How to help my mother who’s got Alzheimer’s and is really angry

Nov 28, 2022

 

QUESTION

Hello Venerable Robina,

 

I was so very lucky to attend the two-day teachings you did a while ago. I was on such a high for weeks afterwards!

 

I asked you a question about my mother who was beginning to develop dementia. I took her to a geriatrician today for the first time, and it appears she has Alzheimer’s. She has declined rapidly.

 

Sadly, she has been grasping on to some deep, dark memories of her past which manifest as anger and bitterness. In fact, she can be downright venomous, she has cut one of my siblings out of her life altogether, which is devastating, and one of them even is her carer. 

 

I asked you about what to do for her in the moment of her death, but the question I have for you now is can I do daily Vajrasattva purifications for my mother? Can I actually do the practice on her behalf? There’s quite a lot of her past actions that I really worry about. She’s been hard work but I don’t want to think she’ll die with karma to carry over out of ignorance. 

 

Thank you Venerable Robina,

 

All the best,

B

 

ANSWER

Dearest B,

 

Happy to hear from you!

 

I’m so so sorry for your poor darling mother! Awful! And, of course, for you and siblings, who love her and only want the best for her.

 

For sure, you can do practices for her. But you can’t really purify for someone else, so I wouldn’t do Vajrasattva for that. 

 

But what you could do is something like Medicine Buddha, you could do the practice for her, visualizing purifying nectar filling her when you do the mantra.

 

But it would be excellent — the best, actually — if she could hear some mantras. Just play them quietly, no need to explain. This can bless her mind for sure. 

 

Mantras can be so powerful. And they leave a strong imprint in her mind and it can help her die peacefully.

 

You could play Lama Zopa Rinpoche chanting the mantra (you’ll find it on YouTube) quietly but so that she can hear it. 

 

Whenever you can, do that. And say it yourself when you’re around her. It’ll be just like you’re singing quietly.

 

And, of course, just love her.

 

What do you think?

 

Much love,

Robina

 

QUESTION

I think oh wow! Thank you so much Venerable Robina!

 

I love the Medicine Buddha mantra so much, always have done. I love singing it as I’m driving or hanging out the washing or gardening or working.

 

That’s a wonderful idea.

 

Today has been a much better day, thank you.

 

All my love,

B

 

ANSWER

Good, B! I’m praying too. 

 

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