Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category
Sunday, June 24th, 2007
I just wanted to update you on the amniocentesis. The results were not what we had hoped for. We were told that baby L. has trisomy-18. Meaning that he has 3 copies of the #18 chromosome, this is a fatal gene, many babies live for a day to under a year. We would like to thank you for your constant prayers of healing sent to L., myself, and my family. I know he was brought into this world to touch us and you as well and show that miracles, no matter how small, really do happen. He had 2 heart chambers that turned into 4, he had 2 cysts in his brain, and now there is only one. After no movement, he is kicking up a storm. No, we haven’t given up on him. We believe that this angel was sent here for a reason and is alive and well and just has to go back to finish God’s work in heaven. Please continue to pray for us, and especially my 4 year old son P., he is taking this to heart, worried about his baby brother, and said he misses him already. L., much like his name is courageous and has the heart of a lion. We are all better for him. I will keep you updated on any other developments and even send you a picture of this angel who has touched our lives and renewed our faith.
Phoenix, AZ USA
Friday, June 15th, 2007
Last week, after many medication changes, I spent the entire night with a raging migraine. It got worse all morning. By noon it had reached the “scary” point– vomiting, fever, incredible weakness– and was on the rise. I was in the middle of treatment for pneumonia and was worried this would land me back in the hospital. The worst part was that I had to drive 35 miles to Sedona for an acupuncture treatment that afternoon. I knew acupuncture could stop the migraine, but I couldn’t fathom driving, especially through the twisting and turning Oak Creek Canyon.
I called Ani Dorje and asked her to pray for me. She said she would, and to call our Prayer Center and put my name in the prayer book. I called right away and got the answering machine. I left my request for prayers, remembering what a sangha member had told me once : “The moment you put someone’s name in the prayer book, it goes right into Jetsunma’s mindstream.”
In less than 5 minutes, the pain began to subside. Within 15 minutes I was well enough to do my morning practice. By the time I left for Sedona, I was completely fine. I was even well enough to circumambulate the stupa at sundown with– as fate would have it– Ani Dorje!
Sunday, April 1st, 2007
I want to thank all of you for the support and prayers that you have offered for K. and N. All I can say, it is definitely having a positive effect. So, I thought I would fill you in on all the latest about my new grandson.
As I told you before, my daughter went into the hospital on Saturday because of severe contractions and while there, her water broke. They immediately transferred her to a hospital that had a level 3 neonatal intensive care ward. At that point they gave her some fairly strong medication to try to stop the contractions. Later that evening, they decided to slowly wean her off the medication. Simultaneously, they were getting K. steroid injections so that they baby’s lungs would develop more quickly. The doctors considered that there was some reason that K. was going into labor and that it may be best to allow nature to take its course. So, if K. went into full labor after she was weaned off the medication, they would deliver the baby. If not, they would try to maintain status as long as possible to allow the baby to develop as fully as possible. On Sunday, the contractions started again and by early Monday morning, she was in full labor. And as you know, N. was delivered at 6:22 a.m. Monday morning, 1lb 14oz and about 12in long.
Everyone at the hospital is amazed at how well N. is doing. He pretty much was breathing on his own right off the bat. He is stable and there are no undue complications at this time. The doctors are somewhat at a loss as to why K. went into labor. Examination revealed no abnormalities with either K. or N.. There were no signs of infection or any other possible complications that would normally initiate early labor. They have sent the placenta off for laboratory examination to see if the cause may be found.
K. is doing exceptionally well, and will be coming home on Wednesday. N. however, will probably be in the hospital for about three months. As you can imagine, K. is going to try to spend as much time at the hospital as she possibly can, but with two other kids at home, scheduling is going to be rather interesting. We been setting up schedules of who can be available to babysit so that they can maintain at least some semblance of normality for my granddaughters.
So all in all, everything is going very well. N. just needs to get through the next three months without any major complications, so I ask you all to please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you all so very much,
Thursday, March 29th, 2007
I can’t remember now when I first heard about email@example.com because I feel like they’ve always been there for me. But the first thing that comes to mind is an incident that I remember as if it were yesterday.
I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing in the middle of the nite. When I picked up the phone with dread I heard my brothers voice on the other end telling me that our 87 year old Mother had just been rushed to the hospital. And her doctor had advised him to “alert the family”. “Get home quickly” , he said.
As I was getting ready to leave (for out of state) I sent an email to my closest friends asking for prayer. firstname.lastname@example.org was of course one of them. After a month in the hospital my 87 year old Mother was finally released and sent home. Everyone including her Doctor said “it was a miracle”.
