FPMT » lama zopa rinpoche http://fpmt.org Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:05:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rinpoche’s Heartfelt Wish to Help Othershttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/rinpoches-heartfelt-wish-to-help-others/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/rinpoches-heartfelt-wish-to-help-others/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:05:27 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41046 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche talks to staff and patients of Shakyamuni Buddhist Health Care Centre, Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Sarah Thresher.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche talks to staff and patients of Shakyamuni Buddhist Health Care Centre, Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Sarah Thresher.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche arrived at Root Institute in Bodhgaya, India, on February 2. Ven. Sarah Thresher recently shared news of some of Rinpoche’s beneficial activities during the first 15 days of Tibetan New Year:

Following another all-night prayer session, Rinpoche went early to bless the patients in the Shakyamuni Buddha Community Health Care Centre, Root Institute’s free clinic that takes care of over 3,300 patients a month and provides a mobile clinic to serve the poor villages around Bodhgaya.

Invited by clinic coordinator Dr. Sanjay to bless all the clinic’s medicines, Rinpoche brought with him a short medicine blessing prayer by Panchen Lama Chokyi Gyaltsen that he has recently translated. Rinpoche began with a talk to the patients and workers at the clinic, made prayers for all those who come to the clinic now or will come in the future, and then blessed each person present with powerful mantras and prayers while blessed water and protection cords were distributed.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche holds a bag filled used to bless the chickens at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Sarah Thresher.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche holds a bag filled used to bless the chickens at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Sarah Thresher.

Dr. Sanjay expressed how very excellent Rinpoche’s visit was and described how delighted the patients were to have seen him: “In my 20 years at the clinic, I have come to see how heartfelt is Rinpoche’s wish and caring to help others. Many people come to this clinic as a last resort. They have been suffering for a long time and already seen other doctors, but when they come here, they get the help they need and recover. We believe this is because Rinpoche has blessed the medicine.

“Today, Rinpoche explained to the people how all their problems can be solved by having a good mind and a good heart. Often people think their suffering comes from outside, but Rinpoche explained how by purifying and collecting merit they can achieve happiness. When we are happy, we can make others happy, so it is very important to think positively. If we hurt others, this only results in suffering for ourselves and is not the purpose of this human life, which is to bring happiness to others. The patients who came today expressed how fortunate they felt to have come to the clinic today, to see Rinpoche and receive his blessing.”

Behind the clinic is the new chicken house with over 60 chickens. After exiting the clinic, Rinpoche went to bless all the birds. Following Rinpoche’s instruction, mantras have been pasted all over the roof of the chicken coop so that the birds are continually being blessed. Both the clinic and animal houses on the property have sutras and mantras playing aloud round the clock as an additional continual blessing. Each bird was blessed with a bag full of mantras while Rinpoche recited powerful mantras and prayers.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche spent time blessing the chickens at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Sarah Thresher.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche spent time blessing the chickens at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Sarah Thresher.

FPMT Education Services offers many prayers and practices that can be done during Monlam, which continues through March 5 this year, as free PDF downloads. You can find Rinpoche’s advice on Monlam collected here (on Rinpoche’s Advice page, under Buddha Multiplying Days), specific advice for practices to do on the Buddha Multiplying days here, and a calendar of all the dates here.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.

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‘The Best Business’http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-best-business/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-best-business/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:42:53 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41012 ... Read full article]]> Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodhgaya, India, February 2015. Photo by Ven. Sarah Thresher.

Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodhgaya, India, February 2015. Photo by Ven. Sarah Thresher.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche arrived at Root Institute in Bodhgaya, India on February 2. Ven. Sarah Thresher recently shared some of Rinpoche’s advice for practice during the first 15 days of Tibetan New Year:

We are now in the 15 days of Tibetan New Year, Losar, when Buddha performed miracles and any virtue created increases 100 million times. Rinpoche has been reminding us daily how important it is to use this opportunity to create merit.

“One prostration is 100 million prostrations, one light offering is 100 million light offerings, one flower offering is 100 million flower offerings, one Tara puja is 100 million Tara pujas!” Rinpoche will say raising his voice to stress the enormity of the increase. “This is the best business.” Why do we need to create extensive merit? “The more merit we have, it is that much quicker to achieve enlightenment and free all sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to peerless happiness, enlightenment.”

