Teachings from Singapore, 2009 (Audio and Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Singapore 2009 (Archive #1748)

Excerpts from teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, given in Singapore in January-February 2009. 

Includes a talk on how the Kopan courses began. An edited version of this talk can be read in the April 2009 issue of Mandala magazine.

How karma comes from ignorance: Part B

So what I was saying, including all the huge check/change, economic this time, during these years, going more and more down, and those famous banks that many millionaires, billionaires, they, a hundred percent trust, was lost.

So same, it’s all from, it’s by ultimate answer this one, this wrong concept, from beginningless rebirth we let our mind hold on to this, the false I, is not merely labeled by mind, existing from its own side, so we let our mind to hold onto this hallucination is true, instead of looking at it hallucination, to look at empty as it’s empty, but then we let our mind to hold onto that, true, independent, or this true existent or not merely labeled by the mind, so that, totally, a hundred percent believe in that, look at wrong way.

So that’s the ultimate answer, so everything, and then including relationship problems, whatever, any problem.

So what I was saying before, [long pause] as Lama Tsongkhapa mentioned, according to the Four Hundred Stanzas teaching, composed by Aryadeva, the Six Ornaments, the six great pandits, those highly attained, Six Ornaments, the great pandits, so Aryadeva was one of them.

So according, [pause] on the basis of what is apprehended by the ignorance holding the I, true existence, then, that this ugly, then anger arises, then this, may have mentioned this last part, I don’t remember a hundred percent but anger arises, and then anger has its own wrong view on that, projection, like ignorance has its own projection, true existence, it projects something real, so you see, on the merely labeled phenomena, then projects true existence.

So then on that bases, then this, it’s actually how the bad, the ugliness, however, and then anger arises, then it projects its own false view, see there.

Then, exaggerates how this is beautiful, then attachment arises, it projects its own wrong view, false view, so like that.

So therefore, what is apprehended, them, do not exist. One can realize the object of ignorance, empty, one can realize it doesn’t exist, one can realize this as it doesn’t exist in reality, so one can do that.

So Lama Tsongkhapa explaining the, confirming that, how you can realize the object of ignorance, what is projected then believed one hundred percent true, in reality it’s empty.

So that applies how we can achieve liberation from the oceans of samsaric suffering and cause, the karma and delusion how you can cease all the delusions, karma, so liberated from oceans of samsaric suffering, how we can do that, reasoning that, proving that we can achieve liberation.

So what I was saying before, [pause] these causative phenomena which I mentioned before, what is the main object that we should think about, about the causative phenomena, when you go through this verse, particular, what we should think, what kind of causative phenomena, I mean it’s general but particular this what I mentioned before, the object of anger, attachment, all this, the self, I, the aggregates, and the possessions, these objects of attachment, then, surrounding people, you know the comes friend, enemy, stranger, so object of anger and attachment, so then using these verses on these particular objects, then meditate.

So during the day time, when the sun rising, you don’t see stars, not only the Arya beings, Arhats, and the higher bodhisattvas, none of them, but even the buddhas, they, maybe I bring up this first.

I, action, these phenomena which I mentioned before, all these which, the first time our mind, your mind merely imputed, and then decorated all this hallucination, true existence, independence of all these things, real one or existing from its own side. The real one is common words, real one is, common people, we always use. But if we analyze, or if you think while you’re using the word, real, how do you believe the object? How does the object appear to you? How do you believe the object? While you’re saying, real this, real that, real this, so basically, true existence or independence or existing from its own side, or existing by nature, so it’s all the same, so then we let our mind to hold on this a hundred percent, a hundred percent its true.

So now we are living our life in this way, with this hallucination, with this wrong belief, total false view, we are living our life, day and night, all the time, we have been living our life this way.

So in our life, what we are afraid of, frightened of, including death, what we are frightened of, there’s no such real thing, so frightened of something which doesn’t exist, which is not there, so basically like that. Didn’t realize that so then the fear comes.

