Mahamudra Teachings and Medicine Buddha Teachings (Audio and Unedited Transcript)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Crestone, CO USA June 2008 (Archive #1711)

These teachings were given in June 2008 at the White Eagle Conference Center in Crestone, Colorado. Included is the oral transmission of the First Panchen Lama's Root Text for the Precious Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra.

You can also listen to the Chinese translation of the teachings here. Read the edited transcripts of these teachings here.

Day One Part B: Positive Attitude; Taking Care of Yourself; Dedications

So, for example, if you smile in the street, while walking, if you smile to somebody, in the restaurant, wherever it is, if you smile to somebody, say hello, so if smile, then, that person becomes, it makes the other person happy, makes the other person happy, then, there’s a positive effect, then that person smiles at you, or that person is happy with you, so, feels close to you, so then, that makes you happy, so like that.

So, a few nights ago, I was walking because my diabetes was high, so I went for a walk, maybe more than an hour near the Aptos house, the beach, went for a walk, so it was dusk time. There was one guy who was playing on the road with the under the feet, I don’t know what it’s called, the small wheel? [Student: A skateboard?] No, there was no board, there wasn’t a board, maybe there’s a board, I’m not sure, there’s wheels, anyway, don’t remember. So he was playing, one young guy he was playing. So I can’t remember exactly what I said, hello and smiled. Of course, I need to check my motivation why I smiled at him.

Anyway, it was dusk time so I didn’t see him smiling but what I heard later, he told our house cook, nun, the Swiss nun, Anet, so, he told, “Is this your principle or something?” So I think he felt something, and he said, good, he said, good. So anyway, I’m just using the recent example.

So, anyway, but of course, if it’s, but of course if it’s not from the heart, you need to do from the heart, if it’s not from the heart, of course then people find out it’s not from the heart, and then, you know it’s diplomatic or political, it’s politics, so if it’s not from the heart then it becomes politics. So, anyway, then people find out, people not happy with you, it’s not coming from the heart, so, anyway, so, you desire to not receive harm from others, to receive help, to benefit to, others happy with you, so that depends on your attitude, how you treat them. So, therefore, need, so therefore, you need, healthy, it’s important word, healthy, I think, need coming from your heart, positive motivation, attitude, what you do to, if you smile or whatever, from the heart, however thinking, concerning the other’s happiness, you want to cause the other person to have happiness, free from problems, depression or unhappiness, so, you want to help that, or, thinking of the kindness of that person, then you smile, kindness of that person, so, truly coming from your heart, I mean, so like that. So, however, that’s just one example but any other activity what you do to others.

So, then, like this, every day, if one lives life like this, even a non-believer, then, you make everybody happy, and, including the family, children, I mean the family, anywhere, wherever you are, so because you make everybody happy, then everybody making happy, so, everybody happy with you, so like that, so your wishes get fulfilled, your wishes for happiness get fulfilled, like that.

So this is their wish, even though they believe only one life, so therefore, need think, need to motivate, way of thinking need to be better quality, better, special, pure, positive, healthy, like that.

Similar, with the good heart, the reason, as I explained before, to cause happiness to others, free from depression or the problems what the other person experiencing, nobody loves me or nobody likes me, all these, so then they torture that person, he or she, torture oneself, like that, anyway, so, then, somebody who shows care, somebody who, somebody who shows care or concern or, somebody who respects from the heart or thinking of the kindness of the person. However, then, makes the other person happy. So, however, so in the daily life there are so many things your attitude becomes Dharma, the action becomes Dharma.

For example, [pause] somebody who doesn’t believe in reincarnation, karma, but feels compassion to somebody, animal or person, so feels compassion, generate compassion, with that, then help, even there’s no actual help involved, but generated compassion, so, Dharma. So, that has to become Dharma, for sure, has to become Dharma, to generate compassion to somebody, insect or the person.

So, anyway, so, why not, same, so, all these others, that, sincerely, you do, as I, reasons I explained before, you cause happiness to somebody, those who have mental problems, unhappiness, or thinking of that person’s kindness, so this becomes Dharma. So, as I mentioned before, the motivation of compassion, loving kindness, then, contentment, and patience, and the wisdom, things like that. So even that person, intellectually believe only one life, so like that.

