Rinpoche’s Health – Official Updates and Practices
Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s health still continues to improve very gradually, there is still no interest from Rinpoche’s side to do any exercise but that seems to be the way Rinpoche has chosen.
At the beginning of every year I usually check with one or two high Lamas if there are any prayers or pujas we need to do to remove obstacles for Rinpoche’s health and long life. This year I have received the advice to do many prayers and pujas. These are being organized at Kopan Monastery, Sera Je Monastery, Ganden Shartse Monastery, Jangchup Choling Nunnery, Kopan Nunnery and also Ganden Jangtse Samlo Kamsen.
Khadro-la (Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma) is advising FPMT centers, projects, services and students to also help. I would like to support Khadro-la’s request for students and centers to do the following as much as you can so that we can continue to have Rinpoche with us for a very long time to come.
Khadro-la specifically mentioned the following: “as much as possible if FPMT centers and students can please do”:
- Liberate many animals
- Hang Tendil Nyersel prayer flags in all FPMT centers, projects and services
- Recite Most Secret Hayagriva mantra
- Offer long life pujas to Rinpoche with the 5 dakinis
Khadro la said “The most important is good samaya from the students’ side. Whoever is doing the puja, prayers or practice, it should be done well, with good motivation and meditation”.
Please see the full list of pujas and practices to do below, and then please can you send in what you have done to Claire at International Office at the end of each month and we will offer that to Rinpoche.
These prayers and pujas done sincerely from the heart do make a difference … please help.
The full list of pujas and practices to do and which are being done:
- Animal Liberation – do as much as possible, either yourselves or by donating online to Amitabha Buddhist Center, who does substantial animal liberations every two weeks. Text available here and in Essential Buddhist Prayers, vol 2.
- Tendil Nyersel prayer flags should be hung in all FPMT centers, projects and services. Kopan Monastery are kindly making these prayer flags and once they are ready (in about a month’s time) will send out information on how to order the prayer flags.
- Recite Hayagriva mantras as much as possible.
- Offer long life puja(s) to Rinpoche through the 5 Dakinis. FPMT will request Khadro-la to offer a long life puja to Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Also when Rinpoche visits FPMT centers during the year, good to offer a long life puja with the 5 dakinis.
Practices being done at monasteries (can be done personally too):
5. Read the longest version of the Golden Light sutra x 67
6. Recite 100,000 praises to Tara within Tara pujas
7. Dor.de Kelsang x 67
8. Dukchuma as much as possible
9. Dukka x 1000
10. Mamo Trukung x 2
11. Gyal sod Tsen sod
From Kopan Monastery
Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s health is good. The doctors seem satisfied with the blood pressure and sugar levels. Over the past couple of months Rinpoche hasn’t exercised as much (due to the busy schedule) so that has been disappointing and so not any noticeable improvement in the walking action. Now in Nepal Rinpoche has started again to do circumambulations of the stupa, which is very good and I hope this continues regularly while here.
While in India Rinpoche attended an Ayurvedic clinic for 7 days, this seemed to help his health in a general way. The doctor wanted Rinpoche to attend a full treatment program which would be for 21 days. Rinpoche was very reluctant to do for that length of time. The doctor there and the staff were very good. Maybe sometime in the future this can happen.
Rinpoche’s speech in Tibetan is very clear, His Holiness Ling Rinpoche made this comment as well as other Lama’s. English language is also clearer.
From Nalanda Monastery:
Yesterday we have finished 1020 times the sixteen arhat pujas (about 920 were done by the monks).
We started immediately after the Chenrezig retreat with Khadro-la, and it took us almost two weeks of mostly five daily sessions.
We recited the Panacea of Pure Nectar and long life prayers for His Holiness and Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche after almost every session.
It was very nice and an honour that we could do it for Rinpoche’s health.
Hope Rinpoche will fully recover very soon, and we hope He might be able to teach again as much as He wants, in the way that He wants and wherever He wants.
