Kopan Course No. 10 (1977)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1976 (Archive #092)

These teachings were given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the Tenth Kopan Meditation Course held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal in 1977. The transcripts are lightly edited by Gordon McDougall, May, 2011.

You may also download the entire contents of these teachings in a pdf file.

Section Five: Lectures 17 to 20


In order to listen the Mahayana teachings about the training thought of enlightenment, which is the essence of the graduated path to enlightenment, it is necessary to cultivate the pure motivation of the bodhicitta. Also, for the present action we are doing now, to not only become Dharma, but also to become the cause to attain enlightenment to benefit all the sentient beings. There are numberless kind mother sentient beings who are devoid of happiness, temporal happiness, ultimate happiness and even devoid of temporal happiness and constantly suffering, so since I have the possibility that I can make them have all the happiness and be devoid of all suffering, I must achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all the kind mother sentient beings. Therefore I am going to listen to the profound Mahayana teachings.

The listening object is the oral teaching training in the thought of enlightenment which is the method for the fortunate one to attain enlightenment and it is well expounded by great, the highly-realized propagators, Nagarjuna and Asanga. It is a profound teaching which contains the essence of the infinite knowledge of Dharma, what Atisha and the King of Three Worlds, the great Lama Tsongkhapa has. Just like butter is the essence of milk, the butter is what is taken out of milk, like that, this teaching contains all the essence of the 84,000 teachings from the Guru Shakyamuni Buddha without missing anything. All this is set up for the graduated practice of one person to achieve enlightenment and this is the sole path through all past, present and future buddhas have received enlightenment. So, just giving a very brief commentary on the oral teachings of the thought training.

As I mentioned yesterday, in the actual body, the precious oral teaching has two outlines: first meditating on the preliminary subjects, and then the graduated training on the thought of enlightenment, which is the actual body.

So the words from the root text of the Seven Points of Thought Transformation.

First practice the preliminaries.

The precious thought of bodhicitta can’t be attained immediately, like popping candy in your mouth, all of a sudden. First you need to do preliminaries.

Without meditating on the fundamental, the preliminary subjects, the precious bodhicitta cannot be actualized. Even to make cup of coffee or even to make one candy the person has to make much some effort to actualize it. Even to make coffee there is a process. You have to get water, you have to put it in the milk and coffee and the coffee has to come from a shop, so you have to buy it. So even to make coffee there is long graduated path. Also to eat one candy there is also long graduated path. Like this. So, what are the preliminary practices. If one has to actualize the preliminary meditations, what are those?

[Break in tape.]

…meditating on how the body which has received the eight freedoms and ten richnesses, the body which is qualified with the eight freedoms and ten richnesses, how that is difficult and how that is highly meaningful.

Then, meditating on how this life doesn’t last long, and how it is in nature of impermanent life and death. Then, meditating on the actions, cause and result, karma. Then, meditating on the shortcomings of samsara, like you tried to meditate on last night, in order to make yourself free from samsara, the suffering realms.

So, you see these four things are like these preliminary meditations. The realization of these preliminary meditations is the base and the stronger, the deeper the understanding of these basic meditations you have, as that much your mind is trained in these preliminary meditations, your mind is that much quicker to actualize the relative bodhicitta and absolute bodhicitta.

As Lama Yeshe has instructed on this, so this time, just a very brief explanation on the graduated path of the lower potential being, down to the impermanence life and death, then bodhicitta, the rest of the thought training teachings, without need to explain the shortcomings of samsara in the discourses.

Also, usually one problem is that if I continue it doesn’t get completed, it doesn’t leave much time for the following teachings, so I planned, sort of to do like that.

From here, down to the training the absolute bodhicitta there are two practices. One practice is the practice of the actual session, [and the other is the] practice of the break time. How one should be at the beginning of the actual session, what is the actual body and how one should complete. So the, there are six dharmas of preparation, these six methods handed down from the great bodhisattva Atisha’s guru, Lama Serlingpa. The teachings of these six methods came from that.

