The LAMA YESHE WISDOM ARCHIVE is delighted to collaborate with the International Mahayana Institute in the production of this small collection of talks by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche to their ordained students, the monks and nuns of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. We hope to publish more of these talks in future.
The first talk was given by Lama Yeshe at Kopan Monastery in December, 1973, to a small group of Western students a few weeks prior to their ordination. This was the beginning of the IMI. The second talk was given at Tushita Retreat Centre, Dharamsala, over two nights in April, 1982, during the first Enlightened Experience Celebration. Essentially, this was the beginning of Nalanda Monastery. The last two talks were given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche quite recently. The first was actually an essay prepared for publication in Mandala magazine in 1996; the second was given during teachings at Vajrapani Institute, California, in 1997.
The continued existence of the Buddhadharma depends upon the continued existence of the Sangha—the community of ordained practitioners, monks and nuns—one of the three Buddhist Refuges. In these talks, Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche explain the great benefits of practicing Dharma as an ordained person, how to keep the ordination pure, the purpose of the monastic community, how to live together as monks and nuns and much more. The necessity for the lay community to support the Sangha is also made clear, and not only monks and nuns but lay practitioners, too, will gain much by reading this book.
I thank Ven. Connie Miller, Rand Engel and Wendy Cook for their editorial suggestions, which greatly improved the readability of these talks, and Mark Gatter for so kindly designing this book. May the Sangha flourish in the ten directions for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Dr. Nicholas Ribush