Advice from Rinpoche

Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche for Cancer Patients

This is my advice regarding another method to deal with cancer, as well as the normal way involving operations and medicine. This method is to deal with the cancer through Dharma.

Even if Dharma doesn't help or heal the cancer right away, Dharma purifies the negative karma and defilements, which are the cause of cancer, and plants the seed of the path and liberation from samsara. The more you practice Dharma, the more you meditate on emptiness and the more you meditate on bodhichitta, the closer to liberation and enlightenment you become. No question if you practice on the basis of the three principal aspects of the path, the lam.rim, and tantra (method and wisdom). This brings you closer to liberation, and closer to liberating numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bringing them to enlightenment. If you practice like this, even if your present cancer is not healed, in the future you will not experience it again, or you will have a very short experience, instead of experiencing the cancer again and again in so many lifetimes.

According to my observations the Tibetan medicine called Khung Na is especially good for cancer. You can take three pills in the morning and three pills in the evening for two weeks. You can get these medicines from Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala, Kopan Monastery or any Tibetan doctor.

Doing Medicine Buddha practice, as well as Naga King practice comes out very good for people with cancer.

Naga King Mantra:
tadya tha / om tathagata bhagavan naga raja shora / ah ti tina / ah ti tita / svaha

It also comes out very good if you can recite the Naga King name mantra at least 21 times a day.

chom den de / deshin shegpa da chompa / yangdakpar zogpa sangye / rinchen okyi gyalpo me o rabtu salwa la / chag tsal lo

Recite this mantra with strong visualization. Visualize beams emitted from the Naga King entering one's own body and mind, like washing a glass tube, washing away all the negativities. Think that the four things are purified (disease, spirit harm, negative karma and defilements).

Also you can think that the nectar purifies all sentient beings, particularly the naga, as well as the numberless other beings who have cancer; think they are all purified.

For one part of the mala focus on purifying all sentient beings, particularly the nagas; then the second part of the mala focus on purifying numberless sentient beings, particularly those who have cancer, including yourself. Particularly focus on purifying the cause of sickness, which is karma and delusion.

These practices are very important, a billion times more important than medicine itself because these practices purify your karma. Your heavy negative karma, which you are experiencing this life, gets purified just by reciting this mantra 21 times; it can stop you from experiencing this negative karma. By reciting 100,000 times it is able to cure leprosy.

It also comes out very good to liberate animals each month. If you are near a Center, the center can help you, or you can invite friends to attend. Please use the advice that I have given on animal liberation (you can get booklet from FPMT Education Department: http://www.fpmt.org/shop/product1.aspx?SID=1&Product_ID=39).

First, put a table that is full of holy objects such as tsa tsas, texts, statues, scriptures etc. Then take the animals around this table, carrying them in bags or boxes. Other people can help you carry, have many people carrying, circumambulating the table full of holy objects, as many times as possible. As you circumambulate chant mantras loudly.

Then you can bless water by blowing mantras into it and then sprinkle the blessed water on the animals. Recite whatever mantras you know but especially om mani padme hum and Medicine Buddha mantra: TADYATA OM BHEKHANDZYE BHEKHANDZYE MAHA BHEKHANDZYE (BHEKHANDZYE) RAJA SAMUDGATE SVAHA.

When you sprinkle the blessed water on the animals think it completely purifies them of all their negative karma and defilements, and from the causes of being born in the lower realms, so they can have a good rebirth. Also, you can pour the blessed water into the sea, if you have animals to release into the sea.

Each time you circumambulate with the animals and insects you are bringing them closer to enlightenment, besides freeing them from samsara, so do this practice each month.

Also other people can participate, especially other people who have cancer, or even the family of people who have cancer. Even if the person is in hospital still the family can do this practice for them and dedicate for them. This is an extremely good practice because, by the way, the people who circumambulate the animals also get liberated from samsara and brought to enlightenment. So in this way the animals are helping the people to create merit and purify their negative karma, to be liberated from samsara and achieve enlightenment.

The other thing that came out very beneficial is to print the Long Life Sutra. (You can get this from the Education Department: http://www.fpmt.org/shop/product1.aspx?Product_ID=1189).

It is very good for you to continue to print this Sutra a few times each week, or once a month. Printing this Sutra creates limitless skies of merit, good karma; mountains of negative karma get purified, purifying the causes of sicknesses, such as cancer etc.

After you print it you can keep it in your house, in high respectful places, because it is a holy object. You can put it on your altar so that you can make offerings and prostrations to it. Also you can give copies of the Sutra to other people, to keep on their altars or put inside statues or stupas.

It is also very good to think in this way: "Primarily, this cancer and sickness is due to my past karma." Having this sickness is the result of past karma that one has done, so it is something that has to come out. Either one needs to purify it before it is experienced or by experiencing it you finish the karma. Here, in your case, it is finishing the karma by experiencing it now. So think this is good, don't think of it as bad, look at it as positive.

It is mentioned by one great holy being, the Tibetan meditator, Geshe Khara Gomchen:
Even just this small suffering
Finishes past bad karma and causes happiness in future lives.
Don't look at the suffering as negative.
Rejoice; be happy at the suffering.

Therefore, be happy with the problem that you have now; think of it as a good sign. This is how you can transform these problems, which you are experiencing now, in your case cancer, into happiness.

Also, you can use what you are experiencing now to practice bodhichitta. This is the special, brave-hearted practice of taking other sentient beings' suffering and the causes onto oneself and giving one's own happiness and all one's merits to others.

You do the meditation of receiving all sentient beings' sufferings and the causes (karma and delusion), as well as the negative imprints. Receive all of this in the form of pollution. This absorbs on to one's own ego, the self-cherishing thought, totally destroying it; it becomes non-existent. At the same time, the I that exists is merely labeled by the mind; the I that appears to oneself as not merely labeled by the mind is a complete hallucination. In reality the real (self-existent) I does not exist at all, even an atom; so that emotional I, the real appearance, becomes totally non-existent, as it is non-existent. Think that you are seeing it this way. This is the very nature of the I. Stay in that.

Then do the giving-giving all one's happiness and merits. Or you can just repeat the taking-taking all the suffering and the causes-over and over again. It is very good if you can do this meditation a few times each day.

The rest of the time, if you can, think, "I am experiencing this cancer on behalf of all sentient beings." Keep the mind in this. Whenever you think, "I have cancer," whenever that thought arises then, without delaying even a second, think, "I am experiencing this cancer on behalf of all sentient beings."

This is the way suffering is transformed into happiness. Every time you think, "I am experiencing this cancer for all living beings," because living beings are numberless you collect limitless skies of merit and purify so many eons of negative karma. So each time you have this thought you become closer to enlightenment. That means you become closer to liberating numberless sentient beings from samsara. It means each time you have this thought you become closer to enlightening all sentient beings. So there is no happier life in this world than this; this is the best life. Your cancer makes you have the best life, the happiest life, more satisfaction, more fulfillment and most beneficial life for all other living beings and for yourself. Happy life now and, like the sun shining in the sky, best life in the future. Of course, then there is enlightenment.

Thank you very much. If you can keep this as your main practice then your cancer becomes medicine, it becomes the most powerful healer, purifying all negative karma. This way you don't experience the resultant sickness and other problems; you collect limitless skies of merit, to accomplish complete bodhicitta-your unbelievable happiness and happiness of all the numberless sentient beings. Therefore, your cancer becomes wish-fulfilling to you. You transform your cancer to a wish-fulfilling jewel.

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