I’m struggling to accept the teachings on death

Oct 30, 2023

 

QUESTION

Dear Ven. Robina

 

I listen to your short videos and often read the Q & A on your website. 

 

I have been attending Buddhist classes since 2004 and come from a Catholic background. Buddhism convinces me and I benefit from Dharma’s teachings.

 

However, when faced with death my beliefs fall and I feel lost. I force myself to practice but it is an effort . . . I feel like I lack faith or trust.

 

Recently my father died and a few days ago I learnt that a person I loved committed suicide.

 

I’m trying to practice powa but I get lost in a sort of depression or distrust or doubt. 

 

Relating to my dear friend R, I cannot accept that a person who committed suicide could suffer negative karma and also that an evil spirit could take possession of them.

 

I realize that I have not asked a question but that I have expressed a feeling and request your wise response as I believe you have achieved realizations on the path.

 

Thank you for reading me.

 

With love,

S

 

ANSWER

Dearest S,

 

I am glad to hear from you.

 

Yes, it’s always hard to face the death of our loved ones, I agree. Powa is quite advanced, so I wouldn’t suggest you try that.

 

Best would be to recite Medicine Buddha mantra: it’s very special and beneficial. Here is Lama Zopa Rinpoche singing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBrwore-gvg. Visualize light pouring into your dear father and R, blessing them.

 

I too will say special prayers for R. It’s so so sad, isn’t it, that someone becomes so desperate that they are compelled to harm themselves.

 

As for what happens after death or whether or not there can be spirits who can harm, etc., etc., etc.: all you can do is listen to the teachings, try to make sense of them, and practice in your daily life. There is no benefit in speculating.

 

And continue to renew your own commitment to make the most of your life and to help others. So many people are suffering on this planet and they need your help!

 

One step at a time, S!

 

Much love,

Robina

 

QUESTION

Dear Ven. Robina

 

I thank you with all my heart and mind for finding time to answer me, I know you’re busy in teachings.

 

Your words are precious and I’ve re-read them several times (and I’ll continue) to understand them deeply.

 

Many thanks for the video of Lama Zopa singing Medicine Buddha mantra.

 

For my benefit I was given two CDs in which Lama Zopa sings mantras and I listen to them regularly. This is the third: gratitude.

 

If I don’t bother you I will write again . . . without stalking!

 

Big love,

S

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