Kopan Course No. 14 (1981)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, By Lama Thubten Yeshe
Kathmandu, Nepal November 1981 (Archive #119)

The following is a transcript of teachings given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the Fourteenth Kopan Meditation Course in November 1981. The teachings include a commentary on Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara [A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life] and a short talk and "Question and Answer" session with Lama Thubten Yeshe.

You may download the entire contents of these teachings in a pdf file. You can also listen to the recordings of lectures 1-5 here.

Kopan Course No. 14 Index Page

The Index Page provides an outline of the topics discussed in each of the lectures. Click on the headings below to go directly to a particular section.

Note that as this is a transcript from audio tape, there are some comments related to the tapes within the transcript.

This transcript does not represent the entire course, just primarily Rinpoche's teachings. During the early part of the course, discourses were given by geshes and Western students.


Section One:

Lecture 1 : Listen to the first 5 lectures online!

  • Introduction to the course
  • White Tara visualization and mantra recitation

Lecture 2

  • Tara, Manjushri prayer
  • Why there are many aspects of Buddha
  • Refuting a creator god
  • Introduction to the Bodhicaryavatara
  • The emptiness of “I”
  • Continuity of ignorance and delusions

Lecture 3

  • Truly existent “I” is the root of all suffering
  • Continuity of consciousness and “I”
  • Dharmakaya and svabhavakaya
  • Three types of causative phenomena
  • Everything is merely labeled

Lecture 4

  • The four philosophical schools
  • The label needs a valid base
  • Realizing the emptiness of “I” and dependent arising

Lecture 5

  • How body and mind exist dependently
  • The aggregates and sense-objects are merely labeled
  • Karma and rebirth
  • Continuity of the aggregates, samsara

Section Two

Lecture 6

  • Self-cherishing, the cause of all suffering
  • All our happiness comes from the kindness of others
  • Remembering others’ kindness daily
  • Living in harmony

Lecture 7

  • How to do the requesting prayers
  • Karma

Lecture 8

  • Is there continuity of consciousness?
  • The kindness of the enemy
  • “I” is only one and “others” are countless

Lecture 9

  • Exchanging oneself and others
  • The greatest benefit for others is to attain enlightenment

Section Three

Lecture 10

  • Bodhicitta
  • Story of Shantideva
  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience
  • Merit is destroyed by anger

Lecture 11

  • The bodhisattva, Khunu Lama Rinpoche
  • Bodhisattvas experience sickness and suffering happily
  • Gen Jampa Wangdu story
  • Present-day Tibetan meditators
  • Results depend on one’s practice
  • The perfectly qualified teacher and disciple
  • Perfect human rebirth

Lecture 12

  • Quote from Khunu Lama Rinpoche
  • Bodhicitta
  • Wheel-turning kings
  • Positive and negative actions in relation to holy beings
  • Guru Shakyamuni Buddha
  • Anger

Lecture 13

  • Quote from Khunu Lama Rinpoche and commentary
  • The need for bodhicitta
  • Relationships and bodhicitta
  • The importance of bodhicitta while working
  • Being a servant for others
  • Benefiting like the four elements

Section Four

Lecture 14

  • Four levels of motivation
  • Story of Shariputra
  • Buddha’s qualities
  • Faith
  • Benefits of offering to holy objects

Lecture 15

  • Worldly work is never finished
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Renouncing desire and anger
  • The importance of requesting prayers
  • Hindrances to practicing Dharma
  • Living in the precepts 


  • Death is definite
  • Precepts ceremony with commentary

Lecture 16

  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience
  • Anger
  • Giving problems to the self-cherishing thought

Lecture 17

  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience (con't)
  • Shortcomings of anger

Section Five


  • Precepts ceremony
  • Motivation: death is definite to happen
  • The fragility of life
  • How fortunate to have met the Dharma

Lecture 18

  • Bodhicitta
  • How bodhisattvas benefit

Lecture 19

  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience (con't)
  • Anger
  • Practicing the path to enlightenment
  • Guru devotion, the essence of the path
  • Generating realizations of the path
  • Shortcomings of negativity towards the guru
  • Importance of seeing the guru as Buddha

Lecture 20

  • The suffering of human lives
  • Suffering of sentient beings

Lecture 21

  • The strong will of bodhisattvas
  • Buddha practiced for three countless great eons
  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience (con't)
  • Death is inevitable; a third world war is not
  • Best is to subdue one’s mind
  • What is the use of worrying?

Lecture 22

  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience (con't)
  • The four undesirable objects
  • 12 objects and four hindrances on which to practice patience
  • The three kinds of sufferings
  • The contaminated aggregates of attachment
  • Craving and grasping at the time of death
  • Practicing patience with suffering

Section Six

Lecture 23

  • Prayers requesting blessings
  • Signs of receiving blessings
  • The practice of guru devotion
  • Practicing patience with suffering

Lecture 24

  • Gen Jampa Wangdu
  • Thought-training and taking medicine
  • Renouncing samsara
  • Developing bodhicitta
  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience (con't)
  • Enduring hardships for Dharma practice

Lecture 25

  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience (con't)
  • Practicing patience with the enemy
  • Taming the untamed mind
  • The kindness of the enemy
  • How lamas practice mind-training

Lecture 26

  • The results of mind-training
  • Practicing Dharma with patience
  • The importance of leaving impressions on the mind

Lecture 27

  • Bearing suffering with patience
  • Dharma hardships and meaningless hardships
  • Manjushri meditation
  • Meditation on the nature of the mind

Section Seven

Lecture 28

  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience (con't)
  • Subduing the inner enemy
  • Benefits of meditating on suffering
  • Practicing patience

Lecture 29

  • Introducing walking meditation
  • Manjushri meditation
  • Walking meditation

Lecture 30

  • The two truths
  • Finding the right view
  • Predicting death
  • Bodhicaryavatara, chapter on Patience (con't)
  • Unsubdued minds have no self-control

Lecture 31

  • The object of refutation
  • The base and the label appear as one
  • Meditating on the truly existent “I”

Lecture 32

  • Walking meditation on emptiness

Lecture 33

  • Motivating with bodhicitta and wisdom
  • Inviting the spirits and worldly gods to listen to the teachings
  • The four philosophical schools
  • Practicing awareness of the refuted object

Lecture 34

  • The refuted objects of the four schools
  • Mind-only School

Section Eight

Lama Yeshe Lecture and Q&A

  • Short explanation of the five lay vows
  • Q and A on the five vows and refuge
  • Daily practice
  • Female practitioners
  • Monk and nun vows

Section Nine

Lecture 35

  • Refuge and lay vows

Lecture 36

  • Mind-only philosophy
  • Refuted object of the Svatantrika
  • Refuted object of the Prasangika
  • Checking the refuted object
  • Meditating on emptiness and dependent arising
  • Concluding talk