April 28 2011
Some students asked for help on how to view Lama Zopa Rinpoche while doing practice for Rinpoche’s health and long life, as they experienced some confusion between seeing Rinpoche with pure view as enlightened while also doing practice to help Rinpoche’s 'ordinary' ill-health.
I asked Choden Rinpoche, who is one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s gurus, for advice on this point. Choden Rinpoche very kindly replied very quickly with the following advice:
“Students need to hold the view that the guru is holy Buddha, but he manifests ordinary appearance, like having a stroke. Just like Buddha Shakyamuni in reality he is enlightened, but he manifests ordinary appearance, like having a headache and back pain.
So when students engage in practices like Medicine Buddha and so forth for Lama Zopa Rinpoche to have a healthy and long life, students can do the practice while maintaining the view that the lama is Buddha, but dedicate the practice in order to pacify the ordinary appearance of having a stroke.”
Ven Roger Kunsang also commented:
“Your karmic projection is ill, the dharmakaya isn’t ill!
And we share a similar karmic projection. “
The Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive's April newsletter also includes some very helpful and relevant advice on this topic.