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A Tribute to Jonathan Eric


Jonathan and Tamara Eric
at the Stupa Consecration,
August 2001

Profile

Interview

In memory by Ginny Lipson

Sangha mail

The Song of Gyalwa Gotsangpa
on How to Practice with Illness

To add to this tribute, please send your stories, poems, comments or photos to The Chronicle Project. We especially need more photos of Jonathan.

The Song of Gyalwa Gotsangpa
on How to Practice with Illness

Gyalwa Gotsangpa was an important holder of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage. This text became an important part of Jonathan's daily practice routine during the last year of his life. This translation by Elizabeth Callahan is the one that Jonathan used. It is reproduced here with her permission.

When illness manifests physically,
It is the maturation of previously having beaten others
Now ripening.

When those who have committed negative actions are sick,
Do not summon a doctor
And do not perform rituals for their demons.
The illness itself must be taken as the path.

My guru, the dharma-master, taught that
Illness should not be regarded as a problem.
It purifies obscurations, gives rise to good qualities,
And enhances the development of realization.
When an illness appears, feel joyful.

Practice like this:
Meditate, thinking repeatedly,
"How sad it is that sentient beings are tormented
With illnesses just as I am."

Repeatedly make aspiration prayers, saying,
"May my illness
Purify the illnesses and sufferings of
All sentient beings,
Whose numbers are as vast as the extent of space."

After that, look directly at the illness.
An illness is not an existent thing
With a shape, color, and so forth;
It is spontaneously present as emptiness.
By recognizing this, illness is liberated in its own place.

But if illness arises once again,
Supplicate the exalted guru with longing:
"Grant your blessings
So this illness may arise as the path.
Grant your blessings
so I do not try to prevent it or encourage it.
Grant your blessings
so it may arise as an aid."
Supplicate strongly in this way.

Again, look directly at the illness.
How could this illness,
which did not exist previously,
Become existent later?
Rest relaxed within its nonexistence.
The illness itself will manifest as the dharmakaya.

� Elizbeth M. Callahan.




� 2002 The Chronicle Project
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