Land of Medicine Buddha / Digest 1!
- LAND OF MEDICINE BUDDHA
DIGEST 1, August 2001
"The Medicine Buddha practice is so precious you can do
Medicine Buddha puja for ANY purpose, ANY problem, ANYTHING!"
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, LMB, July 28, 2001.
1. Upcoming and Ongoing
2. Ribur Rinpoche returns to LMB soon!
3. The Dynamics of Compassion: Ribur Rinpoche and Robina Courtin
4. Denma Locho Rinpoche and Great Medicine Buddha Initiation
5. How to have an easy life
6. Medicine Buddha prayers
7. On Retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche
8. Woman and Intimacy with Ilana Sharaun
9. Download the Diamond Cutter!
10. Lama Zopa on Medicine Buddha
Welcome to the first of a regular digest to keep you up-to-date on
what's happening and what's new at LMB. If you haven't visited Land
of Medicine Buddha lately, I should let you know that we are busy
landscaping - there is now a beautiful zen-style pebble courtyard
outside the meditation hall, and flowers, flowers, flowers blooming
and still being planted everywhere.
Meanwhile, in the meditation hall we are making extensive offerings
every day to Medicine Buddha (see 5) to help support the Maitreya
project (see 9) and eagerly looking forward to the return of Kyabje
Ribur Rinpoche (see 2). Welcome and wonderful additions to our
published program: Kyabje Denma Locho Rinpoche will be giving Great
Medicine Buddha initiation early September (see 4), Ven Robina will
be with us for a special weekend event (see 3) and Ilana
Sharaun's course for women was so popular that she has been demanded
to do another workshop in October (see 8).
Meanwhile, Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave an exquisite talk on the benefits
of Medicine Buddha practice (see 10) which I have edited for all of
you. Lama Zopa also requested that we do a Medicine Buddha Puja on
the Tibetan 8th of each month (see 6). With all this Medicine Buddha
energy, we are building up to the Great Retreat with Lama Zopa in
October (see 7) and I recommend you reserve your place soon as
bookings are coming in from around the world.
So please enjoy, and if you need more information on any of the
events, check out our website www.medicinebuddha.org or call the
office 831-462 8383 (9 am - 7 pm every day).
1. ONGOING AND UPCOMING
i) Jonathan Landaw, author and beloved teacher of Buddhism is
teaching a popular Entering the Practice of Meditation class,
ii) Jon will be teaching a weekend on Preparing Now to Die
Happily Later, August 17-19
iii) Tuesday nights' talks with Ven Sarah at 7pm have blossomed
since the newspaper interview in the Sentinel see our website for
iv) We look forward the visit of Prema Dasara, innovative dancer,
who will lead a day of joyful dancing for children and adults, August
2. RIBUR RINPOCHE RETURNS TO LMB SOON!
With great excitement, we look forward to Kyabje Ribur Rinpoche's
return to LMB later this month. Rinpoche will be continuing the Path
to Enlightenment teachings begun earlier in the year. This time the
topics are: liberation, love, compassion, the awakening mind of
enlightenment and the six perfections including emptiness--the
ultimate view of reality.
For those of you who missed the first part of the teachings, we
should let you know that Rinpoche's wise, compelling and
compassionate presence along with his powerful, experiential style of
teaching are something not to be missed. His teaching transformed
many people's lives earlier this yearand we expect this to
be the same againonly better!
There will be teachings every weekend from August 25-26 through to
the end of September. Come to all, or as many as you can manage.
Extra events will be announced through our e-groups. It is going to
be a joyful, inspiring and uplifting 6 weeks!
August 25/26, September 1/ 2, 8/9, 15/16, 22/23, 29/30
3. THE DYNAMICS OF COMPASSION
Kyabje Ribur Rinpoche and Ven Robina Courtin
Join us for a very special weekend experience: Kyabje Ribur
Rinpocheone of the great realized lamas of Tibetan Buddhismwill
introduce us step-by-step, in an experiential way through treasured
authentic meditations for awakening the heart of loving-kindness and
compassion. He will be joined by Ven Robina Courtina dynamic
Western teacher and star of the film "Chasing Buddha"who will talk
straight about how to use these teachings to change your heart and
mind, and start living life the way you really want to. The synergy
of old and new will blend to give you a very real taste of the
dynamics of compassion.
