FPMT » Lama Zopa Rinpoche News http://fpmt.org Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:48:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Letter A: All Phenomena Come from the Mindhttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-letter-a-all-phenomena-come-from-the-mind/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-letter-a-all-phenomena-come-from-the-mind/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:55:26 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39681 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, December 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, December 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

In December 2014, Lama Zopa Rinpoche taught as part of the annual month-long Kopan course at Kopan Monastery in Nepal. Rinpoche taught on a variety of subjects, including how all things are “merely labeled by the mind.” What follow are a lightly edited transcript and video extract, made for Rinpoche Available Now, a new project from FPMT.org to bring Rinpoche’s major teachings to the public as they happen:

Another example. Okay. A design like this on a blackboard, a design like that is A. Okay? So you see A. You are taught A and you see A. You see A. But now go back, now you go back to your childhood time, now you back to your childhood time, to your childhood time before you were taught “This is A.” You go back to your childhood time before you learned A. So what you see at first is a design like this on the blackboard. Okay? It is just a design. You don’t see that “This is A.” You may be seeing A but you are not seeing “This is A.” You are not seeing that, you are not yet taught that. Because you are not taught that yet, so you see a design like this. Okay? Then your parents or teacher, somebody, introduces you, labels “A.” The person labeled “This is A.” They labeled it, they named it, from the mind. They taught you, so you believe it. Before that you see the base, you are not seeing “This is A.” You understand? It is very clear. You don’t see “This is A,” you see the base, just the base of the A. When you are taught by your parents or a teacher who label “This is A,” labeled by their mind “This is A,” then you follow, you believe that. Then your mind labels A. Then your mind merely… I want to add this one [word] even now: it is not only labeled but merely labeled A. Merely labeled A. Merely labeled A. Then after that… Your mind merely labeled A on that base that is like this, then after that, then there is the appearance of A. Then there is the appearance of A to you. Then you see A. Only then you see A. So your seeing A is dependent on first your mind labeling A, your mind merely imputing A, and that depends on somebody teaching you, introducing you, with their mind merely labeling A. So A came from your mind. You see? If you are not taught, if your mind does not merely label A, you don’t see “This is A,” at all. You see? That’s clear. Now the A that appears, that you see, came from your mind. Like that all phenomena came from your mind. Okay?

Watch “The Letter ‘A': All Phenomena Come from the Mind” on YouTube.

You can find more MP3 recordings, transcripts and short video excerpts of Rinpoche’s teachings from the Kopan course on FPMT.org.

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates.

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Discovering Dharmahttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/discovering-dharma/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/discovering-dharma/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:55:51 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39441 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Vulture Peak, India, March 2014. Photo by Andy Melnic.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Vulture Peak, India, March 2014. Photo by Andy Melnic.

“My very dear most kind precious [student],” Lama Zopa Rinpoche wrote to a student who had written to Rinpoche about his book How to Practice Dharma, published by the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. “Skies of thanks for your discovering Dharma, trying to practice Dharma with every action. Thank you very, very much. That’s the real Dharma. Even in the monasteries studying so much extensive philosophy, but sometimes Dharma gets left out for some people. Looking like practicing Dharma, but not practicing Dharma.

“It is so precious what you have discovered, what you experienced. You discovered Dharma,
what Dharma is. Numberless thanks again.”

You can read the students letter and Rinpoche’s response as a PDF. More advice from Rinpoche can be found on the page “Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche” on FPMT.org. 

More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s webpage. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to Lama Zopa Rinpoche News.

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‘Put Enlightenment Second’http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/put-enlightenment-second/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/put-enlightenment-second/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:55:43 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39517 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Bangalore, India, March 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Bangalore, India, March 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

“So, what is it that brings all that [Dharma] happiness?” Lama Zopa Rinpoche asks in The Joy of Compassion, a free ebook from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. “It’s cherishing sentient beings; living your life cherishing sentient beings. Not that I actually do this myself, but intellectually, it’s what I think. Cherish sentient beings first; put enlightenment second.

“Why do I say put enlightenment second? For example, when you go into the kitchen, you’re looking for food, not crockery; your motivation is not to get a plate but delicious food. You go into the kitchen with food on your mind. But although your main motivation is to get food, you do need something to put it on – unless you can carry soup in your hands! Anyway, I’m joking again.

“Of course, enlightenment is extremely important because without it you cannot work perfectly for sentient beings. You cannot be a perfect guide, knowing, seeing directly, every sentient being’s mind, level of karma, intelligence, wishes and characteristics, as well as the various methods that suit their individual dispositions. But what should be in your heart is sentient beings as the reason for your attaining enlightenment. The first priority in your heart should be the happiness of sentient beings; sentient beings in your heart. What should be the first thing in your heart, in your life, the goal of your life? Sentient beings.”

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates.

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Benefits of Offering Gold to Statueshttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/benefits-of-offering-gold-to-statues/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/benefits-of-offering-gold-to-statues/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:55:58 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39435 ... Read full article]]> Buddha statue at Kachoe Dechen Ling, California, US. Photo by Chris Majors.

