Resuming Study After Directorship

Resuming Study After Directorship

Date of Advice:
January 2016
Date Posted:
July 2020

This advice was given to a student who experienced many obstacles as center director. The student became very unhappy and was unable to study, but after resigning as center director, their problems ceased, they were happier and able to resume study.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at the 12th Meditation Course at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1979. Photo: Ina Van Delden.

My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,

Thank you for your email, I am very sorry for the long delay. It seems correct what you did, stopping being director. So that is completely OK.

That you are able to study is extremely fortunate. I received so many teachings like rainfall on sutra and tantra, but I didn't get to really study. I only speak two or three words, just like that, and only a little bit that I know I speak about. You are so much more fortunate—you are studying the Masters Program and have finished the Basic Program, therefore you are so, so fortunate.

Yes, if the mind is not occupied by study, the mind may find problems. Why? Because the basic motivation is the self-cherishing thought, ignorance, which is the root of suffering. The truly existent I appears and we hold on to that, while there is nothing that truly exists. Basically, not at all. So yes, I agree it’s a good idea to let the mind be occupied with Dharma subjects.

As you know, motivation is so important. This is what transforms the life from a suffering life to happiness, including Dharma, if the motivation is renunciation of this life, renunciation of samsara, and not only that, but renunciation of the self-cherishing thought, ignorance, the root of samsara.

So that’s just talking about sutra and then there is tantra, where the mind becomes exalted, pure. The mind creates enlightenment. With tantric practice your life goes so quickly toward enlightenment. It is a quick way to achieve enlightenment, but it must be on the basis of renunciation, bodhicitta and right view, and then the root is guru devotion.

The main thing is to actualize the lamrim and to have lamrim realizations. This is the main thing all the time, when you study and during the rest of your day, to live with bodhicitta as much as possible, to live your life for others. This is the essence.

With much love and prayers