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Rinpoche at New Year’s blessing, Singapore.
Photo by KimGuan Yew
April 18 – 19 Great Medicine Buddha initiation, Kalachakra Centre, Paris, France
April 26 – May 2 CPMT Meeting, Institut Vajra Yogini, France
May 5 – June 6 1000-Arm Chenrezig Great Initiation and 100 million Mani Retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Institut Vajra Yogini, France
September (exact date not set) Teachings on Light of the Path, Kadampa Center, Raleigh, USA
Whether it is big or small, whatever help somebody needs, you try to give it. Like someone needs to know how to get to a place, for example, so you explain how to get there and it helps that person’s wish be fulfilled. Anything like that, whether it’s small or big, we help in whatever way we can. If you can’t help, you pray and dedicate the merits for that person’s wish for happiness to succeed now.
Serving other sentient beings is one cause, because it makes their wishes be fulfilled. A consequence, a result of that karma, is that it fulfills your wishes. As a result of that, whatever wishes you have are fulfilled. Whenever you have some wish, other people help, even sometimes without you needing to ask, you receive help, and your wishes just happen like that.
The most powerful way is serving the guru, fulfilling the wishes of the guru; that is extremely powerful. Even if you do very little, the object is so powerful. Also, from the smallest act performed with this life’s parents, the karma is very powerful; the good karma is so powerful that you start to experience the result in this life.
There are three types of karma: karma that you create in this life and see the result of in this life; karma that you create in this life and experience in the next life; and karma that you create in this life and of which you experience the result after many, many lifetimes, many eons. Those are the three types of karma.
The smallest service offered to your parents brings very good karma. It is very powerful, you see the result, and have success in this life. That doesn’t mean only in this life, it means in many, many future lifetimes. In a hundred thousand lifetimes you experience the result: success and happiness. And if the smallest disrespect is committed with your parents, the negative karma is very powerful, because parents are very powerful objects.
… Ordained monks and nuns are more powerful objects than parents. More powerful than them are arya beings, those who have wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, and arhats, who have completely removed delusions and karma, are free from samsara, and so are more powerful. Between numberless arhats and one bodhisattva, one very new bodhisattva who just generated bodhicitta, the very new bodhisattva who has just generated bodhicitta is much more powerful than numberless arhats, as far as the power of the object is concerned.
… Now we should understand the positive aspect. If one respects a bodhisattva or makes offerings or offers service to a bodhisattva, one can imagine how powerful the good karma is; it is unbelievable. Between the numberless bodhisattvas and one Buddha, one Buddha is unbelievably more powerful than numberless bodhisattvas. Numberless bodhisattvas’ power is small compared to the power of one Buddha. Between numberless Buddhas and one guru, as powerful as these objects are, they are less powerful than one guru. One guru is much more powerful than numberless Buddhas. That means the guru is the most powerful among all the objects, starting from our parents in this life.
How that person becomes a guru is like this: first there is recognition. As it is explained in Lama Tsong Khapa’s lam-rim, the definition of a disciple is, “One who relies upon.” The virtuous friend is the object to rely upon, so that is the definition: “object to rely upon, object to be devoted to.” That is the definition of the virtuous friend in the philosophical teachings and Lama Tsong Khapa’s Lamrim Chenmo. With the recognition of oneself as a disciple and the other person as the guru, one takes teachings. It doesn’t have to be a complete teaching of a text; it can be just a few syllables of a mantra or one verse. If one receives it with the recognition of oneself as a disciple and the other person as the guru, then the Dharma connection, the relationship of guru-disciple, is established. From that time, this person becomes the most powerful one in your life, more powerful than all the Buddhas.
… Now you can see that the guru is the most powerful object. From such small services to the guru, the karma is the most powerful good karma; the merit you collect is the most extensive, you will start to experience the resulting happiness in this life, and in many lifetimes. Because of such incredible power, in the case of purification, the guru is the most powerful – bringing the most extensive merit and most powerful purification. You become that much closer to realization of the path, liberation, and enlightenment. That means you become closer to enlightening all sentient beings: the ultimate goal of our life, liberating them from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bringing them to enlightenment.
Obeying every single piece of advice given by the guru, every time you accomplish it, so much negative karma is purified, and you come closer to liberation, enlightenment, and to enlightening all sentient beings. For example, cleaning a room or a house where one’s spiritual master, the guru, is staying becomes unbelievably powerful purification, and each time you clean away the dust, so much negative karma is purified, you accumulate so much merit, and become closer to realization and enlightenment. You become closer to realizations each time, then closer to liberation, and closer to enlightenment, which means closer to enlightening all sentient beings. The most powerful thing is obeying the guru’s advice, then offering service and respect to the guru, and, lastly, if one has material goods, making offerings to the guru. You collect the most extensive merit with the guru. Whatever offering is made, even a very small object, you collect the most extensive merit. That makes it so easy to achieve realizations and to develop the mind in the path to liberation and enlightenment. More merit means it is easier to achieve realizations and enlightenment.
