Meditations for Anxiety

Meditations for Anxiety

Date of Advice:
January 2018
Date Posted:
June 2019

A student with cancer wrote that her husband was hospitalized due to his severe anxiety. He was not a Buddhist. Rinpoche sent this advice.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche near Ajanta caves, India, November 2008. Photo: Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Please give this to your husband to read and even it doesn’t make sense now, he should read it again and again:

First, accept that this is the nature of life. Since birth we do not have total freedom; we are totally under the control of delusion and karma and that is the basis of suffering. So generate in your mind [the wish] to be totally free from the cause of suffering—delusion and karma. That means your own mind, not someone else’s mind. It is your mind that is the cause of your suffering, that creates delusion and karma. Now for your own mind to be free—for you to be free from delusion and karma—it is by actualizing the path in your own mind.

Then in particular [by realizing] the ultimate wisdom, by directly perceiving the ultimate reality of the I, you are able to free yourself from the suffering of death, rebirth, old age, sickness and so forth. You will also become free from the second type of suffering, the suffering of change, which is all those temporary sufferings that are labelled pleasures.

All those sufferings arise from pervasive compounding suffering. The third suffering is pervasive, so that means your aggregates are under the control of delusion and karma, therefore they are pervaded by suffering. [The aggregates] are contaminated by the seed of delusion and karma, and from that seed, delusion arises again, and suffering arises again. So that’s how it compounds. Therefore we need to be free from this pervasive compounding suffering and then we will be totally free from the sufferings of death, rebirth, old age and sickness—from the suffering of pain and the suffering of change.

With Dharma happiness we can continue and develop, and that is when we become totally free; by developing this we will be totally free from pervasive compounded suffering, forever! So then we achieve nirvana, the blissful state of peace for ourselves. Then we can free others, the numberless living beings, from suffering and the cause of suffering—delusion and karma—and bring them to peerless happiness, the total cessation of obscurations and completion of realizations, full enlightenment.

This is the reason why we first need to accept whatever problems we have, because that is the nature of life, of the undeveloped mind. It is the nature of life, it is the mistakes of our life that we have to accept. Then our problems become much smaller or there are no problems.

This is a huge thing and understanding this makes a huge difference in our life, whether we have happiness or whether we have problems.

Carefully watch the mind with mindfulness and consciousness, with remembrance that the mind is meditating on the mind. Have mindfulness or consciousness of this, so the mind is not wandering outside.

Carefully the mind watches the mind, like police watching a thief or as if you are watching a thief. First you think the thief is your friend, but then you realize that person is a thief, so you are watching that. Do that for a while, maybe for the first meditation.

Then in the next meditation, afterward or at a later time, you can first look at the I. There is a real I which has been appearing from beginningless rebirths and that we believe one hundred percent. Then there is the merely labelled I, which appears like that, we see the I like that.

What is correct and what is incorrect? The first belief, the real I from beginningless time, is the wrong, hallucinated mind. We believe that is correct but it is wrong. The merely labelled I, believing the I is merely labelled, that is correct.

For us, our mind is so habituated in the hallucination and hallucinating mind from beginningless rebirths, so for our mind it seems the first one [the real I] is right and the second one [the merely labelled I] is wrong. It seems the second one does not exist. But that is completely opposite.

For those who have the right wisdom, they have the realization that the real I—that which has been appearing from beginningless rebirths—is totally false and believing in that is a wrong concept. They realize that the I exists in mere name, merely labelled by the mind. So in the view of that mind, they can see what is right and what is wrong.

Please read this slowly again and again. It might not make sense to begin with. Later, after some time, if you like I will send you more information. But first do this, try this and later maybe I can send you more information.

I am also making prayers for you.

With much love and prayers ...