The first thing is cleaning the meditation place. The very first preparation is cleaning the meditation place. I am not going to explain how one should clean all these things in detail. I am not going to give that; I am just going to go through the six outlines Beautifully, perfectly setting up the altar, in a perfect way, as it is explained in the teachings. The statues, the figures, the paintings, the figures of Buddha, whether it is statue or painting, then the stupas, then the text which signifies the Buddha’s holy speech and the stupa which signifies the Buddha’s holy mind, the Guru statue such as Lama Tsongkhapa’s. There are examples like that, for the main or root guru, things like that, there are bodhisattvas and the protectors, also one has to set up according to what is explained in the teachings, the way to set up. Then cleaning the place and performing offerings are both method to collect merits, and methods to purify the negative karmas, the delusions, very, extremely useful methods.

Then, after that, beautifully decorating the offerings without deceit. That means the water bowl offering and any other offering, flowers or anything—whatever other offerings there are. Without deceit means straight. It has two meanings. One is, placing the offerings in a straight direction. Of course, if it is a round table, you can make round offerings, but it’s kind of ugly and you don’t receive the karma of presenting it beautifully. The important meaning of “without deceit” is to not make the offerings with a nonvirtuous motivation, with the evil thought of the worldly dharma, seeking pleasure of only this life. That offering is poisonous. Actually it doesn’t become a pure offering, because what makes the offering pure is having a pure mind. So, beautifully decorating the offerings without deceit. That has a great meaning. Even the title explain how to make offerings to become pure Dharma. Then, without explaining much, like that.

Like sort of, without being possessed by the motivation of attachment. [RL] Like, thinking, “Oh, today my teacher is coming to my room, or my Dharma friends are coming, so I have to make a beautiful altar and then they will say what a good meditator I am, how I make such beautiful offerings every day and my room is always so beautiful. I must be a wonderful meditator.

But if the person is doing every day something like this, but normally the altar is full of dust and the water offered in the bowls has been there for years! And you can see the water has dried, so little water is left in the bowl, or the bowl is rusted. However, with such motivation, if one does with such motivation that is possessed by evil thought of worldly dharma, that doesn’t become pure offering, pure Dharma.

I think it’s pipi time.

After this, clearly visualizing the object of refuge, the merit field, the object you rely on in order to be saved from the sufferings of the lower transmigrator being and the sufferings of samsara, human beings, sura, asura, like that, from the bondage binding oneself to blissful state of peace. This is the object you ask help from, for guidance, to pacify the hindrances of actualizing the path and to quickly actualize the path, the objects of refuge and the merit field. The merit field with all the buddhas and bodhisattvas. The Buddha and the Dharma, what is shown by Buddha, the Path, and the Sangha, the attainers of the path—these are called the “merit field” because we plant merit in them just like we can plant seeds in in an ordinary field, and receive crops, or enjoyments we can receive from the field, and from that we can make our life happy. With this, we can guide ourselves from suffering, we plant the seed of virtue, the merit in the field of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. We plant the seed of virtue, merit, and then from this field, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, from this field, we receive all the temporal happiness, all the ultimate happiness. Therefore, all the Buddhas are called the merit field. From whom do we receive all our virtue? It is from the field of Buddha, also Dharma and Sangha, who are the attainer of the path. This is just very generally talking about this.

So, by planting the seed of virtue in this holy field, we receive all the temporal happiness, all the ultimate happiness, anything what we wish. Therefore all these holy objects are called the merit field. It has great meaning, it has great taste, when we call it the merit field. It reminds you what you can do with it, what you can get from it, what it can do. I think I won’t explain much about it.
So therefore it is extremely important to plant the seed of virtue in the merit field, to try to plant as much as possible the seed of virtue. The seed of all the temporal and ultimate happiness and perfections. As we have the chance to cultivate the seed of the virtue, the cause of all the temporal happiness and ultimate perfections. As we have freedom to cultivate, we can plant how much we want, we can even plant all day and all night, we can plant the seed of the all the temporal, ultimate happiness perfections all the time. With a normal field of crops, how much you wish to continuously receive, how much you want to plant all the time, to cultivate the different crops and to receive the different enjoyment and continuously receiving from the field, there is no freedom.

