Rinpoche's Online Advice Book: Numberless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Love You

Rinpoche's Online Advice Book: Numberless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Love You

Date of Advice:
June 2017
Date Posted:
June 2020

After completing a three-month retreat, a student wrote to Rinpoche about their realizations and experiences. The student said the retreat had helped with their grief and sadness after losing their mother several years ago. They had thought that no one would ever love them as she did, but now sincerely felt that Tara loved them that much. Rinpoche gave the following advice. 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Royal Holloway College, England, 1975. Photo: Dennis Heslop.

My most dear, most kind, most precious, most wish-fulfilling one,
Thank you very much for your kind email. I read it all. How you feel, like when you are about to finish, that you feel just like you are starting retreat, that is also how I feel. It’s very good that you are happy to purify sentient beings.

Your aversion to the president changed, so that is a very good sign, the benefit of retreat. Thank you very much for doing the long-life prayer every day.

You didn’t think logically regarding your mother passing—that no one would love you as much as she did. There are numberless bodhisattvas who love you; they love you a thousand times more than you love yourself. Every second they cherish you more than their own life; they cherish you and all sentient beings the most. That means, of course, numberless buddhas also love you.

You need to think about Dharma widely. The bodhisattvas and buddhas are not limited in qualities. Before they generate bodhicitta, they have to generate compassion for every single sentient being, there is not one left out. Not one slug is left out; not one mosquito is left out; not one spider is left out; not one rat is left out; not one snake is left out; not one cockroach is left out. Like that they have compassion for all the sentient beings, then [wishing] to free them from the oceans of samsaric suffering, so that becomes the basis of bodhicitta.

You haven’t thought enough about the path, the lamrim, the Lesser Vehicle path, the Great Vehicle sutra and Great Vehicle tantra, so it is all contained in the lamrim: the graduated path of the lower capable being, the graduated path of the middle capable being and the graduated path of the higher capable being. This is all contained in the three principal aspects of the path: renunciation, bodhicitta and emptiness.

The basis of great compassion is renunciation—when you think of your own suffering of samsara, then you generate renunciation. Think that all sentient beings are suffering in samsara like you, then compassion is generated, and from there, not only [wishing] to free them from samsara but to bring them to enlightenment, the peerless happiness, by yourself, therefore you need to achieve peerless omniscience. So then the realization of bodhicitta comes.

You have to think more about the path. You know numberless bodhisattvas have great compassion and loving kindness for you. Their compassion and loving kindness for you is more than you love yourself. How much you have for yourself, then of course numberless buddhas’  loving kindness for you is all the time—not only when you are happy and not only when you suffer, they don’t do that. Their loving kindness and compassion is there every second, every split second, thousands more, much more loving kindness and compassion for you and for numberless sentient beings, in every second. You should know that.

This means you didn’t meditate on the lamrim path, not much, otherwise you would know that.

So with the time you have left, reading the lamrim is the best one. Read lamrim—not just like a puja, not like that, trying to finish quickly. Read it mindfully—that is meditation; that is very, very important.

Meditate more on the perfect human body and its usefulness, also impermanence and death, and karma—meditate more on those parts—and then bodhicitta. First meditate on the perfect human body and its usefulness, and the lower path, and secondly, meditate on bodhicitta and then the other one is emptiness. So, in the morning, perfect human rebirth, then in the middle of day, bodhicitta, and in the evening, emptiness.

Please try this.

With much love and prayers ...