Questions

Forgiveness and letting go

Question:

In what way, or what technique/meditation can we use to be able to forgive fully and completely and achieve freedom from one’s attachments?

Lakha Lama:

Things can happen. As long as you keep holding on to it, it will continue to give difficulties. No one is perfect …

The exercise is to examine if holding on makes you feel comfortable or not. When you see that holding on is uncomfortable, you will find it is better not to hold on. if you wish to go into a deeper practice, you can practice “give and take” meditation (Tib. “Tonglen”). You visualize that you give all your happiness to the person you have got an issue with and that you take all their pain on you. Also, you can connect to Chenrezig and recite: OM MANI PADME HUM.

To keep motivation in one’s practice

Question:

I find it increasingly difficult to stay motivated. I fail to do my daily practice and have a hard time pulling myself together. It really applies too much in every aspect of my everyday life—but it particularly irritates me to lose the joy of daily practice. Does Rinpoche have any good advice?

Lakha Lama:

When you go to sleep at night, have the motivation to pray for every living being …

That motivation will help you to remember your motivation when you wake up in the morning. Joy means, to feel that, “I am so fortunate, that I have a chance to pray.” When you pray, you visualize all the buddhas and bodhisattvas in front of you, so you do not feel you are alone in your practice. You can be joining a sangha by visualization even if you are not able to be together physically. The practitioners who go to a retreat in a cave, they are alone, but not lonely in their practice.

Fear of dying and worrying for others

Question:

I have been diagnosed with a very serious and chronic illness for which I am being treated, but I will never really recover. I am afraid of dying and also fear for my loved ones and how they will manage—both if I die before I get old and also to live on, as I find life to be difficult and therefore can be a “challenge” for my loved ones.

Lakha Lama:

Death is uncertain. As long as you are alive, you must value life and practice bodhicitta (the heart of care) …

It will help you to live a meaningful life so that you do not waste your life with fear. Every morning when you wake up, be thankful and appreciate that you are still alive. Appreciation is the key point, also in the relationship with your family. I myself am completely dependent on Pia’s help, as I can neither walk nor hear and need help with everything (Pia is Rinpoche’s wife). I express my appreciation for her every day and it makes it easier for both of us to cope with the practical challenges. It will also help you if you pray every day for all living beings to achieve happiness and be free from suffering. When you are preoccupied with prayers of good wishes, the focus shifts away from the fear. The more you can focus on others, the less your own ailments will weigh on you. Fear is a disorder in itself and you can overcome it through bodhicitta practice and appreciation.