FPMT http://fpmt.org Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition Mon, 26 Jan 2015 23:05:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ‘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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Thubten Norbu Ling Growshttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/thubten-norbu-ling-grows/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/thubten-norbu-ling-grows/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:00:00 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=37902 ... Read full article]]> Geshe Sherab with Thubten Norbu Ling retreat participants, Santa Fe, New Mexico, US, September 2014. Photo courtesy of Thubten Norbu Ling.

Geshe Sherab with Thubten Norbu Ling retreat participants, Santa Fe, New Mexico, US, September 2014. Photo courtesy of Thubten Norbu Ling.

In late October, Rowena Mayer, director of Thubten Norbu Ling in Santa Fe, New Mexico, US, shared a brief news update with Mandala.

Thubten Norbu Ling has been experiencing promising and beneficial developments. Geshe Thubten Sherab finished his six-month stay with us this year with a wonderful weekend retreat on the power of purification. Over 40 people attended the retreat for the two days which concluded with a Dorje Khadro fire purification practice under the sunny skies of Santa Fe.

Since Geshe-la arrived almost two years ago, the number of people coming to our center has grown. This is due to Geshe-la’s presence and Don Handrick’s steady expertise. With both Don and Geshe-la as resident teachers, we are able to offer a greater variety of programs. We have also started a Sunday program for children based on the 16 Guidelines. The main host is our new assistant director, Adam Baker. Judith Baillie, a current board member, is hosting a weekly recovery support group incorporating Buddhist principles to help people overcome addictions.

Due to all this new activity and our plans to develop our program further, we may soon outgrow our current center space!

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from nearly 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

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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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January e-News out now!http://fpmt.org/announcements/january-e-news-out-now/ http://fpmt.org/announcements/january-e-news-out-now/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:41:24 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39454 ... Read full article]]> We hope you enjoy our January FPMT International Office e-news, out now!

In it you’ll find:

and more!

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Phuntsok Rinpoche at Ganden Monastery, India for His Holiness' Jangchup Lamrim teachings, December 2014.  Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Phuntsok Rinpoche at Ganden Monastery, India for His Holiness’ Jangchup Lamrim teachings, December 2014.
Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

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Support Offered to Young Mongolian Tulku Entering Sera Je Monasteryhttp://fpmt.org/projects/lzrbf-news/support-offered-to-young-mongolian-tulku-entering-sera-je-monastery/ http://fpmt.org/projects/lzrbf-news/support-offered-to-young-mongolian-tulku-entering-sera-je-monastery/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:30:57 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39195 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Lama Jamyang Garpo. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang, September 2014.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Lama Jamyang Garpo. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang, September 2014.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, recently made a substantial offering toward the costs associated with a young Mongolian tulku, Lama Jamyang Garpo, said to be an emanation of White Manjushri, entering Sera Je Monastery.

Traditionally, on the first day that a tulku enters Sera Je Monastery, offerings and food and tea are given to all the 2,500 monks of Sere Je. This offering from the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, was put toward those costs.

Please rejoice that this auspicious offering has been made. This is an incredible opportunity for this young tulku to study at Sera Je Monastery.

Making offerings to the Sangha is a way of collecting unbelievable merit because all the Sangha are the pores of the Guru. They are all disciples of the same Guru – His Holiness the Dalai Lama. By offering to pores of the Guru one collects more merit than offering to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, as well as numberless statues, stupas. If you offer with the recognition that they are the Guru’s pores then that is an unbelievable way to collect merit. When you offer to many Sanghas who have the same Guru then you are making offerings to that many pores of the Guru. So this is the easiest way to collect skies of merit by offering. By offering even just one candy, flowers or even one grain of rice to a statue of Buddha or even a visualized Buddha you collect skies of merit but here it is much more powerful than offering to the three jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) as well as all the statues, stupas and scriptures existing in all directions, so no question if offering to really the same Guru’s disciple. These benefits should be understood so that when you make offerings to the Guru’s pores you think correctly. This is the best business.

—Lama Zopa Rinpoche

 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Lama Jamyang Garpo. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang, September 2014.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Lama Jamyang Garpo. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang, September 2014.

