The Happy Path (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Bendigo, Australia 1991 (Archive #877)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche taught on the merely imputed I, the benefits of altruism and compassion, how to transform problems and the five powers, during two evening discourses in Bendigo, Australia, in August, 1991.

Click here to read edited transcripts of these teachings.

Developing Altruism

So taking the full responsibility upon oneself to do this work for others. So and then, in order to do this, first oneself to achieve this peerless happiness, the full enlightenment the mind is free from all the mistakes and completed in all the realizations. So oneself to achieve this first. So with this altruism, what is called thought of full enlightenment, so developing the wisdom with this method, with this very brave attitude to benefit for every sentient being, every suffering being, so then, even the subtle imprint, subtle mistake of the mind get completely purified, then this continuation of this consciousness then this becomes full enlightenment or the great liberation. Then that time this mind become no mistakes, no obscurations, there's no obscurations at all so therefore this mind become fully knowing mind, able to see all the past, present and future, everything, can read everyone's mind, every creature, human being, everyone's, can see everyone's mind and not just that, but able to see every single method that fits to them to bring them in happiness, to free them from the problems, sufferings and to bring them in happiness. So from happiness to happiness to the highest, what is called full enlightenment. So the mind sees every single method to reveal to them, the suitable method.

Then, not only that, then one has also perfect power to help others, there's nothing missing in the power, all the powers are completed at that time because you have no obstacle in the mind, everything purified, so the power why we don't have perfect power now to help everyone is because there's obstacles in the mind, there's mental obstacles. So because of that, unable to have perfect power to help everyone. So, that time all the mental obstacles, interferences obscurations are purified so the power is completed that time to help others.

Then not only that, compassion that time also compassion for all sentient beings, compassion for every sentient being is completed at that time, there's nothing more to develop compassion that time, it's completed, the mind is completed training in the compassion. So, then, with all these qualities, so these three are just very simple way of explaining the infinite qualities of the holy body, holy speech and holy mind, there's infinite qualities that how one can help other sentient beings. So all the qualities and powers what it has.

So then that time now at the moment our mind cannot be everywhere got stuck, your mind cannot be everywhere. While we are here, while we are in this room, while our mind is in this room, we cannot be at the same time at home with the family, at the same time. Or in another country. While one is working at the same time to be at the beach or on holidays , one cannot do at the same time, one's mind cannot be everywhere, wherever one like to be there's obstacle, mind, consciousness cannot pervade, there's a block. So that time, there's no blockage, free, the consciousness is completely free, so the consciousness, so that time, pervades, that consciousness is not like our present consciousness, very gross, not like that.

Anyway, that time consciousness is extremely fine h/e it's completely free from all the obstacles, so that consciousness pervades, there's no resistance, there's no obstacle, so it pervades to all the existence, so covers to all existence, so therefore that being, that completely free being is called a fully enlightened being, then that being, then whenever the sentient beings, whenever there's need of help, whenever the sentient beings from their side, the merit, but I have to explain this, so the sentient beings with the positive attitude, compassion, loving kindness, or patience that which is not ignorance, neither ignorance nor the anger, or the attachment, those things, the attitude which is none of those things, the harmful thoughts, there's positive attitude so they do actions out of that, that positive action, stop harming others or helping others, this action leaves imprint on their consciousness, so that is what is called merit. H/e that is what is called accumulating merit, cause of happiness.

So whenever sentient beings, this positive imprints on the mind which is the cause of happiness, whenever this is ripened, immediately the enlightened being, without delay even a second, immediately it manifest form whatever it fits according to the level of that being, then give guidance with body, speech and mind, then give guidance, whatever is needed, it is not only giving teaching, it's not only teaching meditation, not that, various methods whatever it fits to them, so then gradually then as their mind more and more developed by doing more, out of positive mind more positive actions then leaving again more positive imprint then mind get more and more developed then when their mind is ready then reveal the teaching, when it is suitable, then explain the path, so like that. So like this, gradually then lead to peerless happiness, full enlightenment, all sentient beings. So this just happened by the way, this talk, but actually what I'm going to talk is the stress, that, so before I started that, I started before stress depends on how you think, depend on way of thinking, so that is the first thing to understand, the psychology dependent on one's own way, one's own concept, with one concept there's stress, with another concept there's no stress.