So, therefore, Dharma, the transformation of the mind into all these positive, healthy mind, virtue, that which motivates positive action, and result, happiness, extremely needed, most important, most important thing in the life, even for a non-believer, most important thing, which then brings happiness to them, and to others.

Now, for example, when there’s relationship problems, then, [pause] one has lost one’s relationship or the other companion, either husband or the wife, or whatever, or friend, then, think that, for example, one think, the meditation or psychology that, thinking, the reality of the life that, that the nature of the life is impermanence, that the nature of the life is impermanence, your own life is in nature of impermanence, and that person’s life, friend or whomever you lost, taken by somebody, nature of life is doesn’t last long, nature of impermanence, can die any time, so, so the surrounding people think their life is nature of impermanence, death can happen any day, any day, in any day, even today it can happen, so, like that it’s happening every day, every hour, every minute, every second it’s happening in the world, so many, there’s nothing definite, young people will live a long time, old people will die soon, there’s no such definite thing in this world. The northern continent, human world, then everybody live for 1,000 years, everybody lives 1,000 years, fixed karma. But here, nothing definite, the old person or somebody who is very sick, you think, Oh, that person is going to die soon, I’m going to live for a long time, but that person who is very sick, who is sick, or even somebody has cancer, going to die soon or old person, going to die soon, but actually, but many times, you think you’re going to live very long, but actually you die first, you die before them, you die before them.

So there’s all the time that happens, so, if you look at the world, it happens all the time, every hour, every minute, every second it’s happening, so if you think like this, as a meditation or psychology here, nature of life, if you think, so that helps, that helps to stop grasping, clinging, that tortures you, that tortures you, so, that makes you suffer, that makes you suffer most unbelievable, so, it doesn’t rise, it stops, that.

So here, so here my question is that, [pause] yeah, just a question. Your heart, your daily life, while you are working, busy life, but your heart constantly, there are two things: happiness of yourself, happiness of others. So, with your busy life, but your heart is full of happiness of others, so, whether it’s one sentient being, one person, one animal, or the, many, however, happiness of others, so the, then that becomes pure Dharma, not only Dharma but pure Dharma, unstained by self-cherishing thought, pure Dharma, that becomes pure, pure meditation, pure Dharma, like that.

So now, there’s one question, somebody, somebody gives food, gives food, money to somebody who needs, a beggar, but the person did with the motivation for his own happiness, reputation or that other people praise to him, him or her. Anyway, so, whether that person’s charity, whether that person’s giving, whether it becomes Dharma, whether it’s Dharma or not, whether it’s virtue or not, whether it’s virtue or not, whether it’s Dharma or not, so, maybe you can think about that.

So, so what do you think? Huh? Anybody.

Of course, the action is not, how to say, not, you can say, harming to that, that person’s action is, is that person’s action harmful to, is that harmful to him or herself, is it harmful to others, and as well to him or herself or not? Because the motivation is not pure, so that I’ll be praised by others, it’s attachment seeking happiness for her or his own life, this life, this life, not future life, not future life but this life. So, so motivation is nonvirtue, totally black, so do you think that action is harmful to him, other sentient beings, both, or one?

Anybody? [Nobody answers Rinpoche.]

Okay, then maybe you can inform tomorrow.

So, I thought to do the oral transmission of the mahamudra root text just for auspicious, for auspicious, to plant the seed of the realization, so, yeah, but I, maybe now, maybe do tomorrow, okay.

So, however, in the life of non-believer, according to their wishes, always to receive help from others, to receive benefit, to receive help from others, always desiring peace, however, so that’s, in this life, that’s always their wish.

So, therefore, if they follow the attachment, opposite to contentment, the peaceful attitude, contentment, satisfaction, opposite to satisfaction, so, it’s what they want, this is what they are looking for, but in the life they always follow the opposite of satisfaction, desire, so, now, that, then, so, always to receive help from others, to not receive harm from others, always from your own side, then, one must practice patience, yourself to not get angry, and others to not get angry to you, to not cause others angry to you, then need to practice patience.

