Posts Tagged "happiness"

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Lama Zopa Rinpoche blessing the penguins at the gardens of Harewood House, Leeds, UK, July 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche blessing the penguins in the Bird Garden of Harewood House, Leeds, UK, July 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

“It is extremely important that we make an effort to lead a spiritual life while, as human beings, we have the opportunity to pursue inner methods that bring peace of mind,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche instructed in the teaching “In Search of a Meaningful Life,” given at Tushita Mahayana Meditation Centre in 1979.

“It is common experience that happiness does not arise from external factors alone,” Rinpoche continued. “If we check carefully into our own daily lives, we will easily see that this is true. In addition to external factors, there are also inner factors that come into play to establish happiness within us.

A penguin at Harewood House's Bird Gardens, Leeds, UK, July 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

A penguin at Harewood House’s Bird Gardens, Leeds, UK, July 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

“If external development were all it took to produce lasting peace within us, then those who were rich in material possessions would have more peace and happiness while those who were poor would have less. But life is not always like this. There are many happy people with few riches and many wealthy people who are very unhappy.

“In India, for example, there are many pandits, highly realized yogis and even simple Dharma practitioners who live humble lives but have great peace of mind. The more they have renounced the unsubdued mind, the greater is their peace; the more they have renounced self-cherishing, anger, ignorance, attachment and so forth, the greater is their happiness.

“Great masters such as the Indian pandit Naropa and the Tibetan yogi Jetsün Milarepa owned nothing yet had incredible peace of mind. They were able to renounce the unsubdued mind, the source of all problems, and thus transcended all suffering. By actualizing the path to enlightenment they achieved a superior happiness. Thus, even though they often had to go days without food – the great yogi Milarepa lived for years in a cave subsisting only on wild nettles – they rank among the happiest people on Earth. Because they abandoned the three poisonous minds of ignorance, attachment and anger, their peace and happiness was indeed great. The more they renounced the unsubdued mind, the greater was their peace. …”

Read the entire teaching “In Search of a Meaningful Life” on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

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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Rinpoche shopping for flowers for offering at Kachoe Dechen Ling, Aptos, California, May 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Rinpoche choosing flowers for offerings, Aptos, California, May 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

“The purpose of having this precious human body is not simply to achieve happiness for oneself, but to eliminate the suffering of all other beings and to bring them happiness as well,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche instructs in his book Transforming Problems Into Happiness, published by Wisdom Publications. “This is the purpose of each of our lives. This human body is precious because with it you have the capacity and opportunity to pursue spiritual development in order to serve other living beings.

“Everyone wants happiness; no one wants suffering. The happiness we need is not just ordinary, fleeting happiness; what we really need is ultimate happiness, the unsurpassed, unshakable happiness of enlightenment. When people go shopping, for example, they want the things that are the best, that will last the longest; in the same way, everyone wants the longest-lasting, highest happiness. According to their understanding of what level of happiness is achievable, everyone attempts to obtain whatever is, in their view, the highest happiness. 

“The Buddha’s teachings, called the Dharma, tell us the highest happiness achievable is enlightenment. The only reason anyone would not want to achieve enlightenment is that they lack Dharma wisdom. Lacking Dharma wisdom means simply being unaware that there exists a happiness higher than ordinary happiness. Anyone who has encountered the Dharma and studied it sincerely knows that one can be liberated from the bondage of suffering and can experience peerless happiness, that one can put an end to all obscurations, and that one can attain all the realizations of a buddha. Of course a person who knows these things can be achieved wants to achieve them. …”

You can read more from this excerpt on Wisdom Publication’s website.

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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“If it was possible, I should offer you each trillions of dollars for learning about Buddhism. This means your mind is open for real happiness, to be free from the gross suffering in the three lower realms and even not to be satisfied with the temporary happiness of the three upper realms. Most importantly, once you can meet and practice Dharma, this frees you from samsaric happiness, which is only suffering; and Dharma can give you full enlightenment, peerless happiness. Learning Dharma and practicing it is so important for yourself as well as others, countless others, as once you can achieve enlightenment, you can free countless living beings – all living beings – from the oceans of suffering. So you can see there is nothing more important than this: to learn Dharma and practice.”

 

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