Buddhist Education
Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book Miscellaneous : Black Magic & Spirit Harm
By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Last Updated Feb 24, 2013)
12/03/2013 08:56 (GMT+7)
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Spirit Harm and Restarting Practice

A student advised she had strayed from the teachings and requested advice on how to resume her practice. She also asked Rinpoche to check if she was affected by spirit harm, because she was having nightmares and experiencing heavy negative energy, as well as anger and depression.


My very dear Annette,
Thank you very much for your kind email. Sorry for the long delay in replying. If you can, try to get Geshe Sopa Rinpoche’s books,Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, which are a commentary on Lama Tsong Khapa’s Lam-rim Chen-mo, and then discipline yourself and read them. Get a new notebook and write down whatever you don’t understand. You can ask your questions to a student who has studied the Lam-rim Chen-mo well and to lamas who have studied.

Reading Geshe Sopa’s books is also studying philosophy, so read them well by thinking and trying to understand the meaning, not just trying to finish them. After that you can send me your news.

You say you have nightmares, so put a picture of Buddha on the wall above your pillow where you sleep. Then go to sleep in the same position as Buddha when he was passing away, the lion’s position lying down. Put your left hand under your head and lie on your left side with the two legs stretched out, facing to the West with your head towards the north. Even that will help stop the nightmares. This is how the Buddha lay down, so remember the Buddha and recite Buddha’s name before you go to sleep. Maybe make three prostrations to Buddha before you lie down. Buddha’s name is:


If you can recite more, that is good.

In the morning when you get up, sit in the meditation position with your spine straight, your shoulders open and relaxed, your hands resting in your lap with the palms facing upwards, your chin slightly tucked in, the tip of your tongue touching your upper palate, and your eyes slightly open looking down the tip of the nose. You can sit cross-legged or upright on the edge of the bed or chair. Then do the nine-round breathing. Another short breathing meditation you can do is to imagine you are breathing out all the negative karma and defilements, and they go beyond this world and are completely destroyed. Then breathe in renunciation, right view and bodhicitta, also Buddha’s omniscient mind, perfect power and compassion. Think you receive all of this in the form of white light that completely fills your whole body. Try to feel you receive all these qualities one-by-one and meditate on that.

After that, when your mind becomes clear, generate bodhicitta:

This is just about one time that I have received a perfect human rebirth. So far, from beginingless rebirths, I have been experiencing the general sufferings of samsara and the particular sufferings of the hells, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, suras and asuras numberless times up to now. If I don’t practice Dharma, if I do not actualize the path to liberation and full enlightenment, then I will have to experience the sufferings of the upper realms and particularly of the lower realms, and the general sufferings of samsara endlessly, without end.

This perfect human rebirth that I have now is received just about one time and for just a very short time, not long. To receive such a rebirth again is extremely difficult, most difficult, because it depends on creating the perfect cause, morality, virtue, which is so very difficult. And this perfect human rebirth can be lost any time because death can come any time and any day. I can see that in this world babies die in their mother’s wombs, they are conceived and then die. People also die when they are being born, when they are young, old and middle aged. So I can never be sure when I myself will die.

Therefore, without wasting my life, I must practice Dharma and especially, I must practice not only for my own happiness, just one person, but for the happiness of numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, suras, asuras and intermediate state beings. I must free them all from the oceans of samsaric suffering and cause them to receive full enlightenment, peerless happiness.

Therefore, I must achieve enlightenment. Therefore, I need to actualize the path to enlightenment, with guru devotion as the root, and renunciation, bodhicitta and right view—the three principal aspects of the path. For that I need to purify all the negative karmas and defilements collected since beginingless rebirths and accumulate merit. Therefore I am going to meditate on Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and recite his name mantra.

So then, look at Buddha’s picture. Don’t close your eyes. And Buddha is looking at you with loving kindness and compassion. Definitely, 100 per cent. Buddha sent white light to you like sunbeams purifying your negative karmas and defilements collected since beginingless time and your body is illuminated. So blissed out. While you are focused on that, also all the diseases and spirit harms that came from delusion and karma are gone. Even that. Then chant Buddha’s name:


Maybe 15 times or more. You can chant it. Recite it nicely. Then later you can recite even one mala. That’s so good, because it is said in the Kangyur that one hundred billion eons of negative karma are completely purified each time you recite it, like that hundreds and thousands of times. Reciting this also causes you to meet with the tantric teachings next life. So, it has other great benefits. Soon your life becomes like Buddha. It will lead to that. You will become a perfect guide, free from the two obscurations, gross and subtle, and having completed the path of method and wisdom. You will have perfect omniscient mind, perfect power and perfect compassion for sentient beings. Then you are a perfect guide, able to liberate numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to full enlightenment, peerless happiness.

So the essence is that you are purified and then you receive Buddha’s qualities within you. Then you can recite:


Chant the mantra with this meditation. That’s very, very, very, very good. At the end, you can think that you become Buddha and you send light from your heart like light beams to numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, suras and asuras. Then instantly their two obscurations collected since beginingless time are purified. Completely gone. They all become Buddha. Numberless hell beings, numberless hungry ghosts, numberless animals, numberless human beings, numberless suras and numberless asuras all become Buddha. Then keep your mind in that happy state. Rejoice that you have enlightened everybody, all the suffering beings. However many people in the world are being killed or are suffering, you can think that at that time they are purified and enlightened.

Then make this dedication:

Due to all the three time merits accumulated by myself and by all sentient beings, 
May the precious sublime thought of enlightenment 
Be generated in my heart and in the hearts of all sentient beings 
Without even a second’s delay.


Due to all the three time merits of myself and the three time merits of all sentient beings and Buddhas, which are merely labeled by the mind, 
May the I, which is merely labeled by the mind, 
Achieve Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which is merely labeled by the mind, 
And lead all sentient beings, who are merely labeled by the mind, 
To Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which is merely labeled by the mind, 
By myself alone, who is also merely labeled by the mind.

That’s all.

Also, sometimes your bed can be in the wrong place for sleeping. So if the nightmares are still happening, you can move your bed around the room. Sometimes it might help to move it somewhere else.

Sleeping in the Buddha’s position will also protect you from spirit harm. Then before going to sleep you can also recite the Buddha’s name mantra just a few times after you lie down. 

There’s another mantra also, (from the Sorrowless Sutra, the Kha-ba), that can be recited. 

With much love and prayer. Also we might meet somewhere. Until then, thank you very much.

Lama Zopa

Note: This mantra for the spirits can be used by other people also.

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