Taking Care of the Mind (Audio and Transcript)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
London, England (Archive #1963)

A public talk on how to bring peace and happiness to oneself and others, given at Conway Hall, London, England, July 10, 2014. Lightly edited by Sandra Smith.

Click on the links above to listen to or download the audio recording of this talk. A webcast of the teaching can be viewed on FPMT's livestream page

Lama Zopa Rinpoche at the Light of the Path Retreat, North Carolina, USA, May 2014. Photo: Roy Harvey.

Thank you very much, everybody, those whom I met in the past, and who I met in the past lives. Well anyway, everyone whom I met in the past, in this life or past lives, the reason why we’re gathered here is because we met in past lives or past times. So we meet again here today. So thank you very much everyone for coming here. I offer my best wishes to everyone, my brothers and sisters, and to everybody.

So what are we going to think, what are we going to talk about? I think it’s most important in the world, most important—day-to-day life problems, hour-to-hour, day-to-day life problems, happiness; hour-to-hour problems, happiness; minute-by-minute happiness, problems; second-by-second happiness, problems; all this comes from our mind. Our problems and our happiness came from our mind, and even each minute, each second, happiness and pleasure came from our mind.

Sometimes in our life, when we’re in the situation, sometimes it makes you think, “Oh, if I think this way, it brings peace.” Sometimes you notice, “If I think this way, it brings peace to me and others. If I think this way, it harms the person—to me and to that person, doesn’t like, if I think this way, if I see this way.” 

Sometimes it makes you aware of the moment-to-moment situation or how you’re going to act towards others. So you have total freedom in your hand—happiness and problems; to stop the problems and to bring peace, happiness to yourself and to others.

Sometimes uncontrollable anger arises and uncontrollable self-cherishing thought arises, self-concern, anger, pride also, but then sometimes it makes you aware there’s choice. There’s choice. You can choose. Sometimes you know you can bring happiness to the other person, but to hurt the other person, then you choose the other way, the wrong way of thinking, the anger. Sometimes you have choice, but still you want to hurt, so you choose the other way. Sometimes it happens like that. So that proves our mind is the creator of day-to-day life problems, happiness. It’s very clear.

So this life’s problems and happiness come from our mind, and then going beyond the happiness of this life. Then, of course, there is the suffering, the heavier suffering of the animals, the hungry ghosts, the narak beings—that’s Sanskrit—narak. In English, hell beings, in English language.  

This all came from the mind, that we suffered, what we experienced in the past and will experience in the future, all comes from the mind. Peerless happiness, the state of omniscient mind, the total cessation of obscurations, the completion of all the realizations, sang-gye, the peerless happiness, also comes from our mind. It doesn’t come from outside; it doesn’t comes from temples or doesn’t come from outside.  

It comes from our mind. Also samsara, the Sanskrit word, cyclic existence or circling, or the nirvana, the total, ultimate happiness, the blissful state of peace for oneself, the ultimate happiness, the total cessation of all oceans of samsaric sufferings, all comes from one’s mind.

As I mentioned already, every minute, every day, minute-by-minute, we have happiness or we have problems. If you think in a better way, if you think differently, of course, that problem is gone, there’s peace and happiness in the life if you think differently. Because you don’t change your mind, you don’t think differently, then all day long you have problems, day and night in the whole life.

Then you go to see a psychologist, you go to see a doctor, you go to see so many, then it makes your life so expensive,  not only living—eating food and living in the house—not only that, then so much extra expenses. Wow, I don’t know, probably, I don’t know—thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars, I don’t know, but life is so expensive because you don’t take care of your mind. You don’t take care of your mind, you don’t take care of your life, and you don’t know how to take care of your mind.

Actually, meditation, Dharma practice—those are the best psychology. You have many different names, but it’s the best psychology, so many things, for the best healthy mind.

If you have the best healthy mind, if you have a very good healthy mind, then you can have a very good healthy body. If the mind is not taken care of; if you use it like garbage, if you throw your mind in the garbage bin or garbage can, or where you throw garbage—what do you call it? I forgot. Garbage bank? [People give responses] Garbage bin or the place where you throw rubbish—well, maybe not so much in England, I’m not sure—where you throw all the garbage, the dirty place you throw all the garbage. Garbage den? [Student: Garbage dump.] Dump.

