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Posts Tagged "lama zopa rinpoche"
There are 86 results found
Rinpoche will offer a teaching and oral transmission of:
- The short Lam-Rim by Je Tsongkhapa
- Praise to Avalokiteshvara by Songsten Gampo
- The long Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig) mantra
Check back here for updates.
FPMT News Around the World
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of FPMT, offered 27 life-size statues of Maitreya Buddha to FPMT centers, services and projects. In just one month, many centers have already received their Maitreya statue. Mandala is celebrating this with the Maitreya Statue Photo Gallery, featuring photos of Maitreya statues situated in FPMT centers, projects and services around the world!
Last week, we shared news of the new statue at Thubten Shedrub Ling in Australia. This week, we are featuring the Maitreya statue that is at the new Maitreya School, a project of Root Institute for Wisdom Culture in Bodhgaya. The Maitreya watched over the proceedings as the school held its grand opening in April. Maitreya School will provide education to children of poor families following the government curricula while also incorporating key Buddhist principles in the context of Indian culture.
With 160 centers, projects, and services around the globe, there is always news on FPMT activities, teachers and events. Mandala hopes to share as many of these timely stories as possible. If you have news you would like to share, please let us know.
- Tagged: holy objects, lama zopa rinpoche, maitreya project, maitreya school, photo gallery, root institute
Bodhgaya, India — January 28, 2012
From Ven. Roger:
Can elephants create virtue? Of course they can. Rinpoche was offered an elephant here in Bodhgaya. He accepted to keep it for 10 minutes and then return it to its owner. During those 10 minutes (which did get extended a little) Rinpoche had the elephant circumambulate the large Maitreya statue a few times, then with others he fed the elephant a lot of food while reciting mantras. After the great blessing, Rinpoche asked the owner to bring the elephant from time to time to Root Institute to do korwa (circumambulations). Since then a few friendly camels have come to do korwa. (more…)
“The Unimaginable Qualities of Lama Yeshe’s Body, Speech and Mind” is a touching tribute to Lama Yeshe’s qualities from Lama Zopa Rinpoche. From Mandala, March-April 2000.
- Tagged: lama zopa rinpoche
Bad and good depend on the individual person’s interpretation. In general, if you are able to spend your life collecting more virtue and less negative karma, that’s a good life. Even spending half the life this way is quite good. Spending even one quarter of the day creating good karma is better than spending the whole 24 hours creating only negative karma. So today, if you are able to create more virtue than negative karma, that’s a good life. Even though you might be exhausted, even though you might have almost died from practicing Dharma, you had a good life today.
Naropa, for example, had to experience the 12 great hardships and the 12 small hardships under the advice of Tilopa. And Marpa would not allow Milarepa to come to teachings and initiations; he received scoldings and beatings only, no sweet words like “you are such a good disciple” or “you have done excellent practice”; he only received Marpa’s wrathful aspect. Then Milarepa had to build a nine-story tower by himself, alone, and not just once; he had to tear it down and build it three times. Because of doing these intensive preliminary practices and following exactly his guru Marpa’s advice without having any negative thoughts towards him, Milarepa became enlightened in that life.
That’s the best life, you see, the best life. The definition of a bad life and a good life is very important, because if you don’t know you will be very confused; if your connotation is wrong you will go in the wrong direction. The result of this will be no attainment, no realization. The result will be that the mind is empty.
There is an interpretation of bad and good life according to attachment, according to ego. Then there is an interpretation of bad and good life according to the point of view of Dharma wisdom, the wisdom understanding karma, understanding lam-rim. Of course, they are totally opposite.
The common thing in the world is to follow the interpretation according to attachment. So if one has more success, more wealth, more external development, then that’s regarded as a good life: more and more things, more friends, more children, then grandchildren, then their children—the more there is happening, the more successful the life. So that’s one view.
Of course, everyone is looking for peace of mind and satisfaction in the heart, but they have no idea how to get it. Their methods are through external development only. Even though they really want peace and satisfaction, because of lack of spiritual education, Dharma education, they don’t have methods, they don’t have knowledge of practice. So they end up just as the Rolling Stones sang: “I can’t get no satisfaction.”
So from my point of view, unless you have renounced attachment you will not find satisfaction. You could be living in life-time retreat, or in the monastery or nunnery following the moral disciplines, having sacrificed a lot of the pleasures of this life, a lot of comfort, in order to live in pure morality, but if the mind is still suffering, it’s because it didn’t renounce attachment, it is not separated from attachment clinging to this life. You didn’t make the mind free, so the mind becomes friends with attachment clinging to this life, the mind associates with the thought of the eight worldly dharmas.
Therefore, even if the body is in retreat or in the monastery, the mind cannot enjoy following the moral discipline or the meditation practices. There’s no peace, no happiness in the heart. As the mind has become friends with attachment, you cannot give up this life’s comfort to practice Dharma. Then it gets difficult to follow the advice of the virtuous friend, it gets difficult to do service for the monastery, for the monks and nuns, and it’s difficult to serve other sentient beings.
