Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book
Family and Relationships :
Advice for Children
|Giving Happiness to Others|
Rinpoche wrote a letter to each of the children at Tara Redwood School, Soquel, CA.
My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
I am very sorry, I tried to come to see you different times, but I didn’t make it in time. When I was ready to come, it was your time to go back home. So I am very sorry. Next time I will try to come, then you can teach me.
You are so precious, so kind, so dear and so wish-fulfilling just like a flower bud about to gradually blossom and to shine, giving great happiness and peace to your family and your parents, who are most kind and precious to you. Not only that, but also giving happiness to your neighbors, society, country, and to the whole world and universe.
There is not only this universe; there are numberless universes. This is even mentioned by scientists, as well as by Buddha. So you are bringing great happiness and peace to all the beings in the numberless universes—to the numberless human beings and the numberless animals in the numberless universes. So there are all kinds of beings that we don’t see at this moment. They have their own world according to their mind, but some people can see them—especially omniscient ones and those with clairvoyance, who can see the different worlds and the different beings, according to their view and also through meditation.
Besides the future, even now you are giving so much happiness to your family by not harming others and not giving problems, and by giving happiness to others, who are numberless. This is the best way to fulfill all your wishes and bring happiness. Even if you don’t think that way, it just happens.
This is the real purpose of living. This is the best meaning of life and this is the root of our happiness. In this way you can fill up the world with happiness —not only your own family, but the whole world. So you are in this school to bring happiness to the world; you are in this school to learn to make the whole world happy, besides your family.
Thank you very much. I hope to see you soon.
With big love and prayer...
|Rejoicing in Practice|
A 12-year-old student wrote about her study and practice, which included offerings to Tara and other practices advised by Rinpoche. She was also memorizing prayers and studying Tibetan. Rinpoche gave her the following advice.
My very dear Anna,
I’m happy you will be going to school, because that might make it easier for your parents and also that you are learning Tibetan from Geshe-la. It’s very good you memorized the Prayer to Manjushri and Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, and that you are memorizing the Foundation of All Good Qualities and making offerings and doing the practices every day.
You took the Kalachakra initiation from His Holiness and White Manjushri jenang, Medicine Buddha jenang and also Chenrezig initiation from Dagri Rinpoche and did three days’ retreat with Geshe Tashi Tsering and also with Robina Courtin. You go to Geshe-la’s Sunday class and do transcribing work for Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. Thank you very much. That’s great news.
Whenever you want to send information and tell me something, it’s OK, you can send. Thank you very much.
With much love and prayer...
|Gift for a Child|
Rinpoche went shopping and bought a very pretty dress for a six-year-old student, and sent the following handwritten card to her.
My very dear Susan,
I hope you like this dress. This is for you to enjoy, I hope. I hope you are well and that things are going well. We had a good time with your Mum during His Holiness’s teachings.
With Big Love and Prayer,
Enjoy your life with a good heart towards all suffering, obscured sentient beings
|Advice for a Young Student|
Rinpoche had the following conversation with a student regarding a young girl, who was about six or seven years old.
Rinpoche: Do you feel that this young girl will bring benefit to a lot of people in the future?
Student: At the moment, according to her father, she is doing very well at school, especially in reading, mathematics and the arts. She enjoys school and she also wants to remain close to the retreat center and to her father, who lives and works there. Her mother says that because her daughter is so direct and powerful in what she says, she has to accept her wishes. Regarding the girl's spiritual development, she is studying the 16 Guidelines with her father and also offering water bowls occasionally. She expresses an interest to go to Kopan Monastery again or to Tibet or to see Rinpoche.
Rinpoche: It is more important for her to study the lam-rim and meditate, as this is richer for her. It is best if a Sangha member goes there in the future to teach her. If she does this she will slowly feel less dependent on her parents.
Student: She used to love Prince Siddhartha, the book written for children by Jon Landaw. Her parents read this to her continually and her favorite chapter was when the Buddha showed the deed of leaving the kingdom (renunciation). She actually cried at this chapter one time.
Rinpoche: Although it is good that she is doing well at school and this can become beneficial in a Western sense, if she is to be of most benefit to sentient beings then she needs the right conditions to study Dharma.
|How Long to Live|
A young girl often asked Rinpoche how long she was going to live. Rinpoche sent this advice to her.
As long as you are practicing Dharma every day, abandoning negative karma, and practicing good karma, then it doesn’t matter how long you live. But if you don’t do that, then even if you live for a billion years, it is no good. It would be a billion years just to create negative karma.
So, you need to think how all your actions can become virtue, good karma, and the best virtue. Live your life with a bodhicitta motivation as much as possible, whatever you do.
Even though you may live for a hundred years, it’s good to think, “I’m going to die today.” I’m not saying that you will live for a hundred years, but even if you do, it’s good to think, “I’m going to die today.”
One of Rinpoche’s youngest students is an eight-year-old girl, who has been writing to Rinpoche regularly since she was about four. She sends drawings, cards, and letters, always saying she wants to meet Rinpoche. Rinpoche hand-wrote the message below on a card and sent it to her, with a pen with a fluffy top.
My most dear and dearest one, the wonderful one, my daughter,
I have received all your expressive drawings and letters.
I will meet you soon, don't worry, meanwhile PLEASE pray that we are able to build all the statues of Maitreya Buddha as quickly as possible, to receive all the funding, and for all the projects to be successful very quickly.
With biggest love, my daughter,
|Place for Children|
|Rinpoche wrote the following for a magazine, commemorating a place for children at a Dharma center.|
My very dear brother and sisters,
What makes the children’s place special is that its main objective is to bring up children with kindness and to raise them to be kinder, and more loving and compassionate towards others. Each child feels responsible for every living being’s happiness and peace. In this way, each child will become a source of peace and happiness for every living being.
Teaching children to have a good heart and to be kind to others helps them to become very good human beings. With this good heart, they can benefit others so much, by helping as much as they can. In this way, numberless sentient beings receive peace and happiness from them. The children become the source of peace and happiness for all sentient beings, the happiness of this life and of all future lives, as well as the source of liberation from samsara and the highest happiness – enlightenment.
With much love and prayers...
|Rinpoche wrote the following card to a student who is eight years old.|
My dearest Chloe,
How are you? I hope you are in bliss all the time. I am sending these cards for you and your mum.
This is to say hello. Thank you very much for all your devotion to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and for your good heart benefiting others.
With biggest love and prayer...