Buddha statue at Kachoe Dechen Ling, California, US. Photo by Chris Majors.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered this advice at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in December 2012:

I thought to tell of some benefits.

In the time of Buddha Kashyapa, one person offered gold to a cement elephant and was born having an elephant that was gold and had golden kaka. The king at that time confiscated the elephant, at which time the elephant dissolved into the ground, while for the man, his karma was to get another, similar elephant.

Another benefit of offering gold is to be born with golden colored skin. Like that, unbelievable benefits. Unbelievable like that.

If someone offers a small flower or rice to a Buddha statue, a stupa or scripture, then the benefit extends from then up to enlightenment. Amazing, amazing. It is said in the sutra Piled Flowers, on top of that benefit, you achieve ultimate happiness – liberation from the causes of delusion and karma – and on top of that, full enlightenment – all the realizations and omniscient mind. After this, then you liberate numberless hell beings, pretas, animals, humans, suras and asuras from the ocean of samsaric sufferings and bring them to full enlightenment. When all beings are brought to enlightenment, only then are all the results of offering achieved. So by offering gold, then wow, wow, wow. Can you imagine the result! From only a tiny offering (of a flower or rice) so much benefit is received due to that statue, etc. So really, holy objects are wish-fulfilling gems – so unbelievably precious.

Another story: In ancient times in India, there were four fully ordained monks, fully ordained but not aryas with the direct realization of emptiness. One person offered food to these monks and was later reborn as King Kashika. But now you are offering gold so can you imagine the result. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!

Another benefit, in order for you to get an idea, comes from the Sutra of the Mudra, Developing the Power of Devotion. In that it says that someone who merely sees the image of a Buddha, great or small, immediately creates numberless merits. The food of the devas is nectar and their cloth is extremely precious – all the wealth of the world is not enough to buy their ornaments. Compared to making an offering of devas’ food and cloth 100 times to solitary realizers equaling the sand grains of the universe for 100 eons, to just look at the statue of Buddha has unimaginably more benefits. Wow! Wow! So imagine now offering gold. And offering has far, far, far more merit than seeing Buddha.

Now you see why we build big statues that people from all over the world come to see. You see how the benefit is there.

Thank you very much for your understanding,

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Scribing, editing and any mistakes made belong to Tenzin Namdrol, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, December 2012.

You can find more advice from FPMT Spiritual Director Lama Zopa Rinpoche on FPMT.org.

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‘Happiness or Unhappiness Come from the Mind’http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/happiness-or-unhappiness-come-from-the-mind/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/happiness-or-unhappiness-come-from-the-mind/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:55:56 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39486 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Ven. Roger Kunsang and Ven. Sangpo, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Matteo Passigato.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Vens. Roger Kunsang and Sangpo, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Matteo Passigato.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave teachings in New Delhi, India on January 23-26. On January 24, Ven. Roger Kunsang shared this on his Twitter page: 

Lama Zopa: happiness or unhappiness come from the mind. If self-cherishing mind, then problems; if mind cherishing others, then happiness.

Ven. Roger Kunsang, Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s assistant and CEO of FPMT Inc., shares Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s recent pith sayings on Ven. Roger’s Twitter page. (You can also read them on Ven. Roger’s Facebook page.)

More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s homepage. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to Lama Zopa Rinpoche News.

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‘I Am a Most Fortunate Kangaroo’http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/i-am-a-most-fortunate-kangaroo/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/i-am-a-most-fortunate-kangaroo/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:55:05 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39276 ... Read full article]]> Kangaroo statue with mantras, Bendigo, Australia, December 2014. Photo by Ven. Tenzin Namgyal.

Kangaroo statue with mantras, Bendigo, Australia, December 2014. Photo by Ven. Tenzin Namgyal.

While Lama Zopa Rinpoche was in the Bendigo-area for the CPMT 2014 meeting and the retreat that followed, he added mantras to statues of an elephant and a kangaroo and wrote text for many signs to be placed next to those statues and others. The sign at right reads:

I am an Australian kangaroo, I am not sure which part I come from maybe Kangaroo Island.

This is the first time I have seen the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion that is being built for the first time in Australia.

I am a most fortunate kangaroo I am able to see the stupa by just one luck [look]. 

I prostrate to the stupa to fully enlighten sentient beings.

ON MY LEFT SIDE IS THE MANTRA OF COMPASSIONATE BUDDHA KUAN YIN

GENERATE COMPASSION TO ALL SENTIENT BEINGS FREE THE NUMBERLESS SENTIENT BEINGS FROM OCEANS OF SAMSARIC SUFFERING AND BRING THEM TO ULTIMATE HAPPINESS, GREAT LIBERATION & GREAT BLISS.

ON MY RIGHT SIDE IS A MANTRA BUDDHA MENTIONED IN SUTRA CHU LONG BAI DO ANYONE JUST MERELY SEEING THIS, 100,000 AEONS OF NEGATIVE KARMA WILL BE PURIFIED.

