Termites at the Center

Termites at the Center

Date of Advice:
June 2021
Date Posted:
August 2022

Rinpoche advised several pujas and practices for a center which had termites. Rinpoche also said the center should not kill the termites and they should take the termite-infested wood out to the forest instead.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Light On the Path retreat in North Carolina, spring 2014. Photo by Roy Harvey.

Recite the Vajra Cutter Sutra for at least two months and do sur at the center. In the morning, do the practice Offering Water Charity to the Pretas. This begins with Dzambhala, [offering] the three types of water and three or more foods. If you can do it where there’s running water, that’s good.

In the Taipei center, around seven years ago, a nun wrote that there were termites. Where there’s wood with termites don’t kill them. Instead take that wood out to a forest or a similar place, then the termites will have something to eat. Then change the wood.

The Buddha’s teachings say that if there’s happiness, it’s from the kindness of sentient beings, and if there’s suffering, it’s from the self-cherishing thought, cherishing the I.

One way of explaining this is, as the Buddha said, all dharmas are created by mind. Mind is the principal and mind goes before body and speech. For example, by thinking with a good heart, then we can talk to someone and they receive happiness from that. We talk with a good heart to benefit them.

When there’s sun, the shadow always follows the body. Similarly, phenomena are created by mind and mind is the principal, the preliminary. If we talk with a bad heart to somebody, then suffering comes from that. Take the example of a carriage or cart pulled by an ox in India. The ox pulls the cart, which carries pipes, iron and people on top. When it’s hot, the ox cannot express its suffering. Also, people may beat the ox or it carries its load for many hours. This is the result of creating negative karma in the past, of harming sentient beings and their enjoyments.

Also, there’s advice in The Wheel of Sharp Weapons.1 Lama Atisha had 157 teachers and of those, he had two root gurus. He had incredible devotion to Lama Serlingpa and Dharmarakshita. He travelled for thirteen months and spent twelve years in Sumatra, receiving teachings from Lama Serlingpa, like [pouring nectar] from one pot to another and receiving everything, completely.

In The Wheel of Sharp Weapons (v. 10), Dharmarakshita said:

Whenever an intolerable ailment arises in our body,
It is the sharp weapons of bad actions turning against us
For having inflicted harm on the bodies of migrating beings.
Now we should willingly take upon ourselves all ailments without exception.

When heavy pain comes to the body, it’s because we gave harm to the bodies of transmigratory beings in the past. The wheel of sharp weapons, the negative karma has turned on us, therefore, now, take all the sentient beings’ pain on oneself. Take every single pain on oneself.

So, it’s the same as with this teaching. The Wheel of Sharp Weapons is so good. You can read it individually or together.

The Kopan monks do a protector puja to Palden Lhamo, [who embodies] wrathful actions done with compassion. At that time, they read this text, The Wheel of Sharp Weapons. Usually they do the puja fast, with drums and cymbals being played in a wrathful way. At first they didn’t do it fast, but it fits to do it fast, it’s like scolding or angry.

I have a sur text on the basis of Panchen Lama Chokyi Gyaltsen’s lineage of Gyalwa Ensapa, Lama Tsongkhapa’s disciple.2 Ensapa became enlightened easily and comfortably in one life, eating pizza and drinking milkshakes—not like Milarepa who ate only nettles and when the thief came and ate, requesting chili and salt, there were only nettles to add. Ensapa did not have hardships like Milarepa did. Why was Gyalwa Ensapa comfortable to achieve enlightenment in one brief life?

First do the pujas and practices I mentioned, then gradually make the physical changes.

With much love and prayers...


1 This text is also known as Wheel-Weapon Mind Training. See Peacock in the Poison Grove by Geshe Lhundub Sopa (Wisdom Publications). [Return to text]

2 Lama Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen is the recognized incarnation of Gyalwa Ensapa (also known as Wensapa Lobzang Dondrub). Lama Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen was given the title Panchen Lama by the Fifth Dalai Lama. Read more in Treasury of Lives. [Return to text]