Stick With the Lam-rim

Stick With the Lam-rim

Date of Advice:
August 2014
Date Posted:
August 2016

Rinpoche advised how to meditate on the lam-rim outline according to Liberation in the Palm  of Your Hand, and how to avoid wasting time by remembering impermanence and death.

My very dear one,
I discussed with __ who thought to set up her mind in the proper way, which means not going to extremes, not engaging in the heaviest negative karma, not thinking only of others’ faults and putting the blame for one’s own difficulties and problems on others. Instead, thinking in the proper way to have a healthy mind and body in order to practice Dharma from life to life. Therefore I am very happy that both of you came to see me this time.

I understand that it’s not an easy life, because the mind is not easy. One minute we think this way according to guru devotion and then next minute we think the opposite. This is quite normal for us sentient beings.

My suggestion is for you to read the lam-rim and really stick the mind with that. If the mind sticks with lam-rim, you will achieve a lot of peace, happiness and satisfaction, in this life and beyond. In this life you will have good relationships and happiness and you will be able to offer service to others. Otherwise you will suffer so much and also cause many difficulties to others. Even living together there will be lots of fights and not much peace, but a lot of suffering.

My idea is for you to please read Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand well from beginning to end, especially focusing on guru devotion, which is the root of the path. Depending on that we have obstacles or success. Also [read and meditate on] the perfect human rebirth, karma, and the suffering of samsara—each realm. That is very, very important. The extensive kindness of mother sentient beings is also very important, and then renouncing samsara and bodhicitta as much as possible.

Read it well from beginning to the end and meditate on it. Please read it well twice—slowly and well—relating it to your life and meditating on it while you read. After that spend five months meditating on guru devotion; two months on the perfect human rebirth up to karma; five months on the graduated path of the middle capable being; seven months on bodhicitta, the graduated path of the higher capable being, and nine months on emptiness. This means [that topic] is your main focus during that number of months.

Then go back again and whatever realization you didn’t have, go back again and again for that number of months. Do this based on the Guru Puja or Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga or Six-session Guru Yoga.

Please remember every morning when you wake up, rejoice, thinking, “I didn’t die today.” Think that life is very short; don’t think, “I will live very long.” If you think that you will live long, then problems will arise due to attachment, anger and the selfish mind. This increases problems in your life and causes harm to others, so it’s important to think about impermanence and death. It is very sure that death can happen any day, and if you remember that then everything will be very quiet and all the disturbing emotional thoughts will go away. The mind will be very quiet, there will be more Dharma in the heart, we will have a sincere wish to help to others and we won’t waste time. Please try to follow this as much as you can.

With much love and prayers...