Ongoing Pandemic Practices Advised by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
“As a Buddhist, I believe in the principle of impermanence. Eventually, this virus will pass, as I have seen wars and other terrible threats pass in my lifetime, and we will have the opportunity to rebuild our global community as we have done many times before. I sincerely hope that everyone can stay safe and stay calm. At this time of uncertainty, it is important that we do not lose hope and confidence in the constructive efforts so many are making.” — HH The Dalai Lama, Time Magazine, 4-14-20
Below are all the recommended and optional practices for those who wish to participate in these home-based Practice Days, as well as the teachings, oral transmissions, and videos Rinpoche has kindly offered during this time for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The format of these Practice Days allows for various levels of personal commitment. Practice Days will be performed on the 8th, 15th, and 30th of each Tibetan month (Link to Tibetan calendar) in which shelter-in-place orders remain in effect for Santa Cruz county. Participants would be following Rinpoche’s advice by engaging in these practices any day or time, but on these special Practice Days we suggest beginning the recommended practices at 7:00pm Pacific Standard Time, rejoicing in the knowledge that others in our spiritual community are engaging in these practices at the same time.
RECOMMENDED PRACTICES (Details Below)
- Strong Refuge and Bodhichitta Prayer(s)
- Vajra Armor Mantra
- Black Manjushri Mantra
- Liberating Sakya from Disease Practice
- Strong Dedication Prayer(s) (for those ill, passed, or recovering from coronavirus, as well as to prevent its further spread)
- Taking the one-day Eight Mahayana Precepts
- Link to the ceremony for self-administering the Eight Mahayana Precepts
- Glance guidelines for taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts.
- Youtube video: Taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts – An Introduction
- NOTE: Rinpoche has taught that those who haven’t previously received Precepts may take them personally but are unable to offer these precepts to others. Rinpoche also teaches that if you know you can’t keep a certain precept(s) (for example, the precept not to eat after midday) then one may skip taking that vow when taking the Precepts.
- Method to Transform a Suffering Life into Happiness (Including Enlightenment) with Additional Practices (details below)
- Vajra Armor Protection Wheel practice (details below)
- Meditation-Recitation of Black Manjushri (details below)
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice to recite the Tara mantra (OṂ TĀRE TUTTĀRE TURE SVĀHĀ)
- Extensive Dedication Prayers (details below)
- Send in your practice and mantra count as an offering to Rinpoche and the whole world via the Solitary Synchronous Practice Offering form. Remember to rejoice in all the virtues of yourself and others shared here – and to dedicate the merits to the quick resolution of the coronavirus situation!
HOW TO PERFORM THE RECOMMENDED PRACTICES
Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice on practices to do along with the mantras, prayers, and images he recommends is on the page “Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche for Coronavirus.”
1. As a motivation before reciting the two mantras, Rinpoche said it’s best if people can do The Method to Transform a Suffering Life into Happiness (Including Enlightenment) with Additional Practices, which is the daily morning practice Rinpoche has put together. That is best. But if that is too much, then do the lamrim motivation, which is just The Method without additional practices. [In other words, do the recitation on pages 7–14 of the booklet and stop at the Additional Practices, which begin with the “Blessing the Speech” section.] So at least do that part as a motivation before reciting the mantras.
2. Recite Vajra Armor mantra, which is a famous mantra for healing. You can do the entire Vajra Armor Protection Wheel if you want. Otherwise, just do the mantra:
HŪṂ VAJRA PHAṬ* / OṂ PADMAŚHAVARI PHAṬ / NÄN PAR SHIG / NĀGANAN / TADYATHĀ / SARVAVIRITA / HANA HANA / VAJRENA RAKṢHA RAKṢHA SVĀHĀ
After you finish reciting the mantra, hold your hand in front of your mouth and blow the air up, so it goes into your nostrils.
3. Then also recite Black Manjushri mantra. The Meditation-Recitation of Black Manjushri is also good to do if you want. Otherwise, just do the mantra:
OṂ TRA SÖ / CHHU SÖ / DUR TA SÖ / DUR MI SÖ / NYING GO LA CHHÖ / KHA LA JAḤ KAṂ ŚHAṂ TRAṂ / BÄ PHAṬ SVĀHĀ
4. Rinpoche says that in addition to his earlier advice people should also reciteThe Vajra Speech of Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo: The Blessed Prayer Known as “Liberating Sakya from Disease.” The prayer comes from the great yogi Thangtong Gyalpo (1385–1464) and is for healing from disease.
While doing this prayer, students should look at an image of Thangtong Gyalpo.
Rinpoche added, “the previous mantras are to protect yourself and others, but this prayer from Thangtong Gyalpo is to heal the disease in China, and for it not to spread out to other countries. So it is to protect the country. And anyone in the world can recite this prayer.”
5. Then, at the end, do strong dedication prayers. For extensive dedications, merit multiplying prayers, and Guru long life prayers please click here.
