Teaching to Benefit Others

Teaching to Benefit Others

Date of Advice:
May 2016
Date Posted:
July 2018

A student asked about teaching lamrim. Rinpoche sent this letter with advice about motivation for teaching and also wrote about a recent trip to New York.

My very dear one,
I received your very well-written letter, not only with very nice handwriting, but also the subject is very well laid out. Yes, it is a very pleasant letter.

I’m not a buddha with all the qualities, but you have lived a good life as a monk, with good conduct.

Yes, it is OK to go to teach, but check at the same time how it is going; if it is benefiting others.

Lamrim is the best teaching, so you can teach lamrim and Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, that itself has the commentary of Jorchö. There may be other commentaries separately, but they don’t explain lamrim. Here it explains the preliminary Jorchö.

It’s very good teaching, in order to enlighten sentient beings, to free every person from the oceans of samsaric sufferings, and not only that, to bring them to the perfect state, peerless happiness—the total cessation of all the obscurations and completion of all the realizations.

We have our center there also, and it has very good people. There are many very good members who have been doing courses for quite a number of years with different Sangha. I gave talks there on patience for three days—for the center and of course for anyone who comes along.

Last time I went for picnic—that was my suggestion—to meet everyone, all the ex-Kopan monks and nuns. There are about eighty in New York, and now some ex-nuns have babies. During the picnic I gave the oral transmission of Arya Sanghata Sutra to help them collect merit.

On the second and third picnic more people came and I met them. Many had sicknesses and at the end I wanted to give oral transmission of Calling the Guru from Afar, but there was no time. There were a few babies, so I talked about how to make the babies’ lives meaningful. There is a huge difference [for the children] having Buddhist parents, so I explained this, but because they had to work the next day, I had to stop teaching.

I brought three thangkas, but I didn’t get to explain how precious they are—not because of the art but because they are holy objects. Just seeing them is unbelievable purification, so I brought these three thangkas and they hung behind me. Maybe they thought I brought them for tradition, because I didn’t get to explain how precious they are.

Thank you very much for all your service for so many years. Thank you very much.

With prayers ...