Obstacles to Dharma Practice

Obstacles to Dharma Practice

Date of Advice:
January 2021
Date Posted:
April 2022

A student had been practicing Dharma for many years, studying, reading books, going to teachings, reflecting and meditating; however, he was experiencing many obstacles at the Dharma center, at home and at work.

My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
I am sorry for the long delay in replying. I checked regarding the obstacles and you should do Padmasambhava incense puja [Nolsang Incense Ritual]. It might be hard to get incense, so you can also use scented plants such as juniper, pine or sandalwood. These can be used as an alternative to incense, or you can get incense powder sent from Kopan Monastery or maybe even buy it from the shop at your center or from another Tibetan shop or online. If you can only get incense sticks, you can crush them and make powder to offer. You should do the puja from time to time, not just one time.

Also if you can, do a tea offering to the protectors, the protectors of samsara and beyond, the eight worldly devas [Tea Offering to the Eight Classes (Degyä)]. You can also do the other tea offering. Again, do this from time to time; it does not mean just one time.

There is one puja you need done, called mamo trü kang. It needs to be done by Kopan Lama Gyupas. You can contact Kopan Monastery by email and say that I advised this puja for you. Then they can let you know the cost and arrange the puja for you.

You should recite the Padmasambhava prayer, Barche Lamsel, and also the Verses for the Eight Noble Auspicious Ones. Recite these regularly.

I checked for a lamrim text; what is best for you and your wife, and how long to meditate on the lamrim. [See Rinpoche’s advice on effortful lamrim meditation.]

Billions, zillions and trillions of thanks for doing Chenrezig practice. That is very kind. It helps every sentient being—every single ant, every mosquito, all the tiniest insects and all the animals as big as mountains.

Your wife should meditate on impermanence (for example, by following the text The Heart’s Utmost Need by Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo) along with reciting OM MANI PADME HUM. Of course she should recite the mantra with bodhicitta, then each mantra benefits every sentient being, each hell being, each preta, each animal, each human being, each sura and each asura. It also benefits our parents and our enemies, each being. So for your wife, her main practice is lamrim and Chenrezig practice, which grants the blessings to generate compassion.

If there is compassion, we go toward enlightenment. If there is no compassion, then no enlightenment. The stronger the compassion, the quicker to enlightenment. This is preceded by first generating renunciation as the base.

With much love and prayers ...