If you don’t take care of your mind, you throw it in the garbage dump. This is what you do with your mind, your life, and then the result, the effect on you, is nothing pleasant. There is so much worry, so many problems, and this and that, one after the other. Even when this is okay, then another problem comes, then on and on the whole life, worse and worse, and then of course, besides this, it makes life so expensive, with so many debts, bills—debts and debts and debts over and over—bills, debts. So your whole life goes like that.

So the key thing is in the mind, the key thing is the mind, the key thing is happiness. You switch your life to the happiness, or you switch your life, the mind, to the suffering, like TV, which channel you want—some war and fighting, or something very peaceful, the countryside, the country,  something peaceful that people enjoy, you want to watch that. So it’s like that. What you do with your mind, it’s like that. So everything comes from the mind.

Taking care of the mind, taking care of the life, that means meditation. Practicing meditation should be like that, should be taking care of your mind, taking care of your life, taking care of yourself, it should be like that. Meditation, your practicing meditation, it should be like that. Practicing Dharma should have that effect. All this is the same.

Therefore, this is what we’re going to talk about and we can discuss. I don’t know Buddhism, but maybe just two or three words, I’m a little bit familiar, and then we can just talk a little bit about the mind.

So everything goes to the mind—your happiness, all the different levels of happiness, the happiness of this life, day-to-day life happiness and this life happiness, then beyond that, I’m talking about happiness beyond this life.

Of course, most people in the world don’t know about that. Most people in the human world, most people in the world, just only [think about] this life, which is something very short, very short. It looks like long now, but in reality it’s very short. [Rinpoche snaps fingers] Especially when the death comes, the day when the death comes, when you know you’re going to die or when the death comes, especially when the death comes, you received human body, you had human body, all this comfort, pleasure, a house, a car, all this, the family, but now it’s gone. You had it, now gone. You had it , next, [snaps fingers] gone. Oh, this is what you experience, what comes to us.

Since we don’t meditate, the very important psychology, the fundamental psychology to make the mind very positive, very healthy, the Buddha taught basic Buddhadharma, the four noble truths. That’s the main subject of the Theravada or Hinayana teachings, the four noble truths: true suffering, true cause of suffering, true cessation of the suffering and the cause, all together, and the possibility to achieve that, then that’s the true path. That’s what we’re going to experience.

That’s the fundamental teaching of Buddha. Then within that, impermanence, death. Those who meditate on subtle impermanence—gross impermanence, subtle impermanence —so they especially realize this, of course. Otherwise, we experience problems and the relationships, and this and that—it looks like a long [life], but in reality, it’s not long. [Snaps fingers] It’s very short.

So people in the world, most people don’t know about the mind, they don’t know about death, what is death. This is the most, the most important subject to study; what happens at death, how the death happens, this is the most important subject to discover, to find out, because you are in death process, you must learn. So you can be happy that time. When the death happens, even if you’re not free from death yet, not yet, by actualizing the path, it didn’t happen.

Even so, still if you know, you can use the death, make it useful. You can use the death, make it beneficial for all the living beings who have the suffering of death, you can make good use, you can use death, with good use [you can make death] most beneficial. At the moment, you’re going through this, you’re going to experience this, but you haven’t actualized the path to overcome the death, you don’t have direct perception of emptiness, shunyata. You haven’t actualized this, so you can’t overcome death. You cannot cease the cause of death, the delusion and karma. You need that to cease that. [If you cease] the cause, then it’s impossible to experience the suffering of death, the suffering of rebirth, the suffering of sicknesses, the suffering of old age, and the suffering of death.

You spend so many pounds and dollars; hundreds or thousands or maybe millions, I’m not sure. You spend so much to make [yourself look] young, to stop getting old. If you don’t paint yourself, if you keep the normal body, if you don’t paint it, if you don’t change it, then it shows, you come to notice, year-by-year.

It also depends on the person, how he or she lived the life. I think if there is so much unhappiness, even within one year the person becomes so wrinkled, all the hair will become white, and there are so many wrinkles, and within one year, within six months, within one year, that person becomes so old on the outside. Then there’s another person who has a very stable life, with not so much suffering,  having a stable kind of life, having a stable life, kind of peace, having happiness, a stable life, and especially those people whose mind is very happy, then, of course, physically they always stay the same, though getting old is there.

Even second-by-second we are getting old—not only day-by-day, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour—minute-by-minute is there, minute-by-minute changing. [We experience] old age, we do not last, we are changing, it’s because we are changing second-by-second. One meditator in Tibet, Geshe Lamrimpa, mentioned that even within a second there’s also a very subtle imprint. Even within a second, he said there are changes. However, the evolution, it happens, so we are getting old, impermanence, we are getting old.