For more than two weeks now, days and nights at the center have been filled with prayers, pujas, practices and offerings, offerings, offerings. This is the time of Root Institute’s Festival of Lights and Merit when the center decorates the Mahabodhi Stupa with close to 100,000 multi-colored lights every night in addition to the 50,000 lights offered on a daily basis at the center throughout the year. Supplementing these offerings are hundreds of water bowls surrounding the Nagarjuna statue and on Rinpoche’s roof, where even Rinpoche’s prostration board has become a makeshift altar. Since every water bowl offering becomes 100 million, how is it possible to leave even one bowl empty?

In the evenings, when we go to circumambulate the stupa, Rinpoche will buy trays of heaped-up flowers and flower garlands to offer to the stupa in addition to the lights, and robes for the statue of Buddha inside the stupa. “First dedicate for all His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s holy wishes to be fulfilled immediately,” Rinpoche explains, “that is the most important dedication.” Then Rinpoche guides us in developing a bodhichitta motivation and offering mantras, prayers and extensive dedications for all the centers, students and six realm sentient beings as incense burns and the sound of the gyaling music plays. “Think that all the holy objects are in essence the manifestation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” Rinpoche explains. “By offering to the guru we collect the most extensive merit.”

FPMT Education Services offers many prayers and practices that can be done during Monlam, which continues through March 5 this year, as free PDF downloads. You can find Rinpoche’s advice on Monlam collected here (on Rinpoche’s Advice page, under Buddha Multiplying Days), specific advice for practices to do on the Buddha Multiplying days here, and a calendar of all the dates here. 

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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Protecting Your Mind by Protecting Karma [Video]http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/protecting-your-mind-by-protecting-karma-video/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/protecting-your-mind-by-protecting-karma-video/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:59:27 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40898 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, December 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

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

In late November and early December 2014, Lama Zopa Rinpoche taught as part of the annual month-long Kopan course at Kopan Monastery in Nepal. Rinpoche’s teachings covered a variety of subjects. What follows is an excerpt from a lightly edited transcript and video extract:

Everything, every trouble, is due to something that you did wrong in the past. You harmed others in the past, so it is the result of that. Whatever you experience in this life, any problem, any problem from other sentient beings, all is the result of how you treated sentient beings in the past. It is all a result of that: you harmed sentient beings. You didn’t practice good heart, you harmed them. You didn’t practice good heart to free them from suffering and cause them happiness. You didn’t practice that and instead you harmed others in the past.

So whatever problem you experience in life, it aaaaaaaaaaaall came from your own negative karma, the harm that was done in the past to other sentient beings, which came from your own mind. So aaaaaaaaaaaall the happiness that you experience in this life and aaaaaaaaaaaall the suffering that you experience in this life, aaaaaaaaaaaall came from your own mind. You see?

We think, “Oh, others did harm to me, destroyed me. Oh, oh, oh, it came from others.” No, that is tooooooooootally, that is toootally wrong. Because you never think, either you don’t know reincarnation and karma or you even if you know them intellectually, so when problems come, “Oh, they come from outside. Oh, I have to kill and smash others. Oh, suffering came from others.” You don’t think of past lives, you don’t think of your negative karma, that it came from your negative karma. You don’t think of karma. You don’t know karma, you don’t think of karma.

Even if you know it intellectually, but when problems come, you don’t think of it. So all the blame goes to others; the blame doesn’t go to the selfish mind.

Watch “Protecting Your Mind by Protecting Karma” 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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May/June 2015 – Australiahttp://fpmt.org/schedule/june-2015/ http://fpmt.org/schedule/june-2015/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:40:33 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40884 ... Read full article]]> May 30  Teaching on lam-rim, Buddha House, Australia
May 31  Medicine Buddha initiation, Buddha House, Australia

June 13  Teaching on “How to Apply Dharma in Daily Life”, Vajrayana Institute, Australia
June 14  Teaching on “The Joy of Compassion”, Vajrayana Institute, Australia
June 15   White Mahakala initiation, Vajrayana Institute, Australia

June 17 and 18  Amitayus initiation and teaching, Kunsang Yeshe Retreat Centre, Australia

 

 

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Freeing All Beings from Sufferinghttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/freeing-all-beings-from-suffering/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/freeing-all-beings-from-suffering/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 19:58:59 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40891 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Sangha doing a blessing for all the sentient beings in the water, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Sangha doing a blessing for all the sentient beings in the water, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

As Lama Zopa Rinpoche travels throughout the world, he always takes time to emphasize the activities we can do to benefit animals, which is one of Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for FPMT. In an excerpt from “Liberating Animals from the Dangers of Death,” Rinpoche offers the motivation we should hold as we work to help animals:

First reflect that all these creatures have been human beings, just like you. But because they did not practice Dharma and subdue their minds, they have been reborn as animals. Their present suffering bodies are the result of their unsubdued minds. We would not want their body for even a second. We get upset when we see some small sign of aging in our body, such as one more wrinkle on our face. So how could we stand to have the body of one of these animals? There is no way we could stand it.

