Rinpoche's right arm and leg have lost some use, and his speech is slurred. Doctors say Rinpoche will need intensive therapy. This can take several months. Rinpoche's teachings in Australia and Indonesia as well as his return to Nepal will have to be cancelled.
Despite this devastating news, I am really really touched and heartened by the response from Rinpoche's disciples; the Sangha and students worldwide and anyone who has a connection with him.
All 130+ FPMT centres worldwide are conducting round-the-clock prayers for the swift recovery of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Everyone is keeping a close watch on the daily updates of Rinpoche's condition by Venerable Roger, his personal attendant and CEO of FPMT. FPMT and Mandala Publications have set up a web page to keep students updated of Rinpoche's health at this moment (here is the link). Many have posted on Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Facebook Page sending their prayers and well wishes for Rinpoche. Even in my humble blog here, the hits were rocketing since my earlier post of Rinpoche's news. Everyone is googling "Zopa Rinpoche stroke".
One student, Eddie, wrote that he just dreamt of "Lama Zopa Rinpoche flying through space paying homage to numerous Buddhas and Bodhisattvas".
|Extensive pujas and prayers at Kopan monastery for Lama Zopa Rinpoche's and Khen Rinpoche's (who is recuperating from cancer) long life and swiftest recovery.|
|Many of the 130 FPMT centres are conducting prayers for Rinpoche (above, Tushita Meditation Centre)|
I read one update from Venerable Robina Courtin (who is in Australia) about Rinpoche which left me in tears realising my guru's deep devotion and dedication towards his students, even though he is lying in the hospital with a stroke. He is tirelessly still practicing and urging/reminding students to practice and to do prostrations!
Venerable Robina Courtin:
|Ven Robina Courtin|
"I've been here at Atisha Centre near Bendigo, two hours north of Melbourne, since April 16, doing retreat with 150 others and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. As usual, it's been intense: up at 5am, prostrations, Eight Mahayana Precepts and one meal a day, teachings with Rinpoche and then bed at midnight. It's three days now since Rinpoche had his stroke. On Friday his speech was already slurred: "Do you notice something different about my speech?" he asked us, pointing to his mouth. I remember thinking, "Rinpoche's mouth looks paralysed." Rinpoche left for the afternoon break but didn't return that night. I remember, he smiled at me when he left the throne: he could see that I had in my hand the gift he had given me. We haven't seen Rinpoche since.... We get messages from the hospital, which Rinpoche types on his ipad. "Don't forget prostrations!" was a recent one. We now do them more than once a day, 50 every time. Last night we recited sutras all night. Lights and flowers fill the gompa. In spite of everything, and even though we're all a bit shell-shocked, I am very glad to be here, practicing with everyone."
|Rinpoche taking precepts during the retreat at Atisha Center, Australia|
It is so heartwarming to see how the whole world from London to Madrid to San Francisco to Malaysia to Singapore to Australia united in prayers for the return of Rinpoche's good health. At the same time, we know that even though Rinpoche is in the hospital, he is still praying for and supplicating to all the Buddhas, on behalf of all mother sentient beings and us who are suffering in Samsara.
I agree wholeheartedly with what one Venerable Lobsang Dawa said below,
"The best offering of long life for our precious Guru Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche is to follow the instructions he has given us, cultivating love and compassion for all beings with a correct view of reality. The disharmony between practitioners manifests as obstacles to the Guru. On the Guru's side, there are no obstacles, no sickness, no suffering. It is our lack of practice and merit that creates this appearance."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Khadro-la, Choden Rinpoche and other high lamas have advised that the below prayers be conducted for Lama Zopa Rinpoche as soon as possible.
1. Medicine Buddha puja ... with extensive offerings.
2. 4 Mandala offering to Tara ... as many as possible.
3. Most Secret Hayagriva mantra with supplication as much as possible.
4. White Tara mantra with Lama Zopa Rinpoche's name
Below are Lama Zopa Rinpoche's long life prayers composed by the great master Choden Rinpoche. I remember each time Rinpoche finishes his teachings and extensive dedications, and after chanting the prayer for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rinpoche would quickly prepare to descend from his throne seat, but we the students would quickly continue to chant these long life prayers for him. To me, it is always touching to hear everyone's chanting loudly and enthusiastically the beautiful rhythmic prayers below. I particularly like it in Tibetan. May my precious root guru live very very very long!
You who uphold the Subduer's (thub) moral way;
Who serve as the bountiful bearer (zö)-of-all,
Sustaining, preserving and spreading
Manjunath's victorious doctrine (ten);
Who masterfully accomplish (drub pa)
Magnificent prayers honoring the Three Jewels,
Protector of myself and others, your disciples:
Please, please live long!
Thub tsul chang shing jam gön gyäl wäi ten
Dzin kyong pel wä kün zö dog por dzä
Chog sum kur wäi leg mön thu drub pa
Dag sog dul jäi gön du shab ten shog
Other entries on Lama Zopa Rinpoche's condition:
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche has manifested a stroke
- 26 April - Updates on Lama Zopa Rinpoche's stroke condition
- 30 April - Updates on Lama Zopa Rinpoche's stroke condition. Even when manifesting illness, we learn by practice.