The esteemed Tibetan Buddhist monk and Nyingma teacher Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche has shared a message regarding the COVID-19 pandemic through the Bangkok-based International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB).
Phakchok Rinpoche had just gone into retreat at the sacred Asura cave—where Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche attained realization—on a cliff above the village of Pharping, near Kathmandu, Nepal, when he shared the following message:
How are you and your loved ones amidst the present global pandemic? On this New Moon today [24 March], we are offering a wholesome Riwo Sangcho ‘Mountain Smoke Offering’. Sang Offering is a skillful means of realizing the perfection of wisdom through the accumulation of merits with the practice of offerings and purification especially of impurities and obstructions.
These impurities and obstructions can manifest as diseases which are a result of causes and conditions. The causes and conditions, in this case, are our collective karma as human beings. So, to purify karma, you can practice virtue through your actions, your practice, your meditation, and so forth. This will remove our karmic debt. The most important part is to dedicate merit and make aspirations for our parents and family members in this life and past lives, our friends, for our villages, towns, and cities, and for all human beings. To dedicate and aspire for their good health, happiness, and fulfillment of all their wishes.
During my retreat I am making aspirations for all, specially for those who are sick, those who are having difficulties coping with the present situation mentally, emotionally, physically, financially and where all your wishes are not fulfilled and the undesired materializing, so to all your fears, My days are filled with prayers for all. For those of you who are not faced with such difficulties please take this time as an opportunity to focus on your practice. Regardless of what tradition you follow, please pray for the awakening of all sentient beings and practice loving kindness and compassion.
Thinking of you all and making aspirations for your wellbeing.
Born in 1981, Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche is the chief lineage holder of the Taklung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He is Vajra Master of Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling monastery, the abbot of several monasteries in Nepal, and assists monasteries and practice centers in Tibet. Rinpoche’s primary root gurus are his grandfather, the late Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and the late Kyabje Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. Rinpoche also serves as director of the nonprofit Chokgyur Lingpa Foundation, which conducts a range of socially engaged humanitarian projects.
At the time of writing on 27 March, global novel coronavirus infections were reported to total 533,416, with 24,082 deaths so far confirmed, and 122,710 recovered. The World Health Organization has previously estimated the mortality rate from the virus at 3.4 per cent, based on preliminary data, with the elderly and people with underlying health conditions considered most at risk. Nepal has so far reported three confirmed infections, with no fatalities and one recovered.
The activities of Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche
Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche (Facebook)
Chokgyur Lingpa Foundation
International Network of Engaged Buddhists
Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)