Then, the thought transformation is the best technique, thought mainly the thought transformation, transforming the mind, this is the best technique to stop, to relieve oneself from stress, what am I saying? Maybe I say wrong way . To relieve, to free oneself from the stress anyway. Thought transformation, here I'm not going to talk much, I'm just giving an idea. The basic thing about transforming the mind, what it's saying is, what it really means is when there's a miserable, difficult circumstances happened that one has AIDS or cancer or relationship problem or something, whatever bad condition, undesirable condition that happens then rather interpreting the situation as negative, you interpret as positive, because it's all dependent to the mind, as I mentioned before, whether you see it as a problem or whether you use your life as a problem, as disturbing to you, or whether you use your life as beneficial, as a comforting, as beneficial for your mind, especially for the mind, for the development of the inner qualities wisdom and method, that which is in one's own mind, the inner qualities, such as wisdom which I just mentioned before, the most important wisdom realizing ultimate nature of the I and so forth.

So, [pause] whether one makes the life, the situation beneficial for one's own mind, to develop the most important education in the life, most important qualities of the mind, the good qualities of mind, most important education in the life, to develop altruism, compassion, to develop the wisdom so that you can help others more depth, you can benefit others in depth not superficial, can really benefit in depth, can really benefit to their mind, the most important benefit what they need is to their mind, because their problem came from their mind, so what really help they need is help to their mind, so therefore one can by revealing, with your own experience, then by showing your own experience, h/e the right path, then one can really liberate others from the cause of the problems, so like this, can lead to ultimate happiness, not just only to bring temporary happiness but especially the cessation of all the problems and causes.

So, it's completely dependent to one's own mind. So when there's some difficult situation like this happens then to establish thought like, rather than establishing dislike, you establish thought like. But you have to know the reasons, you have to know how to do that, how to establish the thought of like, when the difficult situation happens in the life, how to establish, how to interpret positive, how to look at everything as positive how to establish thought of like on this difficult life situation, rather than bothering, to make it beneficial. Rather than making it to bother to you, angry or depressed, make it to enjoy, to really make the life meaningful from that. So one has to know, one has to study, one has to meditate, one has to study those subjects then one has to meditate, meditate means, once one knows the meditation subject, these reasons, then in the daily life, when the difficult situation comes, then you use, like medicine, when one has disease, when one has got a headache you take the medicine for headache, when one get toothache one take the medicine for that. So like that, there are different medicines. Similar, so there are different meditations which explain all the reasons how to look at things as positive how to look at the life positive, how to transform the unhappy life into happy life, the meaningless life, meaningful, so all that.

So just to give, so there are meditations for that, which explains how to do that, so I just leave it there.

So just going over brief the different techniques of what can be done just to give some examples, so if I spend much time in one thing then the general idea related to this mental _______. H/e, there are so many things to think about, to meditate or to really, to look at the life as positive life situation, how to look at positive, how to transform it into happiness. H/e now, when one, so I just mention one thing, one most meaningful thing, most beneficial thing, so if one has a relationship problem to think, on this earth there are numberless people, there are so many people who have relationship problem and even worse than me, there are many other people who have much worse problem than me, much heavier, so in other words, I am one, I am just one person and others are numberless, even those who have problems are numberless and generally other human beings, other sentient beings who have problems is numberless, like the infinite sky, so I am just one, no matter how much a problem I have, it's just one person just one, so therefore nothing important.