About Lama Jamyang Garpo

Lama Jamyang Garpo’s twenty-first reincarnation, Dorjsuren Dashbaljir, was born August 24, 2005 in Asaat, Jargalant sum, Arkhangai Province, Mongolia.

On April 2, 2014, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognized Dorjsuren Dashbaljir as Lama Jamyang Garpo’s twenty-first reincarnation.

You can learn more about the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, the Sera Je Food Fund which supports the monks of Sera Je Monastery every day with three nutritious meals, or the other Charitable Projects of FPMT.

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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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Jeffrey Hopkins’ Transmission of Honestyhttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/jeffrey-hopkins-transmission-of-honesty/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/jeffrey-hopkins-transmission-of-honesty/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:00:49 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39240 ... Read full article]]> Professor Jeffrey Hopkins, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, United States, September 2011. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

Professor Jeffrey Hopkins, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, United States, September 2011. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

Dr. Jeffrey Hopkins, now 74, is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and one of the world’s top scholars of Buddhism. He has published 42 books, acted as His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s translator, and had a long academic career during which he trained many prominent Tibetan Buddhist scholars and translators. He currently leads UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies. Dr. Hopkins has been remarkably open in public about a wide range of matters, such as his initial lack of faith in His Holiness, past-life memories, a near-death experience, his youthful delinquency, his sexuality, and so on.

Donna Lynn Brown interviewed him in December 2014 to find out what lessons his honesty might hold for other Buddhist practitioners.

Dr. Hopkins, what is the source of your frankness? Why are you so open?

I was born in 1940 in Barrington, Rhode Island, and I was in my teens in the 1950s. There was a group of us who were disgusted by the aims that were being presented to us: merely making money and so forth. There was a lot of rebellion that was focused against the dishonesty of society, which gradually in my own mind became a matter of seeking my own integrity. My own integrity meant a great deal to me.

I was part of a juvenile gang that got into difficulty with the law, in the sense of increasingly violent pranks, drinking and so forth. It was a relief when I went to a liberal prep school where students were given a great deal of responsibility for their own governance. Despite all my acting out at my public school, I responded very well in that kind of environment, and got excellent grades, because we were respected as people, which is something I had lacked prior to that. Then, in my first year at Harvard, I read Walden by Henry David Thoreau and I was inspired to leave Harvard for the woods of Vermont. I stayed in a small one-room cabin and read, wrote poetry, walked a lot, dreamt out my recurrent trapped dreams, and I believe at that point, began finding my own integrity. And I kept returning to that kind of life.

I was inspired by Herman Melville’s novel Typee, which is set in the Marquesas, north of Tahiti near the equator, and Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence about the artist Paul Gauguin, who painted in the South Seas. It was 1960 and when Vermont got too cold for the wood heater, I went to the woods in Rhode Island. When that got too cold, I shipped out of New York as a passenger on a freighter to Tahiti. I had gotten used to meditating in Vermont on the lake that was down below, and by gazing off into space. On the freighter I would lie on my back and stare upward, filling my mind with the blueness of the sky. The Pacific Ocean was clean and tremendously calm and I filled my mind with that. I didn’t have a visa for Tahiti and after a while some official noticed this and asked me to leave. I used all but my last $15 to take a seaplane to Hawaii. It was nuts, but it was a search for my own integrity.

You were among the earliest scholars to show respect for Eastern scholars, and acknowledge what you learned from them, rather than claiming that you knew more than your “native informants.” Where did your intellectual honesty come from?

This was related to my attitude of searching. Why would I pretend that what l learned from a Tibetan scholar was something I put together myself? Why would I treat these people as somehow different from myself? I thought it was very important, extremely important, to treat every Tibetan scholar fairly, to give them credit for their part in producing any book. I was criticized for this by other professors in my own field. But it just made more sense to have, say, Lati Rinpoche, be a co-author, than to footnote everything he said. In time, people came to understand what collaboration meant. The old saying of “East is East and West is West” doesn’t carry over to how you treat people on the title page of a book.

Photo courtesy of Donna L. Brown.