From an ordinary field, from an external field you can get a crop twice in a year, at the most three times a year. No matter how much you wish to receive the enjoyments continuously from the field, there is no choice to receive and there is no choice to plant all the time as you wish. With these holy objects, the merit field, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, even without needing so much physical effort, burning and all that, without needing to harm all the creatures in the field, without needing to feel many physical difficulties, as you wish to receive continuously all the temporal and ultimate happiness and perfections, you have the freedom with this human rebirth to continuously plant the seed of all the temporal and ultimate happiness and perfections.

Like this, even in one hour, even in one minute, while we have such freedom, incredible, so easily that we can plant seed of all the happiness, all temporal and ultimate happiness, all the perfections. Without using the freedom, just leaving it out, that is a great, incredibly great waste: greater waste than wasting the external field. Even if you have a field, a property field but you have never used it, never cultivated it, and it becomes a mountain, afterwards the field becomes mountain, full of rocks, with lots of other plants growing. Not cultivating, not planting seed of temporal and ultimate happiness in the holy field one hour, one minute—this is a greater waste than even whole life not planting the crops, just leaving it. Because even if your life is happy, by receiving the enjoyments from the field, that happiness is not caused by the field, it is not born from the field, is not born from the dirt, from the rocks; that happiness you experience is caused by your own actions, by virtue.

And the virtue is received by depending on the holy field, the Buddha. On this point, later on in the part when you read the teachings on refuge, which has the elaborate explanation of refuge, how Buddha guides the sentient beings, in that part you can understand how all virtue is received by depending on the merit field, the Buddha. The answer is contained in those explanations.

Then, making offerings through the seven-limb practice. At the beginning of each session, in the afternoons . . . [away from microphone] Pardon . . .? Oh I see! Oh I see! Oh I’m sorry. Oh, the offering of seven branches in practice. Then, offering the mandala. I also explained a little bit briefly before, before when I introduced the Guru Shakyamuni Buddha visualization, how important to visualize the holy object of Buddha.

If you want your meditations to be successful, to quickly experience, then it is important to depend on the guidance of Buddha. If you want to quickly actualize the path, to attain enlightenment, especially if you want to quickly achieve all the preliminary meditations and especially the bodhicitta, relative bodhicitta and absolute bodhicitta, if you wish to quickly experience all these meditations and to quickly achieve enlightenment then that depends on collecting extensive merits, with great effort, with great continual effort, and purifying unimaginable obscurations, negative karmas, like that. So it depends on how continual and how quickly one purifies, one makes purification and collects the merit.

So, making purification and collecting merits, for that reason there is need to perform [set up] and altar and to visualize.

Then, the essential, the seven-limb practice, offering the seven branches of practice, if you want to collect the merit and purify, that is the principal method to collect the merit and make purification.

Each different practice becomes a remedy to each specific delusion, besides also purifying other delusions, negative karma. Each one also purifies specific negative karmas, specific delusions, and it is the remedy, the medicine for each different delusion. Then by making practice of each of these offerings, the seven branches of practice, you also receive different results from each practice.

Maitreya Buddha, the future coming Buddha on this earth, quickly achieved enlightenment by continuously practicing the offerings of the seven branches. It is explained in the teachings that all seven limbs are needed. If any of the seven parts of a horse cart are missing, the vehicle can’t function; it cannot bring the person to the place he wants to go. So like that, if you don’t practice the seven limb, the offering the seven branches, you cannot attain enlightenment.

Like that, it is so much emphasized in the teachings how it is extremely important to practice to quickly actualize the path.

