Saturday, September 24, 2011


Hello all, this is my last blog before leaving Mexico.  The retreat was well attended and enjoyable, meditating and talking and Bodhicitta.  Teachings this week on 8 verses of thought transformation and this weekend Reiki for beginners.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of violence in this area, kidnappings, murders etc. so people are really unnerved and anxious.  Next time I write will be from Australia.  Bye!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rinpoche: Bodhisattva attitude

THIS MONTH: Bodhisattva Attitude   

Rinpoche at Lawudo Retreat Centre,
Nepal, 1970.
By dedicating your life to others in this way, you can enjoy every day. There is always DEEP happiness in your heart instead of jealousy and so many other sufferings. When you follow your ego, negative emotional thoughts and self-cherishing, even though nobody else tortures you, you are constantly tortured by attachment, anger and so on. You create so many problems and so much negative karma and then you suffer. You harm others and yourself and then you have to experience the result by again having so many problems. Your whole life goes by like this until one day death comes and that's it. Life finishes in suffering.

With this bodhisattva attitude, you can enjoy life. You experience it with Dharma. Letting go of delusion, ego and especially the self-cherishing thought, you live with inner peace and happiness, in deep joy and satisfaction, by practicing Dharma. Then your heart is opened all the time, day and night. You are able to help other sentient beings and yourself. All your activities are accomplished and you achieve enlightenment, ceasing all gross and subtle delusions and completing all the qualities of realization. You are able to liberate others from sufferings and delusions and bring them to enlightenment.

If you live your life in this way with this total change of mind to the bodhisattva's attitude, you have deep happiness all the time. There are no regrets now and no regrets in the future, just greater and greater happiness up to enlightenment. You are able to help both yourself and others.

In the West, millions of people suffer from depression, but if you dedicate your life in the morning to numberless sentient beings, there is unbelievable joy and happiness the whole day. Cherishing the I opens the door to all suffering, while cherishing others opens the door to all happiness. When you live your life every day for others, the door to depression, relationship problems and all these things is closed and instead there is incredible joy and excitement.

With this bodhisattva attitude you become wish-fulfilling for others. All sentient beings have been wish-fulfilling and kind to you since beginningless rebirths and now you become wish-fulfilling for them. From this, all your wishes for happiness are fulfilled, even your wish to achieve liberation and enlightenment and to benefit others by causing them happiness this life, future lives, liberation and enlightenment. You become the cause of all this for others. This is how to overcome all problems.

Recite this motivation in the morning and then during the day, if somebody gets angry at you, scolds, abuses, or says nasty words, whatever happens, remember this motivation. If you ask somebody for help and they refuse, remember this motivation. Then, instead of rising anger, delusions and all that junk and garbage, you will have great peace and happiness. The point is to generate this motivation in the morning and then remember it throughout the day, especially when something happens and there is a danger to rise harmful thoughts of anger, attachment and so forth. By remembering this motivation and keeping your mind in it, you are free from creating negative karma. There is so much peace and happiness now, and in the future, the result will be enlightenment for you and for all sentient beings.

Mexico City returning to VC

His Holiness's teaching was wonderful, of course.  Sitting so close to HH and surrounded by loving Sangha.  Who could ask for more?  There is a hurricane heading towards Vera Cruz, winds around 65mph and I am on the bus this afternoon back to VC.  Not sure what I will experience.  Have never been in a hurricane.  Tuesday evening meditation in VC and then to Xalapa where we start a Bodhicitta retreat on the 15th. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tribute to Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup

Check out this video on YouTube:

Update on VC

A public talk in one University and then another public talk yesterday in another University.  Yesterday was a bit of a shock.  I had said I would like to talk to a small group of students, maybe 40-50, but I found out when I arrived there were hundreds in a big auditorium.  Apparently when the students heard about the talk they said "How can you shut out some students" and so insisted on being included.  The time was definitely positive and the students told me they received a lot of encouragement from the talk.  

Tonight we finish Peaceful Living, Peaceful Dying and then tomorrow I travel to Mexico City for His Holiness's teaching on Saturday, returning to Vera Cruz on Sunday for my last talk on Tuesday evening.

15th September the retreat starts with the Xalapa group.  We are meditating on the 11 steps to Bodhicitta.  Followed by teachings in Xalapa from the 19th. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup

Khen Rinpoche has passed away (7th September Nepal)......please do Medicine Buddha puja if you can.  Thank you so much.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vera Cruz

A wonderful start to my time here.  Around 75 people turned up for the three day workshop on Transforming Problems into Happiness.  It was a hot, humid night so the air conditioners were working very hard and the subject probably added a bit more heat!
Well done Ceci and Oscar for organizing such a good turnout.  Ceci has been on the radio and Oscar put up posters. 

Inspiration from Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche

The Good Heart is the Root of Happiness   
[posted Aug 2011]
Rinpoche gave this advice about the good heart at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in June 2011. Scribe, Ven. Holly Ansett.