What I was talking about is generally outside, the body. Somebody who is very happy, somebody who is thinking always most positive, and the most positive, of course, is somebody who practices meditation, Dharma, and of course, bodhicitta. Here many people might know bodhicitta, so with bodhicitta, of course the mind is so happy, most happy.

Then any problem that comes, you can use. Any problem that comes in the life, you make it most beneficial, transform it into happiness, use it to achieve, to be free from oceans of samsaric suffering, you utilize it for that. Not only that, but to achieve the peerless happiness, the state of omniscient mind, sang-gye, the total elimination of the obscurations and completion of all the realizations, so you use it for that. It’s not for yourself. You use it for that—that means in order to free the numberless sentient beings from oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them in the peerless happiness, the state of omniscient mind, sang-gye.

So you use even the problems, death or cancer or just whatever comes, use for that. Wow, wow, wow. Make it best, most beneficial. Wow, wow, wow, wow. Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable. You use the problems to collect skies of merits, more than skies of merits. If it manifested into form, then bigger than skies of merits. Buddha explained in sutra...and Lama Atisha also explained.

[Tibetan quote] I think maybe I might be missing some words. If it took form, by generating bodhicitta, then it is bigger than sky. The merit, how much you collect, if it took form, then it is bigger than the sky.

Then purification, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, this is the best purification. You purify the mind, the negative karma, obscurations collected from beginningless rebirth, you purify. So many eons, eons, eons of negative karma, obscurations, that which brings suffering in this life and in future lives, and which makes you experience rebirth in the lower realms, so that gets purified. The minute you practice, the second you practice, this, wow, wow, wow, wow. So it’s the real method, the real method is done. The real method, the best method is done, really.

What am I saying? I just remembered, sorry. I just remembered, America.  

In America, it happened many times that small children in school, small children killed many people. It happened at different times, and besides that, grown-up people. Suddenly that happened, I think this year or next—not next year, last year—so from time-to-time, surprising things happen. I’m sure it’s not only in America, but I’m sure it’s the rest of the world.

Then I’m not sure, for weeks, weeks and weeks, they talk about it on TV, on the news, about the child killing so many people, and that happened from time-to-time. Then talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. And then nothing, no solution; the solution is not there.

And then one man killed many people one time. I don’t know where that is. It happened many times. So they checked whether maybe the man was crazy. So they checked, but the man was a normal person, what they call a “normal” person, who was not crazy. He was just doing a normal job and living a normal life, like those who are regarded as not crazy by them, by the government and by the organization, so he was living a normal life. Suddenly, on that day his way of thinking changed, and he killed many people. This happened.

So they were very surprised that he was not crazy. They could not explain why this happened. On CNN, this man, what’s his name? Anderson Cooper. He says he wants to know why it happened, but he knows normal people wouldn’t be able to answer. Well, I don’t know whether he thinks normal people or not, but he knows that there’s no answer. So, he says, “Why did it happen? I know there’s no answer.” Anderson Cooper says this on the TV, he’s asking this, he wants to ask this, but he knows there’s no answer for that.

So because of the people who were shot, and the person—the child or the grown-up person who was killed—sorry to say this, but of course, if they had met and if they had learned Buddha’s teaching, the Omniscient One’s teaching, if they had learned that, then they would know there is a method. The method is to confess the past negative karma, not just from this life, from all the beginningless rebirth, the negative karma, obscurations, so to confess and purify.

People were shocked. So this is the solution. If they come to know the practice to purify the cause of that, it doesn’t happen. Also the children or the grown-up person killing, by knowing, by learning the Buddha’s teaching, the Omniscient One’s teaching, then they come to know, to purify those past negative karma, obscurations, negative karma, that which causes the result, to suddenly change the mind and to shoot and kill many people. So that doesn’t have to happen. Their mind can change, it can be purified, so that negative thought doesn’t come. They can do that. So both sides need purification.

So, yes, there is a method, what to do. Yes, that’s to change, that is to work with the mind; not [to change] from outside, but to work with the mind, to change the mind. It’s a mental action, just the mind, can do that. Of course, because they haven’t met [the Dharma], they don’t know the method, the solution.

I just remembered this situation in America, so then whatever surprising thing happens in the country, it’s all like this. While I was talking about this, then I remembered [what happened in] America, so I just mentioned this.

That’s why I think what we are going to talk about is really about the mind, about the mind, to stop thinking the wrong way, thinking in a negative way, an unhealthy way, non-virtue or unhealthy way, that which brings problems to oneself and to others. So to recognize that and to change into a positive way of thinking, to live a positive life, the happiest life.