4. GREAT MEDICINE BUDDHA INITIATION with DENMA LOCHO RINPOCHE
Kyabje Denma Locho Rinpoche has agreed to give the extremely rare two-
day empowerment of Great Medicine Buddha at LMB. For those of you who
have not yet met Rinpoche, he is the heart-disciple of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama's Senior Tutor and a great scholar, great yogi and
major lineage-holder of many important teachings and initiations, who
is very close to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Amongst his thousands
of students are some of the highest Gelukpa lamas. Since this
initiation is so rare and precious, the commitments between lama and
disciple are expected to be strict, so please call for details.
5. HOW TO HAVE AN EASY LIFE
According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche "More merit means easy
life". So here at LMB we are busy doing as much as we can to make
that happen by making lots and lots of offerings.
Lama Zopa himself, inspired by our new Medicine Buddha statues
blessed by the Dalai Lama at Shorelineis sponsoring constant
light offerings. And Ven Sophia Su (Tenzin Chotso), our dedicated
newly resident Chinese nun, is coordinating more than 112 sets of
offerings to the Buddhas and other holy objects in the meditation
hall, with special dedications for the Maitreya project and our new
Medicine Buddha temple.
We invite all of you to come and share in the merit by dedicating
some time and energy to set up and take down the bowls. Ven Sophia
will teach you how to make offerings perfectly and you are welcome to
drop in any timeperhaps before work? There is a sign-up sheet in
the office for volunteers and you can dedicate the merit for any
purpose. Lama Zopa has said that making just one offering to the
Medicine Buddhas purifies broken vows and brings protection.
In the future, we plan to gold-leaf the robes of the statues
and add halos and lights. If any of you have the skills to help,
6. MEDICINE BUDDHA PRAYERS
Lama Zopa has requested us to do regular Medicine Buddha Puja on the
Tibetan 8th of each month (see 10) with extensive offerings and to
make tsa-tsas (plaster images) of the Medicine Buddha on the same day.
So please add the following auspicious Medicine Buddha days
(Tibetan 8th) to your calendar and we invite you to join us for
prayers or to send names and dedications:
Sunday, August 26
Monday, September 24
Wednesday, October 24
Friday, November 23
Sunday, December 23
7. ON RETREAT WITH LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE
October 26- November 18
More details of the Great Medicine Buddha retreat are now on our
website. This is an extremely precious opportunity to spend 3 ½
weeks on retreat led by our Spiritual Guide Lama Zopa Rinpoche and we
already have bookings from around the Globe. The Great Medicine
Buddha practice is a very rare one, and we expect this to be a
The Western retreat leader will be experienced senior monk Ven Marcel
Bertels. As the retreat will be intensive and restricted, we do not
anticipate that anyone but the retreat attendees will be able to
attend Lama Zopa's teachingsso please sign up now if you
to miss out!
8. WOMEN AND INTIMACY WITH ILANA SHARAUN
By popular demand! Ilana Sharaun has agreed to lead another
workshop for women only! The participants of Ilana's first workshop
("Women Awakening The Power Within), were so inspired by Ilana, and
by each other, they were able to persuade Ilana to say yes to another
round! This time the subject is "Reclaiming the Erotic Woman". The
goal is to encourage women to reclaim and express their true
sexuality, and to untangle the cultural inheritances that bind and
limit deep intimacy. Once again, there will be meetings in the
beautiful meadow at LMB, with lots of time to reflect and to support
each-other's growth with caring and openness. This is truly a gem -
don't miss it!