So therefore I am the most happy sentient being. I want, and I can, enlighten not only Bendigo but Australia, the whole world and all numberless six realm sentient beings.

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates.

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‘Even If Buddha Appeared to Us’http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/even-if-buddha-appeared-to-us/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/even-if-buddha-appeared-to-us/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:48:05 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39282 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Yangsi Rinpoche, Portland, Oregon, US, April 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Yangsi Rinpoche, Portland, Oregon, US, April 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche taught in January 9-15 at Choe Khor Sum Ling in Bangalore, India. On January 13, Ven. Roger Kunsang shared on his Twitter page: 

Lama Zopa: We have had an ordinary view from beginningless time. Even [if] Buddha appeared to us, we wouldn’t recognize. [We’d] just see [him] as ordinary.

Ven. Roger Kunsang, Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s assistant and CEO of FPMT Inc., shares Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s recent pith sayings on Ven. Roger’s Twitter page. (You can also read them on Ven. Roger’s Facebook page.)

More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s homepage. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to Lama Zopa Rinpoche News.

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The Altruistic Thought Is the Cause of Successhttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-altruistic-thought-is-the-cause-of-success/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-altruistic-thought-is-the-cause-of-success/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 19:50:36 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39287 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Buddha Amitabha Pure Land, July 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Buddha Amitabha Pure Land, July 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

“Having a positive attitude, such as the altruistic thought to help other sentient beings and not harm them, is the cause of success in life,” said Lama Zopa Rinpoche in a 1991 teaching in Adelaide, Australia now available through the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

“Even though some people might not have much education, they have no difficulties in life; they are wealthy and have harmonious relationships, and whatever they wish for happens. The reason for this is the cause created in the past. This is the actual evolution; this is where their happiness comes from. But when we do not analyze, when we are not aware, it looks as if success came from outside and does not depend on their mind.

“It’s the opposite for people who are experiencing difficulties in their life. Their actions are motivated by ill will, jealousy, selfishness, dissatisfaction, desire, ignorance, anger and so forth, and their problems and difficulties result from that. Even though this is the actual evolution, when we do not understand or are not aware of karma, of action and result, it appears as if success and difficulties come from outside. We may have heard of karma and sometimes talk about it or meditate on it, but we are not aware of it in our everyday life.”

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates.

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‘Whether You Like It or Not’http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/whether-you-like-it-or-not/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/whether-you-like-it-or-not/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 19:55:41 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39271 ... Read full article]]> Elephant statue with mantras offering to Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, Bendigo, Australia, December 2014. Photo by Ven. Tenzin Namgyal.

Elephant statue with mantras offering to Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, Bendigo, Australia, December 2014. Photo by Ven. Tenzin Namgyal.

While Lama Zopa Rinpoche was in the Bendigo-area for the CPMT 2014 meeting and the retreat that followed, he added mantras to statues of an elephant and a kangaroo and wrote text for many signs to be placed next to those statues and others. The sign next to the elephant statue and his plush companions at right reads:

The purpose of my life is to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and bring them to the peerless state of OMNISCIENCE. Therefore I MUST ACHIEVE THE STATE OF OMNISCIENCE FOR THEM:

Anywhere with whomever I accompany
I look at myself lowest of all
And cherish others as supreme
Whether you like it or not this is my practice, sorry.

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates.

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Making Parties Meaningfulhttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/making-parties-meaningful/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/making-parties-meaningful/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:15:25 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39228 ... Read full article]]> Kadampa stupa at Kachoe Dechen Ling, Aptos, California, US, July 2014. Photo by Chris Majors.

Kadampa stupa at Kachoe Dechen Ling, Aptos, California, US, July 2014. Photo by Chris Majors.

“When we give a party, we usually do it with attachment clinging to this life, to our own happiness and good reputation. That attitude is one of worldly concern, or worldly desire. When we give a party with that attitude, since our motivation is non-virtuous, all our actions become non-virtuous,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche said during a series of talks given in New York City in 1990. These teachings are captured in How Things Exist: Teachings on Emptiness, a free publication from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. 

“How do we transform the action of giving a party into something positive? How do we make it a true cause of happiness? Again, by remembering universal responsibility: ‘I’m responsible for pacifying the sufferings of all sentient beings and bringing them happiness. For that reason, I need to develop my mind in the path, especially in compassion and altruism. To develop my mind for the benefit of sentient beings, I need to create the necessary condition of merit, or good karma. Therefore, I’m going to make charity of this food and drink to my kind mother sentient beings, from whom I receive all my past, present, and future happiness.’ Giving a party in this way becomes Dharma.

“With an attitude of universal responsibility, from morning to night our actions become Dharma. They are virtuous, or positive, the unmistaken causes of happiness. Since everything – happiness and suffering – comes from our own mind, we have great freedom to stop suffering and to find happiness.”

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates.

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