And of course we hope He will have a very long life, and that we may be able to fulfil all His wishes.
Rinpoche is doing well, progress is still slow but seems normal for this situation. The main thing is that there is still progress. Rinpoche is more independent, using the right hand more and the right leg is stronger we just need to focus on getting the action more correct. Rinpoche's speech is very clear when speaking Tibetan, in English if he doesn't make effort there is a slight slur. But when teaching and Rinpoche focuses on the pronunciation it is clear. Blood pressure and sugar levels are good for Rinpoche's situation, and the doctors are pleased. Long term Rinpoche doesn't want to have to take western medicine if possible, so in the long term we have to find other methods combined with a good lifestyle!
Thank you everyone for all your support and kindness.
March 8th 2012
Ven Roger recently checked with Ven. Denma Locho Rinpoche whether there was anything FPMT centers, projects and services and students can do to help with Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s quick recovery. Denma Locho Rinpoche kindly advised a few pujas, which we are arranging now, and then gave the following advice:
"The students and centers really need to work according to Rinpoche's wishes. Whatever Rinpoche has advised for the them to do, it’s important to follow Rinpoche’s advice. The main thing is that everyone in the organization should really strive to fulfill Rinpoche’s advice.
In order to be harmonious, generally, you should not look for any faults in others, but look for the positive, the inner qualities. Thinking negatively like, "He is bad, she is bad", will not lead to harmony. Try to see the qualities in others and try to work harmoniously.
Recite the prayer Losang gyal tan ma - The Prayer for the Flourishing of Je Tsongkhapa’s Teachings - well [for links to the prayer see below]. Please recite it well. If students can do that, that’s really great.
But the most important thing is not looking at each others’ faults but looking at the qualities of others.
Then, whatever responsibility you have in the center [project or service], do the work from your heart, put all your energy into that, take the difficulties/hardships upon yourself and do the work wholeheartedly. If the work is done well, this will benefit the teachings of the Buddha, and also it will bring about happiness and joy to all sentient beings."
The Prayer for the Flourishing of Je Tsongkhapa’s Teachings – letter booklet pdf
The Prayer for the Flourishing of Je Tsongkhapa’s Teachings – A4 booklet pdf
This prayer is also in Essential Buddhist Prayers, an FPMT Prayer Book, Volume 1.
Rinpoche's condition has been steadily improving. Recently Rinpoche's brother Sangay offered Rinpoche an exercise bike. Rinpoche rides nearly every day 3 kms. I am hoping soon we can increase that to 5 kms. The right leg now is quite strong, the right arm still needs more effort to increase its functionality. Rinpoche's writing has improved and he can write short notes quite well.
The doctors are comfortable with Rinpoche's control of blood pressure and sugar levels, still not ideal but for Rinpoche's present condition they feel quite ok.
December 13th 2011
Rinpoche is in retreat for a short time before the Kalachakra initiation. I just mentioned to Rinpoche that some students have between them recited the Golden Light Sutra more than 100 times. Rinpoche was very pleased.
As he sat down to start a session, Rinpoche said "so beneficial for those who recited ... amazing amazing benefits, can't imagine! ... from my heart THANK YOU TO EVERYONE".
On Dec 16th there is a special long life puja being offered to Rinpoche by some of the high lamas here in Dharamsala, this is done over 3 days.
PS from Claire: thanks again to all who recited the Golden Light Sutra as requested on Dec 7th. As we have accumulated more than 88 recitations between us, no need to let me know any further recitations. Thank you and big rejoicing!
For Rinpoche’s health and long life, we have been advised it is very important for students to accumulate 88 recitations of the Golden Light Sutra.
There is no deadline but it would be helpful and very good to get these recitations completed soon.
We have made the Sutra of Golden Light available in various languages to read/download.
Please would centers, projects, services and individual students email me when you have completed any recitations, and I will keep a tally.