So however, whether there’s a problem or whether there’s pleasure, whether it is a problem or whether it is pleasure, same, something which is not there, and something which is not there, which doesn’t exist, we look for that, we are frightened of something happening, because of belief it really exists, because of, it has everything to do with the belief, belief, belief.

Anyway, belief, you know the millions of billions of dollars, expenses, because of belief and the, even if one lives for thousands of years the life would be so busy, same, even you live for a thousand years, same, continuously busy, maybe even more busy, because want more, all that, same, more power, more wealth, more this, more that. Even if you live for a thousand years, even if you’re able to live for a thousand years, if there’s no sicknesses or something that you can’t move, of course then you can’t do anything, but if something doesn’t happen, then, busy, probably could be double busy, overall busy.

So, anyway, what am I saying then, the Arhats, the Arya bodhisattvas, buddhas, they see, they, with wisdom, see; no, their wisdom sees, that you are totally empty, that you, yourself are totally empty, and your I is totally empty, no inherent existence, do not see real; we see real but they discover, their wisdom sees opposite, totally opposite of what we think real.

So anyway what I’m saying, they do not, or they discover, what they see, all this phenomena that we think something, however, as I mentioned before, real one, true existence, not existing from its own side, so now we can say, believing in that, then it becomes, that’s the biggest problem and the basis for all the rest of the problems.

So now the Arhats, the high bodhisattvas, buddhas, what they see, all this causative phenomena, yourself and aggregates, your material possessions, surrounding people, family members, enemy, friends, so forth, all this causative phenomena, totally empty, do not have truly existence, do not have independence, do not see, how to say, what they see is, what they discover, what they see is, the independence or true existence, there’s not even the slightest atom of true existence, independence, existing from its own side, totally, completely, totally empty is what they see, what they realize, what they see, totally empty, so what they see.

What you are, hallucinated mind, with the ignorance, what appears to you, the way things appear to you and believed by your ignorance, all these real exist, true existence, independent, everything, now, the realized beings, those Arhats, Arya bodhisattvas, buddhas, so they all see totally opposite, they all see totally non-existent, completely, totally non-existent, empty, the way things appeared to you and the way you believe these things, the way you hold onto things.

So this, not even an atom of that exists, totally empty, so like a star, look at causative phenomena is like a star, like that.

So we have to think how they see, what’s the reality of phenomena, so we have to meditate on that, so it’s extremely powerful.

So here, this time, when you recite this prayer then, we think of reality, other times, especially busy life, we live our life, the way we live our life, only with hallucination and with hallucination and this wrong belief, holding on to these things, all these things, true, a hundred percent, like that.

So again I’m having this great bliss, so I’m sorry, I’m joking, this one, [something is going on there], do you see, maybe you don’t see that.

I don’t think I had this in past lives [GL]. [Rinpoche has something to drink]

So then here this verse, the very first one, look at the causative phenomena like a star, that’s very profound, the very first one, you know that really makes to look at the very, very, very, very nature of the phenomena, emptiness, I, action, object, like a star, you know the daytime, so the sun is shining so you don’t see stars.

Then the causative phenomena, then the rest easy [?], then like the defected view of the defected senses, eye senses.

So having hallucination like hair, losing hair falling down, but because of defected sense of eye, you see hair falling down, that’s an example, but like that any of those hallucinations, the causative phenomena are like that. That means, reminds you of the, where they, how they appear to you is hallucination, the independent, truly existent, all that thing, another use, defected view of the defected eye senses, so how the phenomena appear to you, like that, so it means not true the way they appear to you and how you believe, not true, so that.

So then here, by thinking this way, now it makes you really think, it makes you to look at the causative phenomena according to the reality, empty. So when you do that, then you see the attachment, anger, all those other delusions do not arise, able to stop rising, and project the wrong view, project their views, like that, you see.

So, then motivate karma, then, plant karmic seed on the mind, and then it brings numberless, then numberless future rebirths, becomes a circle in that way, that’s how you’re circling in samsara, see, yeah, like that.