So, then, no question about the good heart, benefit others, cherishing others, no question, because, same, with the self-cherishing thought, then you constantly suffer with that, you never find joy and inner peace, never, so, fulfillment, you don’t find in your life, so, never get this one. So if you always follow selfish mind, so, then, also then, by following self-cherishing thought, then you harm others, you become careless to others, you harm others, you don’t care others’ happiness, so then, many other sentient beings, they receive disturbance from you, harm, then, as a result, you get a negative effect from them, harm. So there is extremely need good heart, like that. So there is an unbelievable need of Dharma, meditation, in their lives, so like that.

So, I’m very happy to meet all of you and, who are first time to, in this life to meet, and all those old students, and, so, however, so we put our main effort to protect our mind, that, keeping the mind in virtue, as much as possible, then, especially the good heart, benefiting to all the sentient beings, so, as much as possible, the, that’s the, besides the other meditations, that should be the most important, most important one, during teaching and meditation, then also, even during break, however, when we do walking, eating, working, sitting, sleeping, and so on, so, with this, as much as possible, with this attitude, so, thought of benefiting to all sentient beings, so as much as possible that. And as I mentioned at the beginning of the talk, so that’s the, to put all the effort into that, as much as possible, the, then, here, during this, to train the mind, and to train our mind in this, during this course, and then, of course, that helps also in your daily life, also, benefit, to become, habituated, so that.

So however, protect, so mind, so when we protect our mind, we protect our life, so the, whenever you practice Dharma, whenever your body, speech, and mind, the activities become Dharma, that time you are protecting your life, you’re looking after your life, you’re taking care of your life. When you are practicing, so when you are practicing, when your mind, when your heart is in guru devotion, when your heart is in bodhicitta, when your heart is, the total peace, away from desire, clinging the samsara, samsaric happiness, perfections, this life, so one’s own this life’s happiness and so forth, so, your mind is total peace, total peace, being away, the opposite, renouncing the opposite, the painful mind, painful mind, desire, which brings always, which results only dissatisfaction, so, as well as of course, then, the emptiness, so, of course, higher than that is the tantric path, so looking at everything pure, utilizing the, practicing the yoga of the three utilizations, three transformations: whatever sound you hear is the sound of the mantra, the deity, what you are practicing; and, any beings you see, the deity, and then, the house, place is the mandala, so, like that, yourself deity. However, practicing the yoga of the three utilizations or three transformations, so, however, then tantra, the different levels of path.

However, so when your mind in, when your heart in this, then, that time, then you’re benefiting to your life, then, then also benefiting other sentient beings, and especially with bodhicitta, no question, so, that time, when you’re practicing Dharma, you’re taking care of your life.

When you are not practicing Dharma, then not taking care of life, not taking care, not protecting your mind, not protecting your life, one, when we live our life with the three poisonous minds, self-cherishing thought and so forth, then, not protecting, not protecting, opposite of protecting, it’s harm, not protecting, so, we must discover or realize, in the daily life in this way.

And that, in the West, there’s much talk, you love yourself, so, when you’re practicing Dharma, you’re loving to yourself, when you are practicing Dharma. When you are practicing, when you’re keeping yourself free from the painful mind, desire, or from self-cherishing thought, ignorance, so forth, living in the patience, protecting from anger, so those times, that time you are actually loving yourself, so you’re taking care of yourself, like that.

So, anyway, so, then, however, what we need to, what we need to live life, what we need to develop our, live our heart, in the lam-rim, where we need to live our heart is that, life, in lam-rim. So, just only doing some minutes or some hour of meditation, the rest of the life, and the rest of the life, nothing to do, your life is nothing to do with the meditation, what you’ve done meditation today, nothing to do with that, the rest of the daily life, something else, completely become something else, opposite to Dharma, so, body, speech, and mind, does not become Dharma, so it becomes cause, becomes cause of samsara, becomes cause of the lower realms, with the desire.

Then, self-cherishing thought, then, all that becomes obstacle, instead of becoming cause to achieve enlightenment, it becomes obstacle to achieve enlightenment, so, and instead of becoming, one’s own activities instead of becoming the antidote to samsara, antidote to samsara, to cease the karma and delusion, the root, the ignorance, to cease, and then it becomes cause of those, so then, to try as much as possible, since there is no realization, stable realization achieved, such as three principal aspects of the path to enlightenment, so cannot always abide in that, but to remember again and again, and try to live, try to, one’s own mind, in the heart, into this, so, as much as possible, so, that’s, so then it’s harmonized your meditation session and the rest of the day, busy life, so, harmonized.