What is precious, what is really precious is this majority, these others who are numberless even just the human beings and even those who have similar problem are so many, uncountable number so therefore how wonderful it is, anyway, since I am going through this experience, anyway I am going through this, so why not, I experience all others' the problems by me and let them be free from all the problems and they have happiness, so happiness being free from these problems how wonderful it is if I can do that. If I do that how wonderful it is everyone have happiness, peace in the life, enjoyment and I take all their problems. I give m elf for them.

So one generate this altruism to serve, to dedicate oneself to everyone. Then by generating this great compassion, then thinkI, so one can also pray to receive, one can do meditation of receiving their problems on one's own ego, the ego is the one that which brings relationship problems, all the problems, all the disasters, so therefore you take all their problems and then you take all their problems inside and you destroy the ego, all the problems absorbed on the ego and the ego become non-existent, the selfish mind, the ego become non-existent, that which brings all the undesirable things to you.

So then, most of the time, so one can do meditation like this, then most of the time then think, while one is working in the family or in the office, wherever, then thinking, time to time think, Oh, I am experiencing this problem on behalf of all other sentient beings, so to remember this again and again. Rather when we don't meditate like this what happens is, each time when you remember the problem then it depresses the mind, each time when one remember life problem then it depresses the mind [snaps fingers repeatedly] it brings the mind, it brings your spirit...

…it doesn't happen. So each time when you remember the problem [snaps fingers], Oh, I am experiencing this on behalf of all other sentient beings. So each time trying to think this way. So this way you see your life, Now, my life has meaning, because I am doing something for other sentient beings, I am doing something useful, beneficial for other sentient beings giving happiness to other sentient beings, taking their problems and giving happiness to them. So I am sacrificing something for others rather day and night, all the time, I work for myself, only thinking, When I can be happy? When I can be free from my problems? My problems, my problems, my happiness, my happiness. So rather kind of become obsessed of my, my, my, my happiness, my happiness, so rather than obsessed by the self-cherishing thought then one, now I am doing something for other sentient beings, so therefore so you see meaning, great meaning in one's own life and then this way one see also the purpose of living the life. So like that.

So this one is, I am experiencing the problem on behalf of all sentient beings. Then rest of the time to think again and again. Each time the thought of problem comes, to think this way. So then and this one, this way then it brings much joy, worthwhile, life is worthwhile and it brings much happiness in the heart satisfaction, one find satisfaction in the life and much joy. So this is one technique.

So the other thing, so the second thing is second method is that sometimes doing too many things that which one can't do then which one cannot do everything, which one doesn't have capacity to do everything. So then how one should decide which one to do, which one not to do? So then one has to analyze the work, action what one does whether it's harmful or beneficial, so then one stop the harmful ones and do the beneficial ones, by analyzing whether it's harmful action what I'm doing or beneficial, so then one stops the harmful ones and do the beneficial, that's the first thing to start.

Then second thing, there are many beneficial things that one can do, but since one cannot do everything, great beneficial, middle beneficial, small beneficial in the work. If one cannot do all then first do the great, if one doesn't have enough time or capacity then do the great beneficial one. Then after that if there's still capacity, time, then do the middle benefit, then if there's still capacity then do even the small benefit one.

Now the question of benefit, whom beneficial? To you or to other, beneficial to yourself or beneficial to other sentient beings. Now after this, this question rises, whom the action is beneficial, to oneself or to other sentient beings. So as I mentioned earlier, beneficial to oneself is just one person, just one sentient being, the rest other sentient beings are numberless, who doesn't want harm from you, who want help from you is numberless. So, who are dependent, whose happiness dependent to you are numberless. So, if one practice compassion, good heart, then everyone receives, doesn't receive harm, they receive happiness, but if one does not practice good heart, such as compassion, then with the self-cherishing thought, because that thought is only concerned oneself so therefore doesn't care others, so therefore there's danger to receive harm to all other sentient beings, directly or indirectly. So therefore other sentient beings' happiness which comes from you, that is dependent to you.