Photo courtesy of Donna L. Brown.

By making clear what came from others, you revealed that the Western scholar wasn’t always the final expert. Did other academics criticize you for that?

Yes, they did, and I just chose to ignore it. I spoke recently at the Tsadra Translation & Transmission Conference about singing my own song, and what I meant is that certain priorities needed to be righted, and we would right them by how we acted and what we did. It means acknowledging the help you receive and the roles others play, and if those roles are prominent enough, then the person deserves equal billing as the author or the translator. If I couldn’t have understood the text without somebody informing me of its meaning, then that person has played an equal role in its translation even if they don’t know English, because I couldn’t have translated it otherwise. Not to mention the person’s contribution to the footnotes or the explanation that goes along with the translation. This approach has come to be generally accepted. And then also I wanted to point out that many of the academic concerns that Tibetan and Mongolian scholars have are similar to ours. Both sides can learn from the other, though I don’t like talking about sides. I think we are all more or less in the same soup.

Sometimes in Dharma centers people avoid sharing their real views or feelings. This helps maintain harmony, but at a price. It makes me wonder about the balance between building community and nourishing the individual.

I would compare it to when I started in academia. At that time, there was a lot of shouting among scholars. I thought it had a lot to do with how little we knew about the subjects we were talking about. And I had to admit that of myself also. I was so egregiously, embarrassingly ignorant on many of these topics. I could see how I could stumble into trying to cover up my ignorance by shouting or making a big fuss over something I knew that somebody else didn’t know. And then I tried very hard to avoid doing that, and to create an atmosphere in which I was not doing this. I think as this profession and its members have become more educated, there’s been less need to yell at each other, and this may be true in Dharma centers also. I’ve found in the two translation conferences I’ve been to, and many of these translators are members of Dharma communities, that we have no need at all to shout at each other or show off what we know because we are deeply impressed by what we don’t know. We are really happy to hear about these topics from our colleagues and friends who do know something about them. Then it’s easy to get along.

A community’s insistence on people toeing a line may have a lot to do with being neophytes. And the number of times that neophytes repeat the name of their organization or their lama really strikes me as a sign of weakness. Let’s just stop doing that. Still, within the monastic community, there are rules. Outside of the community, you don’t say nasty things about the community, because that disrupts the image of the community, and spreads gossip and so forth. But that implies that there can be criticism within the community. You’ve got to air differences and so forth. You should. But you can’t be arguing all the time, or sharing everything you think. Nevertheless, a healthy community has to have some way of airing what’s going on. You can’t be covering up all the time because it will explode, and the disharmony that will result from that is not going to be helpful.

On a personal level, I try to make the chance of hypocrisy less by admitting in public some of the things that I’m up to. For example, I gave a talk in a city recently and I was really surprised when the people there gave me some money, in envelopes, afterwards. But then also, at the same time, I was very greedy about that money. I kept wondering how much was in each envelope. And I was very careful to put those envelopes down beside me (laughs) so that nobody would walk off with any of them. And I mentioned it to my host afterwards, admitting how greedy I was about it. I try to make this a habit. I don’t make up stuff to disclose, because there’s plenty of it without making anything up. I may not disclose everything, but at least a whole lot of it. Disclosing it relieves tension, whereas hiding is really counter-productive, because when you hide, you have to simulate the opposite – and, wow, you just get into trouble. I get into trouble!

Professor Jeffrey Hopkins, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, United States, September 2011. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

Professor Jeffrey Hopkins, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, United States, September 2011. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

Is this an aspect of the path? Does not being open reduce energy available for practice?

I think that’s very, very true. Energy is wasted by hiding, and what you are hiding gets worse and worse the more you hide it. It’s self-destructive. You know, sometimes when I talk about morality, I’ll just say, “I’m embarrassed about what I am saying, but in any case, I’m trying to present what the books teach as it’s written, and I’m not claiming that I can actually enact this, I want to be clear.” That makes it a lot easier to talk about it. If it’s compassion and the fact that I get angry in certain situations, then it’s easy for me to talk about what I get angry at and use that as an example. Being frank about myself undermines my own negative reactions.