Otherwise, the rest of the day, much of the time, creating the cause of samsara and then like that. Even the meditation session, then, if one didn’t watch the motivation, at the beginning, if one doesn’t know how to meditate or doesn’t examine how to meditate, doesn’t examine, then, even that, that whole time can be wasted, if the motivation becomes nonvirtue, even though the action looks like spiritual action, or religious action, or spiritual, but the motivation becomes totally negative. So, then the whole, even the, that’s the only time, that’s the main time that you try to do something pure, Dharma, meaningful, beneficial for sentient beings, at least to yourself, so then that cannot happen, so, yeah.

So here Dr. Chiu-Nan Lai invited me quite a few times to come here but it didn’t happen so, so this time, on the way to Nepal, I’m going to Lawudo so the, so this, so I’m very happy to, able to come here, what Dr. Chiu-Nan Lai asked, so, [pause] which was the year we met? [Chiu-Nan Lai: 1988.] Dharamsala? [Chiu-Nan: Dharamsala.]1988. So 1988, I met Dr. Chiu-Nan Lai in Dharamsala, now many, how many years ago? Twenty years ago, yeah.

So, then I requested her many, so many times to help, so, great support and helped many different times, also LMB for quite a number of years, being director and when there was nothing, developed, so, so many other things, great, ?benefit. However, and then she benefited so many people in the world, in this world, many of the Chinese, many of you might know her life, but however, able to benefit many people, able to cure many people of cancer through the diet, and chi gong, like that, and, also by leading nyung-nä’s, Chenrezig, Compassion Buddha’s retreat, nyung-nä’s, I think also many people recovered their sicknesses during that time.

I remember one time in Taiwan, many years ago, one time, I was there, so she asked me to give Eight Mahayana Precepts one day, nyung-nä is two days retreat, that’s an excellent practice to do, excellent practice to do that nyung-nä, two days, the last morning, one short session, but otherwise two days, very intensive, and that’s very powerful. For people who live in the city, I mean, wherever they live, it doesn’t matter, who live in the city or outside the city, on the mountain or on the ground, wherever, so, but, especially people who have a very busy life, you don’t have much time to meditate a month or a few months or many days, you don’t have time to meditate because you have family, I mean, taking care of family or working for family or many things, so, very busy life, those who don’t have time to do retreat, to go some place to do retreat or something, then, then this nyung-nä is, I would suggest the nyung-nä, to do this retreat, it’s an excellent thing, so it purifies so many eons, depends how you do, by doing one nyung-nä, it purifies 80,000 eons of negative karma, even much more, that’s general benefit but, it purifies 80,000 eons of negative karma, but that’s general benefit, but it depends on how you do, see, so, with the guru devotion or with the bodhicitta, with the right view, with the emptiness, so then you, so, it depends on, all this depends on how you practice, so can purify so much more than, many million, billion eons of negative karma get purified.

So, I remember, one time when I was in Taiwan, so, she was leading a retreat in one nunnery, no, nunnery was, nunnery was some place, anyway, so there was one person, he could not move his arm for thirty, forty years ago, he, maybe thirty years, he could not move his arm, and then, he came to, he happened to come to the nyung-nä, and then, this two days’ retreat, then he was able to move, I mean, there’s a lot of prostrations, things like that.

So, anyway, so many times like that, then, so anyway, great benefit, great benefit to the sentient beings in this world, so I think it’s, so therefore, I’m very happy to make, very happy to find time to, yeah, whatever, small benefit that can be done, so, all together, we all together do something, best what we can, to make our lives most meaningful, beneficial, so like that.

So I think that’s it. So, maybe now it’s time, it’s okay to recite the King of Prayers. [inaudible comment]. Oh, I see, then maybe not.

Dag gi ji nye sag päi ge wa di….

Sa zhi pö kyi jug shing me tog tram….

So now we dedicate our merits.

