Last night, I was so fortunate to be able to sit with Rinpoche, Lama Palden, Lama Sonam, and many other sangha members using Zoom technology; to practice together with special attention focused upon diminishing the anxiety and fear that can grow during times such as these. We were also encouraged to practice A Prayer for Pacifying the Fear of Disease at 6 pm each evening, except for Mondays and Thursdays. (If you have taken refuge and have not received this, please let me know and I’ll help you).
Rinpoche really implored us to please, don’t just stay in inside – stay in retreat. Practice for one hour in the morning, one hour mid-day, and one hour in the evening (or as long as you can). Those of you who are just beginning practice, you can engage in retreat too, using the practices that you know. Those who attend the Sunday Awakened Mornings practice will find these to be familiar.
Morning – Shamatha (focus the mind by counting or following the breath) Afternoon – Metta Practice (may all beings, excluding none … find happiness, be free from suffering, find joy, and be at peace in mind and heart. Evening – Tonglen (sending blessings of light with exhalation; receiving and transforming suffering with inhalation)
My more advanced students will be able to participate according to their training: Morning – Green Tara Practice Afternoon – Ngondro Practice. Evening – Mantra Accumulations: Long Vajrasattva or Guru Mantra or Om Mani’s) followed by our prayer at 6 pm – A Prayer for Pacifying the Fear of Disease
With my respiratory health history, the wisest and most compassionate response I can make with regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, is to stay in retreat so that I don’t wind up parked on a ventilator that someone else may need. Retreat is such a beautiful opportunity to remove ourselves from as many distractions as possible so that we can offer prayers and practices for the benefit of all sentient beings. Social distancing saves lives! I encourage you to follow suit, if your life allows for that. Please pray for all of the people who are putting their lives on the line for others. Please pray for those who are sick, for those who live with unbearable uncertainty and fear, for those who are dying without the support of family members, for those many who have already passed away, and for the grief and loss of those who loved them. May this virus find its way back into the formlessness of the Dharmakaya very soon.
May you be surrounded and protected by a retinue of dakinis and dakas. May you be blessed by all of the Enlightened Beings. Thank you! Lhamo Khandro