My very dear Elizabeth,
I am sorry I missed you. Thank you for your kind email. This is what came out as beneficial for you to do:
1) Recite Vajra Armor mantra 14 times a day (attached).
2) Recite and also wear the protection: “Mantra Liberating from the Bondage of Body, Speech, and Mind.” Please give me your postal address and I will send you this protection. Attached is the practice. Chant the mantra 13 times a day until the problem goes away completely.
3) Have six jung-shi (Tib: འབྱུང་བ་བཞི ) tormas made (this is a torma of the four elements). Email Kopan Monastery and request the head teacher of the Lama Gyupas to do this for you. You will need to make an offering.
4) Request Geshe Tengye to do a “Controlling Fire Puja” for you. Send money for all the materials and also a small offering. Geshe Choden can help him, but it needs to be Geshe Tengye who does the actual puja. You can arrange this.
I checked regarding your practice. Please find attached my advice on this.
- Mandala offerings: 100,000
- Vajrasattva: every night recite 21 or 28 mantras
- Water bowl offerings: 30,000
- Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga: 10,000
- OM MANI PADME HUM recitations: nine million
- Four Immeasurable Thoughts: 30,000
Regarding the nine million OM MANI mantras, some you can do in retreat and some you can do every day. Try to do a retreat of 600,000 mantras, with the fire puja. Do mantras in retreat and also count them in your daily life, doing the sadhana when you can. This is an amazing practice for developing compassion and achieving enlightenment quickly.
- Guru devotion: three months
- The graduated path of the lower scope: two months
- The graduated path of the intermediate scope: four months
- The graduated path of the highest scope: bodhicitta: ten months; emptiness: four months
Keep circling like this until you have stable realizations. It doesn’t mean you only meditate on this topic; it just means this is the main focus for this many months. Use texts and other prayers to help with the lam-rim meditation. Also, the lam-rim meditation doesn’t have to be only while sitting on your cushion, it can be when you are walking, riding a bike, etc.
Regardless of what section you are up to, you must do a little meditation on emptiness and guru devotion every day.
Please practice as much as you can. Life is not long, the nature of this life is impermanent, and death can happen at any time. This is the foundation of Buddha’s teachings, and it was the last advice Buddha gave before showing the aspect of passing away.
What makes our life most meaningful is meditation on the lam-rim, and living our life with a bodhicitta motivation. This is the best.
With much love and prayers...