But we have to be judicious about what we say. We can’t be stupidly open. It’s not easy.

Buddhadharma focused its Winter 2014 issue on abuses of power in Dharma communities. One theme was “no more secrets,” because abuses flourish when people deny, cover up, or ostracize those who speak out. What are your thoughts on this?

I’m not an active member of any group. I’m a member of groups, but from a distance, which gives me a certain safety valve. I don’t give any quarter to lamas and so forth who act contrary to moral codes. To me that’s simply improper. If I’m asked about that person, I just say what I’ve heard, I don’t cover up, or at least I hope I don’t. I’m open about what I’ve heard and I’ll say, “Beware.” Covering up or pretending that seemingly ill behavior is the way great lamas behave – I’m just not going to say that. I think that’s simply wrong.

You have mentioned that your relationship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama is very frank. How open should we be with our lamas?

It depends on what the lama can stand! The lama may not want to hear about it. And then what can you do? You may have to go find some other lama, if that’s what you need. Like with anyone, your friends for example, there are certain subjects that some people don’t want to hear about. Even your closest friend may not want to hear about your stomach troubles. So you don’t talk about it. And how much can anyone stand to hear about your sex life? Or your health problems? Even if you’re at death’s door, five minutes is the max. It’s a bore. You shouldn’t expect more than that.

Westerners seem to value openness more than Tibetans. Is there a cultural difference?

I don’t think Tibetans are different from us. Maybe they are getting away with being secretive about how they are running things here (laughs). They are just getting away with pretending that this is the way that they do it. Tibetans among themselves give each other a hard time. They hold each other to account. Whereas some of them come over here and act as if they are kings or queens. They’ll do whatever they can get away with. You don’t have to let them.

Some Westerners, like you, say they have past life memories. While this may come from a desire to be special, there must be some who really were practitioners in the past. Should people be open about memories if they have them? What about the narcissism factor?

I was faced with this during the five years I was at Geshe Wangyal’s monastery in New Jersey in the early 1960s. People would come to visit and talk about their past lives. They were usually princes and princesses. I was looking forward to the day when someone would come and say they were a garbage collector. It’s something that kept me from telling my own story because I didn’t want to be put in the category that I was putting these people in, which has to do with their own aggrandizing imaginations. With myself, I felt what memories I had were rather ordinary. I had to inspect those few memories to figure out what my so-called status was. I didn’t feel glorious. I had to deduce from a few pieces of information what my status might have been. It took a long time for that to come through. I’m suspicious of people who remember themselves as having been very glorious.

Still, I stay neutral on whether people should talk about memories. Although I’m suspicious, I’m not going to put it down. I know in my case that these are actual memories, so I know that does occur. But I wouldn’t blame anyone for being highly suspicious if I told my own story in any detail. They might think, “The guy’s a nut!” I’ve had that kind of thought with respect to others. But some people have related their stories to me, and their memories are not self-glorifying. I don’t have any reason to question them. I do accept for sure that people remember.

Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia looked into a lot of reincarnation stories, and checked some against facts he could track down. One of the points that he made was that quite a number of people remembered their past lives because they died in the midst of violence. It was quite often not a case of great spiritual attainment, but that there was some violence that impressed on them what was going on, and that caused the memory.

Canadian tulku Elijah Ari has been open since childhood about his past life memories and went through a lot of difficulties.

I know Elijah Ari. I find his story quite poignant. He and I had quite opposite trails. He has been open throughout and I’ve been closed throughout. I actually forgot it for quite a while and then even after I remembered, it was decades later that I was willing to talk about it at all except with a couple of people. It’s been quite a journey for him, and I really respect what he’s had to go through to be this open. He paid a huge price. For me, coming out as gay was a big step at the time I did it, but coming out as remembering your past life, as far as I’m concerned, is much larger than that.

Professor Jeffrey Hopkins, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, United States, September 2011. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

Professor Jeffrey Hopkins, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, United States, September 2011. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

What does it really tell us if someone has past life memories? Does that make them special now?