So therefore one need to benefit, so the action to be beneficial, for whom beneficial? So there's self and others, oneself and others so the most important thing to think about beneficial, is beneficial for other sentient beings, who are numberless, so that means most important one, most precious one. So that is one thing. So need to help others, that was explained how oneself is responsible, their happiness dependent to you.

Then, so for ordinary, such as myself, like this, for ordinary people, more in our life, more compassion, more altruism that one has, less stress, more altruism, more concern for other sentient beings, more good heart that one has to benefit other sentient beings, to not harm, to benefit for other sentient beings, less stress. Much less stress. So the stress a lot depends on how much good heart there is now, so the reason you can understand, the more, as there is that much concern for oneself, cherishing oneself, as stronger there is ego-centered mind, there's more stress want so many things, what to get done, want to have so many success want so many things for oneself, so then not happening so unable to get done, so not getting, not receiving, unable to get done, so there's much stress and stronger attachment there is in the life, stronger attachment there is to one's own happiness but this life's happiness, this life, stronger attachment there is to one's own life, one's own this life, so because of that then, first thing is self-cherishing thought, the second thing is the strong attachment to this life so because of that then want so many things, so many things wants to get, so then, so when there's a problem, not happening, then brings a lot of stress and then also because of the self-cherishing thought and strong attachment to this life, because of that then creates many problems, want better and more, in the life want more and better, not enough this one then want another one to change h/e the friends or the enjoyments wants to change. So therefore want more and better, so clinging so much, dissatisfied. So therefore creates many problems, creates so many problems, the relationship problems and so forth, many, many problems around so more problems there is, there's more stress in the life, more problems there is in the life, more stress, like that. So that is logical.

So, it's all dependent to the mind so therefore what I'm saying is as much as good heart there is, less stress, more calm there is and more relaxation.

And then, in other words, in some ways stress is good, some persons' stress is not bad the person is doing some good action for other sentient beings helping other sentient beings, then to do good work for other sentient beings, something beneficial work for other sentient beings having much concern in that having much concern to do the best, others to receive the best or to help the best h/e even one experience stress in that, I would say that is worthwhile because if the person doesn't have concern towards others, to do the best for others, to get done the best for others, if the person doesn't have concern that, then of course, if the person is careless, of course then the person doesn't do the action, doesn't do the work for others then there's also no stress, which rises depending on that with concern in doing beneficial work for other sentient beings. So for example, if one is lazy, careless, no concern to be able to get done the works for other sentient beings, to help other sentient beings. Then, of course, the stress that comes from that doesn't happen but then that becomes, that makes life meaningless person doesn't do anything, any good for other sentient beings. So depending on the person's attitude and action depending on that, so some stress, I think, positive. So not necessarily everything is negative.

H/e these things, in the West, it becomes some kind of very huge problem that the people talk about, but in the East, this is not regarded a big problem, in the normal life, people don't talk much, it's not regarded a big problem. But, it seems in the West that, every single discomfort there is in the life, somehow it become kind of huge, regarded as a huge problem. So in some ways there's a little bit of that.

So h/e as there's that much good heart, altruism, as there's that much good heart in the life, then less problem in the life. As there's that much less problem, confusion, problems with other people, as there's less problems less stress and that is very clear. So I think, so that's just some idea how one can deal, just like a drop from the ocean some, just tiny, some idea how one can deal with stress. Then this talk contained also how normally when one has problem, how one should handle, how one should think, how one should meditate, so one example of that was mentioned there, most beneficial meditation, the psychology what makes one's own life most beneficial.

Then as I already mentioned from where the death, rebirth, all these problems came from, already I mentioned the root, introduced already the root, so therefore stress came from this, therefore the stress came from the ignorance, this wrong conception not knowing the ultimate nature of the I, so stress, so the main cause of stress is that. So, like this, any other problem mental problem or physical problem, everything came from that. So therefore it is extremely important to discover the ultimate nature of the I, to develop this wisdom.

So, yeah, I stop. Do you have any questions?