Then as we have been circling in samsara from time without beginning we have been circling also continually like this Say if you don’t eliminate the root of samsara, including the seed of delusion, the imprint, so then endlessly suffer, die and born, suffer in samsara, like that.

So next one, then, here, like butterlamp, so butterlamp it’s showing the gross dependent arising, depends on many causes and conditions that exist.

So there’s a person who makes that, and so depending on many causes and conditions to exist, so this causative phenomena exist by depending on many causes and conditions, so like that.

So it’s, not permanence, its nature, impermanence, okay.

So it helps to see that, and then like water dew, how to say, illusion, next one illusion, again, here, same, when you have illusion, you know when a magician person transforms, magician person transforms all kinds of things, they can, magician person can transform like cities, they can show all kinds of things, so a jeweled palace or the beautiful man, woman or you see, all kinds of things they can show by hallucinating the audiences’ senses with the mantra power, whatever, the power, objects, or the mantra power, however, like that.

So anyway when you see these things [tape breaks] …you have an illusion, so it appears to you real, it appears real, you see real, but it’s not true, so exactly the same here in your life, so like that, like an illusion, all these causative phenomena are, so the way they appear, and how you believe real, like illusion, exactly the same.

So like when when we watch a movie, it shows there water, but it’s not water, it shows people but there’s not/no people there, there’s not/no people there, there’s no water, it shows food there but, it shows food but it’s not, you can’t eat.

So, anyway, so like that, you actually see the real appear to you, to see, but it doesn’t mean it’s true, there’s no real people.

So an illusion, looking at causative phenomena, exactly the same, and then water dew can be dropped any time, it’s just about to fall, anytime, so then all these causative phenomena can be stopped anytime, this can be stopped anytime, can be perished anytime, can be stopped anytime.

Not only perishing, not only changing, and decaying, continuously, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second, but it can be stopped anytime, anything can happen, so the water dew can be dropped anytime.

So here, meditation on impermanence, death, and looking at them as they are in the nature of impermanence, okay.

They are like dream, again, same, here, this causative phenomena is, looking at them is like dream. So in the dream, to our hallucinated mind, so they appear as real, everything appears as real, even though they’re not real, but they become real to your hallucinated mind, and during that time we believe, unless you are able to recognize the dream is dream, otherwise, we let our mind hold all this, a hundred percent true, so totally believing this is a hundred percent true, that’s why also fear when something happens, fear arises, all that.

So in the dream you meet enemy, enemy is killing you, enemy is harming you or something, fear, you’re about to fall down, you’re about to fall down from mountain or from cliffs or something, a car accident, then or something in a dream, you get fear, because, believing, because you let your mind that’s true, that’s why the fear arises.

But if you don’t have that belief, then there’s no fear, even though there’s appearance, but you don’t have belief, so there’s no fear.

So exactly what in the dream things appear real one existing from it’s own side, then you let your mind hold to that as a hundred percent true.

So in reality that’s totally non-existent, totally non-existent, there’s no such thing there.

So now exactly the same in our life, so like that, all these causative phenomena are like that, like dream, like here, right here, like dream, right here, how all this, tangkas, the lights, the holy objects, you know when you see people around you, you’re seeing me on this throne, with my microphone and this large throne, this gigantic throne [GL], gigantic throne, so anyway, so you have all this appearance, but real, everything is real, they don’t appear merely imputed by mind, even though that’s the reality, everything real, with the light, all the lights are real, appearing from there, all the tangkas are real, tangka appearing from its own side, so real.

[tape breaks]
…/all appearing, but we let our mind hold on, believe all this true, a hundred percent, so that’s the main problem, that’s the biggest problem, bases of all the other delusions to arise.

So therefore, so this is exactly like a dream, exactly like dream, exactly.

Now think at home, exactly the same, all like a dream, exactly.

So whether one thinks having big party or something, enjoying something, lots of people, something, or receiving lots of gifts, or something, birthday party, birthday, anyway, so it’s all completely like a dream, and also when you’re sick, when you have problems in life, again here, again everything, again all this is exactly like a dream, even when you have problems, unhappiness, everything is real, real unhappiness, real problem, not only appearing but belief a hundred percent, like that.