MANY thanks, and all good wishes,
Center Services Director
FPMT International Office (1632 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214, USA)fpmt.org
Rinpoche has been in France and now India focusing on his health. With the help of Khandro la Rinpoche continues to improve. Everyone has been very understanding in giving Rinpoche the space for the necessary therapy.
Rinpoche is being careful to follow a good diet and doing regular exercise (with some prompting).
Rinpoche is continuing with his western medication, in addition he is seeing a Tibetan doctor who is giving Tibetan medicine for paralysis. Rinpoche is also regularly going to a hot spring and having Tibetan treatment called "LUM" ... simply speaking is a special mixture of herbs in a hot bath.
One exercise that Rinpoche enjoys ...which surprised us all is ... soccer!
Kicking around a little ball ... it is good exercise and helps with balance and coordination ... Rinpoche gets a real kick out of this!
All the treatment outside of the western medical is guided by Khandro la. And Khandro la fully supports the western medical approach.
Thank you to everyone for all your support in so many ways, very much appreciated!
Rinpoche's treatment continues here in France. The flight from Nepal was smooth, it took some days of rest after the flight to recover. The treatment is going well, especially with Khandro la's assistance. We are hoping with 4 weeks of concentrated therapy Rinpoche will make some good improvement. The main focus is on the right arm and right leg.
While in Kopan Rinpoche did give some teachings to the monks and nuns. Rinpoche kept the teachings brief (for Rinpoche) ... about 2 hours and this worked well, if it was longer Rinpoche's speech started to get tired.
Thank you to everyone for all your support in many different ways, greatly appreciated.
September 22 2011
Rejoice! From his own side, Yang Teng Tulku has composed a prayer - Panacea of Pure Nectar - to offer to Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Yang Teng Tulku is a very knowledgeable young lama working in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Private Office assisting with Dharma texts and so on.
In the colophon Yang Teng Tulku explains why he composed the prayer:
"I wrote it with heartfelt sincerity reflecting on how just wonderful it would be if the illness of the incomparable Lama Zopa Rinpoche—who, having extensively preserved and continuing to sustain, serves to bring to fruit on the contemporary, non-sectarian teachings of the Buddha in general and in particular those of our spiritual father, Tsongkhapa—were quickly cleared away."
Lama Zopa Rinpoche said that this prayer can be made available for students if they would like to read and recite it.
Panacea of Pure Nectar - a prayer for Lama Zopa Rinpoche composed by Yang Teng Tulku, 2011
NB: this should not be confused with the long life prayer for Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Photos of Rinpoche in Kopan Monastery, Nepal
(click on the photos to enlarge them)
Photographs by Piero Siriani
Rinpoche teaching - Rinpoche has given a few short teachings to the Kopan Sangha
Rinpoche continues to progress steadily here in Nepal. Rinpoche's doctors have advised to now increase the medication for blood pressure which was started today. The blood pressure has been much better than prior to the stoke but now the doctors aim to bring it 130/80 range.
Rinpoche's sugar levels have also been much better and we will continue with Rinpoche taking insulin but the type of insulin is changing in order to have better control.
Movement of the right leg and right arm is a little better. The speech also is getting a little better.
Rinpoche is continuing the chanting of Chod in particular (also other prayers out loud) for exercising the speech. Depending on the weather ... we get a lot of rain , Rinpoche does kora 3 or 4 times a week around Bouddhanath and Swayambunath stupa (alternating). Sometimes it's in the rain. Swayambunath kora at the base is 3 kms. Rinpoche walks the whole way. At Bouddhanath Rinpoche does 4 circumambulations walking and then another 6 in the wheel chair. This is one exercise Rinpoche really enjoys. We usually do it late at night, no one else is around so it is really a nice and peaceful time. If we get to the stupa early enough we go to "Flavors" for tea , great "little" place where some of the waiters and waitresses are small people ... not more than 3 feet high.
Sincere thanks to everyone for all your support in so many ways.
Some recent short video clips showing Lama Zopa Rinpoche's progress 4 months since the stroke. The videos show Rinpoche walking and using his right hand to eat and write.