Lama Zopa Rinpoche Quotes
Your up and down emotions are like clouds in the sky; beyond them, the real, basic human nature is clear and pure.
Be as careful as you can. Our minds are funny. Sometimes we are skeptical of things that are really worthwhile and completely accepting of things that we should avoid. Try to avoid extremes and follow the middle way, checking with wisdom wherever you go.
Real happiness in life starts when you begin to cherish others.
Once you realize the true evolution of your mental problems, you’ll never blame any other living being for how you feel.
Less desire means less pain.
When you meet miserable conditions, it is extremely important to use skillful means. In other words, there is a meditation to mix with whatever suffering you experience. When you apply the teachings in this way, all sufferings are mixed with virtue. All experiences of suffering become virtue.
If you have compassion in your everyday life, you collect the most extensive merit and purify much negative karma in a very short time. Many lifetimes, many eons of negative karma get purified. That helps you realize emptiness.
In Buddhism, we are not particularly interested in the quest for intellectual knowledge alone. We are much more interested in understanding what’s happening here and now, in comprehending our present experience, what we are at this very moment, our fundamental nature.
You are responsible for your own problems just as you’re responsible for your own liberation and enlightenment.
The greatest problems of humanity are psychological, not material. From birth to death, people are continually under the control of their mental sufferings.
May there be no war, disease or natural disaster such as fire, flood, earthquake and so forth. May everybody realize bodhichitta, the good heart, enjoy peace and happiness and as quickly as possible realize the wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, cease all their defilements and achieve enlightenment.
Tibetan Buddhism teaches you to overcome your dissatisfied mind, but to do that you have to make an effort. To put our techniques into your own experience, you have to go slowly, gradually. You can’t just jump right in the deep end. It takes time and we expect you to have trouble at first. But if you take it easy it gets less and less difficult as time goes by.
Countless sentient beings have suffered by being harmed or killed for every grain of rice you eat. Think about the previous grain from which it came. If you understand this, there’s no way you’ll be able to eat simply for your own selfish enjoyment; you’ll always make offerings of your food and drink.
You don’t need to obsess over the attainment of future realizations. As long as you act in the present with as much understanding as you possibly can, you’ll realize everlasting peace in no time at all.
Don’t think of Buddhism as some kind of narrow, closed-minded belief system. It isn’t. Buddhist doctrine is not a historical fabrication derived through imagination and mental speculation, but an accurate psychological explanation of the actual nature of the mind.
In the lam-rim, there’s some advice on how to get up early in the morning without being overwhelmed by sleep. Before getting into bed the night before, wash your feet while thinking of light. Try it; it works.
If twenty-four hours a day, everything you do is motivated by bodhichitta, you accumulate infinite merit. Moreover, every single action becomes a cause not only for your own enlightenment, but also the happiness of every other sentient being.
To put an end to our samsaric suffering, we must do two things: One is to purify the negative actions we’ve done every day of our lives and in our infinite previous lives as well. We also have to change our minds and actions and abstain from creating further negativities.
Like molding dough in your hand, you can definitely turn your mind whichever way you want.
Try to eliminate the negative attitudes, which bring suffering, and increase the positive attitudes, which bring happiness.
Hearing the teachings benefits your own mind, and later, because of having heard it, you will be able to benefit others.
Happiness and suffering come from your own mind, not from outside. Your own mind is the cause of happiness; your own mind is the cause of suffering. To obtain happiness and pacify suffering, you have to work within your own mind.
Faith alone never stops problems; understanding knowledge-wisdom always does. Lord Buddha himself said that belief in Buddha was dangerous; that instead of just believing in something, people should use their minds to try to discover their own true nature.
Approaching enlightenment is a gradual process, but once you attain it, there’s no going back; when you reach the fully awakened state of mind, the moment you experience that, you remain enlightened forever.
Buddhist meditation doesn’t necessarily mean sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed. Simply observing how your mind is responding to the sense world can be a really perfect meditation and bring a perfect result.
Proper guru devotion – correct devotion to your virtuous friends – allows you to actualize successfully all the steps of the path to enlightenment, from the perfect human rebirth up to buddhahood itself.
Without the practice of morality, there’s no enlightenment, no liberation from samsara, not even good rebirths in future lives.
We often feel miserable and our world seems upside-down because we believe that external things will work out exactly as we plan and expect them to.
We can transform any problem, even death, into happiness. The point is not to stop the experience of problems but to stop the conditions that we call ‘problems’ from disturbing our mind, and instead use them to support the spiritual path that we practice.
If you listen to the advice of the Buddha – who has only compassion for sentient beings and no trace of self-centred mind; who is perfect in power, wisdom and compassion; whose holy mind is omniscient – all you get is benefit.
We are not compelled to meditate by some outside agent, by other people, or by God. Rather, just as we are responsible for our own suffering, so are we solely responsible for our own cure. We have created the situation in which we find ourselves, and it is up to us to create the circumstances for our release. Therefore, as suffering permeates our life, we have to do something in addition to our regular daily routine. This “something” is spiritual practice or, in other words, meditation.