So, everything to do with the mind, we live our life like this, it has to do with [?] the mind.
[Rinpoche’s voice fades]

So exactly like a dream, same, night time dream, exactly the same night time dream.

So this, look at the causative phenomena like a dream, that’s such a, that’s another very, if you don’t know how to meditate on emptiness, that’s what it said in the advice, by Pabongka, look at your life as a dream.

So it means there’s all this appearance, real and believe a hundred percent, a hundred percent real, but there’s nothing slightest, an atom exist, like what you see in a dream or what believe in a dream, like that, nothing in the slightest exists.

It’s very profound, very powerful meditation, this very powerful meditation, so this is a very good meditation, very powerful meditation, if you can do that, when doctor says you have cancer, or when you have relationship problems, somebody that you, that your life, live on your life, your whole life you live on/rely on this person, and that person left you, suddenly left you, suddenly left doesn’t matter, but then you want to commit suicide, there’s not much space in the mind, from one’s own side, kill yourself, then I’m just giving examples, so there’s __[??time??] then you meditate this, so look at the causative phenomena, look at these causative phenomena like dream, and do that while you’re doing a job, while many hours doing job, meditate on that, then while you’re studying, I mean, while you’re traveling, also when you go to sleep, meditate on that, and also when you get up in the morning, meditate on that, look at the life as a dream.

So especially when you’re experiencing difficulties in the life, the problems, very powerful, very effective, this one to, then you don’t, one do not worry, so look at it like dream, then completely cut the anger or attachment or whatever, grasping, like that, anger, harm others, completely cuts, you don’t see point to get angry, and you don’t see point to arise attachment, there’s nothing to hold on to, because there’s nothing to hold on to.

So the next one is, look at the causative phenomena like lightning, so lightning, it happens, it’s gone. So the brightness, you see things when there’s lightning, and outside it’s dark, when there’s lightning you see things, but the next [snaps fingers] it’s gone.

So when we die, the day when death comes, this life, you have a human body, you have appearance of a human body, and, family, wealth, whatever, it happened, it’s gone, it happened but it’s gone, so like that. So like lightning, so that shows impermanence.

Since I’m talking about this, so when the death comes, when the death coming, the day when the death coming, when you’re already, I mean can’t stop, so that time, oh, I should have, oh, I should have done many retreats, oh, I should have done this and that, I should have done, I should have only practiced Dharma, I should have done that, I should have only practiced Dharma, I should have done, only practicing Dharma, I shouldn’t have done this and that, [voice drops] finished [?] then you have no time, but all this comes.

And I think when you’re close to die, all your, I think it’s like a movie, I heard many times, I heard many times from other people, so like watching movie of documentary, documentary movie, the life of a person, watching like that exactly, now here, documentary of your life, just before death, I think passing through, from childhood time, all, you know I think it’s bad and good, and all.

So I heard this, I think, I mean I heard this happening just before the death.

So, however, now here you don’t have the time, you run out of time, I mean, run out of your human life, no matter how much you think, I should have done this, should have done that, shouldn’t have done that, or, I should have practiced all this Dharma, this and this, meditate on Lam-rim, maybe I should have spent my life on meditate on Lam-rim, have realizations, I should have done that, completely cheated myself, completely follow to hallucination, the superstitious thought, the wrong thoughts, the eight worldly dharmas, totally, totally cheated myself.

So that time how much think, you’re just about to die, so it’s the precious human body that you have, you can do all this, whatever practice you wish to do, whatever Dharma you wish to do, it’s all that thing, benefit other sentient beings, so much what you can do, now this is about to stop, now this is about to lose, it’s just about to lose.