Over the years, I have contacted email@example.com for many reasons. Mostly for others who were going through their own crisis.
About 4-5 mos ago I wrote firstname.lastname@example.org once again when my 79 yr. old Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer has already taken 3 women in my family. And because my Aunt has a lot of health issues, I wasn’t sure she was going to make it through the surgery, let alone what the outcome might be. Since the rest of our family is 2,000 miles away I was very focused on getting my Aunt through this crisis so that we could all rest easy.
My Aunt made it through 2 surgeries. Her tumor was encapsulated and had not spread to her lymph nodes. She doesn’t have to do any follow up treatment and She’s been completely cleared by her doctors.
-Once again, a miracle.
About 2 weeks after my Aunt had her surgeries I was following up myself with a breast surgeon after having had a bad mammogram several months before. I had been so focused on getting my Aunt through her crisis that I hadn’t paid any attention to the fact that over the course of those couple of months, I had 2 mammogram’s, an ultrasound, a biopsy, an MRI and a repeat ultrasound and biopsy myself.
When the surgeon turned to me at the end of my 2nd visit and said, “you have cancer, we’re gong to have to schedule you for surgery immediately” I was completely stunned. I was in a state of complete disbelief. How could I have cancer? My Aunt had breast cancer-we couldn’t both have breast cancer?!
My first response was to write email@example.com. My greatest concern was how to tell my husband, Mother and Brother in such a way that wouldn’t send them into a complete panic. I wrote again when I was scheduled for my initial surgery and again just before my 2nd surgery. When it came time to determine what my treatment was going to be I have to admit that for the first time, I was genuinely frightened. I wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org and asked that they pray that I not need chemotherapy. After which, I was given the opportunity to try a new test that would determine my rate of recurrence. The outcome proved to be a low score which allowed me to do with just radiation and tomoxofin for 5 years. I know that email@example.com was a very big factor in my coming this far. And I know that they’ll be there with me on my journey to rid myself for good of this disease. Now all I need from them is to get my career back on track so that I can live my dream!
I will NEVER be able to thank firstname.lastname@example.org enough for their love, their heart and their generosity. What does it say about humans who are willing to help perfect strangers in their darkest hour?
I’d like to thank email@example.com from the bottom of my heart. God Love You All.
-My Advice? -They’re the best friend you’ll ever have.
Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
As a component of KPC’s Mongolian Buddhism Revival Project (MBRP), I have been offering foundational Buddhist teachings to a small group every week in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. This group has expressed interest in learning more about what they call the “Red Tradition” of Buddhism, and we know as the Nyingma tradition. In the view of Nyingma practitioners, all blessing flow from Padmasambhava, or Guru Rinpoche, the Vajrayana master credited with establishing Buddhism in Tibet in the 8th c. One of the first things MBRP staff did last year was to have one of the main invocations of Guru Rinpoche, called the Seven Line Prayer (scroll to the bottom for free downloads), translated into Mongolian, and transliterated from the Tibetan for chanting purposes. We laid it out on the back of a lovely image of Guru Rinpoche, and printed 1000 of them as cards to give away.
I have given everyone who comes to these teachings this Guru Rinpoche/Seven Line Prayer card. I always explain what I know of the prayer’s blessing and encourage them to recite it. Each week I also tell something more about Guru Rinpoche, Mandarava, my own lamas, etc., to slowly build up their faith and devotion. It seems it’s working a little.
This past Sunday before others had arrived, the group’s leader, a woman named Darisuren, told me a story. Earlier in the week, about nine in the morning, an old woman came to her in great distress. The woman’s daughter had just undergone a very serious and complicated operation. The operation was finished, but she was not coming out of the anesthesia like she should have been and the doctors were very concerned that she was not regaining consciousness. The mother asked for Darisuren’s prayers.
She began with the 21 Homages to Tara, but then was inspired to switch to the accumulation of Seven Line Prayer. She did it for about two hours. During this time, the mother was so agitated she couldn’t stop trembling. Then, said Darisuren, a funny sequence took place. Ordinarily, the light in her room is pretty dim. It suddenly seemed to her to brighten dramatically. Just then, the mother’s demeanor changed and she stopped trembling. “What happened?” asked Darisuren. The mother wasn’t sure, but all of a sudden her mind and body just completely relaxed. After that, the mother’s cell phone rang. It was the daughter herself calling to say she had regained consciousness, felt OK, and in fact the doctors said she was well enough to return home the next day. They all rejoiced and credited the power of the Seven Line Prayer. When everyone had arrived for the teaching, I asked Darisuren to repeat that story, especially since I’d already told them about the miraculous healings of Ani Alana and Asia Claus.