Student: [inaudible]

Rinpoche: While you're working? In one's own room, meditating that one can make a time that whatever, certain length of time, one can make a program. Then, so things that, practices that which one feel to do at that time, then one can do at that time, during those times. And then basically the meditation practice or Dharma practice or spiritual practice is not only reciting prayer or chanting or in front of altar, not just that, or sitting in meditation, so one of the most important things is that, in the rest of the day then while one is working to try to remember, to try to practice awareness those basic, the basic meditations, try to practice awareness, mind try to be aware while one is working. So that is the way of integrating, so for example if one meditate on compassion in the morning, in the session for example, then the rest of the day working in the family or at the office or whatever, then try to have that same attitude in the working time, with others. So, like that, whatever the meditation is, so one can do like that, working with that awareness that meditation. So that is the most important one. Why? Because we spend so much, most of our time working or doing other things, so therefore if we use those other times for meditation like that, the meditation it's not just, it's not physical posture, the meditation posture, not just that, it's the mind, mainly the mind, meditation is training the mind in the right path, the path to happiness the ultimate happiness, especially, so to do that is most important.

So even there was no time there then if it is to do with some verbal recitation or something, if it is not something like that then whenever there's, in between, whenever there's empty time, whenever there's free then one can use those times, if there's not enough time in the morning then one can, every pieces when there's time one can use those times to do those kind of practices. But most important one is the continuation of the mind being aware in those basic meditations, awareness in the reality of things or like the emptiness that I mentioned, that's one main one, most important one and other thing is the bodhicitta, the altruism, so there are many different meditations depending, according to the level of one's own mind, then one has to, with working time one can practice awareness with that meditation.

If it's something to do how this perfect human rebirth, this human rebirth how precious it is if it's that meditation how this is precious and how this is meaningful, all these, that part of the meditation, then during the working time, as much as possible try to continue the awareness of that, then that helps to transform the attitude into positive, then it makes easy to generate good heart, easy to transform the attitude, so that makes no interest to rise bad thoughts, negative thoughts, so only positive thoughts so it makes easy to integrate the Dharma, work and the Dharma to become one. So like that, remembering the meditation that is the way to integrate. The feeling that how this is so precious, the awareness of that, so like that.

Then the other thing is to cut down the meaningless works, to cut down the things which are really not necessary, to cut down that, then you find more time. So, to practice. So I think that's all. Thank you.

…mistakes or you have found something in my talk, I'm happy to, anyway, maybe tomorrow. So the plan is , this is just to start, the original idea that is to talk, to go, already I mentioned cause of death and what stops the death, already it's gone, so little bit on that, the different levels then that one become free from death, those paths which is not, which is missing in the Western culture or education, how you can make, the education how you can stop experiencing death, how you can make to never experience death at all and to never experience rebirth. So this is so much extensive development is done, especially externally, so much is done, but the most important point of the life, most frightening thing, what is called death, for most, not everyone, not every human being, but for most, for general. So how one can stop experiencing death, can be completely free from this. So and how really, how when one, clear explanation of death, when one dies, what happens with the body, what happens with the mind, explaining according to the reality, explaining with experience, so that is not there, explaining with experience not by checking outside and guessing, but with one's own omniscient mind or, with one's own experience explaining so this is not there, so therefore to go, the plan was to go on that, explain also the, usually what is happening, the process then meanwhile until we reach the point, we reach the level that that which makes oneself to be free from death. So meanwhile one has to go through this, so how to deal with that, how to make that meaningful, how to make the death meaningful, how to make it happy. Rather than frightening, how to make that happy, pleasant experience, transform into happiness, beneficial for all sentient beings, so tomorrow whatever time, according to the time then whatever, so the plan is to speak on these things.


May the good heart, altruism, source of all the happiness, may it be generated within my mind, in the mind of the family, all sentient beings; those who have this altruism, bodhicitta, thought of full enlightenment to benefit others, to be developed due to all these merits, positive actions that one did in the past, in the present, future.