9. DOWNLOAD THE DIAMOND CUTTER SUTRA!
Lama Zopa's beautiful teaching on bodhicitta, the preliminary
practices and the first part of the transmission of the Diamond
Cutter Sutra given at LMB on the auspicious Wheel-Turning Day, July
24th, are available for download in MP3 format at:
Many thanks to Roy Harvey of Lam Rim Radio for making this happen.
Lama Zopa has agreed to complete the transmission of the Sutra on
another auspicious dayso stay tuned! Reading the Diamond Cutter
Sutra is one of the practices Lama Zopa has recommended to clear away
obstacles to the success of the Maitreya project. For more
information on this, check out: www.fpmt.org
10. LAMA ZOPA ON MEDICINE BUDDHA
Edited and condensed from a talk during Medicine Buddha Puja by Lama
Zopa Rinpoche, LMB, 28 July 2001
"To the Bhagawan with equal compassion for all
Whose name when just heard dispels lower realms' suffering
Dispeller of disease and the three poisons
I prostrate to Medicine Buddha Lapis Light."
The Fifth Dalai Lama explains that the first verse expresses what
Medicine Buddha is and talks about the qualities. Bhagawan
means "Destroyer Qualified Gone Beyond One" or Chom Den De in
Tibetan. "Destroyer" means not only destroyer of one's
own gross and subtle defilements, the delusions, but also destroyer
of other sentient beings' delusions and defilements. "Qualified"
refers to six qualities. "Gone Beyond" means gone beyond the oceans of
samsaric suffering. "With equal compassion for all" means Medicine
Buddha's compassion is equal towards all sentient beings, there are
no discriminating thoughts. Buddha doesn't just help those who have
faith in him. Medicine Buddha has compassion to every single living
being, equallyand that includes us. Then, "Whose name when just
heard dispels lower realms' suffering".
Any living being who hears the name of Medicine Buddha never gets
reborn in the lower realmsthat's the benefit, the power of
just hearing the name, the mantra. Buddha asked his attendant Ananda:
"Do you believe this?" and Ananda replied, "Yes I believe what
the Buddha says." Then Buddha said "Why?" Ananda replied,
"Because Buddha has inconceivable qualities, therefore I have no
doubt." Then Buddha said, "Even animals who hear Medicine Buddha's
name from that time on will never be reborn in the lower realms."
This is such an easy way to save living beings from heavy suffering.
There's no question about animals having faith in Medicine
Buddha's powerso how can there be any doubt that human beings who
hear Medicine Buddha's mantra will never again be reborn in the lower
realms, whether they have faith or not? Just hearing the name is
enough, so when people are dying one of the best things to do is to
recite the name loudly in the ear, then you save the person from the
suffering of the lower realms for many aeons. The reason there is
so much power is due to Medicine Buddha's compassion. In the past
when he was a bodhisattva he made so many prayers and dedications
with strong compassion for his name to be wish fulfilling, to bring
When he became enlightened, one of the ten powers of a
Buddha is the power of prayerthat means that all the prayers
that have been made get fulfilled. So it is extremely important in
our daily life to practice Medicine Buddha and to chant his name for
the animals. It's an unbelievably easy way to liberate yourself and
to help others too.
If you eat meat, recite the mantra of Medicine Buddha and blow over
the meat. This way the animal's negative karma gets purified. No
matter how far away the consciousness is it receives the effect and
helps the animal to a higher rebirth. Also, if you find insects in
the house, by reciting the mantra and blowing on them it purifies
their negative karmas and helps them to have a good rebirth. That
fulfils the purpose of them coming into your house, into your room.
It makes their life meaningful and since you are able to benefit them
it makes your life meaningful also.
Some years ago I did retreat in Big Sur in America, in a cabin near
the water. Many ants used to come into the kitchen. So I sent three
tsa-tsas (images of Buddha) to the cooks and told them each time they
found ants or insects in the house to put them in a plastic
bagdon't seal itor container, then hold the tsa-tsa in one hand and
with the other hand circumambulate the bag clockwise at the same
level as the tsa-tsa. With each circumambulation all the ants create
the cause for enlightenment, and by the way the cause for liberation
from samsara and by the way the cause for all the happiness of future
lives for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes. This is such an easy
way to help them, to liberate them. Since that time whenever we see
insects in the house we try to take them around holy objects a few
times. By coming into the house they make us do the best practice
helping others. They make our lives meaningful and we make their
lives meaningful. We help each other.