There is another woman, Buyanbulag, who comes with her seven-year old daughter Ogunzaya. This little girl was the first of the group to memorize the Seven Line Prayer, on her own without any prompting. I use her as an example to prompt others to learn it by heart – “if this little girl can do it, we all can do it!” Anyway, a few weeks ago Ogunzaya didn’t come because she had a very high fever, over 104. I gave the mother the Orgyen Menla (Guru Rinpoche in the form of the Medicine Buddha) mantra and some instruction for a basic visualization. She said the fever went down and disappeared very shortly after she started to do the mantra.
Other Mongolians now tell me that some people know the Vajra Guru Mantra and the “Du Sum Sangye” prayer for obstacle removal. It seems this was common in the Dornod province of Eastern Mongolia. Now, as word of mouth spreads about the power of these prayers to eliminate outer and inner obstacles, I think they’re going to enjoy a resurgence of popularity!
To get up-to-date stories, photos and news from Mongolia, please visit my online journal, Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa.
Wednesday, October 25th, 2006
A friend’s nephew became paralyzed from the neck down the night of his graduation from high school in a swimming accident. He had been captain of his high school swim team. Every opportunity available, I had Paul’s name included in the KPC prayer vigil. This went on for well over a year.
At some point, his family became aware of a special breakthrough surgical treatment using one’s own stem cells that restores the nerve connection in the spine. This operation was only being done by one doctor in Portugal, and as you can imagine, the line of candidates was endless. The young man was optimistic, but it was a long shot.
I continued to enter his name in the vigil. The very next morning, after what is known as a 10 Million Day (a Buddhist holy day when the merit of prayers is multiplied 10 million times), his family received a call that he had been accepted for the operation. He has now had the operation, which was extremely successful, and he is regaining mobility. His prognosis is for a full recovery, I believe because of the power of the prayers he received and continues to receive.
Wednesday, October 4th, 2006
In spring of ‘99, I discovered a infection in my middle finger on my left hand. I went to the VA Doctor and he identified it as a nail fungus. As time progressed, it got worse, my nail split and it got a big scab. The Doctor still treated it as a nail fungus for about a year, and I finally insisted that he send me to a dermatologist. When she saw it, she immediately identified it as a metastatic melanoma. I was then sent to the Baltimore VA hospital for a biopsy, and it confirmed the diagnosis. A week later I was summoned back to the hospital to have the finger amputated above the knuckle. Then, you were kind enough to take me back to the facilities in Maryland and pamper me for a couple days while I recovered.
I was fine for about a year, then one day I discovered a lump in my arm pit. I consulted my local GP and he sent me to a surgeon for a biopsy. It came back positive and the surgeon concluded that the first melanoma was not diagnosed in time, and the cancer travelled up my arm to my lymph gland.
Mike provided a report from the oncologist. It states: “Without additional surgical procedures, I think we can make a definitive statement reagarding the significance of these abnormalities. If there is metastatic melanoma in the areas described on CT scan, I think the patient would be incurable regardless of theraputic intervention.” He followed with, “As I discussed with the patient, axillary lymph node metastasis unfortunately results in a situation with relatively high probability of additional relapse and death from melanoma.”
Mike continues: I underwent chemotherapy twice a week for a year, lost 100 pounds, and was in pretty bad shape. I finally got rid of the cancer. I know you prayed for me during that period….. thanks for your interest…..Mike
Thursday, July 13th, 2006
Variegated Jewels had an event last Saturday in Phoenix that did not seem to have any new participants when it was beginning. As Buddhist practitioners, we decided we should do our prayers anyway, and create the intention that even if nobody else came - we would use the time for our own meditation. Well, go figure… the minute we finished reciting our opening prayers, one person showed up at the event. I had to laugh, because even these small moments remind me of the potency of prayer and meditation! Had we packed up our stuff and left without praying… we would have missed the one person that came to the Phoenix event that day.
Along those same lines, my partner and I lived out at the Dakini Valley retreat center for 18 months in 1999/2000. One day we went for a “quick hike” with two other guys that were living there at the time. Since we intended only to hike to the creek and back, we took no provisions (no water, food, compass, etc.)
