Messages From Hospital After Manifesting a Stroke

Messages From Hospital After Manifesting a Stroke

Date Posted:
November 2013

Rinpoche sent these messages to various students in the days and weeks after manifesting a stroke in April 2011.

Rinpoche offering food while in hospital in Australia after manifesting a stroke in April 2011. Photo: Ven. Holly Ansett.

So I guess you know I didn’t take care of my daily exercise well—I didn’t get to do daily walking and so forth. I was very weak, so then I think my self-cherishing thought went up, then paralysis happened. The doctors all think that I'm getting better and I am past danger. They all think I will get better soon.

I try to think a little bit that I am receiving the suffering, experiencing the suffering, of all sentient beings, especially those who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes and paralysis. I pray to try to do that, so it is an incredible opportunity. Of course when I do that it purifies many, many, many, many eons of negative karma.

Wow, can you imagine? Wow, wow, it’s so incredible. It is the quickest path to enlightenment.

In hospital I try to practice taking the past, present and future merits and dedicating to any people who come into my room or to this hospital, or who came into the hospital before—any sick people who come into this room from now on, may they immediately recover from their sickness. Then any person who sits on my bed [in the hospital] from now on, may they immediately recover from their sickness, or if they die, may they never, ever be born in the lower realms; may they be reborn in Buddha’s pure land. I try to pray like this a few times a day. It is so wonderful, so positive, to bring benefit here, so I want to pray that anybody who dies in this hospital is not reborn in the lower realms, gets a higher rebirth, meets the Dharma, is reborn in the Buddha’s pure land or recovers from their sickness. I try to pray like this. I try to do what I can.

Usually I try to do 10,000 OM MANI PADME HUM mantras each day, but I increased this year to 20,000 a day. I also turn the prayer wheel. There is very, very, very long mantra that I try to do three times, then the middle one, then OM MANI PADME HUM. I recite one mala of the middle or long mantra. The benefits of reciting this mantra one time are that if you have broken the four defeats of a gelong, a bhikshu, that is purified. Then also the five heavy negative karmas—killing one’s father or mother, killing an arhat, drawing blood from a buddha, or causing disunity in the Sangha—causing you to be born in the lowest hot hell, and to experience the heaviest suffering in samsara for the longest time, so this gets purified, if you recite it one time. You can recite it 21 times. Normally I recite it when I turn the prayer wheel. It purifies 100 eons of negative karma. One mala purifies 40,000 eons of negative karma. If you recite it seven times or five times, I don’t remember the unbelievable benefits. If you recite one mala of OM NAMO RATNA... not the very, very long one, which the Chinese recite. It’s very common for Chinese, but not for Tibetans; not many lamas know the longest mantra. It is in the text Mani Kumbum, The 100,000 Teachings on Mani and the unbelievable benefits of the longest mantra are inside that also. This long mantra comes from the nyung-nä text.

Then I recite 20,000 OM MANI PADME HUM mantras. When I recite the mantras I turn the prayer wheel, so this [right] hand turns the prayer wheel and the [left] hand moves the mala. Today and over the last few days I didn’t get this done. Today I tried, but I can’t use this [right] hand, so I can’t turn the prayer wheel. I recited 20,000 mantras, then from time to time I turned the prayer wheel, but now I can’t do both, it’s not possible.

It’s so incredible, with your hands free you can recite and turn a prayer wheel and count mantras. Wow, wow, wow, what merits, the cause of enlightenment, with bodhicitta, incredible, unbelievable, unbelievable, with both hands free. So I realized how precious it is if you can use both hands; so precious.

Normally I do prostrations to my altar, and before [the stroke] I always prostrated with two hands to my gurus and the Buddha, to the pictures on the altar. Now I can’t use both hands, so I realized how fortunate if you can prostrate with both hands to however many photos of the guru there are. With two hands it’s so easy to get the highest success in life; it’s so easy to create the cause of enlightenment. I told the course people that they are so fortunate they can do that. I can’t do that, so I realize how precious the body is, how we can use it, how it is so precious, so precious, and so easy to create the cause of enlightenment.

Like the example of the tissue; normally I use the tissue completely—I regard this as economical—I don’t just use a little bit [a corner of it] and throw it away, wasting it. So, I realized in hospital that this is an example of how to be economical. Of course, normally sentient beings put effort, however, all the evolution, the suffering, is unbelievable.

I am the Most Fortunate Person 

Thank you very much for the Medicine Buddha pujas, and for everybody’s prayers and practice.

I am just experiencing the shortcomings of my self-cherishing mind. According to one view, I lost and it won; that is according to one view. Then according to another view this [stroke] is the best thing to achieve enlightenment, the quickest way to achieve enlightenment.

Thank you very much. Here I am the most fortunate person.

The Cause of Enlightenment

It’s so unbelievable to create the cause of enlightenment, the highest success, in this life. It’s so unbelievable, unbelievable, so unbelievable, so unbelievable. Worms have a body that is long with no hands, so they can’t do prostrations. They don’t have two hands, so they can’t do prostrations. You are so fortunate to be able to create the cause of enlightenment, so fortunate.

I usually turn the prayer wheel with my right hand, while I count malas of OM MANI PADME HUM with my left hand, but I can’t do that now. Normally I do this, but now I can’t, so I asked Roger to turn the prayer wheel while I count. So now Roger has to turn the prayer wheel while I chant what I can. He turns the prayer wheel while I chant mantras. That’s what I try to do. I chant mantras and count with my left hand, but the visualization is the same.


In this small place, which is bigger than the other place, [Rinpoche was in two hospitals] may anyone who comes into my bed [in the hospital] or into the room—may that sentient being immediately recover. May anybody who dies here never ever get reborn in the lower realms. May they immediately be reborn in Amitabha Buddha’s pure land.

Also in this hospital, may anybody who comes into this room or this bed never be reborn in the lower realms forever. Pray that they may become enlightened; may they be reborn in the pure land.

Here at the hospital everyone thinks positive. All the prayers and pujas done around the world—for example, all the Sangha at Sera Je who did pujas—hopefully they dedicated [the merit] to all the suffering sentient beings who have paralysis.