… So how can one fulfill one’s wishes? The most powerful way is obtaining the guru’s advice, offering service, and making material offerings. However, the main thing is pleasing the holy mind of the virtuous friend.
The other thing I mentioned is serving sentient beings, helping with whatever they need … The third thing is making prayers, such as praying to Medicine Buddha for wishes to be fulfilled and success. You pray to Medicine Buddha for everyone to fulfill their wishes and have success. Reciting Medicine Buddha name mantra is very powerful.
The other answer is that obstacles come from negative karma, and negative karma comes from delusions, from ignorance. To fulfill one’s wishes, there are two ways to do this. In essence, one method is to purify the negative karma already collected, which brings obstacles, by practicing purification. The other way is to collect merit. The cause of success is merit and good karma. Success is what we want, not suffering. The cause of happiness is only good karma, merit, so we need to collect merit.
(Source: LYWA, edited by Michelle Benard. For the full transcript, visit Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.)
Enjoy brief glimpses of Rinpoche on our streaming videos page, including Rinpoche and the young Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche at a ribbon cutting ceremony!
“I would like to commend you and all the others for all of the effort and hard work that has been dedicated to revamping the Handbook. It must have been a mammoth job, and from the little that I have managed to read, it is so informative, easy to read and digest.
I am writing this now, as it will take me a long time before I can get through it all, but what I have read is great!”
For more inspiration, please enjoy other statements of appreciation!
Note that in late March, a program for centers structured around Heart Advice for Death and Dying will be made available! This program will include a five-session course outline with meditations and study materials. It will be accessible via the FPMT Only page on the Foundation Store.
NEW! Escaping Your Inner Prison is an audio CD of Rinpoche teaching the entire path in 70 minutes to a group of women prisoners in Australia, 2003. The CD includes a PDF transcript to facilitate your listening.
Essence of the Heart Sutra by His Holiness Dalai Lama in Vietnamese, translated by Anh Ho.
We are looking for a translator for a book about Manjushri Mountain in China. As advised by Rinpoche, this will be part of a new pilgrimage series Education Services is producing on India/Nepal, Tibet, and China. You can help us accomplish this task by donating to the Education Translation Fund or by referring a translator interested in this project.
Institut Vajra Yogini, France
FPMT’s Vast Mandala: Who We Are and What We Do
All those offering service in the FPMT mandala as center/project director, resident and touring teachers, spiritual program coordinator, board member, study group and regional and national coordinators are invited and strongly encouraged to attend – more information available in the FPMT Members Area!
Join Us by Becoming a Foundation Member
they had seen. Geshe-la who attended the Berlinale with the director, Nati Baratz, took the opportunity to share the Dharma and the message of world peace and compassion with the film buffs, industry insiders and press present, and found his trip to Germany very meaningful.
The 95’ documentary has been picked for distribution in the USA, Europe and Japan after a successful run in Israel. Some students of Geshe Lama Konchog have said that is so moving that they cry throughout each viewing. For those who can bear waiting, Geshe Tenzin Zopa has promised, “Yes, for sure once the DVD comes out, I will definitely offer to all our centers.”
In January 2006, the young tulku, Tenzin Phuntsok, was formally recognized as the reincarnation of Geshe Lama Konchog by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
“We are overjoyed that we are able to implement Rinpoche’s wishes:
- To use the income from Dharma sales appropriately
- To set up a sponsorship fund for the Mani retreat
- And to more directly sponsor activities at the Garden of Enlightenment, and hence contribute to the completion of the building activities as quickly as possible.”
Part of the Dharma income had gone to sponsoring some of the large stupas and prayer wheels at the Garden of Enlightenment, and applications have been received from students committed to making the 9th Annual Mani retreat a success.
The Chenrezig community is dedicated to creating the conditions for Rinpoche to join them for their 10th Annual Retreat in 2010!
Keep checking for interesting opportunities to offer service in FPMT centers around the world.
Opportunities include volunteers for Root Institute in Bodhgaya, India, work opportunities at O.sel.ling Retreat Center, Spain, and volunteer positions at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, England.
NB: center details are always most up to date in the directory on the FPMT website.
Liberation Prison Project, Australia
New coordinator – Ven. Thubten Chokyi
With grateful thanks to outgoing coordinator – Ven. Aileen Barry
Longku Center, Switzerland
Formally, Longku Zopa Gyu Center
Gyalwa Gyatso Buddhist Center, USA
New director – Linda Hoeber
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Gay Bachman
Welcome New Study Groups!
Chagna Pemo Study Group, Slovenia
Tel: 00386 40 573 571
Coordinator Mirjana Ogrin
Yeshe Norbu Study Group, Sweden
Banérvagen 15, 3tr.
554 63 Jonkoping
Tel: 0707 321 793
Coordinator Anna Zaroff
FPMT International Office
Statements of Appreciation
Portland, OR 97214-4702 USA
Tel (503) 808-1588 | Fax (503) 232-0557