What you need to know is that Dakini Valley is a 150 acre parcel that butts up against millions of acres of the Tonto National Forest. So when after several hours of hiking on the creek, we realized we were not where we thought ourselves to be… you can imagine the fear that came up for all of us. As we noticed the sun beginning to set and heard distant thunder indicating a potential storm, we decided it best to hike up the ridge of the canyon we were in. At the highest vista we were able to reach, the site of acre upon acre of endless forest scared the living daylights out of us. We were LOST… seriously off course with NO familiar landmarks to judge where we were. We plopped down in a circle and nobody spoke. The night was pressing in and we figured our only option was to sleep here and then backtrack in the morning, hopefully able to find the spot we entered the creek.
As we settled into the idea of a long night’s sleep, anxiety and nerves became obvious. We were already quite hungry and had no clean water. As four practitioners, we agreed it was time to make our most fervent prayer… repetitions of the “Seven Line Prayer” to Guru Rinpoche. We began chanting in unison, and after a short period one of the members of our party jumped to his feet and said “we have to get back tonight… I’m hungry and we can’t stay here!” At that moment we joined him in standing and all of us walked around a clump of trees to get to another part of the ridge.
That precise moment, at a HUGE distance from us, we saw the headlights of a vehicle on top of one of the plateaus - probably 10 miles away. There are NO roads where we are hiking, so we KNEW that it was the manager of the retreat center, surely looking for the four of us (now missing for hours.) The headlights appeared only for a moment and then they descended the hill, which we knew meant they had given up and were driving down the jeep trail to our property in the valley.
We set our sights on the direction of that truck and navigated a straight line based on the constellations above us. We had to scramble up and down hills and valleys and make our way through thick and thorny Manzanita bush… but about an hour later we could hear the distant yells of our friends calling into the wilderness to find us. We plowed down the next valley and up the subsequent side, yelling back at them from the top of each new ridge. When we finally were close enough to follow the sound of their voices back to our property, we all practically collapsed in the living room of the retreat center… just happy to be safe and home.
To this day, I KNOW it was the moment we took to pray together that catalyzed our brief moment of discovering that truck on the hillside. Any later and we would not have known which way to hike… and who knows if we could have navigated home by the creek.
Friday, July 7th, 2006
One of our nuns is currently dealing with a serious health obstacle, one that will require 6 months of steriods and a year of chemo. She has been in our prayers a lot recently, and this past weekend we did a retreat with several people on each prayer shift, day and night, dedicating the merit to her. She asked me to share a part of her story and the miracle she has experienced through prayer.
Two weeks ago, a CT scan showed “something disasterous” in her lungs. A bronchoscopy was scheduled for the next morning. This procedure is not something to be taken lightly on a good day. The doctor takes out fluid and chunks of lung, and there is a danger of lung collapse and hemmorhage. In Ani Sangye’s case, the risks were even higher. The decision was made to wait a few days for a followup CT scan. She called the prayer room and her name was put in the prayer book. The followup scan showed a huge improvement in her lungs, so the bronchoscopy was scrapped.
She was sent home with oxygen and told to rest. They were still waiting for the bloodwork. Several days later, she was having trouble breathing at the doctor’s. He took her straight to the ER where they scheduled a bronchoscopy for that night - or the next morning, without fail. She was given a blood transfusion and massive steroids to stop the bleeding in the lungs, then admitted to the ICU.
Back in Sedona, we received word of this development and gathered together at 7PM for a Shower of Blessings tsog. Shortly thereafter, Ani Sangye’s doctor informed her that she would not be having a bronchoscopy that night or the next morning.
A few days later, the possibility of a bronchoscopy rose once again. They really needed to look at what was happening in a lab setting. The only other possibility was to biopsy some recurring lesions that Ani Sangye had been having the past few months that were related to this illness. However, the lesions had not appeared for several days, and she began to gear up for the possibility of this dangerous but necessary procedure. This was Thursday night, and the bronchoscopy was scheduled for Saturday morning.
Friday evening was the beginning of the retreat. That morning, she awoke to find one lesion on her foot. The fact that only one appeared, after several days of no lesions, was quite amazing. The biopsy was performed that afternoon, and combined with the results of the most recent CT scan which were much improved, the bronchoscopy was once again cancelled.
Ani Sangye feels without a doubt that it has been the power of prayer that has allowed her condition to be diagnosed and treated without having this serious procedure.
Saturday, July 1st, 2006
There are many different ways to pray. Yesterday, I noticed this on Ani Aileen’s refrigerator and thought I’d share it with you:
when it is all, finally,
I climb into my car,
roll the windows up,
and somewhere between
backing out the driveway
and rounding the first corner,
I let out a yell
that would topple Manhattan.
How do you pray?
-Margaret L. Mitchell