Gyalsé Tokmé Zangpo set down these ways of transforming sickness and other circumstances into the spiritual path in response to a question from a Sakya geshé, asking what should be done in the event of sickness and other circumstances.
This illusory heap of a body, which, like others, I possess—
If it falls sick, so be it! In sickness, I’ll rejoice!
For it will exhaust my negative karma from the past.
And, after all, many forms of Dharma practice,
Are for the sake of purifying the two obscurations.
If I am healthy, so be it! In freedom from sickness, I’ll rejoice!
When body and mind are well and at ease,
Virtuous practice can develop and gain strength.
And, after all, the way to give meaning to this human life
Is to devote body, speech, and mind to virtue.
If I face poverty, so be it! In lack of riches, I’ll rejoice!
I will have nothing to protect and nothing to lose.
Whatever quarrels and conflicts there might be,
All arise out of the desire for wealth and gain—that’s certain!
If I find wealth, so be it! In prosperity, I’ll rejoice!
If I can increase the stock of my merits that will suffice.
Whatever benefit and happiness there might be, now and in the future,
All result from merits I have gained—that’s certain!
If I must die soon, so be it! In dying I’ll rejoice!
Without allowing negative circumstances to intervene,
And with the support of positive tendencies, I have gathered,
I will surely set out upon the genuine, unerring path!
If I live long, so be it! In remaining, I’ll rejoice!
Once the crop of genuine experience has arisen,
As long as the sun and rainfall of instructions do not diminish,
If it is tended over time, it will surely ripen.
So, whatever happens then, let us always cultivate joy!