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by me, the three-time merits collected by all other sentient beings, including bodhisattvas and buddhas, then may the source of all the peace and happiness, including enlightenment, to oneself and to all sentient beings, that is bodhicitta, so may that be actualized within my heart, in the hearts of all the sentient beings, including one’s own family members, in the heart of all the sentient beings, without delay even a second, okay. In the hearts of numberless hell beings, numberless hungry ghosts, numberless animals, human beings, suras, asuras, intermediate state beings, yeah, in everyone’s heart. So that means you have to recognize that, realize that numberless sentient beings living in the ocean, in the water, the big like mountains, smallest that you can see only through microscope, so all those unbelievable, unbelievable numberless beings in the water, in the ocean, constantly being eaten by another one, constantly with fear and being eaten by another one, small ones eat big ones, big ones eat the small ones. So when we pray like this it includes everybody, all those numberless beings in the water and numberless, all those insects, animals who live in the forest, insects on the plants, on the vegetables, plants and, so it includes those who are around the area here, and everything, so it includes everybody, everybody, every human being, including your enemy, if you have enemy, including that, then, everybody, so praying here to generate bodhicitta, the altruistic mind to achieve enlightenment for sentient beings, that which, from this you get liberated from all the sufferings and you achieve all the happiness up to enlightenment, okay. Then you’re able to, as I mentioned before, liberate the sentient beings from every suffering, from every suffering of samsara, including the cause, and that you’re able to give, cause happiness to numberless sentient beings, okay, happiness of this life, happiness of all the future lives, liberation from samsara, enlightenment, so that you the one person cause all this happiness to numberless sentient beings. So, this bodhicitta, we’re praying to generate in your heart, and your family members, in the hearts of all the sentient beings, okay, without delay even a second. And in whose heart bodhicitta generated, may it be increased. [pause]

Jang chhub sem chhog rin po chhe….

May the bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of all the leaders of the world, so that all the millions of people in each country, so will have perfect peace and happiness, and they are led in the correct path to peace.

Then next one, very urgency we pray, and then, due to all the three time merits collected by me, by others, may the bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of all the religious people, not only Buddhists, Hindus, Christian, Muslim, then all, in everyone’s hearts, may the bodhicitta be actualized. It’s a very important prayer. Without delay even a second.

Jang chhub sem chhog rin po chhe…. [2x]

That, this time that we have met Buddhadharma, and the, opportunity to learn, to practice, to achieve enlightenment, to be liberated from all the suffering and causes and to achieve enlightenment, however, to do perfect benefit to sentient beings, so all that, so, even though we learn from other teachers, from gurus, but basically, without the Compassion Buddha, without the Chenrezig, human form, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, then we cannot, we wouldn’t have all this opportunity, also to meet other gurus, we wouldn’t have this opportunity. So therefore, His Holiness’s holy wishes to be, long life, and his holy wishes to be succeed immediately, so we pray this, okay.

Gang ri ra wäi khor wä zhing kham dir….

Next prayer, fulfilling the holy wishes.

Tong nyi nying je zing du jug päi lam….

Due to all the three-time merits collected by me, collected by others, may all the father, mother sentient beings have happiness and may all the three lower realms’ beings empty forever, the hell, hungry ghosts, animals, be empty forever, may all the bodhisattvas’ prayers be succeed immediately, and may I be able to cause all this to happen by myself alone.

So this includes also praying your own family members, same, friends, so forth.

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by me, three-time merits collected by others, which exist, but which is totally empty from its own side, [Chinese translation] may the I who exists, but is totally empty from its own side, [Chinese translation] achieve the Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists but which is totally empty from its own side, [Chinese translation] lead all the sentient beings, who exist but do not exist from their own side, who are totally empty, to that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, so even, or you can dedicate Compassion Buddha, or any, so whichever personal, whom you pray normally, so can relate to that. So Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment which exists, but which is totally empty, so lead all sentient beings to that, by myself alone, who exists but who is totally empty from its own side.

I dedicate all the merits in the same way as the, say, I dedicate all the merits to be able to follow holy extensive deeds of bodhisattvas Samantabhadra and Manjugosha, as they realizes.

I dedicate all the merits in the same way the three-time buddhas dedicate their merits.

Chhö kyi gyäl po tsong kha päi….

Dag dang zhän gyi dü sum dang….

So, thank you very much, hsieh, hsieh, and good night.