What I wanted to say, Lama Atisha, who came from, who was invited from Nalanda, India, where there were 300 pandits at Nalanda, the great monastery, university. When degeneration happened in Tibet in Buddhism, then Lama Atisha was invited to Tibet to make the Buddhism pure. I don’t know how many years ago, one time.

So Lama Atisha was invited to Tibet. Then there was a lot of confusion in Tibet. If they practiced sutra, they could not practice tantra, and if they practiced tantra, they could not practice sutra. So, there was a lot of misunderstanding about practicing tantra. This was explained  well to Lama Atisha by the Dharma king of Tibet, Lha Lama Yeshe Õ. Actually the king collected gold to make offering to Lama Atisha and to invite Lama Atisha from Nalanda.

So he sent the first translator, Gyatsundru Singhe I think, I’m not sure. So he sent Gyatsundru Singhe, who made gold offering to Lama Atisha, but he could not see him. He went to India, but he could not see Lama Atisha, so he didn’t happen to invite him.

The second time, he [Lha Lama Yeshe Õ] went to look for gold, and at ___, I wasn’t sure which place, there was  an irreligious king, and he captured the Dharma king of Tibet, Lha Lama Yeshe Õ, and put him in prison. Lha Lama Yeshe Õ was looking for gold to send to Lama Atisha.

The Dharma king was put in prison, then his nephew, Jangchub Ö, offered the rest of the gold, I mean the whole gold, what the king found to offer Lama Atisha in India. So he offered [the gold] to the irreligious king, to let the [Dharma] king out of prison, to be free from prison. But the irreligious king said [there wasn’t enough gold.] He said gold the size of his head was missing. So that king didn’t accept the gold and passed the message to Jangchub Ö.

The Dharma King in Tibet, Lha Lama Yeshe Õ, was told this by his nephew Jangchub Ö. So the Dharma King of Tibet said, “I will die in prison for the sentient beings in Tibet, and to spread pure Buddhism. I will die in prison, so don’t give him even a handful of gold. Take all the gold to India, offer it to Lama Atisha and invite him.”

So the king sent a message to meet him in his next life. The king sent a message. Then Nagtso Lotsawa, I think maybe Nagtso Lotsawa, a translator, went carrying the gold. He offered it to Lama Atisha, and explained all the problems in Tibet, and the misunderstandings.

Lama Atisha asked to Tara, the female aspect of Buddha, Tara, who’s the embodiment of all the numberless buddhas’ holy actions. He often checks with Tara, so Tara said, “Your life in Tibet will be highly beneficial, but your life will become seven years shorter.” Then Lama Atisha said, “I don’t mind if my life becomes shorter, as long as it’s beneficial in Tibet.”

He showed the aspect as going for pilgrimage in Nepal, not telling the monastery or the Indian people, because they wouldn’t let him go to Tibet. So then he went to Nepal and then he went to Tibet like that.

Lama Atisha wrote after that it was explained completely by the king’s nephew, Jangchub Ö, who said, “We Tibetans are very ignorant, so please explain refuge. Please explain refuge.” I’ve forgotten, but there was something else Jangchub Ö requested from Lama Atisha.

Lama Atisha was so pleased. Jangchub Ö didn’t request initiations, he didn’t request shunyata or something, he didn’t ask for high teachings. So this is what he requested to Lama Atisha. Lama Atisha was so pleased, and wrote the Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment. He integrated all the teachings of Buddha.

Most of the teachings, 84,000 teachings, which comes in Theravada, Hinayana teachings, and in the Mahayana, sutra teachings, and the Mahayana tantra teachings, so the three levels of teachings that Buddha taught, then he integrated this into a few pages. He made how to practice so clear, without any contradiction between sutra and tantra practice, so people can practice [both sutra and tantra].  Those who practice tantra can practice sutra, and those who practice sutra can also practice tantra. So that helped so much.

After writing that, then including Lama Tsongkhapa, who wrote the most elaborate commentary Lam-rim Chen-mo, The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, and the middle lam-rim and the short one, and the very short Three Principal Aspects of the Path to Enlightenment. Then many other lamas, the meditators, wrote according to their experience, the path that they had actualized, the path to enlightenment that they had actualized.  They wrote the commentary, many commentaries of that teaching, the lam-rim. The title “lam-rim” came from there, after Lama Atisha wrote this teaching.

