The Essence of Life 

The Essence of Life 

Date Posted:
September 2009

Rinpoche made the following comments to a student about developing on the path.

The best life in the world is if you are able to develop your mind in devotion and renunciation, as well as the good heart, which is the essence of the Mahayana teachings, in loving kindness, compassion, bodhicitta, and also some experience of emptiness. This is great, the best life in the world, the happiest life, making your life very fruitful. Without experience and practice of the lam-rim, the rest of life is only suffering – whatever you do, wherever you are. Without the lam-rim, whether you are the president or king, life is only suffering; being the lowest person is suffering, being a beggar is suffering, being a wealthy person is suffering, being a zillionaire is suffering, having friends is suffering, not having friends is suffering, living in the city is suffering, living in the countryside is suffering, sleeping is suffering, not sleeping is suffering, eating is suffering, not eating is suffering, having children is suffering, not having children is suffering, and so on.

I rejoice and have great praise for you, that while you are living a family life, you are able to develop your mind in the experience of the lam-rim. There are many many obstacles with living a family life, double and triple obstacles, externally and internally, to practicing Dharma and developing the mind on the path, so this is the greatest challenge. You are a much greater champion than an Olympic champion who practices for 30 or 40 years, his or her whole life from childhood, to be a champion. These champions are nothing, they are only champions of suffering. In the world, many people regard champions as people who win wars, killing many people, but winning the war creates so much negative karma, and they end up being reborn in the lower realms.

It is very easy for people who live in the mountains, in a very isolated place, or in a monastery or nunnery, to develop their mind on the path, although for some people it is very difficult to develop their mind on the path even in these very ideal conditions. Therefore, I rejoice that you are developing your mind within a family life.

My advice to you is to continue to develop your guru devotion realization, to stabilize it forever, to see all your gurus as all the Buddhas and all the Buddhas as all your gurus.

Mainly focus on bodhicitta and emptiness, but still meditate a little bit each week on the topics from the perfect human rebirth to karma.