Dearest Lama Zopa Rinpoche,
First of all, I would like to thank you with all my heart for everything that you are doing and that you have chosen to do in this life. Thank you so much. It makes me so happy, and I know, even though I don’t know much, but I do know and feel that you and your thoughts are of great help to others. I wish you much happiness, offer you much merit, a full and happy life, and that all your wishes come to fruition immediately.
I am writing you for advice on bettering my practice and also bettering my health if possible. I have MS, juvenile diabetes, osteoporosis, cervical and lumbar spine problems (bulging discs), and my symptoms include not seeing clearly, a shaking right hand, so it’s hard to pick things up, write, etc., severe pain in the left side of my head, upper left side of my back, and left arm, the inability to walk alone, and swelling in my ankles. The pain occurs every night and I can’t sleep.
I feel I’m burning a lot of negative karma! And I’m glad of that, but my health problems do distract me. I have taken refuge with the very kind geshe at the center and in my clearer moments I am most happy that I have so much, including the ability to practice and a good partner who supports me.
In terms of medicine I take – the doctors who have seen me prescribed many different medications for both my pain and my inability to sleep. I stopped taking almost all of the drugs, as most of them did not work very effectively. The only drug that has helped me sleep was prescribed by my neurologist in the US and one that’s in Canada, but it’s only approved in Canada, which is where my partner took me to try it. It’s made from marijuana so I can’t get any more unless I get it illegally. I don’t know what to do regarding that.
I make offerings to the Thirty-five Buddhas, pray to the Venerable Green Tara, Medicine Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, His Holiness, and dedicate merit to all Dharma teachers, including Geshe Tsulga, Ribur Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, and you. And the Four Immeasurables help me think of all beings, which is great, and which I love.
I would like to end my self-cherishing and I pray for that every day. Although it feels so difficult now, I feel I am practicing and praying more due to needs because of my poor health. But I would like to have better health and I would like to practice better as well. I know I need a good heart no matter what. In my not so clear moments – which is most all the time – I cry and worry.
My partner writes music, plays guitar, and sings. I used to dance and choreograph, but I sing with him now. We made you a CD and wrote a song when you came to the Center last (not that I would ever expect you to remember). It was titled the “Mani Song”. I mention it as I was so happy to do that with my partner, and I was so happy to be able to see you and also give that to you. I also received a stupa from you and a Medicine Buddha card that I have on my altar. Thank you so much! Your kindness and generosity are vast. And thank you for reading this long letter.
My best to you.
Much love and peace ...
My very dear one,
Thank you for your very kind letter. Already you are doing excellent practices for your health. It would be great if you could continue, especially Medicine Buddha, and how you are praying and thinking is excellent. It would also be very good if you are able to do something like yoga or chi gong.
I checked regarding pujas that can be done to help you and according to my observations this is what came out. Ask your friend at the center to help you to arrange them:
- Chab trü puja – this puja can be done by the geshe.
- She nyin dü dog puja – this puja can be also done by the geshe.
- Have the Prajnaparamita text read (the whole text). This can be done at Kopan Monastery or Sera Je Monastery.
- Gyab shi puja (pronounced Geshe) – this puja can also be done by the geshe.
I will send you the following Tibetan medicine:
- Ratnas precious pill: take two a week for five weeks
- Kün khyen: four each day for five weeks
- Mantra to eat
The practices that came out very good for you, apart from what you are already doing, are:
- Black Manjrushri: Visualize the deity in front of you, and as you recite the mantra, beams of nectar emit and purify you of all sickness, spirit harm, negative karma, and defilements.
- Recite 2,000 (minimum) Mitukpa mantras with practice, doing a very strong visualization.
Please make your life most meaningful with the thought of bodhicitta.
With much love and prayers...