Letter from Rinpoche

A Message to Sangha about Covid-19

Download: Pacification of Illness and Protection Mantras

Dear Sangha,

We now face an extraordinary opportunity to practice carrying adversity onto the path.

I offer you this message as we usher in this Buddhist new year together with many aspiration prayers for everyone to have the excellent fortune of good health, longevity, and spontaneous accomplishment of all wishes.

I’d also like to address what everyone has likely been focusing on, the new contagious virus that has been circulating around the world and declared a pandemic. In Tibet, this virus was named Ja-Yalma, Disappearing Rainbow. The purpose for naming it this is to create better interdependence for the illness to harm fewer people and for its spread to be stopped.

While I applaud the numerous global efforts to stop the spread of the virus, I think that it is crucial that each of us understand that it is our personal responsibility to do what it takes to slow the contagion. Much of this will depend upon our willingness to strictly follow the guidelines of the health department and other reputable sources. With this conduct as a basis, then, on top of this, we have practice.

As Buddhists, this is the opportunity to apply our mind training teachings for transforming adversity into the path. Let’s not waste this time spent at home! In order to make it truly meaningful, I suggest treating it like a personal practice retreat. During this retreat, spend more time focusing on whichever personal practice you are already working on.

In addition, there are three important prayers that you can add to daily practice that are specifically geared towards pacification of illness and protection for oneself and others. Please everyone endeavor to accumulate these to the best of your capacity.

The first practice is Tara: This includes recitation of Praises to the Twenty-One Taras, the two-line Jetzun Prayer, and the Tara Mantra. Please accumulate as many of these as possible.

The second practice is a Sanskrit mantra from the scriptures that is associated with Vajrapani and recited to remedy contagious disease:

OM VAJRA CHANDAMAHAROSHANA HUNG P’HAT

And the third practice is a mantra called The Single Mantra to Cure a Hundred Ails:

OM PADMA SHAWARI P’HATNAN PAR SHIKNAGA NAN TADYATH’A SARWA WIRITA HANA HANA VEJREYNA RAKSHA RAKSHA SOHA

There are also many other traditional methods for personal protection from illness such as special healing incenses, protection mandalas worn on the body, special scents to smell, cleansing of water practices, and others. I have some of these and plan on seeing if I can figure out how to distribute some to students.

Finally, during this homestay time, I will provide online live teachings, where I hope to “meet” you for dharma teachings.

With love,
  Rinpoche