E-letter No. 171: September 2017

By Nicholas Ribush, By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Lama Yeshe visiting a daffodil farm near Melbourne, Australia, 1976.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the September issue of our monthly e-letter. We hope you enjoy reading updates of all our latest work that we undertake together, for the benefit of all beings everywhere. Please share!


We have now posted You Have Time to Get It Done, the final excerpt from Rinpoche’s teachings in Melbourne, Australia, in March 2000. Along with the transcript are videos containing oral transmissions of several practices including Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, the Foundation of All Good Qualities, the Thirty-five Buddhas and Vajrasattva mantra.

This month's new additions to Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book include:

As always, you can view the list of the latest additions to the Advice Book on our website.

From the LYWA Video Archive: Working with Lama and the life of young Osel

We hope you will enjoy these two videos from the video archive and published to the LYWA YouTube channel this month. The first is a precious excerpt from Lama Yeshe’s conclusion to his extensive Six Yogas of Naropa teachings given at Vajrapani Institute in 1983. In this excerpt Lama radiates tangible joy and demonstrates his perfect control over skillful means.

The second is a 1998 documentary produced by the BBC examining the life and activities of the young Osel Hita, the recognized reincarnation of Lama Yeshe.  This fascinating documentary is set in Sera Monastery, narrated by Geshe Tashi, the resident teacher of the FPMT-affiliated Jamyang Buddhist Centre and includes extensive scenes with Osel’s teachers, the late Khen Rinpoche Geshe Gendun Choephel and the Venerable George Churinoff.

New on the LYWA Podcast: Rinpoche on making offerings

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at the Seventh Meditation Course, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1974. Photo: Wendy Finster.

So one who met Dharma, one who met specially not just Dharma, but specially who met lamrim teaching, specially who met lamrim teaching, this which contains these preliminary practices is unbelievably lucky, unbelievably fortunate. We are unbelievable fortunate. So, there is incredible opportunity to, every day we can create unbelievable luck, good luck from each mandala offering.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

This month on the LYWA podcast we are featuring the practice of making offerings. Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave this profound teaching in 1992 during a Tara Puja in Singapore on the day before Losar, the Tibetan New Year. In the teaching Rinpoche shares his understanding and practice of mandala offerings, the seven-limb practice and especially the practice of rejoicing. You can also read along with the transcript on our website.

The LYWA podcast features incredible selections from the hundreds of hours of archival audio teaching by Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and now Tenzin Ösel Hita. All the podcasts provide links back to the full teaching from which they were drawn and you can also listen to the podcast while reading along with a lightly edited transcript. You can download previous episodes and find out how to subscribe on our podcast page.

THIS MONTH'S EFREE: LAMA YESHE — The Peaceful Stillness of the Silent Mind

When you solidify an idea, you cling to and believe in it. Lord Buddha’s psychology teaches us to free ourselves from this kind of grasping — but not to give it up in an emotional, rejecting way, but rather to take the middle way, between the two extremes. If you put your mind wisely into this middle space, there you will find happiness and joy.

-Lama Yeshe

LYWA is excited to offer you another opportunity to download one of our ebooks for free. Even if you already have the paperback version of our books, it is still great to get the ebook version on your phone or tablet for reading Lama’s wisdom whenever and wherever you can. This month we are happy to offer Lama Yeshe’s The Peaceful Stillness of the Silent Mind, a classic compilation of six teachings on Buddhism, mind and meditation given by Lama in Australia in 1975. Here’s where you can find all ebook formats including Kindle.

Reflections on the Light of the Path Retreat

As you saw in last month’s e-letter, several LYWA staff members attended the recent four-week Light of the Path retreat led by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. It was an incredible experience and I strongly urge you all to attend the next one if you possibly can!

Thank you so much for your great support. We can’t do it without you.

Much love,

Nick Ribush

THIS MONTH'S TEACHING: Lama Zopa Rinpoche—You have time to get it done

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Taos, New Mexico, 1999. Photo: Lenny Foster. Somebody who doesn’t know what to do—many [people] have practices in the life, commitments and many practices, but somebody who has no clear idea of what to practice; if they want to do some practice in the daily life but don’t know what to practice, what to do, my suggestion is that, something very simple.

So first thing in the morning rejoice that so far we didn’t die, that we didn’t die, rejoice. Then after that, by remembering all those people who died, family members, then if there are gurus who passed away, remember those and family members who have passed away, friends who have died. Anyway, rejoice that we did not die so far. And again today we are able to be a human being, and not only that but we have a perfect human rebirth, so that we can achieve the three great meanings, more precious than the whole sky filled with the wish-granting jewels. All those are nothing compared with our precious human body, with which we can achieve three great meanings in every second, whatever we wish for. Even in every minute, we can achieve all that, because we can create the cause.

So rejoice, then think death can happen any minute. Death can happen any [time], death can happen even today, any minute it can happen, any moment death can happen. Either make complete determination, thinking that we are going to die today, that’s the best, however, think it can happen any day, even today, in any minute it can happen. Then make strong determination of what we should do with our life. Then on the basis of correctly devoting to the virtuous friend, that’s how to practice Dharma. The most profitable way to practice Dharma is correctly devoting to the virtuous friend. That’s how to make our practice most successful.

On the basis of correctly devoting to the virtuous friend then at least leave the imprint as much as possible.

So on the basis of correctly devoting to the virtuous friend, at least leave imprints as much as possible. At least leave imprints as much as possible, by listening, reflecting, meditation, and studying. Then make strong determination to not follow the ego, to not allow yourself to be under the control of ego from now on, particularly up to the death. And then today, even each minute, each second, to never separate away from bodhicitta from now on, especially until death time, especially today, even for one second, think, “I won’t separate away from bodhicitta.” Make a very strong determination, like that. That’s the attitude of the life, which means we’re going to live the life for others. That’s what it means, we’re going to live the life for others, not for ourselves, for others.

Then, something like that—simple, short, motivate how to begin your day, begin with bodhicitta. Remember impermanence and death and bodhicitta. On the basis of correctly devoting to the virtuous friend, by remembering that, how to practice Dharma.

There are other explanations of how to practice Dharma but this one is very important. Whether you’re going to have success or not depends on this. Whether you’re going to fail in your Dharma practice; whether you’re going to fail or whether you’re going to have success depends on this. So this is important to remember when you begin, when you plan your life, it has to be based on this.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaches on emptiness, compassion, guru devotion and other topics, in this two-day seminar at Tara Institute in Melbourne, Australia, March 18-19, 2000. Lightly edited by Sandra Smith.You can read the rest of this teaching on our website.You can also view excerpts from the teachings on our YouTube channel in a series of 22 videos, commencing with Rinpoche Surveys the Scene.