Making Life Meaningful

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Various locations, 1999 (Archive #1055)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives us the answer to the perennial question of how to integrate Dharma into our daily lives and explains the purpose of life in general and the practice of guru devotion.

This title is out of stock, but you can find links here to ebook and print-on-demand versions.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in a coffee shop in Tonasket, USA, September 2016. Photo: Lobsang Sherab.
Appendix 2: More Thought Training Meditations

With every action that you do, generate bodhicitta, as shown in the following examples.

When entering a temple or a room, pray, “May all mother sentient beings be led into the cities of Liberation and Great Liberation.” With bodhicitta, think, “As I enter this place, I am leading them there.”

When leaving temples or rooms, think, with bodhicitta, “May all sentient beings be freed from the prison of samsara. As I leave this place, I am leading them out.”

When opening a door, think, “May all the heavy-birth beings be freed from the hell realms by the transcendent wisdom gone beyond. As I open this door, I am freeing them all.”

When closing a door, think, “May all doors to the lower realms be shut forever and may no sentient being ever go there again. As I close this door, I am sealing all doors to suffering rebirths.”

When bathing yourself, think, “May the stains of all sentient beings’ delusions be completely purified. As I wash myself, I am washing away their stains.”

When sweeping, think, “May the dirt of all sentient beings’ greed, ignorance and hatred be completely purified. As I sweep away this dirt, I am eradicating their three poisons.”

When sitting down, think, “May all sentient beings reach enlightenment.”

When sitting cross-legged, think, “May I lead all sentient beings to enlightenment, which is adorned with four vajra postures.”

When getting up from sitting cross-legged, think, “May all sentient beings realize impermanence and death and the transient nature of all causal phenomena.”

When sitting on a cushion or a bed, think, “May all sentient beings understand all the teachings of the Buddha in the path of the square (that is, that all the teachings comprise a graded practice that any individual can follow to enlightenment).”

When prostrating, visualize that all other sentient beings appear in human form and that you are leading them all in prostrations, while thinking, “May all mother sentient beings be purified.”

When lying down to sleep, recline in the lion position that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha assumed when he passed away, and think, “May I lead all sentient beings to nirvana and enlightenment. As I lie down like this, I am leading them to nirvana and enlightenment.”

When getting up in the morning, think, “May all sentient beings be free of all delusions. As I arise, I am freeing them all from samsara.”

When leaving to go somewhere, think, “May all sentient beings follow the Mahayana path. As I leave to go, I am leading them along it.”

When reading a book, think, “May all mother sentient beings realize without confusion the meaning of every word of the Buddha’s profound and extensive teachings. As I read and understand this book, all sentient beings are realizing the teachings in their entirety.”

When writing, think, “May all sentient beings, in all their lifetimes, achieve great wisdom, understand even the most subtle points of avoidance and practice, and realize the two truths. As I write, all sentient beings are accomplishing all this.”

When helping other people, think, “May all sentient beings be like Avalokiteshvara, who has completed all the holy deeds of a buddha and delightedly takes on the work of others. May I stop the egotistic thought of wanting to progress simply for my own benefit, and never again be lazy or discouraged in the practice of bodhicitta.”

When putting your heel to the ground, think, “May all sentient beings attain the stage beyond struggle, completely free of all delusions.”

When putting cushions on the floor, think, “May all sentient beings achieve the method and wisdom of the path to enlightenment.”

When doing up a belt, think, “May the mental continua of all sentient beings be purified and protected, and through being bound by the three higher trainings, may all sentient beings achieve the two realizations of tantra.”

When going to a quiet place, think, “May all sentient beings completely avoid all negative actions by completely avoiding greed, ignorance and hatred.”

When offering scented flowers to holy objects, think, “May all sentient beings complete the practice of morality, thereby purifying all their broken precepts, and may they complete the path of the six perfections.”

When switching on a light or lighting a lamp, think, “May I switch on all sentient beings’ light of wisdom and illuminate their darkness of ignorance, enabling them to see the ultimate truth, through first having lit the lamp of wisdom within myself.”

When eating, think, “May I see the suffering of all present and future sentient beings and feel their hunger and thirst. May all enjoy the undiluted blissful nectar of transcendent wisdom.”

When taking medicine, think, “May I become the Buddha of Medicine, who pacifies all pain and whose name, when simply mentioned, alleviates the physical and mental illness that disturbs the practice of the path to enlightenment every day of our lives, and release all sentient beings from every illness.” (Before taking the medicine, recite the Chenrezig mantra, OM MANI PADME HUM, the Medicine Buddha mantra, TAYATA OM BEKANDZÉ BEKANDZÉ MAHA BEKANDZÉ BEKANDZÉ RADZA SAMUDGATÉ SOHA, or any other specific healing mantra that you know. Then blow on the medicine and, with strong prayers, take it. It is very important to have faith that taking medicine in this way can purify the negative karma that is causing the disease you are treating.)

When looking at statues of the Buddha, think, “May all sentient beings receive the infinite good qualities of the Buddha’s supreme body, speech and mind.”

When looking at stupas, think, “May all sentient beings attain the Buddha’s omniscient mind, which this stupa symbolizes.”

When talking about or discussing the Dharma, think, “May all sentient beings understand every word of the bodhicitta teachings and extinguish each and every doubting and unrealized mind the moment it arises.”

When going to the toilet, think, “May all sentient beings’ delusions and mental defilements vanish. As I excrete, I am eliminating them completely.”

When looking at scenery, think, “May all sentient beings attain the omniscient mind, fully realizing the vast number of varied existences in their absolute pure nature.”

Translated from Kachen Yeshe Gyältsän’s Losang Gongyen (lo-jong Chen-mo) by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.