Physical Health: Advice from Phakchok Rinpoche
Physical health situations can make our lives more stressful and difficult to manage. And we often ask the Rinpoches and lamas what spiritual practices we should do when we are having health problems. Here, in a video clip from a September 2018 teaching in Gomde Denmark, Phakchok Rinpoche shared his advice.
First, Phakchok Rinpoche reminds us that if we are sick or suffering, we should also consult a doctor. And, as most of us know, to maintain our health, we need to get proper rest, engage in regular physical exercise, and eat healthy food. But in addition, we might also want to engage in spiritual practices for healing. These include the recitation of healing mantras as well as meditation practices.
Physical health can be improved through spiritual practices, but Rinpoche underlines the fact that this very much depends upon the person. Sometimes he has witnessed dramatic improvements, but in other cases the changes may be slight. But Rinpoche himself says that he truly believes that these practices bring benefit.
Physical Health: Mantra Practice
Guru Rinpoche himself taught the following mantra which is preserved in the Tukdrup Barché Kunsel (thugs sgrub bar chad kun sel) Volume I. We find this mantra included in the heart advice from Guru Rinpoche, the Sheldam Nyingjang (zhal gdams snying byang):
Om Nir Seng Yer Bed
When we recite this basic healing mantra we do not need to do any special visualization. Rinpoche suggests that we chant one mala of this mantra every day. In the video clip above, Rinpoche repeats the mantra several times to teach the proper pronunciation. Moreover, he shares a personal story on the benefits of chanting this mantra.
Physical Health: Healing Visualization Practice
Phakchok Rinpoche then introduces a healing meditation practice. Guru Rinpoche taught several versions of this visualization practice, one in the Lam Rim Yeshe Nyingpo, The Light of Wisdom. And he taught this practice specifically to help dispel health obstacles.
We begin by visualizing the seed syllable hūṃ, dark blue in color, as in the photo here.
So, picture this seed syllable in our own heart center and understand that this syllable functions like a vacuum—meaning it can “suck up” any sickness or disease in our physical body.
Next we can imagine this powerful hūṃ traveling around inside our body from top to bottom, sucking up all the disease. Once we are convinced that it has vacuumed up all the sickness, we move the syllable to our mouth and forcefully exhale the hūṃ out into the space in front of us. Really have the conviction that all sickness has been expelled.
Guru Rinpoche taught three different versions of this practice, but the version Phakchok Rinpoche teaches here is simple for us to follow.