Long Life Prayer

“A prayer for the long life of Ven. Robina Courtin, who is fully dedicated, compassionate, devoted and wise – a dynamic female teacher of the FPMT and all sentient beings,” – Lama Zopa Rinpoche

A Rain of Nectar Extinguishing
the Conflagration of Delusion

At the request of students of Ven. Robina, Lama Zopa Rinpoche composed this long-life prayer at Kachoe Dechen Ling in Aptos, California in the fall of 2006. “A prayer for the long life of Ven. Robina Courtin, who is fully dedicated, compassionate, devoted and wise – a dynamic female teacher of the FPMT and all sentient beings,” Rinpoche said.

Mother of the Victorious Ones of the three times and ten directions,
Dharmakaya, the great bliss embraced by great compassion,
My perfect Arya Tara, who in an ordinary form
Are the guide for us pitiful transmigrating beings left guideless-
How kind you are!
May all your wishes be instantly fulfilled,
And may your life be stable until samsara ends.

O mighty one-
You who destroy all the enemy of delusions,
Who reveal the dharma of scripture and realization,
Spreading it in the mental continuum of transmigrating beings,
Thereby eliminating the two obscurations, including their imprints-
How kind you are!
May all your wishes be instantly fulfilled.
And may your life be stable until samsara ends.

By the blessings of the guru, the deity, and the dharma protectors,
And unbetraying actions and their results,
As well as the truth of ultimate reality,
In all my lifetimes may I only please
And never displease for even one second, the guru,
And may the vital points of my prayers be fulfilled.

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Origin of the Prayer

Ven. Katy Cole, a long-time student of Ven. Robina, first made the request in person to Rinpoche in September 2005 in Washington, DC. “He kind of looked at me, started to do a Mo, and then said he would think about it,” Ven. Katy recalls. “Then I heard nothing for months so I wrote to Ven. Roger and asked him if he knew of anything. Ven. Roger wrote back and said to either write one myself, or use the generic one.” In April 2006, she sought advice from Ven. Tenzin Zopa. “I asked him what was the best way to go about this request, and he showed me the steps that were needed in a formal letter of request.” She wrote such a letter and sent it to Rinpoche.

When Ven. Katy saw Rinpoche again in May 2006, He acknowledged having received her letter. She learned that Ven. Aileen Barry, another long-time student of Ven. Robina, had also made a request. In September 2006, Rinpoche started writing the long life prayer at a retreat at Vajrapani Institute. Ven. Katy received the prayer from Rinpoche in the last week of November and presented it to Ven. Robina on November 30, 2006, following Ven. Holly’s advice that it would be auspicious to do on a tsog offering day. “Rinpoche had told me he wanted to write another verse for Ven. Robina’s prayer, but it didn’t end up happening and I didn’t pursue it as once I started living with Rinpoche I realized how busy Rinpoche was and didn’t want to push. What we had was already amazing.”

In April 2007 at Tse Chen Ling Center in San Francisco, Ven. Katy made a recording of Rinpoche chanting Ven. Robina’s long life prayer. Rinpoche had said that He wanted to compose a tune for the prayer. Ven. Katy recalls that several high lamas “had also come to stay at Tse Chen Ling for His Holiness’s visit to San Francisco. Tse Chen Ling was packed to the rafters with staff and students and attendants. There were a few people in the room and a number of people going in and out and people waiting to see Rinpoche.” This included “Ven. Roger, Michelle [Stewart, then Director of Tse Chen Ling], Ven. Kunsang, and another woman who was waiting for her appointment. Possibly also Ven. Holly and Ven. Sangpo. Rinpoche told me to play the bell while he chanted. I think he started with the bell and then gave it to me to try. I can’t exactly remember. At the end Rinpoche asked whether the tune was okay.”

Rinpoche reciting Ven. Robina’s long-life prayer at Tse Chen Ling in 2007