Kopan Course No. 33 (2000)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal (Archive #1257)

These teachings were given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the Thirty-third Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 2000. The transcripts are lightly edited by Gordon McDougall. You can download the entire contents of these teachings as a PDF file.

You can also listen online to the teachings and read along with the unedited transcripts. Click on these links to access Days 1-5 and Days 6-10.


Lama Zopa Rinpoche after the first US course in California, 1975. Photo: Carol Royce-Wilder.
Kopan Course No. 33 Index Page

The Index Page provides an outline of the topics discussed in each of the lectures.

Lecture One

  • Introduction
  • How amazing Westerners have an interest in Buddhism
  • The purpose of meditation
  • The meaning of life
  • Emptiness: How the I exists
  • Ignorance and the six realms
  • The different views of emptiness
  • The benefits of listening to Dharma
  • Dedications

Lecture Two

  • The body and mind are in the nature of suffering
  • The enlightened mind
  • Emptiness: The ignorance of what the I is
  • Emptiness: Base and label, child and name
  • Emptiness: Labeling the table
  • Emptiness: The object of refutation
  • Emptiness: Imputing true existence on the base
  • Emptiness: Imputing beautiful
  • The body and mind are in the nature of suffering
  • The purpose of life is to liberate others
  • Oral transmission of the Diamond Cutter Sutra
  • The emptiness of the A
  • Meditating on how all objects are labeled by the mind
  • Everything comes from the mind
  • Guru devotion is the root of the path

Lecture Three

  • Emptiness: How the mind labels
  • Emptiness: Good and bad depend on the label
  • The kindness of the enemy
  • Rinpoche’s two alphabet teachers and his early life
  • Geshe Rabten
  • Good and bad are labeled by the mind
  • Problems come from our own karma, not other people
  • Seeing problems as opportunities

Lecture Four

  • Compassion is the essence of religion
  • Subduing the mind is right view
  • Meditation on emptiness 
  • Shakyamuni visualization meditation
  • Bodhicitta makes it easy to realize emptiness
  • Practicing patience
  • The enemy is the kindest person
  • The benefits of practicing patience
  • Thought transformation is the best psychology
  • The four noble truths: the origin of suffering
  • The twelve links: karma and consciousness
  • The twelve links: name and form 
  • The twelve links: consciousness, karma and ignorance
  • Everything comes from the mind 
  • [Dedications] 

Lecture Five

  • The four noble truths: The four aspects of the truth of suffering, impermanence
  • Problems come from not understanding impermanence and selflessness
  • Meditating on impermanence and death
  • The twelve links: Seeing how problems come from our own karma
  • Being aware in the break time of how we label everything
  • A pure mind sees things purely (the preta, the deva and the human)
  • Meditating on how everything comes from the mind
  • The ten nonvirtues: Killing
  • The ten nonvirtues: Sexual misconduct
  • The karmic results of keeping vows
  • Introducing Geshe Sopa
  • Oral transmission of the Thirty-five Buddhas, introduction

Lecture Six

  • Emptiness: How things appear to exist from their own side
  • Emptiness: The “A” seems to appear from its own side
  • Emptiness: The I is neither one with nor separate from the aggregates
  • Emptiness: The I is not one with the aggregates
  • Emptiness: Nor is the I separate from the aggregates
  • Emptiness: Year is merely imputed
  • Emptiness: Seeing life as like an illusion
  • Emptiness: A year is merely imputed
  • Emptiness: the aggregates are merely imputed
  • Everything is merely labeled

Lecture Seven

  • Emptiness: The rope and the snake are merely labeled by the mind
  • Bodhicitta: the seven points cause and effect
  • Bodhicitta: the kindness of the mother
  • Bodhicitta: Repaying the kindness
  • Bodhicitta: generating loving kindness
  • Adding Dharma to Roger’s car
  • Bodhicitta: Generating loving kindness
  • Bodhicitta: Special attitude
  • Only enlightened beings can help all sentient beings
  • Dedications

Lecture Eight

  • A Mahayana motivation
  • The shortcomings of self-cherishing
  • Self-cherishing stops you following the guru
  • Self-cherishing brings all unhappiness
  • Bodhicitta is the source of all happiness
  • All happiness comes from others
  • The ten nonvirtues: Stealing
  • The ten nonvirtues: Lying
  • The ten nonvirtues: Slander
  • The ten nonvirtues: Gossiping
  • The ten nonvirtues: Harsh speech
  • The ten nonvirtues: Covetousness
  • The ten nonvirtues: Ill will
  • The ten nonvirtues: Heresy
  • Karma: The four outlines
  • Six ways of purifying
  • How to live with bodhicitta
  • Dedications

Lecture Nine

  • When is a person dead?
  • Seeing the suffering nature of samsara brings realizations
  • The early days at Kopan
  • Lama Yeshe gets sick
  • Meditation on death
  • Death meditation: The clear light
  • The death process
  • The importance of understanding reincarnation and death
  • The Dalai Lama can remember past lives
  • Ordinary people can remember past lives
  • Fear at the time of death
  • Geshe Jampa Wangdu
  • The uncertainty of when a person is dead
  • Refuge in the Triple Gem
  • Remembering the Triple Gem helps at death
  • Refuge in the Triple Gem frees from samsara
  • The importance of taking vows
  • The refuge ceremony
  • How to practice refuge in the Buddha
  • How to practice refuge in the Dharma
  • How to practice refuge in the Sangha
  • How to practice refuge in general
  • The oral transmission of the Medicine Buddha mantra
  • The Vajrasattva mantra
  • Dedications

Lecture Ten

  • The benefits of writing and listening to Dharma
  • The Prajnaparamita teachings are the heart of the Dharma
  • The purpose of filling statues
  • The benefits of printing the Diamond Cutter Sutra
  • The oral transmission of the Diamond Cutter Sutra
  • The importance of putting effort into Dharma practice
  • Advice for daily practice

Next Chapter:

Lecture One »