Posts Tagged "advice from lama zopa rinpoche"
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Lama Zopa Rinpoche recorded the following conversation with a student directly on his iPad in November 2013. The student was sharing the news that gold was being offered to the spire of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, and Rinpoche was telling the student to rejoice, as jealousy only causes suffering, not happiness.
“Tell people this: hell, enlightenment, samsara, nirvana, every day happiness and suffering, come from one’s own mind. Thinking this way leads to hell, thinking that way leads to enlightenment. Every day happiness and suffering as well as samsara and nirvana all depend upon what concept we generate.
So therefore, it becomes so important to always generate positive concepts, positive ways of thinking. This is Dharma practice.”
Rinpoche recently finished a brand new teaching and translation on the benefits of offering to stupas – Padmasambhava’s Instruction on Offerings to Stupas. It is quite an amazing, monumental work, which took Rinpoche more than two months to complete, and which Rinpoche would like to be used far and wide. The text details the benefits of circumambulating, and prostrating, making offerings, and offering service to stupas. The booklet is available in eBook, booklet letter, and A4 formats as well as in Italian.
Holy objects, including stupas, are very important to Rinpoche and the FPMT for enabling students to create merit on their path to enlightenment. Building 100,000 stupas around the world is one of Rinpoche’s Vast Visions. Please enjoy the very inspiring collection of information and photos of the 48 stupas completed so far!
“The initial reason why people come to a Dharma center is not for the food but for the teachings and meditations; they are a little bored with the lives they have and are looking for something new. However, the conditions at the center, and especially the food, are a very important support for the teachings and meditations. Sometimes in the past when I would teach on impermanence, the hells and the eight worldly dharmas, people would get scared and leave; but if the food was good, they would stay. That’s one way to keep them!
So I will explain a short meditation for cooks.” …
Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s recent pithy advice, reported by Ven. Roger Kunsang (@rogerkunsang) via Twitter:
“What makes death very difficult – worldly concerns, the 8 worldly dharmas , attachment! What helps – good heart!”
“Don’t let personal problems become center problems or other’s problems!”
”When someone is making you angry, don’t put the practice off to later, practice patience now! Later may never come.”
“Your Guru gives you teachings and then puts you in the situation so you have to practice that… lojong.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has been commenting very specifically this year about the need for FPMT students to actualize the lam-rim teachings and achieve realizations. Rinpoche’s main wishes are to organize a special group of lam-rim retreatants and to encourage others to follow a year-long lam-rim meditation schedule:
”Now what is needed are people who will sacrifice their lives, as they did in India, Tibet and Nepal, not just to study the Dharma like at a college or university, but to actualize the teachings in a monastery or isolated place. In Tibet, the mountains were full of caves like ants’ nests, where people would go to practice without distraction This is how Buddhism really comes alive – when it is not just words, not just scholars, but really living Buddhism. When study and realization come together, Buddhism will really last. Wow, then like an ocean in the heart and the mind, it will spread and be preserved. Otherwise, if it is just like learning in a college, it won’t last long. That’s like throwing tsampa on water: It stays on top and doesn’t sink – it is shallow. For Buddhism to really be preserved in the West as it was in Tibet and India, we need people who will sacrifice their lives to completely actualize in the heart what was explained by the Buddha We need to realize all of this in our hearts in the West.”
Webcasts of Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching this year (and in previous years), including the teachings Rinpoche gave during this year’s Light of the Path retreat are available online 24/7 on FPMT’s livestreaming webpage.
Also, all Light of the Path Retreat Resources 2009, 2010 and 2014 are available on the Online Learning Center.
The Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund is extremely honored to sponsor another 10 people to do 108 Nyung-Nä retreats at Institut Vajra Yogini, France. The 108 Nyung-Nä retreats starts in November 2013 and lasts until June 2014. In 2012 the fund also sponsored 10 people to complete 108 Nyung-Nä retreats.
Please enjoy this amazing account from Ven. Lhundrup Chodron, former director of the International Mahayana Institute, regarding her experience of completing the 108 Nyung-Näs.