After that, numberless, so many other meditators, practitioners, became enlightened, became bodhisattvas. They were able to become enlightened beings, buddhahood was achieved. So like that up to now.

So Lama Atisha—sorry, it has become longer—Lama Atisha said in the Kadampa teachings, the heart of the Kadampa teaching, the heart advice, [Tibetan quote] “If the field is well-cultivated, then whatever you plant, it will grow. If your heart is good, a good heart, all the wishes will come out.”

If you have a good heart, first, one example. First one, if the land is well-cultivated; if the field is well-cultivated, ploughed, then whatever you plant, it will grow. If you have a good heart, all the wishes, all your desires, all that you wish to have, all your desires, all will come out, you receive. Whatever you wish, everything happens.

Then those who are attempting, who have perseverance, have no obstacles. So it means to achieve ultimate, most important, ultimate happiness, free from oceans of samsaric suffering, and especially the peerless happiness, the state of omniscient mind.

For example, myself, I am lazy, so nothing is happening. Those who have perseverance, have no obstacles. So you achieve; what you want, you can achieve.

There’s  a Tibetan saying that the turtle goes very slowly, like this, like this, like this, it goes very slowly, but it will reach there. It goes slowly, going continuously, slowly. The flea is jumping, but it doesn’t reach there, it doesn’t reach far, it’s jumping here, it’s just [jumping] around. So like that, there’s a saying.  Somebody who is active for a short time, with no perseverance; who is active just for a short time, even having perseverance for a short time, is active for a short time, but not continuously. So therefore,  the Tibetan example, the saying, is very useful.

Therefore, sorry, I didn’t mean to talk about that, to bring that advice here, but since I mentioned this example, it’s very, very, very, very important for Dharma practice. Even though you do small, even though you do small practice, not much, small practice, its continuity is so important. For a few days, a few months or a few days, you try very hard, then the mind collapses, then no perseverance, then the mind collapses and becomes weaker, and then no practice. Then stop for a long time. Then maybe you meet somebody or sometime hear a talk, then you get inspired, then you try for some days or for six months, not like that.

Even though you do a very small practice, it is most important to continue, the continuity. It’s so important. So because I mentioned this example, I thought to mention that. Your meditation, your Dharma practice, even if it’s very small, its continuity is most important.

So the person who is learned in what is to be practiced, and what is to be abandoned—the right thing, what is to be practiced, and the wrong thing, what is to be abandoned—who is learned in that, then this [person] goes, takpa, goes to liberation, ultimate happiness, liberation from oceans of samsaric suffering. Oh, to the blissful state of peace. Oh, then able to go there, able to reach there.

Generally, practicing or not is up to you, but learning is very important, learning Dharma. Whether you want to practice or not is up to you. But learning, knowing, learning to find out, to search, is so important. If you know Dharma, cho, the Omniscient One’s teaching, Dharma, then you know, you develop wisdom for what is wrong and what is right, in the life. Then you come to know, then you can abandon wrong and practice right. Then you become expert, then you are able to go, as Lama Atisha said, to liberation, ultimate happiness.

[Tibetan quote] This is just the advice from Lama Atisha, just to finish. By the skillful method of appearance, then you lead the other transmigratory beings. Dro-wa means “other transmigratory beings.”  Why are other sentient beings called dro-wa? Because they’re not free from the cause of suffering, delusion and karma. They’re under the control of karma and delusion, so because of that, they don’t have any freedom at all, so they are always circling in samsara.

The hell beings, narak beings, hungry ghosts,animals, suras, asuras, and human beings, are always circling in the suffering realm, always, from beginningless rebirth. Without meeting Dharma, without knowing Dharma, then endlessly they suffer like this, dro-wa. So they’re called dro-wa, transmigratory beings. To liberate those dro-wa, transmigratory beings, to liberate them from the oceans of samsaric sufferings, and bring them in the ultimate happiness, to ultimate happiness, the state of omniscient mind. So to do that.

I didn’t see a commentary, but my view is by realizing dependent arising, the skillful means of appearances, by discovering, by realizing the dependent arising, the subtle dependent arising, the Prasangika’s view. In the Madhyamaka school, there is Svatantrika and Prasangika, so the second is Prasangika. The Prasangika’s view is very subtle dependent arising,  so by realizing that.

Buddha realized that, and then he revealed that ultimate wisdom to us sentient beings. Numberless sentient beings already achieved enlightenment, were liberated from oceans of samsaric suffering and brought to peerless happiness, full enlightenment. [Tibetan quotation] Then in the sphere of the wisdom; this means abiding in the sphere of the wisdom, that means, I think, equipoise meditation, in emptiness.  So direct perception of emptiness, so the equipoise meditation on emptiness. So I think talking about the practice.