Since I had a stroke, I started to see a physiotherapist in Nepal. Suddenly my physiotherapist asked questions while doing physiotherapy, then at the very end he said, “not so many people in the world have a good heart.” Usually when we say that, it means being rough and tough to others.
Here is my answer to that question, my way of thinking about that. Usually it is regarded as less important in the world to have a good heart, instead we are very tough and uncaring, we cheat and hurt others, we tell lies and cause loss to others to get our own happiness, profits and so forth.
Even if other people don’t practice the good heart, still we should practice the good heart because we want happiness and we don’t want suffering. Even if other sentient beings don’t practice the good heart or they try to harm us, cause us loss, kill us and so forth, if we practice only the good heart from our own side—if we are kind and only benefit others with our body, speech and mind or at the very least we don’t cause harm to other sentient beings, then we will experience happiness.
As a result of one act of kindness, the good heart, we will experience the result, happiness, for thousands of lifetimes. From that one act of kindness, benefiting someone with our body, speech and mind or at least not harming another, the result is happiness. This is the result, even if we are looking only for our own happiness.
Generating the good heart helps all sentient beings, and at least not harming sentient beings purifies instantly our negative karmas and defilements created from beginningless rebirth and we collect unbelievable merit.
It is mentioned in the Bodhicaryavatara by the great holy being, the bodhisattva Shantideva, that even thinking about healing the headache of sentient beings has benefit. No question if we are actually working for the happiness of all sentient beings. There is no need to mention the benefit from that, the most unbelievable, unbelievable great benefit that has.
By having a good heart, and at the very least not harming others, it brings us happiness and by the way brings happiness to all sentient beings. If we harm someone, whether an animal or human being then we receive harm from others for many hundreds and thousands of lifetimes, and we can’t benefit others for that length of time. When we can’t benefit others, then the purpose of our life becomes meaningless, the purpose of our life is lost and we become totally lost, like being stuck in a quagmire of mud or in the ocean.
By generating compassion, the good heart and loving kindness to someone—to even one sentient being—it brings us to full enlightenment. We achieve not only liberation from samsara, but also full enlightenment, buddhahood—the complete cessation of all the defilements and sufferings and the complete realizations, omniscience.
So, the purpose of generating the good heart is incredible. We can gain all the realizations—whatever we want to achieve and we will have no obstacles, no blockage to benefit ALL SENTIENT BEINGS, to free them from all the sufferings and causes of suffering, and to be able to give them all the causes of temporal and ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara and full enlightenment.
It is common knowledge even in our own lives, that someone who has a good heart not only makes himself happy, but also makes his family and parents happy. He can even make someone who doesn’t know him happy, without even mentioning being able to bring ultimate happiness, enlightenment, to all sentient beings. Definitely that person can bring peace to this world. Living life with the good heart is the most important thing, and even animals become happy with us—even the birds and dogs, everybody.
We must care for this tiny sentient being, this ant, that has been our brother and sister in the past. All these ants have been human beings before, like us, then due to ignorance and not knowing the I, not knowing Dharma, from anger and attachment they are born in the lower realms as an ant and so forth, due to delusion and karma. We can’t imagine falling into the lower realms and being born as an ant after we die. It’s hard to imagine. By not understanding Dharma and not practicing Dharma, then due to delusion and karma we may be born as ant. Can you imagine?
We have been born like that numberless times, after being a human then we are reborn in the lower realms as an ant. We have been exactly the same as this ant or another insect so tiny that we can only see it through a microscope. We have been exactly the same as this tiny sentient being, or as a being with a body as huge as a mountain.
Since I had this stroke, paralysis, it gives an idea how it is possible. We can’t imagine being born like this, as an ant and so forth—we can’t imagine the suffering. We can’t even stand the human beings' problems and sufferings, so no way can we stand the sufferings of the animals, hell beings, pretas and so forth. This is why we must understand Dharma and practice the good heart now. It is very important.
Buddha taught 100 volumes called the Kangyur, and then the great scholars and many Indian pandits—the six ornaments and the two sublime disciples and so forth—gave commentaries on these texts. The commentaries are called the Tengyur and there are more than 200 volumes. Then there are also the great scholars and holy beings in Tibet and all their teachings.
Buddhism came from India, from Buddha, and then went to Tibet and Nepal. Buddhism became well established in Tibet, so many people practiced and served and so many became bodhisattvas and buddhas in Tibet. Tibet is unbelievable; there are so many holy places, also in Nepal. When Buddhism in India degenerated, then in Tibet it became like sunshine.
Buddhism is not made up or created by Tibetan lamas, without a lineage from ancient times. In the early days Tibetan Buddhism was referred to as Lamaism but it is totally wrong to call it that.
With Buddhism, the more we learn, the deeper our knowledge. Buddhism goes deeper and deeper, but with other religions that have just a little learning, we touch the bottom. Buddhism is like an ocean and the real understanding is when we achieve omniscient mind, when we become Buddha.
Therefore, generating the good heart to everybody—towards insects, hungry ghosts, hell beings, human beings, suras and asuras—is the very essence of life. The good heart is the real meaning of life and the most important education; it is the root of our happiness and the happiness of all sentient beings.
Thank you very much.

With much love and prayers,
Lama Zopa