108 Nyung-Nä Retreat
by Ven. Lhundub Chodron
At the outset of the seven month-108 Nyung-Nä retreat at Institute Vajra Yogini (IVY) I felt certain that it would be a transformative experience, one that would alter my mind in some definitive way. But as the days, weeks and months passed it became clear that there probably wouldn’t be any major shift in my heart/mind, no big breakthrough in my gnarly habits. What I did know was that every day I was planting many positive seeds in my mind that were being watered by the unfathomable skill and kindness of Lama Chenrezig.
We had the most perfect conditions for the retreat. All the staff at IVY were incredibly supportive, always encouraging and rejoicing for us. Many staff said that often they would wake up at 5 a.m and think: “They are in there doing Nyung-Näs. I rejoice!” Then roll over and go back to sleep. We really felt that the Institute was happy we were there and honored to take care of and support us. “C’est mon plaisir (it’s my pleasure)” is something we heard over and over again.
There was a core group who did the entire retreat, specifically Vens Charles and Namdrol, both of whom have done many, many Nyung-Näs. Other people came and went, staying for a session, a Nyung-Nä, a month or more. As the retreat leader, Ven. Charles created an environment that was spacious, loving and inclusive for all who wished to join the practice. Over the course of seven months dozens of people engaged in Nyung-Näs with us.
A friend of mine had an opportunity to receive advice from Khadro-la (Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma) about a retreat she was planning. Khadro-la said “If you don’t harm the self-grasping mind retreat is worthless and you might come out worse than when you went in.” The Nyung-Nä is a very beautiful and powerful practice for harming self-cherishing and the underlying self-grasping mind.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche indicated that it is very, very beneficial for Ven. Charles to lead another 108 Nyung-Nä retreat at IVY beginning in November. I highly recommend this retreat to anyone interested in expanding their capacity to live solely for the benefit of others.
Director of IVY, François Lecointre, reports:
“If we add up everybody, almost 100 different participants in total have participated in one or more Nyung-Näs and almost 850 individual Nyung-Näs have been accumulated during these seven months.”
Institut Vajra Yogini is hosting another round of 108 Nyung-Näs November 15, 2013 – June 19, 2014. Once again Lama Zopa Rinpoche wishes to sponsor 10 students to do the 108 Nyung-Näs. This sponsorship is the continued expression of one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for FPMT which he explained in 2007. For more information please contact Institut Vajra Yogini.
In August Rinpoche wrote a long (16 page) letter to one prisoner, a new Buddhist, who had just been given his date for execution in 3 months’ time, this advice from Rinpoche was given over 5 days.
This is a fabulous resource for us all: for new students, as Rinpoche clearly explains many of the key concepts of Buddhism, such as reincarnation, the mind, the benefit of living in morality; for Rinpoche’s students, as Rinpoche includes many personal recollections; and for students working with prisoners, as Rinpoche talks in depth about the benefits of being in prison.
Losar is the Tibetan New Year! Tibetan New Year is the most important festival in Tibet. It is an occasion when Tibetan families reunite and expect a better coming year. Known as Losar, the festival starts from 1st to 3rd of the 1st Tibetan month. Specially made offerings are offered to family shrine deities; doors are painted with religious symbols; other painstaking jobs are done to prepare for the event.
Losar is the Tibetan New Year and the first two weeks, in particular, commemorate the time when the Buddha uncharacteristically displayed his power by doing a number of miracles to win over hundreds (if not thousands) of disciples from a teacher who was a non-believer of what the Buddha taught and challenged him to a dual of mystical powers. At the end of the two week period, the Buddha had clearly won the match and as a result all present converted to the practices taught by the Buddha.
The new year spawns a time of increase in virtuous activity amongst Buddhist practitioners. Any actions done during that period of time, for better or worse, are multiplied in their power by virtue of being in alignment or out of alignment with the great deeds the Buddha himself did during this same astrological period over 2500 years ago. It is a very powerful time to practice and increase one’s commitment to both practice and study as the power of that magical event can be harnessed to assist in our personal evolution towards enlightenment.