Lamrim Year

By Lama Thubten Yeshe, By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lamrim Year is an essential guide for meditators who want to develop their mind in the graduated path to enlightenment (lamrim). This unique study program provides a 365-day outline of the graduated path in a clear, practical format that is suitable for both individual and group practice. The daily quotes and text have been selected from four decades of teachings by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and offer a taste of their teaching style and scope.

Visit the free Lamrim Year Companion website and sign up to access the daily meditations wherever you are, from your computer or mobile device. A Lamrim Year Crosswalk PDF is now available. This new PDF is a navigational guide created to support students who wish to extend their understanding of the teachings found in Lamrim Year by reading the corresponding section of the renowned book Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, by Pabongka Rinpoche.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in front of the Lawudo Lama's cave at Lawudo Retreat Centre, Nepal, 1978. Photo: Ueli Minder.
Day 64: The Perfect Human Rebirth (Lama Zopa Rinpoche)

An appreciation of the perfect human rebirth is fundamental to our Dharma journey
—Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The great meditator, Lama Tsongkhapa, who formalized the whole lamrim structure, broke the lamrim up into two: appreciation of this life of freedom and richness—the perfect human rebirth—and how to make use of this precious opportunity—the rest of the lamrim topics from impermanence and death, refuge and karma up to the point where we attain full enlightenment.

The lamrim is not like a buffet, where we can pick and choose whatever we fancy. We have to eat the whole feast, otherwise we won’t get what we want, liberation or enlightenment. When we explore the lamrim we will see how each topic leads to the next and how each is therefore indispensable. The meditations on the perfect human rebirth come right at the beginning of the path, just after relying on a spiritual teacher. We need to understand karma and we need to have refuge, and to deepen our commitment we need to understand impermanence and death. But none of that will happen if we squander this precious and unique opportunity that we now have, this one time only.

Only those of us with this perfect human rebirth can become inner scientists and discover the true cause of happiness. We’re unbelievably fortunate. We have the opportunity to study, meditate and understand everything that the Buddha taught, from the simplest lamrim topic to the most advanced. We have the opportunity to develop the altruistic heart, the attitude that wishes to be fully awakened to benefit others, and to understand the reality of things and events—emptiness. There is nothing we cannot understand with this perfect human rebirth.

  • The first section of the lamrim focuses on the perfect human rebirth
  • Each lamrim topic is an essential step on the journey to enlightenment
  • Only a perfect human rebirth gives us the opportunity to discover true happiness

The perfect human rebirth