Then just the mind, just unhappiness, so unbelievable, unbelievable fear and, unbelievable fear what’s going to happen now, this life, the result of your karma, so that, and suddenly the most terrible something, unbelievable heavy something is going to happen, and then, upsetness from all those negative karmas. But this happens, even for non-believers, person who does not believe in reincarnation, karma, even they feel this, even they feel. I think I talked to some people and they expressed that, even they don’t believe in reincarnation, karma, but they feel it, their brain doesn’t tell, but the heart, maybe I’ll put it this way, anyway, that’s common people to say that, the brain doesn’t tell but the heart, there’s something very heavy is going to happen to me, you naturally feel that, so many people have that.

So even though they don’t believe, intellectually they don’t believe in reincarnation, karma, philosophical or intellectually, but the heart tells them what’s going to happen, feel, and then natural thing.

What I’m saying, when somebody, a person who has been living together for many years, when the person dies, then it gives you great awakening, wake up, wake up, it’s like a bell, bell, it’s a bell ringing, telling you to wake up, wake up from delusion, wake up from living life with a total hallucination, from delusion, total hallucination and this total wrong belief, superstitious, believe this superstitious thought, living life completely this, so to wake up, wake up, practice Dharma, help others, now wake up, instead of sacrificing your life only for the I, for the self, now do something for others, or however, change the attitude into, meditate on Lam-rim, go to enlightenment, some progression, so that.

So, of course, it makes you to really see, deep, what I should abandon and all these things, what, wasted my life, not only wasted but negative karma, unbelievable so many negative karma, you know.

So, suffer for inconceivable time, in the lower realms, so now only practice Dharma, nothing, only practice Dharma, that’s the only worthwhile thing.

But then of course, it happens, but then of course the, some days happens, then gradually, like black clouds disappear in the sky, become thinner, and thinner, and thinner, then gone, then again, mind same as before.

So a few days there’s really awakening, ringing a bell, but it’s, extremely it’s those real teaching, but here, only we listen from the gurus, teaching, but here, you see the real teaching with your eye hear, with your eye actually see what’s happening, with this person, how it’s going through, and so then it’s really, it’s a very deep teaching for you, discover of life.

So anyway we need to, say it’s good to keep the mind in that, inspiration of that, that transformation, strong wish to practice Dharma, abandon the negative karma, the delusion, that courage, so it’s good to continue, to not lose that, continue to not get habituated, to not fall back, habituated, get past life of samsara, your wish is for happiness, but action becomes cause of the lower realms, wish is for happiness, but action becomes cause for the lower realms.

So now here when you practice Dharma then totally, your wish and your effort, your wish and your action harmonize, your wish and your action, when you practice Dharma, that brings you happiness in future lives, liberation from samsara, and enlightenment, you see.

So anyway after water dew then this, like a water bubble, then here looking at causative phenomena, those causative phenomena I mentioned before, nature impermanence, like a water bubble.

No matter how look beautiful, now matter how it look beautiful, nice, however it can be popped any time, unbelievable, so fragile, so easy, any time, any moment, so exactly the same, the life, you know.

These causative phenomena, so there’s nothing to, kind of grasp on, strong, holding on, grasping on, there’s nothing to do that, nothing, then like lightning, then like clouds, and, while you’re looking at clouds it’s constantly changing, constantly changing while you’re looking at the clouds.

And then also, you see cloud there, but the next time when you look at, the next minute when you look at it’s not there, changing means decaying, do not last even a minute, hour, minute, second, even within second, so that.

So the life, this causative phenomena, one’s own life, all this, exactly the same, constantly it’s changing and decaying, and it can be stopped any time, so like that.

So basically, two things, nature impermanence, looking at them two ways, one is nature impermanence, one is the very nature, the emptiness, your life this, phenomena, causative phenomena, the false view, the false and, it makes to discover the false, and reality, emptiness, it make aware.

So then meditating this way, realizing this, then you can overcome delusions, you are able to achieve liberation from the oceans of samsaric sufferings, and causes, and with bodhicitta, then, able to achieve enlightenment, so wisdom, then continuing to develop wisdom with the bodhicitta and developing bodhicitta the path, method, possessed by wisdom, so able to achieve full enlightenment, so that.

So this wasn’t what I planned. [GL] It wasn’t what I planned to speak, but this, so it just came by the way, so tsog.