It is vital that we feel some connection with the animals. We should not look at them and think that their bodies have nothing to do with us. We should not think that the bodies of these animals are permanent or truly existent and have no relationship with their mind. And, most important, we should not think that our own minds could not create such bodies.

Reflect on the fact that every one of these animals has been your own mother. When they were human beings, they were extremely kind in giving you your body and in saving you from danger hundreds of times each day. Later, they bore many hardships to educate you in the ways of the world; they taught you how to speak, how to walk, and how to behave. They also created much negative karma to ensure your happiness.

Not only have they been kind to you numberless times as a human mother, but they have also been kind to you numberless times as an animal mother. As a mother dog they gave you milk and food. As a mother bird they fed you with many worms every day. Each time they have been your mother they have taken care of you selflessly, sacrificing their comfort – and even their lives – numberless times to protect you and bring you happiness. As animals, they have guarded and protected you numberless times from the attacks of other animals. They have been unbelievably kind like this many times.

Not only has each of these animals been your mother, they have been your father, brother, and sister numberless times. We are all the same; we are all one family – it’s just that we have different bodies at the moment. We should feel as close to these animals as we do to our present family. We should hold them in our hearts.

Think, “I must free all the hell beings from all their suffering and its causes and lead them to enlightenment. I must free all the hungry ghosts from all their suffering and its causes and lead them to enlightenment. I must free all the animal beings from all their suffering and its causes and lead them to enlightenment.” …

You can read Rinpoche’s complete instructions for developing the bodhichitta mind to do animal liberation in the short version of “Liberating Animals from the Dangers of Death.” This practice is also available in an expanded form in the book Liberating Animals. Both the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund and the Animal Liberation Fund support animal liberation activities around the world. 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.

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Transforming Suffering into Happinesshttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/transforming-suffering-into-happiness/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/transforming-suffering-into-happiness/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 19:39:17 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40840 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Dagri Rinpoche and others at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave the following advice to a student who said he felt like a magnet for bad situations, people and environments:

I’m going to tell you what Kadampa Geshe Khamlungpa said in regards to attracting bad situations like a magnet: “Even this present small suffering finishes past negative karma and there will be happiness in the future, therefore meditate on rejoicing in the suffering.”

That is thought transformation; looking at suffering as happiness. You transform the suffering into happiness, instead of worrying. If your mind is trained in thought transformation, then the more you suffer, the greater the happiness you can experience.

For example, Geshe Lama Konchog was a great teacher and meditator at Kopan Monastery. In the summer time, the rainy season, he fell down and as he fell it made a huge sound. Immediately he thought he received all his obstacles and his mind was so happy, even though he fell down so heavily on the stone step.

Kadampa Geshe Chengawa prayed all the time to be born in the hells, as a practice against the self-cherishing thought. That’s what he did instead of being a friend of the self-cherishing thought, instead of working for that. When he was dying he said, “Oh, I didn’t fulfill my wishes!” As he was dying he saw a vision of the pure lands, so he left the suffering world and was born in Buddha’s pure land. This is the result of the good heart wishing to experience suffering for the benefit of sentient beings. When we don’t practice, especially when we follow the self-cherishing thought, we wish happiness for self and suffering for others.

When we follow bodhichitta, we wish to suffer for others and for others to have all our happiness. So it’s very, very important to understand Dharma and particularly thought transformation, then we are able to transform suffering into happiness. That means even when we face suffering, we can transform it into happiness. …

You can read the complete advice, “A Magnet for Bad Situations,” on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. Rinpoche also suggested to the student to read Rinpoche’s book Transforming Problems into 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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The Benefits of Working for the Guruhttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-benefits-of-working-for-the-guru/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-benefits-of-working-for-the-guru/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 19:57:12 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40543 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Each year Lama Zopa Rinpoche receives about 1,500 letters and emails. In his replies to these letters, Rinpoche may offer essential advice, thanks and, if requested, life practices. Here is one letter Rinpoche sent in 2014, thanking a student who had worked for many years at a number of FPMT centers:

My most dear, most kind, most precious wish-fulfilling xxxx,

Thank you billion times for your great support and service since you came to the center in 2007 and for the retreats you did — the Vajrasattva retreat and working at center — thank you billions of times. So this is working for all the sentient beings to educate them, to wake them up from ignorance, to enlighten them. Then by thinking of me as guru — then if working for center, then you collect the most extensive merit, most extensive and greatest purification every day, every hour, every minute and every second. Then also offering to numberless Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, statues, stupas and scriptures.