The Purpose of Meditation
Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive
Live with compassion. Work with compassion. Die with compassion. Meditate with compassion. Enjoy with compassion. When problems come, experience them with compassion.
When you recognize your problem comes from your concept or your concept is the problem, you don’t blame others.
If you want to be loved, love others first.
The minute you cherish others, you have happiness and peace in your life.
There is no samsaric pleasure that is new, so let go of the clinging that creates samsara.
Death could come any minute so transform your life into Dharma.
Every second of this human life gives us the freedom to choose between hell and enlightenment, samsara and liberation.
Every second of this human life is more precious than skies of wish-granting jewels.
For happiness, cherish others.
Cherishing others is the source of all happiness.
See everyone as precious and fulfilling all your wishes.
No anger inside means no enemy outside.
The sun of real happiness shines in your life when you start to cherish others.
No desire means no emotional pain of attachment, anger and jealousy. There is peace, openness and space for genuine love and compassion to arise.
The root of your life’s problems becomes non-existent when you cherish others.
Think that everyone you meet is fulfilling all your wishes.
Cherishing others opens the door to every happiness for self and others.
Letting go of attachment brings inner satisfaction and peace.
Since the I that exists is merely imputed, there is nothing to cherish, nothing to cling to. Good-bye to depression, worries and fears.
Practice with the bodhisattva attitude every day. People can’t see your mind; what people see is a manifestation of your attitude in your actions of body and speech. So pay attention to your attitude all the time. Guard it as if you are the police, or like a parent cares for a child, like a bodyguard, or as if you are the guru and your mind is your disciple.
If you cherish another person, another sentient being, there is enlightenment and you cause them to achieve every happiness. If you don’t cherish them, there is no enlightenment for you. Therefore, this person, this one sentient being, is the most precious one in one’s own life. Therefore, what is called I needs to be let go forever. And what is called other, even one sentient being, that is to be cherished forever.
If you follow self-cherishing thoughts, those thoughts become your identity. Then anger, pride, the jealous mind – all this negative emotional stuff arises. When you let go of the I and cherish others, negative emotional thoughts do not arise. That’s very clear. Anger does not arise at those you cherish.
The most happy thing in my life, most fulfilling thing is to work for and to benefit sentient beings. Even just the mere thought to cause happiness to sentient beings, to benefit them, to free them from suffering is the BEST offering to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas. This is the best offering, the best puja; this is what pleases their holy mind most.
The whole thing, so many practices, all come down to live the daily life with bodhicitta motivation to put all the effort in that whatever you do. This way your life doesn’t get wasted and it becomes full of joy and happiness, with no regrets later, especially when you die and you can die with a smile outside and a smile in the heart.
One must practice with the bodhisattva attitude every day. People can’t see your mind, what people see is a manifestation of your attitude in your actions of body and speech. Pay attention to your attitude all the time, guard it as if you are the police, or like a maid cares for a child, like a bodyguard, or like you are the guru and your mind is your disciple.
The office is a place for Dharma practice. When one goes to the office, dealing with people, one has to recognize it’s a place to practice lam-rim, the three principles of the path, tantra, and the six paramitas. The six paramitas fit very well for daily life. They offer protection for you. Everything is there.
When you recognize your problem comes from your concept or your concept is the problem, you don’t blame others.
If you are suffering, use it as the cause to bring happiness to others. This way, whatever kind of life experience you have, you use it on the path. There is no interruption to Dharma practice and one’s life is most beneficial.
Each one of us is responsible for all other living beings’ happiness besides our own. As a result, your loving kindness is the most wish fulfilling thing in life, more precious than anything else in the world. That makes for a most satisfying, fulfilling life.
Whatever problem one experiences if one thinks about the benefits of problems and how they are beneficial for ones own life, to develop ones mind in compassion, to develop loving kindness, patience, wisdom, and all the positive qualities for the path to liberation. By thinking of the benefits one develops this precious quality, this most healthy positive way of thinking that brings happiness and that stops you from harming yourself and stops you from harming others.
Use problems as ornaments, seeing them as extremely precious, because they make you achieve enlightenment quickly, by getting you to achieve bodhicitta. Experience these problems on behalf of all sentient beings, giving all happiness to sentient beings. This is the ornament.
Anybody who dedicates their life to achieving lam rim realizations with the goal to liberate numberless beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and to bring to enlightenment, this is what I regard as the most important thing in the world.
However the very bottom line is to do all ones actions with bodhichitta. That is the best, the most meaningful way to think during your break time. This makes your life most beneficial. As much as possible with awareness keep ones attitude and thoughts in bodhichitta, the thought of benefiting others, try to do all the activities with that mind, including doing your job and throughout the day. This way even in your break time whatever you do becomes the cause of happiness.