Even though there is not yet any happiness in the mind because you have the attitude of attachment clinging to this life—you’re stuck with that, not with Dharma—nevertheless, your mind is protected from obstacles because you are trying, you are practicing morality. Then you can have great peace and can practice Dharma without obstacles. It’s the same with somebody doing long retreat, or someone who’s serving the virtuous friend or other sentient beings. What I am saying is that even though your motivation is more stuck with attachment and even though you mightn’t experience any happiness in your heart yet, it is still a good life because your practice of morality brings good results, a good rebirth in the next life. Even though your mind is not completely pure, even though the mind is not completely renounced, it is still a good life.
Of course, it takes time for this to happen. You need very intense and continuous meditation, especially on impermanence and death related to karma and the lower realms, and the general suffering of samsara, particularly the lower realms, and the preliminary meditation, the perfect human body, how it is highly useful and difficult to achieve again.
Or you could do the opposite: give up this life and think, “Oh, it didn’t make me happy.” After many years of practicing and studying Dharma—philosophy, highest tantra, anything that can be explained by qualified teachers—after all that I didn’t find happiness, so I’d better try something else.” You give up everything, and what you tried to abandon before, for all those years, now you have all of them. You are without rule, without discipline—you become a free guy.
So now you have a lot of physical comfort, wealth, friends and so on and you believe you have enjoyment; in fact it is a hallucination because the uncontrolled mind is the motivation. When you don’t think of the motivation and the future karmic result, this new life appears as pleasure. But if you think of the motivation and karmic result, then you realize it is not really a happy life.
What I am saying is that, according to my interpretation, a happy life is when you have a good motivation and your actions bring good results. As I mentioned before, Naropa and Milarepa had so much hardship but it brought a fantastic future, the best future. So that is the best life.
But in the West the interpretation of a good life is whether or not it makes me happy now. Now! This moment. Today. One is involved in the psychology of cherishing oneself, which gives you so much inspiration that you are important. But practicing Dharma is not rejecting yourself, it’s actually the best way to take care of yourself.
Practicing renunciation helps you become liberated from samsara, so that’s what you need, otherwise you experience suffering again and again, without end. And practicing the right view, emptiness: that’s the best way of taking care of yourself because it cuts the root of suffering. And what else do you need? What is better than this? What else is there that is better than this?
Therefore we must rejoice that we have met the precious Buddhadharma, especially lam-rim, the integration of the entire 84,000 teachings of the Buddha, and that without any confusion we can practice and achieve enlightenment.
Besides all this, we are able to do so much service for other sentient beings. Without talking about meditating on the stages of the path, practicing purifying negative karma, collecting merits, without that. Therefore we should rejoice.
- Tagged: lama zopa rinpoche
Excerpted from Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s invitation to join the Chenrezig Institute mani retreat, composed by Rinpoche during a stay at Deer Park Buddhist Center in Madison, Wisconsin, USA in July 2000, scribed and edited by Ven. Lhundup Damchö; excerpt edited by Dr. Nick Ribush. Rinpoche’s entire teachings at the retreat have been edited by Ven. Ailsa Cameron
The benefits of reciting the Compassion Buddha mantra are infinite, like the limitless sky.
Even if you don’t have much intellectual understanding of Dharma, even if the only thing you know is om mani padme hum, still the happiest life is one lived with an attitude free of the eight worldly concerns. If you live your life with the pure attitude free of attachment clinging to this life and simply spend your life chanting om mani padme hum—this six-syllable mantra that is the essence of all Dharma—that’s the purest Dharma.
It looks very simple, very easy to recite. But if you think of the benefits, it’s not at all simple. Here, I’d to mention just the essence of its infinite benefits.
Reciting the Compassion Buddha mantra just once completely purifies the four defeats of breaking the four root vows of self-liberation and the five uninterrupted negative karmas1.
It is also mentioned in the tantras that by reciting this mantra you achieve the four qualities of being born in the Amitabha Buddha pure land and other pure lands; at the time of death, seeing Buddha and lights appearing in the sky; the devas making you offerings; and never being reborn in the hell, hungry ghost or animals realms. You will be reborn in the pure land of Buddha or as a happy transmigratory being.
When one who recites ten malas a day goes swimming, whether in a river, an ocean or some other body of water, the water that touches that person’s body gets blessed.
It is said that up to seven generations of that person’s descendents won’t get reborn in the lower realms. The reason for this is that due to the power of mantra, the body is blessed by the person reciting the mantra and visualizing their body in form of the holy body of Chenrezig. Therefore, the body becomes so powerful, so blessed that this affects the consciousness up to seven generations and has the effect that if one dies with a non-virtuous thought, one is not reborn in a lower realm.
Thus, when a person who has recited ten malas of om mani padme hum a day goes into a river or an ocean, the water that touches the person’s body gets blessed, and this blessed water then purifies all the billions and billions of sentient beings in the water. So it’s unbelievably beneficial; this person saves the animals in that water from the most unbelievable suffering of the lower realms.