Then, the mandala offering is one of the most powerful methods to collect merit. It is a specific method. Besides purifying all other delusions, all other obscurations, the specific delusion it purifies is miserliness. It is a very powerful remedy, a medicine to cure the disease of miserliness, attachment.

Generally there are four ways of making a mandala offering: the outer mandala offering, inner mandala offering, secret mandala offering then the mandala offering of voidness. There are different four practices of making mandala offerings. If you do not understand the fundamental meditations and haven’t received the Vajrayana Highest Yoga Tantra initiation, whatever different practice of mandala offerings that can be practiced is the outer mandala offering and inner mandala offering. One who understands shunyata can also practice the mandala offering of absolute nature, of voidness.

The outer mandala offering is as it is contained in the prayer, in the beginning of the course book. It is explained how to make the offering, visualizing the place and then the four great continents, eight small continents, then at the center is Mt. Meru, where there are the categories of the sura gods living. At the top is the Realm of the Thirty-three, the city of Thirty-three, in Tibetan, tsa-sum. The asuras are situated down below the mountain, with four categories of Mt. Meru up above the ocean, and four categories of asuras being situated on the surface of the water, at the edge of the water, where the ocean stops.

Then the question is, why can’t you see Mt. Meru? If there is Mt. Meru, if there are other continents, why can’t we you them, why can’t you fly to those continents? You can’t see these realms of the sura and asura, Mt. Meru, and those other human continents. The reason you can’t see them is because you are blocked by karma. If you have karma to be born there, then you can see them. Either you have to have psychic power, like those previous arhats who could travel from one continent to another. With psychic powers they could fly on the sun and moon, sometimes they take other sentient beings when they have war, when kings were fighting in India.

One time there was a big fight in the Brahmin caste called Shakya. Why we call the Buddha “Guru Shakyamuni” is because when Guru Shakyamuni Buddha took the form of birth, took the aspect of like birth, at that time he took the caste, he was born to the parents whose caste was Shakya, so that’s why it is called Shakyamuni.

So, one of his disciples, Maudgalyayana, one of the sixteen arhats who has incredible psychic powers, one time there was a big war, all the Shakya caste were to be completely killed by another king, I don’t know remember the name of that king. So, Maudgalyayana tried to save some of those people of the Shakya clan. He took them with his psychic powers—I can’t remember exactly—I think it was the sun. However it was their karma to die. Because Shakyas have collective karma collected in previous lifetimes to die in that same year, in that same time, even though they was not killed by other enemies, even though the arhat tried to save them, because the karma, they couldn’t be saved, they couldn’t escape from death. Because their karma was ready, so they were dead.

So either with the psychic power, like those arhats, you can travel there, or if your karma is ready, then you can be born there. It’s similar in your own house, sometimes even the material things just in the front of you, you can’t find, even if it is there all the time, you don’t find, just simply talking. Even in your house, even in your house you have the material there, you search for in the whole house, sometimes you don’t find. It doesn’t mean it is not there. Those are also by karma, those also by karma.

Then you blame other people, “Some friends came, they had a cup of tea and they went. They hung around my room; they must have taken it” You completely believe, because you didn’t find it, so only way you can see is that they have taken. You are sure somebody must have taken it. Then you see, even their faces look black. Before you saw them as beautiful but now you don’t see them as beautiful. Simply talking, like that example.

The question about Mt. Meru and the other continents is like this.

One thing is that, why this continent’s sky is blue? This southern continent has blue sky. Eastern continent has white sky, western continent has red sky, the northern is yellow. There are different skies like this. Why this southern continent has blue sky is because the side of the mountain that faces our continent is formed of lapis, the jewel lapis lazuli, and the brightness of that reflects in the water, it turns blue, also the sky becomes blue. In other words, the light and the brightness of the lapis lazuli makes blue color. For instance, if you have water bowls in your house, the light strikes the water and you can see the reflection on the wall, white. However, things like that. This is one explanation Shantideva gave, how it is true, why the water is blue.