Now the basic thing here, just what I want to say, my suggestion, is just a little bit reading Buddhism, just a little bit, and not really meditating, I think it’s just like children meditating, like a child meditating, it’s like that, play.

What we want is happiness, and what we do not want is suffering. That’s everybody—even the ants crawling on the table are so busy, so busy, day and night. Some of the ants in Nepal crawl on my table, there is sweet tea over it or something, then in the daytime many ants come, but at night-time they go back. Night-time, I think, maybe they’re sleeping, I don’t know. Night-time maybe they have a good sleep. So it seems like that, some ants do that but some ants do not, it seems.

Even the ants, wow, are so busy, so busy, going, climbing up trees, coming down, wow, anywhere, anywhere, so busy, so busy, so busy, so busy, so busy, so busy. As well as human beings, and everyone.

What I’m saying is, it’s the same. Look at the insects, it’s the same—they are looking for happiness and they do not want suffering. They’re looking for happiness. For that reason, they’re moving, they’re going around to look for food, everything.

Every single fish in the ocean, the small fish, millions there together, I don’t know who guides them, but those millions of fish, wow, they’re looking for food, and at the same time, they’re escaping away from the enemy. Millions of them, wow, wow, wow, not just the small ones, just whatever, I don’t know the names. Wow, wow, wow, they are going away, and at the same time they’re escaping away from the enemy. Wow, wow. That’s just one example, but everyone’s like that.

From the airplane, when we are looking at the sea, it is so blue, and it looks like so peaceful, so peaceful, so kind of peaceful. So peaceful, kind of happiness, so peaceful, no violence, so blue and so calm.

But inside, you go just a little bit inside the water, wow, wow, there are numberless —wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow —there are whales and sharks and those, one eating another one, eating one another, I’ve forgotten. I know there are some, but I’ve forgotten their names, the very fat one comes on the rock, it comes from the ocean onto the rock. They’re asleep and then they go under the water, then they eat some, they eat some, I don’t know, the bird that looks like a monk, with the coat. What is it called? Penguin. It always reminds me of a monk wearing a coat. Then going, and everywhere, they eat the penguins or something, I don’t know, then they’re eaten by, I think, whales or the other big animals. One eats another one; another eats another one; amazing, amazing, amazing.

If you go a little bit in the water, wow, the whole ocean is full of numberless sentient beings being eaten by each other. Wow, wow, wow, wow. While they’re looking for another living animal to eat, whether they’re looking to eat somebody else, another animal, then they get eaten by somebody else. They are always trying to escape and trying to find food. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Wow, wow, wow. We don’t have that, most of us, we don’t have that problem.  

What comfort, what a pleasant life, what comfort we have, wow, wow, wow, wow, what freedom, wow, wow, wow, wow. We should use this great, great, great opportunity to benefit sentient beings, living beings, particularly to benefit this world, the country, all the living beings. So, so important. Anyway, it’s like that.

So anyway, we all want happiness, and do not want suffering.

Same thing for human beings,  whether going by airplane, going by boat, going by car, or by bicycle. Racing just recently finished , they went on bicycles, in Leeds, I didn’t see it, but I saw it on TV. Everyone in the shop, in the restaurant, in the office, what else? Everyone wants happiness and does not want suffering,  including the tiny insects that you can’t see with your eyes but through a machine, even they have the same motivation.

So for the success of that, to get happiness, to get the wishes, to succeed your wishes, what should we do? So that includes Dharma practice, those who are practicing Dharma, those who don’t know Dharma; believer, non-believer. Everything is included in this–believer and non-believer.

How should we have success, happiness? Especially after the world economy went down, and especially after the two towers were blown out in New York, after that, and then I even heard that many airplanes packed[?] in Arizona and also in other countries. Even many people can’t look after their children, they become very poor, [standard of] living went down and they can’t take care of their children. So many people lost their jobs in other countries. The  big business building, the two buildings were destroyed in America. However, especially the economy went down in the world.

Success, happiness—believers and non-believers, people who are practicing Dharma and people who are not practicing Dharma—it’s what everybody wants.

