There Are Numberless Buddhas Around Us

There Are Numberless Buddhas Around Us

Date of Advice:
June 2018
Date Posted:
October 2021

Rinpoche sent this letter to a student who wrote that her daughter had become a heroin addict and her son had recently committed suicide. They had both experienced childhood trauma many years ago.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Taos, New Mexico, 1999. Photo: Lenny Foster.

My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,

Thank you very much for your kind letter. I did prayers for your son as soon as I heard and also for your daughter.

Now what you should do is pray to Medicine Buddha, not with any doubt but with total belief. Leave it up to Medicine Buddha; it is totally in Medicine Buddha’s hands. Pray for your daughter to be protected and to have a most meaningful life—not just to stop taking drugs but to have a meaningful life, to generate bodhicitta, to stop giving harm to others, to cause their happiness up to enlightenment and to enlighten all sentient beings. Pray for her to generate renunciation, bodhicitta and right view, and also the tantric stages. Then if she is not enlightened in this life, for her to be born in a pure land where she can be enlightened or at least receive a perfect human body, meet the Mahayana teachings, meet a perfectly qualified guru and by only pleasing the guru’s mind, achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible.

Pray like that to Medicine Buddha, one hundred percent with total faith, as if you can talk to Medicine Buddha. So, you can do like that. It is only the obscurations in our mind that prevent us from seeing that there are numberless buddhas around us. We can’t see them, but the Buddha’s omniscient mind sees everything about us and everything about sentient beings, all the time. So you can speak to Medicine Buddha every day and you can also pray every day for your son to be free from the lower realms and to immediately be born in a pure land and then to achieve enlightenment. The same prayer that I suggested for your daughter, you can also do that for your son.

A mother praying for her children is very powerful and children praying for their parents is so powerful. It is very important because of blood generation, so then the prayers are very powerful. Also, the guru praying for the disciple and the disciple praying for the guru is so powerful because of the Dharma connection. Even people who live in the same house, if they are praying for each other that also has power because of the material connection.

You should also put paintings or drawings of the eight auspicious signs in the house where your daughter lives and also in your own house. This stops inauspicious things, bad things. Also put images of the four harmonious animals in the house for harmony.

If your daughter can, she should read the Golden Light Sutra.

In The Foundation of All Good Qualities, Lama Tsongkhapa mentions two of the six shortcomings of samsara. Regarding dissatisfaction, however much we enjoy something, we become dissatisfied. We are habituated in a negative way in this life and since beginningless rebirths, not only with drugs which are destroying the life. So that attachment is like opening the door for suffering and dissatisfaction.

The other thing is that nothing is definite, so however much we want to be with our family or we want everyone to love us and we never want to be separated from them, it is definite that we will be separated from them at any time. The second thing is not wanting to be separated from things like comfortable houses, beddings, etc. We don’t ever want to be separated from those things, but death can happen at any time, separation can happen at any time, so we need to not have attachment.

The third thing is desire and enjoyments. Even though we never want to be separated from those things, death can happen at any time, so then we will be separated and that can happen any time, so it is wise to not have attachment. Of course if we can use the things that we have to benefit sentient beings, then that is a very wise thing—to benefit every sentient being, to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsara and bring them to enlightenment as quickly as possible. For that we need to achieve enlightenment, so in this way, we can use everything and do all our actions with bodhicitta.

Please read my message to your daughter. The most important thing is to be away from the object which causes the problems, so to be away from that, to renounce that, to renounce the desire. Desire is in our own mind and what makes us suffer is desire, so we have to renounce what causes our problems, now and in the future. Also it causes suffering to other sentient beings because then we can’t benefit them. So it destroys this precious life and this comes from desire and attachment, therefore we must renounce attachment—that is our main enemy.

To be away from drugs is to be away from desire, so she needs to discipline herself. That is actually gaining inner happiness and peace, not only temporary but ultimate happiness, the blissful state of peace; to achieve the peerless happiness, the total cessation of all the obscurations and completion of all the realizations for sentient beings. Try to avoid attachment and renounce ignorance, anger and the self-cherishing thought. By renouncing them this brings us to enlightenment, then we achieve the highest happiness forever.

Thank you very much. Please understand this, otherwise you will destroy your life completely; you are not dead but you can’t do anything, you can’t even do mundane works that ordinary people do. You can’t even do that, so you destroy this most precious human life that you received just one time, where you can achieve all the realizations up to enlightenment for sentient beings and you can free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and bring them to enlightenment. 

Your daughter could also look at a painting of the Buddha. She should think that beams are emitted from the Buddha, who is looking at her with loving kindness and compassion. Beams are emitted to her and to all sentient beings, purifying her and all beings and liberating them from all the sufferings, negative karmas and defilements. Then every sentient being, as well as herself, become in the nature of light, become Buddha, having received all the qualities of Buddha. Then at the end Buddha absorbs into her and into all sentient beings. Then she can recite Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s name and mantra:


To Guru, Teacher, Bhagavan, Tathagata, Arhat, Perfectly Complete Buddha, Glorious Conqueror Shakyamuni Buddha, I prostrate.


If she can, she should please try this.

As you know what makes our life most meaningful is meditation on the lamrim and to live our life with bodhicitta motivation. This is the best.

I am also attaching my daily motivation, The Method to Transform a Suffering Life into Happiness (Including Enlightenment). It is very good to do this if you are not doing so already, and also for your daughter, if she wishes.

With much love and prayers ...