Medicine Buddha practice also purifies any broken vows, like
Pratimoksha vows, or precepts. It is very powerful for purification
and for healing sickness. Normally people think that Medicine Buddha
is for healing but it's not only that, it's also very
powerful for purifying negative karma and very powerful for success.
When I was in Germany I read the Medicine Buddha Sutra and actually
the Medicine Buddha practice is so precious. It seems that you can do
Medicine Buddha Puja for ANY purpose, ANY problem, ANYTHING. You can
use the Medicine Buddha practice for any kind of problem, for court
cases, to stop wars, to stop violence, anything. It is very good for
business, for mothers who are pregnant to give birth successfully,
The practice can be done for anything. It is very powerful for
success and of course the most important success is to have the
realizations of the Lam Rim, the path to enlightenment: to realize
emptiness, develop wisdom, bodhicitta and guru devotionto be
able to give extensive benefit to other sentient beings.
Many of the Dharma kings in Tibet who did great benefit to preserve
and spread the Dharma practised Medicine Buddha on every 8th day of
the Tibetan month (that's the same as Tara day) and also on the
fifteen special days of the Buddha performing miracles (the first
fifteen days of the first Tibetan month). Recently I read a detailed
explanation by the Fifth Dalai Lama on the Medicine Buddha practice,
both sutra and tantra, and the biographies of the lineage lamas. Each
one was able to give so much benefit to sentient beings and the
teachings of Buddha and had great realizations by doing Medicine
For example, Lha Lama Yeshe Oe, the Dharma king who invited Lama
Atisha to Tibet did Medicine Buddha practice as a main deity and was
able to establish many monasteries with extensive listening,
reflection and meditation practice. He sacrificed his life to spread
pure Dharma in Tibet by inviting Lama Atisha. When he went to look
for gold as an offering, he was captured and put in prison near Nepal
where he passed away. When they offered fire to his holy body rainbow
lights were emitted and there were rainfalls of flowers for seven
days. Then a Medicine Buddha, the size of a thumb, appeared from his
heart and went to Pure Land. The sky was filled with the sound of
music and there were so many wonderful signs. All the lineage lamas
of Medicine Buddha did Puja on the 8th of every month, had incredible
realizations and when they passed away there were wonderful signs
like this king Lha Lama Yeshe Oe.
"Dispeller of disease and the three poisons"the three
poisons are ignorance, hatred and attachment, the sicknesses of the
mind from which come the physical sicknessescancer, depression, etc.
"I prostrate to Medicine Buddha Lapis Light."
Medicine Buddha's mantra is: tayatha om bekandze bekandze maha
bekandze radza samudgate soha. Tayathameans "like this". Omis
composed of the three pure sounds A U and MA, which signifies one's
own body, speech and mind that get transformed into the vajra holy
body, speech and mind. Then bekandze bekandze"eliminating pain,
eliminating pain". What eliminates pain is medicine. This pain is not
ordinary paineven animals do not want to experience that. The first
eliminating pain is true suffering, the second is the true cause of
suffering. The medicine that eliminates pain is first the graduated
path of the lower capable being, and second the graduated path of the
middle capable being. Then maha bekandze"the great eliminating pain"
is the graduated path of the higher capable being, which eliminates
the subtle defilements. So bekandze bekandze maha bekandze contains
the whole path to enlightenment, the ultimate medicine. Radzais
king. Samudgate. Sohato establish the foundation in the heart, the
blessing, the devotion from which the realization comes.
By actualising the meaning of the path contained in bekandze
bekandze maha bekandze, the whole Lam Rim, you cease the defilements,
gross and subtle, and purify the ordinary body, speech and mind into
the vajra holy body, speech and mind. After this you are able to do
perfect works for other sentient beings.