Severe Pain

Severe Pain

Date of Advice:
June 2018
Date Posted:
September 2020

Rinpoche sent this letter to an old student who had a debilitating illness and was in incredible pain.

Long Life Puja for Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Kopan Monastery, 2010. Photo: Mikk Tamme.

My very dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
How are you doing? I realized I have not mentioned this to you before, but we have been liberating animals and dedicating specifically for you every single week for over twelve years at my houses in Aptos and Washington. The Sangha there do animal liberation every week and it is always specifically dedicated to you. Also each day the Sangha make long-life tsa tsas in the Aptos house and these have always been specifically dedicated to you. Sorry I did not mention that before.

Now I’m going to send a request to all the students to dedicate Medicine Buddha practice and Vajrasattva for you for the next two months. Of course, I will just request and it is up to them if they do it. So, to make special prayers for you to immediately recover and to have a most meaningful life and to achieve enlightenment quickly for sentient beings.

What you should think—I may have mentioned this to you before—as Kadampa Geshe Kharag Gomchung said:

The present suffering finishes my past negative karma and there will be happiness in the future. Therefore rejoice in these sufferings.

That means your many years of sickness, pain and difficulties in life are a good thing, because it finishes the heavy negative karma from so many past lives. If this result is not experienced now, then you may have to suffer in the lower realms, in the hell realms, for many eons.

As it says, therefore by experiencing sicknesses and all these difficult times for many years it finishes so many lifetimes of heavy negative karma. It gets purified, so you don’t have to experience it later. You are free from experiencing the heaviest suffering of hell for eons and due to this, in the future there will be happiness. Therefore, meditate on the happiness of that suffering.

That means like the sun shining in the world, in the future there will be so much happiness, the highest happiness. It is like when the sun shines then so many beings enjoy, animals enjoy, humans enjoy, the crops grow, flowers grow, and there is so much happiness up to the highest enlightenment. That’s how to look at suffering as happiness, as success.

Also think in this way: therefore it is the guru’s blessing to purify. Then of course if you can, meditate on the emptiness of all the pain, of all the different pains; look at them in the nature of emptiness. Also, it is mentioned that it is an expression of emptiness, a manifestation of emptiness. Of course, it exists in mere name, but all the rest is a hallucination due to ignorance. All this pain, everything, is merely labeled. It appears, it is projected or decorated as truly existing from its own side, as a real one, and we one hundred percent believe that with ignorance. It came from ignorance, from the previous ignorance, then we generate ignorance again by believing it as real.

Most important is to meditate that your mind is Guru Vajrayogini’s holy mind. Always try to meditate on that, oneness with that. Don’t look at Vajrayogini as something more and the guru is much more ordinary. Don’t look down, not like that, but think oneness. Your mind is oneness with Guru Vajrayogini, so all three are one. Doing that is the most important thing.

Also, you should do Vajrasattva practice with the remedy of the four powers. If you don’t remember, maybe discuss with Sangha. If you can, do Vajrasattva with the remedy of the four powers. That is very, very important.

I don’t have anything more important to say. Even if we can actually meet, this is it. There is nothing more important to tell you, even if we meet.

Thank you very much.

With much love and prayers ...