My very dear Anna,
Thank you very much for your kind letter. How is your daughter? It is very important since you made your daughter—of course her mind came from past lives, but you and your husband gave her this body —so your responsibility to her is to help her become a good human being. I am sure she is, but I am just emphasizing this. Help her to have a Dharma education as much as possible, slowly, slowly give her a Dharma education; this is very, very important. The more she learns Dharma, then the more she will practice. Learning Dharma awakens in her what is right and brings happiness to oneself and to numberless sentient beings, and what is wrong and brings harm to oneself and to numberless sentient beings. In this way she will practice creating the cause of enlightenment, ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara and full enlightenment. This is so important. Then as much as possible, create good karma. This can be done just by even one circumambulation of a holy object—a statue, stupa or scripture, whatever—to help her create as much virtue as possible. That’s the best gift to her and from that she will achieve happiness.
From one good karma she will experience happiness for 500 lifetimes and so on. So, for example, the result of killing one insect is that we will receive harm for 500 or 1,000 lifetimes. Then the opposite to that, giving up that, abandoning that act of killing, from just one karma we create so much good karma and if the action is done with bodhicitta then that action becomes the cause of enlightenment. If the action is done with renunciation, then it becomes the cause of ultimate happiness and if that one action is done by meditating on emptiness then it becomes the antidote to the rest of samsara, the antidote to ignorance and samsara. This is just an example. So from this we can apply it to other virtuous actions and especially understanding the incredible important of our motivation when doing any action.
Thank you for the paintings that you mentioned you have done and plan to do, thank you very much. I hope to see you very soon.
Please live your life with bodhicitta. It’s good to read the lam-rim in Tibetan, but the main thing is to do effortful meditations and then effortless meditations. This is very important, this is the most important thing in your daily life. Then, practice and live the life with bodhicitta, as much as possible. Make this your motivation in everything that you do. Begin first with effortful meditations. So, this is a rough example of how to do that. First, it is important to meditate on guru devotion, if possible a little each day, or all the time, until you have stable realizations. Then spend six months mainly meditating on guru devotion, then six months mainly meditating on the graduated path of the lower capable being, then six months mainly meditating on the graduated path of the middle capable being, then six months mainly meditating on the graduated path of the higher capable being, then six months mainly meditating on bodhicitta and then six months mainly meditating on emptiness. This just means for that six months this is what you mainly focus on.
Then guru devotion—until you has stable realizations, no matter how many years it takes, keep going back over the subject. Then the gradual path of the lower capable being—detachment to this life and the next life, total detachment —realizations from perfect human rebirth up to karma, no matter how many months or years it takes to have the stable realizations. Continue through the lam-rim step by step; meditate on the lam-rim. Then train the mind on the graduated path of the middle capable being, then the higher capable being, then bodhicitta. After you realize bodhicitta, then mainly focus on tantra—your own deity’s generation and completion stage, but still, no matter what, meditate a little on emptiness every day, even if it is just for five or ten minutes, even something short like that. So the lam-rim is the most important thing. Then the commitments that you have taken, you can do as much as possible.
With much love and prayers...
PS. Don’t worry, I am just telling you the main, important things to do, but please take it easy, relax.