PTSD, Panic Attacks, Abdominal Pain

PTSD, Panic Attacks, Abdominal Pain

Date of Advice:
October 2015
Date Posted:
December 2019

A student who suffered from PTSD had been experiencing panic attacks and severe abdominal pain for many years. The student was exhausted by the symptoms and at times felt it would be better to die.

My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
I received your email and letter and read them. I checked and you need some pujas done:

  • 100 meat and 100 food offering [Tib: Shakya Sega].  It comes out best if Ven. Samten, the monk who lives at Land of Medicine Buddha, does this for you.
  • Drugchuma puja: to be done by Geshe Jinpa and Ven. Tendar at Kopan Monastery.

It is very important to practice thought transformation for any sickness or problem that you are experiencing. Bodhisattvas use any difficulty to be able to practice thought transformation and this is best, so this is what you should try to do. You can take the suffering of all sentient beings, particularly those who have similar problems, and experience not only the problems but also the causes, including the obscurations, the negative karma. Take that into your heart and destroy the self-cherishing thought, the ignorance, the root of samsara.

There is no I at all existing from its own side, only what exists in mere name, only in mere name.

Believing that [the I] exists from its own side and is real, that concept is the root of samsara. So you need to destroy that because it is the root of samsara, from which the oceans of suffering of the six realms come. You have experienced this [suffering] already numberless times from beginningless rebirths and you will also experience it in the future, numberless times without end, if you don’t experience the four noble truths in this life, practice the direct perception of emptiness.

So you should do that. Therefore the problem become very precious, because you are taking their problems into your heart and experiencing and destroying that, from where the self-cherishing thought—ignorance, the root of samsara, believing the I is truly existent, real—comes.

By doing that you are able to realize emptiness and bodhicitta. Those two things, method and wisdom, are the most important basic things, and with that you can practice tantra. If you practice correctly you can achieve enlightenment, as the Buddha taught. You can achieve full enlightenment in this very lifetime, even in a very brief life of degenerate time.

It becomes the most powerful purification of all the obscurations and negative karma collected since beginningless rebirth and is the way to collect the most extensive merits, which are the cause of achieving realizations on the path to enlightenment. That is the quickest way to achieve enlightenment. In reality, from this you are practicing Mahayana teachings, especially thought transformation, lojong, by experiencing the problems as so precious, like a jewel.

So practice like this, doing lojong. If you can, read my other teachings on lojong and how to use difficult situations on the path. This will help you to elaborate and understand how to use the difficulties on the path. [Rinpoche’s books include Transforming Problems and The Door to Satisfaction. You can also find more advice in Rinpoche's Online Advice Book.]

The other puja you need is the Prajnaparamita in 8,000 verses (Tib: gyetongpa Wyl: brgyad stong pa). You can contact Kopan nunnery and ask them to recite this. Tell them that this is my advice and is what is needed for you. Give your name and ask them to make strong dedications for you to have a meaningful life and to be healthy, to not have problems. Say to the nuns that I requested they read well for you and also for all sentient beings.

If you can, recite at least three malas a day of Vajrapani Garuda Hayagriva mantra. Recite at least one or two malas, but it is best if you can do three malas a day.

So this is my advice. Please try this. Try to make your life most meaningful with the thought of bodhicitta day and night, and in all your actions.

With much love and prayers ...