JANG CHHUB SEM CHHOG RIN PO CHHE
May the precious supreme bodhichitta
MA KYE PA NAM KYE GYUR CHIG
Not yet born arise.
KYE PA NYAM PA ME PA YI
May that arisen not decline,
GONG NÄ GONG DU PHEL WAR SHOG
But increase more and more.
GE WA DI YI NYUR DU DAG
Due to this virtue, may I quickly
LA MA SANG GYÄ DRUB GYUR NÄ
Become a Guru-Buddha,
DRO WA CHIG KYANG MA LÜ PA
And lead all transmigratory beings,
DE YI SA LA GÖ PAR SHOG
Without exception, to that state.
Due to all the merits of the three times collected by me, the numberless buddhas, and the numberless sentient beings, may all sickness, wars, famine, torture, poverty, and economic problems in the world, and all dangers of earth, water, fire, and wind, be pacified immediately, and may perfect peace and happiness prevail in everyone’s hearts and lives. May the Buddhadharma last for a long time, and may the sentient beings in this world meet the Buddhadharma and achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible.
Due to all the past, present, and future merits collected by me and all the merits of the three times collected by the numberless buddhas and numberless sentient beings, which are completely empty of existing from their own side, may I, who am completely empty of existing from my own side, achieve the state of full enlightenment, which is completely empty of existing from its own side, and lead all sentient beings, who are completely empty of existing from their own side, to that state, which is completely empty of existing from its own side, by myself alone, who is completely empty of existing from my own side.
Rinpoche’s Videos & Oral Transmissions
Rinpoche has also been giving a series of video teachings from Kopan Monastery in Nepal during the coronavirus lockdown.
In March 2020, Rinpoche recorded this video at Kopan Monastery in Nepal. The video begins with a teaching and motivation for doing the practices. Then Rinpoche gives additional advice along with the oral transmission of a mantra and four prayers.
Watching this video attentively can qualify as having received the oral transmission of the following mantra and prayers, if viewed with the intention of receiving the oral transmission from Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Please note that, according to tradition, if one is taking an oral transmission from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, this establishes a guru-disciple relationship. Those listening without intending to receive the oral transmission are not establishing a guru-disciple relationship and do not receive the oral transmission, but may still enjoy the teachings.
In this video Rinpoche gives the following oral transmissions:
- Vajra Armor mantra
- Swift Fulfillment of Wishes in Dependence on the Great Jetsun Tsongkhapa
- The Vajra Speech of Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo: The Blessed Prayer Known as “Liberating Sakya from Disease”
- The Vajra Speech of Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo: Words of Truth Pacifying the Danger of Weapons
- The Speech of Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo: A Request to Pacify the Fear of Famine
Links to More Videos & Advice from Rinpoche
While staying at Kopan Monastery during the pandemic, Lama Zopa Rinpoche is recording new videos with advice and instruction on how to help others, develop your Dharma practice, and other relevant topics:
- New Video Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche on Coronavirus
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Advice to a Person Who Is Dying
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche Offers Oral Transmission of Verses for the Eight Auspicious Noble Ones to Bring Success
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche: Introduction to Lojong and Tonglen
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche on Tonglen and Emptiness
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche on Tonglen Practice
- Introducing the Merely Labeled I and Self Cherishing / Advice to Help the Dying
- “All of One’s Suffering Comes from Wishing Happiness for Oneself”
- Your Generating Bodhichitta Helps Every Sentient Being and the ‘Lung’ of a Short Medicine Buddha Practice
- “Bodhichitta Is the Most Eminent and the Five Powerful Mantras”
- “The Four Causes of Unknowing and the Four Dharmakaya Relic Heart Mantras”
- “The Conclusion Is to Subdue One’s Own Mind”
- Sentient Beings Come before God and Mantras to Benefit Others
- Don’t Make Your Life Garbage and the Buddha’s Teachings Are Unbetraying
- Use Pleasure and Suffering to Achieve Enlightenment and Experience the Virus for Numberless Sentient Beings
- If You Want to Guide and Help Others, Exchange Yourself with Others
- Find translations of these videos into French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian
Benefits of Becoming a Friend of LMB
There are many benefits to becoming a Friend of LMB – discounts at our bookstore, special dedication prayers in our daily Medicine Buddha puja, and, at $50/month or more, FREE attendance in our Discovering Buddhism, Basic Program, and Guided Contemplation courses. Consider becoming a Friend of LMB today!
|Date(s):||May 1, 7, 22, & 30 (8th, 15th, and 30th of Tibetan Month)|
|Times:||7:00 pm - 8:00 pm|
|Instructor/Leader:||Solitary Practice in Community with Others|
|Type of event:|
|Number of sessions:||Varies; Based on Length of Shelter-in-Place Order|
|Level:||Intermediate to Advanced|
|Participation:||Participation Levels Vary|
|Add to Google Calendar:|
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