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In Mandala October-December 2013, Lama Zopa Rinpoche responds to a long-time student who wrote to Rinpoche in thanks for his “blessings, guidance and protection” over many years. The anonymous student currently takes care of her mother who suffers physically after a series of strokes. As a method to deal with the challenges of caregiving, the student visualizes taking care of Rinpoche when taking care of her mother.
“I know I have not developed special qualities,” concludes the student. “Without your teachings, without your example and blessings, without your guidance and protection, it would have been unbearable to face all this.”
First of all, it is really great the meditation you are doing: serving your mother and thinking you are serving the guru. When I was in Tibet (not the last time, but the time before) our journey took us to Reting, Lama Dromtönpa’s monastery, which he built on the advice of Lama Atisha. I didn’t know, but our guide directed the tour through His Holiness the Karmapa’s monastery in Tshurpu. We stayed there one day and slept outside the monastery in tents for two nights. I went to visit nearly every temple in the monastery. The monks were doing puja and I personally made money offering to each one, handing them the money myself. As I did this, I started to think that each one was my guru, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche or Lama Yeshe (maybe the first one). This is what I was thinking as I gave the money, so I collected the most extensive merits and accumulated the most powerful purification because I was thinking of each monk as the guru.
So first of all, this life’s parents are very powerful objects of merit. Even very small negative or positive actions done towards this life’s parents are extremely powerful. Therefore, as a result of offering service to your mother, you will have so much happiness even in this life, your wishes will succeed and you will have a very good life. And the result is experienced not only this life; each positive action of offering service that you create towards the parents will bring benefit for thousands of lifetimes. It brings a good rebirth and unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable happiness while you are in samsara. I’m talking about each small service; every one results in happiness for thousands of lifetimes. So can you imagine the result of twenty-four hours of service? Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Then, if the service is done with bodhichitta, each one is the cause of enlightenment. The merit of every small service, every virtue created is so powerful. …
From Mandala October-December 2013
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Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
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