So now, what I’m going to say—I’m sorry, I have just a tiny bit of understanding from hearing Buddhism and reading some texts —so now, the solution is, whether you’re a believer or non-believer, practicing Dharma, meditation or not, since you’re looking for happiness, you want to have success, OK, the way to have success in the life, first you need to create the cause. First you need to create the cause. It is dependent arising, tendrel, dependent arising; dependent on the cause and conditions. The success that you want is not independent, it is dependent arising. It is depending on cause and conditions, therefore we need to create the cause and conditions.

Of course, there’s no way to help the animals. They cannot understand our language, there’s no way they can understand our language—the ants and the jumping ones. What’s the jumping animal? Grass-hopper. The small one jumping. Anyway, it doesn’t matter.

I can say, I think, maybe a little bit my experience,  not only reading the Omniscient One’s teachings, but also from my experience, I think I can say a little bit. So first you fulfill others sentient beings’ wishes—animal or people, any other sentient beings’ wishes. In everyday life, whether you’re a believer or non-believer, whether you’re meditating or not meditating, it doesn’t matter.  What you should do, if you want happiness and don’t want suffering, is this.

You must fulfill others’ wishes, whether it’s animals, whether it’s people, anybody—to serve them and fulfill their wishes for happiness. Oh, that. Keep that in the mind, keep that in the mind. Oh, do that. Do that practice—causing happiness to others.

If you do that, by depending on the cause, then the result, happiness comes to you. First you cause happiness to others, then as a result, you get happiness. The result, happiness, then comes to you.

For example, you think about something and that same day it happens. [Rinpoche snaps fingers] You think something, then without effort it just happens. [Snaps fingers] Your wishes happen; you think, and it happens that same month, even the same day, even after a few hours. [Snaps fingers] It happens. Oh, then it happens more and more and more and more, like that, without effort.

Sometimes it’s surprising. Logically, you try to think it’s impossible, but because you created the cause, so it just happens. It happens. Once you have karma, it happens. Without any effort,  it just happens.

So that’s really amazing, amazing. Sorry, this is my own little, tiny experience, telling you this. I did a little offering to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, in the past. And then of course, now as a result, I’m able to offer more, [because I was] not being stingy in the past. Not being miserly, thinking, “Oh, I will lose. I will be sick. I will do something. In the future, what will happen to me?” You know? Not that. Everything trying to keep. That’s the wrong way. That’s the wrong way. That’s the wrong way.

If you want success, first you need to cause happiness, success, to others. Then from that result, all your wishes—I’m not talking only about temporary, but even the ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara; even the ultimate happiness, enlightenment, sang-gye, the total elimination of the obscurations and the complete realization, actualization, that sang-gye  happens. Even including that, I’m talking about that, including that success. Of course, I’m talking about that, but I’m not talking about that as if it’s my experience. I’m not talking about that. I’m using just a small example.

Sorry, I’m very sorry to tell you this, but I started to offer a mala, a pearl mala. This is a very new one. I didn’t have the experience before. I got some pearls, and I offered to the Twenty-one Taras. I started to offer. Then after I started to offer [the pearls], then I got dependent arising. So from that cause, then I got more and more, then just comes the pearl mala, a real pearl mala. Not just looking like pearls but a real pearl mala comes, more and more. Then I’m able to offer to the Twenty-one Taras in different places. Not only my one, but even other centers, able to offer more and more. So like that, I’m talking like that example. This is, I’m sorry to share my experience, but  it’s something very small. I’m just telling the example, success, using that small example for success.

Then the general offering to the Sangha, the offering to the monks. At Sera Je there are about 3,000 monks. How many years have we been offering food? Twenty-two years we have been offering food to 3,000 monks. So then we offered lunch first. Well, first there were several bits for lunch. Then real lunch. Then dinner, then breakfast. So for how long? Twenty years? For twenty-two years, we offer lunch to Sera.

Before, many monks came from Tibet, but the teachers’ main food they had to share, several of them. They never got enough food, and their stomachs didn’t get filled, then so many monks left for Tibet. So there was no continual study. So after [offering] the food, then they were able to stay and continue with their study.

Now this monastery, Sera Je, of course if I can, I should offer to Sera, Ganden, Drepung; altogether there are six monasteries, Sera Mey, Sera Je, Ganden Shartse, Jangtse, Loseling, Gomang, so like that, six monasteries. But this is the largest monastery in Tibet, in the Lama Tsongkhapa tradition, so the monks who study there, they are continually able to study Buddhist philosophy like the ocean, like the Pacific Ocean is wide and deep.

