Kadampa Teachings

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Root Institute, Bodhgaya (Archive #1404 1470 1588 1683 1677)

In this book Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains how to practice Dharma the way the famous Kadampa geshes did. These lamas were exemplary practitioners of Buddhism in Tibet, renowned for their extreme asceticism and uncompromising practice of thought transformation in order to develop bodhicitta. As ever, Rinpoche covers a vast amount of ground, teaching on many other topics as well.

Appendix 2: The Jewel Rosary Practice of Bodhicitta

I bow down to great compassion,
To all my spiritual masters,
And to my deities of devotion.

Having cast away all my doubts
About the value of spiritual practice,
I shall exert myself in the practice
Of the bodhisattva path.

Having removed sleepiness, dullness and laziness,
I shall always be joyful
When engaging in such incredible practices.

I shall guard the doors of my speech, body and mind
Against any negative action,
By constantly being alert and mindful in my behavior.
I shall examine my mind
Over and over again, day and night.

I proclaim my faults, not seeking faults in others,
Hide my own good qualities but praise those of others.
Not seeking material gain or veneration from others,
I will be able to abandon any desire for fame,
Being content with whatever I have.
I shall not fail to repay whatever kindness
I receive from others
And shall meditate on love and compassion,
Reminding myself always of bodhicitta,
The altruistic mind of enlightenment.

I abandon the ten nonvirtuous actions
And consolidate my faith in spiritual practice.
Having abandoned pride over my qualities
And disdain towards others,
Always humble,
I abandon wrong livelihood and follow right livelihood.

Having given up all meaningless activity,
I shall be endowed
With the inner jewel of arya beings.
Having given up all meaningless activity,
I remain in solitude,
Abandon senseless talk
And discipline my speech.

Whenever I see my spiritual master
I pay respect from my heart,
And with equal respect
Hold even ordinary sentient beings to be my great teachers,
As I hold great arya beings to be.

Whenever I meet others
I regard older ones as my parents,
Those of similar age or younger
As my brother, sister or relative.

Having abandoned bad influence from others,
I shall follow spiritual friends,
Be happy myself wherever I go,
Without any ill will towards others,
And not be discontented with my life.

I abandon attachment to any desirable things
And remain desireless,
For attachment in any form
Can never lead to a happy rebirth.
Instead, it takes away the life-force
Of liberation from suffering.

I shall exert myself in any virtuous activity
That can lead me to ultimate happiness,
Accomplishing first whatever practices I have started.
Thus, I will be able to accomplish all my practices,
Otherwise none of my tasks will be accomplished.
I take no interest in those activities
That can be harmful to others,
And cast away pride over my qualities
Whenever it arises in my mind.
I must remind myself always
Of the instructions of my spiritual teacher.

I shall be able to encourage myself
Whenever I feel depressed,
Whenever my mind is deluded by attachment to myself
And hatred towards others,
I shall be able to realize that both I and others
Are equally void of inherent existence,
And view myself and others
As being illusory-like, a magic form.

Whenever I hear unpleasant words,
I view them as echoes.
Whenever my body is harmed by others,
I shall be able to view it as being
The result of my previous negative karma.

Abiding always in solitude,
Like the corpse of a wild animal,
I shall keep myself away from the temptation
Of meaningless activities,
And remain desireless,
Reminding myself always of my deity of devotion.

Whenever laziness or laxity arise in my mind,
I shall be able to remove them immediately
And always remember the essence of moral behavior.

Whenever I meet others,
Having removed angry behavior,
I shall be able to speak sincerely and frankly,
With a smiling face.

Whenever I meet others,
I shall not be jealous of them,
But be generous to them.
I abandon any dispute with others
And concern myself with their welfare and comfort.

I shall not be fickle in any relationships with others,
But remain firm.
I give up any form of humiliating others
And always respect them.

Whenever I give advice to others,
I shall do so with sincerity and sympathy.
I abandon any disrespect for other forms of spiritual practice
And appreciate whatever religions others are interested in.
I shall be able to remain with the practice of the ten virtues, day and night.
I shall dedicate whatever virtues I have done in the past,
Do now and will do in the future,
To the benefit of other sentient beings.

Through performing the seven-limb prayer
I pray for the happiness of all other beings.

Thus I will be able to accomplish
The merit of wisdom and skillful means,
And will be able to eliminate all delusions,
For in this way,
I shall be able to attain enlightenment
For the sake of all sentient beings.
Thus I will be able to achieve great meaning
From finding this precious human rebirth.

There are seven gems that adorn the minds of bodhisattvas:
The gem of faith,
The gem of instruction,
The gem of contemplation,
The gem of wisdom,
The gem of ethics,
The gem of modesty,
And the gem of generosity.

These seven gems have limitless virtuous qualities.
When I practice these inner gems within myself,
I should not reveal any to those
Who are not yet mature to practice these excellent qualities.

I shall be heedful of my speech
In the presence of others,
And be heedful of my thoughts
In isolation from others.

Composed by Lama Atisha, translated by Geshe Namgyal Wangchen. See Step by Step, pp. 126–130.