I think that Dr. Ian Stevenson’s story about people remembering because they died in the midst of violence indicates that it doesn’t automatically make you special. What will make you special is what you do in this lifetime. If you think about it, that is true of anybody, recognized or not.

Liushar Thupten Tharpa, who was the equivalent of foreign minister in the old government of Tibet, went out to greet His Holiness the Dalai Lama when he first came to Lhasa; Liushar told me he was watching the little child to see if this was the right one. But he didn’t come to any conclusion then whether this was the right or the wrong child. Later he was this Dalai Lama’s representative in New York, after which he came to our monastery in New Jersey, and then stayed on in the USA as a permanent resident. Then the Dalai Lama called him back to Dharamsala. There were a number of years during which Liushar had not seen this Dalai Lama in action on the home front, although he had visited India for important events. Anyway, after he went back to India, I saw him. He said, “Do you know what he is doing?” and he recounted to me how busy this Dalai Lama was conducting ordination ceremonies, teaching, giving initiations, all of the many things he was doing. And he said, “Now we can say he is the incarnation of Avalokiteshvara.” You see? By way of his actions! That question about whether there were signs that he was the last Dalai Lama was totally wiped out. It didn’t matter. His Holiness’ actions were sufficient. Whether he was or not didn’t make any difference because in his waking day he was endlessly performing these actions.

While you are open about many things, you also choose to keep certain things private, such as your own attainments, and ways you’ve helped others – for example, with their books or academic work.

There’s a tradition about not being open about your own attainments and your own deeper experiences, and I don’t even tell my friends. It’s out of the question, I feel, that I’m going to talk about these things. As for helping others, it’s important to do – and keep quiet.

Any final thoughts on honesty?

If honesty became one’s only watchword, one could become a pain in the ass, and narcissistic, and a total bore. I hope by giving an interview like this, pretending to be honest, I don’t create a trap for myself! That I would become infatuated with this – really. And start deliberately acting this way, thinking, “I’ve got to be honest! I’ve got to find something to be honest about!” And turning myself into not just a 25- or 50-percent jerk but a 75- or 90-percent jerk (laughs). Warn me if I do. Tap me on the shoulder and say, “Hey Jeffrey, you are turning into a 100-percent jerk.”

We are basically incapable of saying who we are, and when we start doing that, we really have to be careful, because we aren’t going to be right. There may be some grain of truth – but also some grain of foppishness. I’m trying. I’m still trying to find my own integrity.

“Jeffrey Hopkins’ Transmission of Honesty” was produced as an online feature by Mandala Publications, and is supported, in part, by programs like Friends of FPMT.

Donna Lynn Brown is a regular Mandala contributor and a student at Maitripa College in Portland, Oregon, US.

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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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New Update on the Stupa to Minimize Harm from the Elementshttp://fpmt.org/projects/smh-news/new-update-on-the-stupa-to-minimize-harm-from-the-elements/ http://fpmt.org/projects/smh-news/new-update-on-the-stupa-to-minimize-harm-from-the-elements/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 17:30:35 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39210 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Khadro-la, November 2011, India. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Khadro-la, November 2011, India. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

 

Example of an Enlightenment Stupa. De-Tong Ling Retreat Centre, South Australia.

Example of an enlightenment stupa. De-Tong Ling Retreat Centre, South Australia.

Recently, Lama Zopa Rinpoche met with Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma (Khadro-la) in India. As a result, a number of details regarding the Stupa to Minimize Harm from the Elements have changed. According to what is most beneficial now, the type of the stupa to be built is an enlightenment stupa and the material must very strong, such as concrete or stone. The stupa will be built off-site and then assembled and blessed all at the same time. The blessing and filling of the stupa is extremely important and utmost detail is being paid to collecting the correct substances.

Khadro-la has been checking many different areas in San Francisco to make sure this stupa is located in the most beneficial area and Teresa Mia Navarro has been working diligently for many months to help locate the correct property and the wish is that this aspect of the process will be established very soon.

You can learn more about the Stupa to Minimize Harm from the Elements as well as the other Charitable Projects of FPMT. 

Please keep this hugely important project in your prayers. You are also welcome to donate any amount toward this stupa’s completion.

 

 

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