-don-drol). It comes out best for Geshe-la to do this puja for him.
3) Gyal-der puja (puja of spirit king) this puja is not common in the Gelugpa tradition. Rinpoche will do this puja for him.
4) Your husband needs to take a long-life initiation. This could be requested from Geshe-la, but it means he would need to take Geshe-la as his guru, so that part is a personal decision.
5) Release 140 animals—you and Jason can do this yourselves
6) Nor-sang incense puja (Padmasambhava incense puja). This is translated into English and it comes out best if you and Jason do this yourselves.
7) Make 150 long-life tsa-tsas (the tsa-tsa that has three long-life deities on one mould). You can do the small size. It comes out best for you and Jason to do this yourselves.
8) Long-life puja namgyal tse-chog. Request Tsawa Khangsten to do this for Jason.
9) Lu-zong puja. Request Geshe-la to do this puja for Jason.
So this is Rinpoche's advice for your husband. Let me know if you need any help on any of these.
|Mental Disturbances and Violent Rage|
|A student wrote to Rinpoche about a mental illness that had started about three years ago with imagined violent attacks, where she felt that her skin was being ripped off or her head chopped off. After that she developed emotional instability which led to episodes of intense, violent rage that caused great suffering for her and her husband. She saw psychologists and psychiatrists, and took medication for about a year, without success. Rinpoche sent the following advice.|
My very dear Elizabeth,
Thank you very much for your kind email. I am very sorry for the many eons of delay. I checked and you should listen to my chanting of the Sutra Entering Vaishali (yang päi drong khyer du jug päi do). There is a CD, Recitations for Alleviating Pain available from the FPMT Store, or you can listen to an audio download, available from the FPMT Audio Teachings. Scroll down the page to the Recitations to Alleviate Pain and go to the Sutra Entering Vaishali. The CD heals pain and releases from spirit possession and harm.
Listen to the recording of the chanting eight times each day—in the car, the office and at home. It doesn't matter where you listen to it and it doesn't have to be in the same place.
Reciting Vajra Yogini mantra comes out extremely good. You can request the lung from Geshe-la, or I can do it over the phone. Recite five malas with meditation. If you have not received the initiation for Vajra Yogini yet, visualize the deity in front of you.
When reciting the first two malas of the mantra, visualize red light entering your body and mind and instantly purifying all your sickness, spirit harm, negative karma and defilements collected during beginningless rebirths. For the next two malas of the mantra, visualize receiving all of Vajra Yogini's qualities, particularly omniscience, compassion and perfect power. Then think that your life is completely under the guidance and protection of Vajra Yogini; that you are totally taken care of by Vajra Yogini.
If possible, recite one mala of Lion-face Dakini. Attached is the short sadhana. If you have not received the initiation, just visualize the deity in front of you and do not arise as the deity.
It came out very good if Geshe-la can recite a prayer from the large text Zung Du a minimum of thirty times.
With much love and prayers...
|Severe Stress and Panic Disorder|
|A student had been suffering from severe stress for three years. She was unable to sleep, had panic attacks and could not work as a teacher any more. She asked Rinpoche for advice about a daily practice that could help her get better.|
My very dear Elizabeth,
I am sorry I missed you. Thank you for your kind email. This is what came out as beneficial for you to do:
1) Recite Vajra Armor mantra 14 times a day (attached).
2) Recite and also wear the protection: “Mantra Liberating from the Bondage of Body, Speech, and Mind.” Please give me your postal address and I will send you this protection. Attached is the practice. Chant the mantra 13 times a day until the problem goes away completely.
3) Have six jung-shi (Tib: འབྱུང་བ་བཞི ) tormas made (this is a torma of the four elements). Email Kopan Monastery and request the head teacher of the Lama Gyupas to do this for you. You will need to make an offering.
4) Request Geshe Tengye to do a “Controlling Fire Puja” for you. Send money for all the materials and also a small offering. Geshe Choden can help him, but it needs to be Geshe Tengye who does the actual puja. You can arrange this.
I checked regarding your practice. Please find attached my advice on this.
- Mandala offerings: 100,000
- Vajrasattva: every night recite 21 or 28 mantras
- Water bowl offerings: 30,000
- Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga: 10,000
- OM MANI PADME HUM recitations: nine million
- Four Immeasurable Thoughts: 30,000
- Guru devotion: three months
- The graduated path of the lower scope: two months
- The graduated path of the intermediate scope: four months
- The graduated path of the highest scope: bodhicitta: ten months; emptiness: four months
Keep circling like this until you have stable realizations. It doesn’t mean you only meditate on this topic; it just means this is the main focus for this many months. Use texts and other prayers to help with the lam-rim meditation. Also, the lam-rim meditation doesn’t have to be only while sitting on your cushion, it can be when you are walking, riding a bike, etc.
Regardless of what section you are up to, you must do a little meditation on emptiness and guru devotion every day.
Please practice as much as you can. Life is not long, the nature of this life is impermanent, and death can happen at any time. This is the foundation of Buddha’s teachings, and it was the last advice Buddha gave before showing the aspect of passing away.
What makes our life most meaningful is meditation on the lam-rim, and living our life with a bodhicitta motivation. This is the best.
With much love and prayers...
|A student had been regularly visiting a man in hospital who was severely depressed. She asked Rinpoche whether she should continue or not, as she thought that it had become hopeless.|
When nothing works, and you don’t have the necessary power, you must rely on higher beings: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Make strong prayers to the Twenty-One Taras and visualize light rays, which are the essence of great bliss and cause the depressed person to generate the whole path, are emitted from the heart of the Twenty-One Taras. Each atom of the person is filled with bliss. Then think that he generates the whole path—compassion, bodhicitta and wisdom realizing emptiness.
More talks by Lama Zopa on this topic:
See the Depression topic in the Emotions chapter of the Advice Book.