It’s not just faith. It’s also logical. Then if they complete their studies there, they become geshes, and then we can invite them to the rest of the world to teach Buddhadharma. So in that way, the sentient beings in the rest of the world always get the opportunity. So many sentient beings in the rest of the world always get the opportunity to learn and to awaken their mind and to achieve enlightenment. They get the possibility to achieve the state of omniscient mind.

Now, if that monastery goes down, if that monastery goes, if the conditions aren’t good, if it goes down, then we can’t get teachers, qualified teachers, in the rest of the world, like Geshe Tashi Tsering here in London, who is helping, enlightening for so many years, in Leeds and also here, for so many, so many, so many years. For so many years, for example, like that, always helping the Tibetans, teaching lam-rim, and [helping] the Tibetans.

So in the rest of the world, sentient beings get the opportunity to be awakened and to open the mind to awaken, to develop wisdom, compassion for sentient [beings], and to achieve the state of omniscient mind.

If that [monastery] goes down, then it doesn’t happen. Then there’s no opportunity to receive qualified teachers from there. Then the rest of the sentient beings don’t get any opportunity to awaken the mind, and to receive the state of omniscient mind.

In the FPMT, even just in the FPMT we have forty, how many, forty-four? Forty-five teachers, just in the FPMT. Then there are also, even in Lama Tsongkhapa tradition there are other organizations, without Kagyü, Nyingma, Sakya, then just in Lama Tsongkhapa tradition, there are others. So even in the FPMT there are forty-four teachers, forty-five teachers in the world educating in Dharma, and awakening the mind.  

So sorry. I was using myself, my little tiny bit of experience. That is one example, but there are many others. What offerings that I do normally to my gurus, and also they are building monasteries in different places, all the khang-tshens. There are many things, so many other things. So I’m using just my little experience to collect more and more merit, to be able to benefit more and more to the teachings of Buddha, to the sentient beings. That’s what I do. That is just a tiny bit of logic, if you want success.

Karma is definite. If you create the virtue, definite positive karma, healthy karma, the action, definitely you will experience happiness in this life and future lives. [If you create] non-virtue, unhealthy, disturbing karma, action, then the result is suffering of this life and other lives.

Now the second outline is that karma is expandable. If you help somebody— if you give food to an ant or a person, if you fulfill the wishes of one sentient being, if you help one thing, the result is you will have happiness for 500 lifetimes—for ten, 500 or 1,000 lifetimes—from that one action, helping somebody, whether it’s an insect, whether it’s a human being, fulfilling happiness just one time. The result, you will experience happiness, success, your wishes get success, for 500 lifetimes or 1,000 lifetimes.

Of course, by cherishing even one sentient being, that brings you to enlightenment. Cherishing one sentient being brings you to enlightenment, buddhahood, the state of omniscient mind, the completion of all the obscurations and realizations, you complete all realizations. Even cherishing one sentient being. I’m not going to go further. The time has run out.

So because of that, it helps you to keep this in the mind. If you kill one insect, that has an effect, you will be killed by others for 500 lifetimes. And if you cheat one sentient being, you will be cheated for 1,000 lifetimes. It’s mentioned in the commentary of Aryadeva’s Four Hundred Stanzas. In the commentary of that, it is explained that if you cheat one sentient being, you will be cheated for 1,000 lifetimes.

Therefore, any negativity, any harm done, from life-to-life-to-life-to-life, you will get suffering. So it came from your mind. It  did not come from others. Why others give it to you; why you make others give you suffering, it’s because of your mind in the past. So it came from you, and it causes others to give you [suffering].

I’ll stop here. So if the karma’s not created, then the result, happiness or suffering, doesn’t happen. [Rinpoche snaps fingers] If the karma is created, then the result of happiness or suffering will never get lost. Even after a billion, zillion, trillion eons you will experience it. [Snaps fingers] It never gets lost. So you can purify negative karma, but if you don’t purify it, then that’s what happens. If you do not destroy the cause of happiness, then this is what happens.

So really, success has to come from your mind, up to enlightenment. Therefore, the practice, the real, real, real meditation, the real, real, real, real Dharma practice, is to serve others, to cherish others.

That is the best offering to numberless bodhisattvas and numberless buddhas. If you help one sentient being, one insect, one person, wow, that is the best offering to the buddhas, to numberless bodhisattvas, numberless buddhas, your deity, because this is what cherished most by numberless bodhisattvas, by numberless buddhas. This sentient being, even this insect, even this mosquito, even this one ant, even this person, is most cherished by numberless bodhisattvas, buddhas.

OK, thank you so much. That is all. Good night.