My very dear Laurence,
Thank you for your kind letter. You mentioned the various practices that you have been doing, mostly for the success of your business. The practice I suggest for you is to recite the mantra promised by Tara, seven times a day, with a strong request, relying on Tara with your whole heart.
The very important advice I have for you is regarding your motivation when you make these prayers. If it is just to get wealth for yourself, only for this life’s happiness, then it is only negative karma, nonvirtue. But if it is to collect wealth in order to benefit others, then it is good karma and virtue. But even this must be done with a sincere heart, not for gaining a good reputation from other people for oneself, for this life’s happiness, which means expecting something in return.
You should have the precious text in your house called Ser Wo Nada (The Golden Light Drum Sound). I will send it to you. Of course, if you can read Tibetan, you can read it, too, but just having this text in the house dispels the spirit called “king” and others. So, it is very important to have that text in the house. Keep it in a respectful place.
I have one big question for you. Did you do feng shui in your house? Because in the letter you didn’t mention feng shui, you mentioned difficulties. Of course, it is not the main cause of success, the main cause is good karma. If you know some people who can do feng shui you can give me their names, and I can check who is more beneficial.
As far as feng shui is concerned, the bedroom is very important, and where you locate the bed. Is your bed facing toward the door, and do your feet face the door of the room? Or does it face the bathroom? Is it like that? That is bad; it means you lose everything. Then, if there is a staircase facing the front door of the house, this is also bad. You could put a plant where the steps begin. Another thing to consider is where you put your chair in your office. Also, which direction is the front door of the house facing, is it lit up, does it have plants around it, or is it dirty with garbage? The front door should be clean, with lights on both sides of the steps, and at the top you should have flowers, something welcoming. A tree growing against the door is not good. But if you are going to cut down the tree, then be careful, that is dangerous, because nagas could be staying in the tree. You have to offer food, or something, and ask for permission to cut the tree down before you do it. After you cut it down you could cover it with vines, honey, syrup, or milk. Apart from what is mentioned in feng shui, I know of two people who cut down a tree and got very sick. In the monastery, two monks cut down a tree in front of the door and got very sick. One of the monks could not move his body and the other got a sickness connected with the nervous system and couldn’t walk well.
You should not allow suicidal thoughts to arise, because even though you have problems, you should not think of suicide as an escape from the problems, a solution, a way to have peace. You are not thinking about the negative karma of suicide and the long-term, heavy suffering result for many lifetimes. If you have clairvoyance to see the sufferings of the lower realms and even in the human realm for many hundreds of thousands of lifetimes, then of course it is very scary to let the thought of suicide arise, much more scary then the present financial problem. Compared to that, the present problem is nothing. It is like a great liberation. Suicide would cause you much heavier problems for a long time. It’s like a small bug bite. You feel pain, so you try to kill yourself because you feel pain from a small bug bite. You can see from this example that this becomes nonsense.
Also, the human body is so precious, with the potential to be Buddha, that every insect has. This time you have received a perfect human body and have the potential to be able to overcome oceans of samsaric suffering by eliminating the delusions and karma, actualizing the path, and achieving enlightenment for sentient beings. This body is unbelievably precious, not only for yourself, but to cause happiness in all future lives, liberation from samsara, enlightenment, and all these levels of happiness for all sentient beings. So, you can see how this is unbelievably precious. When depression comes, please read my advice on the website of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, or you could ask them for all my advice on depression, and study all of that.
However, the essence, the most important thing, is to accept this as experiencing the result of past negative karma. This is the foundation that will help to immediately cut down the problem. The depression is also a result of your past negative karma – disturbing others’ minds. Also, failure in business, instead of increasing wealth, can be from the very negative karma of stealing in the past and also the opposite of generosity, miserliness, not giving, which came from the self-cherishing thought. Therefore, this life and this time the wheel of karma has turned on oneself, because in the past one harmed others, so now that wheel of karma has turned on you. So, rather then taking it on you, you turn the wheel of karma on your ego, on the self-cherishing thought, and cut it, destroy it. All the financial problems, whatever is not working, give them to the self-cherishing thought and totally destroy it. This will immediately give you inner peace and happiness. If you follow the ego, you become a friend of ego, then you become depressed and sad and all this happens.
In this way, all these problems become Dharma, a path that cuts the suffering and the cause of suffering – delusions, and eliminates the delusions and karma. You are using your problems, failures, and lack of success to achieve inner happiness, the greatest success, enlightenment, and to liberate numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and their causes and bring them to enlightenment. You can see how all the problems become happiness and incredible joy. It is no longer a problem, it is your biggest support. You can do tong-len meditation, with compassion, taking on other sentient beings’ sufferings and their causes and with loving kindness, give all happiness, temporary and ultimate, your body and possessions, to all sentient beings.
Most of the time, think that this depression is not yours but all sentient beings, so you experience it for them and let them have happiness, up to enlightenment. You can recite these verses, and recite OM MANI PADME HUM.
“Whatever suffering sentient beings have may it ripen on me
Whatever happiness I have may it ripen for all sentient beings.”
At the moment this is enough. I hope there is something useful here for you that can help you. I am very sorry it took a long time to write you.
PS: This is just from my observations, but maybe you should put your head toward the southwest; if that’s not possible then toward the southeast.
Please print the Arya Sanghata Sutra 40 times. If you can write it, you collect the most merit.
With much love and prayer...