As far as the drugs are concerned, I did a divination and it came out very good for your daughter to come to Nepal and do a lam-rim course. That would be the best thing to do.
In order to benefit her mind, she should look inside herself, to gain the knowledge to make her life better in quality. This will inspire her more to give some meaning to her life.
She needs an environment with people who protect her, people not involved in these things. She should stay away from people who are involved with drugs and not make friends with them. She can give compassion and love to them, but not physical friendship. Physically, she should keep away. That also helps protect her from AIDS.
She should make a really strong determination, a determination from her heart, to challenge her attachment to taking drugs, to seeking that pleasure. She should determine to challenge and overcome it as if she were going to war, trying to defeat her enemy. As in a boxing match, you try to defeat your opponent. Here, you defeat your own thoughts, the desire that brings your life down, making it meaningless and sick, causing you to destroy your life by attachment to the pleasure of drugs.
The best friends to protect her in this way are Sangha. For her to be with nuns is best, though it can also be lay women. At the very least, they should be people not taking drugs, preferably people having a strong practice, a strong discipline, and who are living a pure life. If she is with those kinds of friends, she will be protected by them.
You can ask them to help protect her, to look after her while she’s in Nepal, or wherever she goes. Your daughter should go to stay with other lay women and Sangha, especially nuns, because this kind of problem takes a long time to resolve. It will not be resolved in just one month. She needs to stay for a long time in an environment or place where you cannot find drugs. That is the best thing, until she has made a very strong determination from her heart to abandon drugs, feeling totally disgusted with them, and wants to help herself and others.
If she decides to live with a man, she should be careful, since she wants a long and healthy life. She should examine and check the man well for a long time. The best would be a man who can protect her, who is good-hearted, with strong discipline and living a pure life. It would also be best for him to be practicing Buddhism, especially Mahayana Buddhism. It would be good if she can get support from him in this way. Generally, since she is a woman, I emphasize it would be better to be with nuns or lay women with the qualifications that I just mentioned.
Maybe it would be good to tell her that her life can give so much happiness to others—she can give the happiness of this life to so many other beings, the happiness of future lives to many other beings, and the highest happiness, enlightenment, to so many other beings. There are so many unbelievable, wonderful, beautiful things you can do for others and also, of course, for yourself.
Instead, you completely destroy this, you make your life completely meaningless, by following desire and self-cherishing, thinking of my happiness, my pleasure. By just being attached to this life, to sensual pleasures, you stop the development of your mind. You prevent yourself from realizing the ultimate nature of your own mind: the Buddha potential, or Buddha nature. This stops you from seeing the good part of yourself and blocks you from developing your mind. It blocks your path to enlightenment, your spiritual path. It is not easy because there are so many habits from the past.
This problem requires different solutions: the first is to study Dharma, to meditate and control the attachment through renunciation. This means giving freedom to yourself, away from the enemy, the prison of attachment. This is not just to protect you from the problem of drugs. Most importantly, it helps bring happiness in future lives.
This is unbelievably important, and is something that should be done right now, because death can come at any time. This is also the main thing for achieving everlasting happiness, total liberation from samsara, and from all suffering. It is the foundation for achieving enlightenment, for her to benefit others. The benefit from practicing meditation is not just that she stops drugs.
Another important factor is the environment. Here, I’m talking about the kind of people with whom she should associate. That is very important. Drugs are just one example. There are many other habits besides drugs that we can get addicted to, such as the habit of sexual misconduct, which brings us so many problems in life and blocks the development of our mind on the spiritual path. This happens if you don’t develop the mind on the spiritual path. Not only do you then continuously create problems by creating the cause, you always get stuck in the problems. It’s like sinking in quicksand and never being able to get out your whole life. You then die in that quicksand, while going through these problems of life. So, your whole life finishes so sadly, not achieving any satisfaction, happiness, or peace in your heart, not even for yourself. On top of this, you can’t benefit others if you cannot develop your mind on the spiritual path.
I should make clear what I mean when I say spiritual path. When people talk of a “spiritual path” it is not usually clear what that spiritual path is. There are many thousands of religions in the world. Here, what I’m speaking of is developing the mind in renunciation, bodhicitta, and emptiness; and on top of that, there is the tantric path.
You cannot benefit others if you do not develop your mind. Besides not being able to offer deep benefit, you cannot offer even the small benefits that you can offer with your body, speech, and mind, just simple help in daily life, because the self-cherishing thought stops that. Ego doesn’t allow you to do even that.
Here, my emphasis is that because our mind is very weak, even if we know meditation techniques well or understand the lam-rim teachings well, just knowing them doesn’t mean you can immediately apply them or that your mind immediately becomes strong. It takes time, and one might miss many opportunities to apply what one has learned. That’s why having the protection of being in the right environment is very important, as I mentioned before. If you are with those kinds of people, your life can be protected by the people around you.
Later, when the mind is stabilized and strong, with total renunciation of these things, it doesn’t matter. Even if you’re living with people who are taking drugs, you won’t have the slightest interest. You won’t engage in those things. Drugs are just one example—there are many other things.
It’s the same as after one has stable realizations of renunciation, bodhicitta, and wisdom. Then, even when you mix and work with other people, they don’t become a cause of confusion to you or to others. Your service is very clear. Your direction is very clear, so the work is not stained by attachment, anger, or ego. If the mind is holy, it becomes only holy work, holy service. There is no danger for you, and no danger for others. You’re free from the problems that many people commonly experience when they live with people and work for others.
Also, regarding friends, if you live with good friends of the kind I mentioned—strong Dharma practitioners with some discipline, who perform a lot of practice, understand Dharma, and live a pure life—you also become like those friends. You lead a better life due to these friends.
If you have bad friends, you become like them too. That is because we ordinary beings, since we do not have control over our minds or stable realizations, are under the power of the environment. When we don’t meditate on lam-rim in daily life, we are controlled by the environment, by the people around us, and so forth. We are controlled by our own hallucinations, even when we are alone.
When you don’t meditate, impermanent phenomena appear as permanent, and you believe in that. Dependent things appear as independent and inherently existent, and you believe in that. That is how we get overwhelmed by external things, by our own hallucinations. This is what happens when we don’t meditate or practice lam-rim. Therefore, the right environment becomes a very important protection for our life.