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Lam-rim Topics : Lam-rim Study and Practice

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche at various locations (Last Updated Sep 2, 2008)

The Value of the Lam-rim

Dedicating Oneself to the Lam-rim
Rinpoche made the following comment on achieving realizations of the lam-rim.

I regard as the most important thing in the world anybody who dedicates his or her life to achieving lam-rim realizations, with the goal to liberate numberless beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment. 

Lam-rim
Rinpoche made the following comments on the value of the lam-rim.

Lam-rim is what you should focus on your whole life, even while you are doing your job. You should keep your mind in this. It is the most meaningful, most profound practice, doing each action with the mind in bodhicitta. This should be your practice; this is what you should try to accomplish in life.

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Keep the mind in the lam-rim—guru devotion, renunciation of samsara, and bodhicitta. These things help you to not commit negative karma again. Every day, meditate on the lam-rim and keep it in your mind, even during break times from sitting meditation.

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Please make your life most beneficial with the thought of bodhicitta.

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The root of the problems in your life becomes non-existent when you start to cherish others.

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There are so many practices, but the whole thing comes down to living your daily life with a bodhicitta motivation, putting all your effort in that, whatever you do. This way, your life isn’t wasted and becomes very full of joy and happiness, with no regrets later, especially when you die. Then, you can die with a smile outside and a smile in your heart.

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The root of the path to enlightenment is guru devotion. Through meditation, you develop true devotion, and also from your personal experience of the guru. By looking at Buddha you see the guru and your mind is transformed. After that transformation, the Buddha and the guru are inseparable. All the Buddhas and all the gurus (like milk mixed with tea) become total oneness. You have a definite understanding from your heart that remains not just for a few hours or a few days but is stable and does not change.

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The very bottom line is to do all your actions with bodhicitta. That is the best, most meaningful way to think during your break time. This makes your life most beneficial. As much as possible, with awareness, keep your attitude and thoughts in bodhicitta, the thought of benefiting others. Try to do all activities with that mind, including your job and throughout the day. This way, even in your break time, whatever you do becomes the cause of happiness.

Otherwise, your most precious life is used to create the cause of suffering. One’s whole life becomes like that, so sad, the most sad thing. While there were all the opportunities to achieve enlightenment, the highest success, the most beneficial thing for all sentient beings, instead it is just wasted.

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Of all the practices, the main thing is meditation on the lam-rim, to have lam-rim realizations, tantric practice is secondary.

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There is no harm that comes to oneself that doesn't come from one's own mind, one's past negative karma.

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The essence is to collect the most extensive merit in your daily life with the attitude of always keeping your motivation in bodhicitta, the thought to benefit all sentient beings. The more sentient beings you think about, the more merit you create. Try to think, whatever you do, 24 hours a day, of sentient beings: when you chant mantras, when you eat, go to sleep, when you go to work, and when you are talking; if you can, keep your mind in that thought. Then, with every action, you collect numberless merits. Not only is this how to have a happy, satisfying, fulfilling life every day, every moment, but especially it is best for the future, and not only for liberation from samsara, but for enlightenment.

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What makes your whole life most beneficial is bodhicitta. The root of the path to enlightenment is correctly devoting oneself to the virtuous friend, in thought and action.

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Obtaining and following the guru’s word, for us, is really wish-fulfilling, because by following advice then you achieve everything, including enlightenment. The more you do that, the quicker and easier it is to achieve enlightenment. Each word of your guru that you follow is more precious than wish-granting jewels filling the whole sky. Remember this always, how precious and how important it is.

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