Sakya Pandita mentioned that thousands of eons of having practiced the paramita of charity — giving away one’s heads, legs and hands to the sentient beings for thousands of eons — all the merit collected like this is achieved in one second by the gurus path.

So that means when you work for the guru — following the gurus advice or fulfilling the gurus wishes — all that merit that has been collected for thousands of eons by making charity, in one second it gets done. So you have to understand this.

So please rejoice your whole life, unbelievable, most unbelievably happy, happy in Dharma, not happy with attachment and anger — this is totally different. It is happy to achieve enlightenment to benefit sentient beings. So like that there is no time for depression, day and night, even when you are sick … happy!

So please find attached — this is whole life time of practice, so you can die unbelievably in a most happy way, no worry. In this way nobody has to help you. You are guided by yourself and you are the happiest person in the world.

Thank you very much, with much love and prayers,

Lama Zopa

Scribe: Ven. Holly Ansett, USA, 2014. Lightly edited by Mandala.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.

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Losar Greetings – and February E-Newshttp://fpmt.org/announcements/losar-greetings-and-february-e-news/ http://fpmt.org/announcements/losar-greetings-and-february-e-news/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 04:00:59 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40590 ... Read full article]]> Good wishes for Losar from Lama Zopa Rinpoche and all at FPMT International Office!

We also hope you enjoy our February E-News, in which you will find:

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Skies of Thankshttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/skies-of-thanks/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/skies-of-thanks/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 19:56:37 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40544 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche, UK, July 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, UK, July 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche wrote the following letter in 2014 to a benefactor and said that this message could be given to others who are generous and in this way bringing sentient beings to enlightenment.

My very dear friend,

This is my heart message to you: Of course we put effort into the center, not just Dharma, but other areas such as social service, [areas] where people really need help. Also to have other Western Sangha there would be good, so we can help others and do consultation, like counseling. We need to research what is most needed in that area.

The Buddha’s teachings are priceless, their preservation according to Hinayana and Mahayana and within Mahayana Tantrayana (especially is very important) is really, really, really important. Even one sentient being just hearing the Buddha’s teaching not only causes higher rebirth, but liberates from samsara. There really is unimaginable benefit – unimaginable, unimaginable, unimaginable benefit. This is something really priceless, something hard to imagine, and this is the result of your kind contribution. That is the result of your compassion to sentient beings and that is the reality.

Skies of thanks! With my two small hands putting palms to together, with one hand in stroke aspect – my heartfelt thanks to you.

With much love and prayer,

Lama Zopa

Scribed by Ven. Roger Kunsang, 2014. Lightly edited by Mandala.

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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Life Is Shorthttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/life-is-short/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/life-is-short/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 19:50:49 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40542 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche on a garden walk, UK, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche on a garden walk, UK, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche wrote a letter, posted in 2012 on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, thanking a student for his concern regarding Rinpoche’s health and giving advice about the essence of lam-rim practice:

My dear Sam, 

Life is very short. We can’t say how short it is – we may die today or tomorrow, so take it easy and don’t worry so much. The main thing is to purify past negative karma and always collect extensive merits by chanting OM MANI PADME HUM and the Seven Medicine Buddhas’ names – doing this is the same as having done Medicine Buddha puja.

Then do lam-rim prayers, such as Calling the Guru from Afar, the short and long one, and other lam-rim prayers. Even if you can’t do other practices, just do this much. This is the best preparation for enlightenment, so that you can soon give happiness to all sentient beings – to the numberless sentient beings, numberless hell beings, numberless pretas, numberless animals, numberless human beings, numberless asuras, numberless suras and the numberless intermediate state beings.

This is the most important thing in the life; there is nothing more important than this. This is benefiting all sentient beings. 

Thank you very, very much for your concern for me – to go to mainland China and to receive the doctors’ suggestions, that you thought to do, etc. Hopefully I will still go in the future.

With much love and prayers,

Lama Zopa

You can find this letter and more advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche on Impermanence and Death on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

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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