Kopan Course No. 28 (1995): Audio and Transcripts

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kathmandu, Nepal 1995 (Archive #1019)

These teachings were given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the Twenty-Eighth Kopan Meditation Course in November 1995. Included are oral transmissions of the Heart Sutra, the Thirty-five Buddhas Confession Prayer, and Pabongka Rinpoche's Heart-Spoon.

Download or listen online to the audio recordings of Lectures 1-3 and 6-9, and read along with the transcript. You may also download the entire transcript in a pdf file.

Lecture Five: Buddha Potential

<- Previous Lecture  : Kopan Course 28 Index Page  : Next Lecture ->

[First part of lecture seems to be missing.]

For example, when we do visualization of a deity or Buddha, at the beginning nothing comes out. When we start to visualize it is very dark, nothing comes out. But by continuing the practice, doing Vajrasattva mantra or doing prostrations by reciting the 35 Buddhas’ holy names and so forth, by continuing such powerful practices, or a guru yoga practice such as service, cleaning or whatever, doing services for the virtuous friend, from whom one has received Dharma—at times when one is doing these with positive thoughts, devotional thoughts, with guru devotion, doing services with the pure thought, especially those times suddenly, devotion, seeing the guru, that virtuous friend is the deity: that is Tara, or that is Vajrayogini, this is the deity—suddenly, from the bottom of your heart, comes a definite understanding, a feeling of faith, something definite comes from your heart. “There is no other Vajrayogini than this.” Suddenly this experience is coming out. “There is no other Buddha than this.”

When you visualize Buddha the visualizations become very clear. You have been reciting the same words, such as the Guru Puja prayers, for many years. But suddenly, with these conditions, while you are doing some powerful, very intensive practice with a positive mind, especially doing a practice that is serving the guru, or suddenly while one is doing intensive practice, accumulating merit by offering mandala or doing much practice of purification with Vajrasattva, or prostration to the 35 Buddhas—even if there was no compassion before, suddenly one can feel compassion for others.

Suddenly the words that one has been reciting for many years make a lot of sense. Suddenly each of those words is extremely profound; one finds so much taste and depth in the meaning of those words. Suddenly you understand; even without reading the commentaries, suddenly there is a lot of understanding of the meaning of those words. There's a sudden understanding that comes of those special practices. Suddenly they reflect the understanding that comes out.

All these things, as I mentioned before, are because the potential is there. It is not coming from outside. It is not coming from outside. Because there is the condition, such as accumulating merit and purifying, because your positive attitude to your practice is purifying your mental continuum. So these experiences come, they manifest out. The realizations, the experiences come out.

Except that there is obscuration, we can say we are a buddha, we can say we are all buddha. (laughter) Except that there is obscuration, it comes like that. If you say you are a buddha, when we debate it that would mean Buddha was obscured. There would be a suffering Buddha. In debating, you cannot protect. But especially in tantra practice you are supposed to meditate at all times that you are your result-time buddha. Basically, that’s what it is. Meditation-wise it’s like that, for mind-training one has to meditate like that, one has to have divine pride of Buddha.

Anyway that is karma. As you have already gone through the subject karma you would have already some idea.

Each complete negative karma, such as of killing and so forth, down to heresy, each complete negative karma has four suffering results: ripening aspect result, rebirth in the lower realm; then three other suffering results to be experienced in the human realm. When one gets reborn in the human realm then one experiences those other three suffering results.

Experiencing the result similar to the cause: due to the past negative karma that left imprints on one’s own mind, as the negative imprints stored up or left on one’s mental continuum gradually get experienced, manifest out, one sees other living beings harming oneself. Most of experiencing the results similar to the cause is like this.

Possessed result: again, the negative imprints stored up in one’s own mental continuum due to past negative karma. Then at the time of death, when one is reincarnated in the human realm, these negative imprints manifest out then one experiences a lot of problems in the place, in the environment, environmental problems. You can include pollution in that, what nowadays in the world many people are talking about; anything to do with the place, any fears, and dangers for life, disease, anything in the place that affects one's own life. Those are the possessed result similar to the cause.

Creating the result similar to the cause: doing negative actions…

(At this point one Tibetan lady, Tsering, comes to the throne in trance)

Rinpoche: I thought maybe it was time to stop! (Rinpoche laughs) (laughter) (Rinpoche asks for water for Tsering.)

Creating results similar to the cause: due to the habit of past karma, as the negative imprints that were left on the mental continuum rise, manifest, then again the negative actions are repeated, again and again. So that is creating the result similar to the cause.

So this is much worse, I think this is much worse, in my point of view. This one is much worse, doing the same again and again, creating results similar to the cause, creating negative karma again and again, this one is much worse than being in hell. Being in hell, according to karma, you get reborn there and you experience it for a certain length of time, then you finish. But this one, creating negative karma again and again, creating results similar to the cause—this completed negative karma has again four suffering results, one of which is creating the result similar to the cause. Then again that completed negative karma has four suffering results, so it goes on and on and on, goes on and on like this, from this negative karma doing again and again, goes on and on like this without end.

It makes the suffering of samsara have no end. The negative karma has no end and the result suffering has no end. So, in my point of view, this is much worse than being in hell.

Therefore purification is the most important essential thing.

Maybe stop here.

 <- Previous Lecture  : Kopan Course 28 Index Page  : Next Lecture ->