When such a person walks down a road and the wind touches his or her body and then goes on to touch insects, their negative karma gets purified and causes them to have a good rebirth. Similarly, when such a person does massage or otherwise touches others’ bodies, those people’s negative karma also gets purified.
Such a person becomes meaningful to behold; being seen and touched becomes a means of liberating other sentient beings. This means that even the person’s breath touching the bodies of other sentient beings purifies their negative karma. Anybody who drinks the water in which such a person has swum gets purified.
We are unbelievably fortunate to have met the Dharma and to have the opportunity to do recitation and meditation on the Compassion Buddha. It is an easy way of purifying whatever negative karma we have collected, in not only this life but in many previous lives as well.
Because we have met the Buddhadharma, and especially this method–the practice of Compassion Buddha and recitation of his mantra–it is easy to purify negative karma and collect extensive merit and thus to achieve enlightenment. We are unbelievably fortunate.
Therefore, there is nothing more foolish than not taking advantage of this great opportunity. Normally, we get continuously distracted and waste our lives. Not only that, but all the actions done with ego and with the three poisonous minds of anger, attachment and ignorance create negative karma, the cause of suffering. In all existence, there is nothing more foolish than using this perfect human body to create only suffering.
In places such as Tibet, Nepal, India and Ladakh, there’s a well-established tradition of doing the Compassion Buddha retreat and reciting 100 million om mani padme hum mantras. The one held at Chenrezig Institute was the first such retreat held in the West and the first in the FPMT organization. This is to happen there once each year—only once each year!
If you’re feeling guilt in your life, you can overcome this through the purification of attending this retreat.
The retreat is not just chanting mantras with sadhanas, but also includes taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts, if not every day, at least frequently. Whatever merit you collect that day increases 100,000 times. This becomes such an easy and quick way to purify, collect extensive merit, achieve enlightenment and liberate sentient beings from unimaginable suffering and bring them to enlightenment quickly.
Whoever attends a mani retreat is unbelievably fortunate. Even if you can’t attend the whole retreat, you can participate for two months, one month or at least a few weeks. You can do even just one week. I especially hope this retreat will also be established in Mongolia, since their main food is meat and so many animals are killed there every day. This practice helps purify that. After our temple in Mongolia has been built, I hope that thousands of people will attend mani retreats there. Gradually too, I would like this retreat to be established in other parts of the West.
This retreat also blesses the country where it is held and brings so much peace, happiness and prosperity.
Even if you know the teachings on how to meditate on bodhicitta, you still need to receive the special blessings of the deity, Compassion Buddha. You receive these by doing the meditation and recitation we practice in the mani retreat. Therefore, recitation of om mani padme hum is one way to actualize bodhicitta–to transform your mind into bodhicitta and make your meditation on bodhicitta effective.
Generally, according to my experience, in my home of Solu Khumbu in the Himalayas of Nepal, there are people who live their lives chanting om mani padme hum but have no idea of the three principal aspects of the path–renunciation, bodhicitta and the right view of emptiness–not even the words. Even though they can’t read and don’t even know the alphabet, they have great devotion to compassion and bodhicitta and live their lives reciting om mani padme hum. Such people are warm-hearted, very kind, very compassionate. This is proof from my experience that it has the effect of transforming the mind into a good heart and compassion.
Without bodhicitta, you cannot cause all the happiness for all sentient beings. You cannot do perfect work for all sentient beings, and you cannot achieve the complete qualities of the realizations and cessation, even for yourself.
Thus, everyone is most welcome to join the 100 million om mani padme hum mantra retreat.
1. These are karmas so heavy that they ripen immediately as a rebirth in the hell realm upon the exhaustion of the karma of this life. The five are: killing one’s mother, killing one’s father, drawing the blood of a Buddha, killing an arhat and causing disunity among the Sangha.
- Tagged: lama zopa rinpoche
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- Tagged: lama zopa rinpoche
- Tagged: lama zopa rinpoche
Dharamsala, India — December 25, 2011
From Ven. Roger:
Time to go to the airport! We are all packed. Many suit cases are loaded. Where is Rinpoche? Now it is getting late. Rinpoche is still doing the last session of retreat. I keep reminding Rinpoche of the time but get no response!
The retreat, in some way, signifies another aspect of Rinpoche’s style. Back to normal. Sessions at night have been going until 5 am and can last up to 7 hours long.
Trying to get Rinpoche to finish the retreat and get to the airport.
- Tagged: lama zopa rinpoche
McLeod Ganj, India — December 1, 2011
From Ven. Roger:
His Holiness the Dalai Lama walked through the door. Rinpoche went forward to greet him (not being able to prostrate) and they embraced (this was the first time Rinpoche had met His Holiness since his stroke earlier in the year). The room was very silent and still. They remained embracing each other for what seemed like a long time. His Holiness then sat down and asked Rinpoche to sit close. His Holiness then held Rinpoche’s right hand and kept massaging and stroking it throughout their meeting and asking about how the stroke had started and all that had happened. During the meeting, for some who were in the small group with Rinpoche, it was hard to hold back the tears. Some were not holding them back at all. (more…)
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