I thought a little bit meditation, but I think there is not much time, so it can be done tomorrow.

You need the motivation of bodhicitta, thinking, “I must achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all the kind mother sentient beings.” In order to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all other sentient beings, I must follow this graduated path to enlightenment, therefore I am going to listen to the teachings, the essence of the graduated path to enlightenment, the oral teaching of the training of the thought of enlightenment. As I remember now, Dharma text which shows the path, if it is not respected. The reason why you should respect the text, because it contains the teaching which shows the path, path to enlightenment, the teaching that is contained there guides you and makes you pacify the sufferings and actualize the path to enlightenment.

So conclusion is that it guides, it contains the method which guides you from suffering. As the Buddha’s holy speech, transformed in the form of letters and guiding sentient beings from ignorance, from suffering by showing the path and guiding the sentient beings. Therefore you should respect the Dharma text and not put it on the ground or on the floor, on the dirty place. You should not yourself sit on the cushions but put the book, the Dharma text on the dirty floor, without anything underneath, or put your feet on top of it or use it as a cushion underneath. When there is nothing to use underneath, then, you use Dharma text as a cushion, or carry it with the cushion or carpet or things like that. If you do any of these things, it is psychologically damaging to the mind, psychologically it effects the mind, it damages the mind. How it damages, it pollutes the mind, it causes the mind to become more foggy, us, to not have clear concentrations. Even though you try to meditate, easily after five minutes you meditating you fall asleep. Normally you don’t fall asleep easily, but if you start to meditate, then sleep comes, after few minutes it comes, your mind is in the concentration of sleeping, without choice.

Things like that can be difficult to understand. It’s the same thing with the holy objects, figures of buddhas, paintings or even statues. Even if it is not a complete statue, even if it is just a head, or a few lines of drawing, each figure has great significance, signifying the knowledge of the Buddha, the knowledge that the Buddha has achieved. So, like that, it psychologically it damages the mind and even if one tries to listen to the teachings, your mind cannot comprehend, you easily forget what is experienced. Without question it is my experience. That is without doubt. So, you don’t only receive pollution from food or from factories. Similar, the reason why normally when somebody gives teaching, they sit on a higher place, on a throne. Thorn or throne? It can be similar! Sometimes I feel it’s a thorn. My own experience is, I like much better to sit somewhere down there. When in puja, sometimes I think how very comfortable it is to sit down there, in the very last line. Sitting on the throne is not comfortable, but the reason is to respect the teachings.

Since Guru Shakyamuni Buddha it has been like this. When Guru Shakyamuni Buddha was giving teaching to his followers, he put himself on the throne. After Guru Shakyamuni Buddha passed away, his teachings had not been recorded, there are no texts in those times, so thousands of arhats thought that the teachings might get lost, so the bodhisattvas, the arhats, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s followers, they had a big meeting, many thousands of arhats. Then, one of the arhats who had so much teachings in the mind, who has received so much teachings, explained. So, all the arhats doubled up their robes and piled them up and he sat on that and explained the teachings. So this is mainly to show respect for the teachings. It is not for, not for elegance or to show pride. Even though I do not deserve to sit on throne like this, it is just to respect the teaching. It is important to understand, because we want to make the mind happy, and we want to purify the pollutions, we want to purify the ignorance, so there is no reason to add more ignorance, to develop more ignorance, we obscure more the ignorance. So, psychologically it damages like this.


I must achieve enlightenment in order to guide all the sentient beings from suffering and lead them to enlightenment, the highest the blissful state. In order to receive enlightenment, without depending on, without actualizing this graduated path to enlightenment, there is no way to receive enlightenment. So, to be able to completely actualize the whole graduated path to enlightenment depends on listening and understanding the teachings and actual meditation or practice of the teachings on the graduated path to enlightenment. So, therefore I am going to listen to the teachings of the gradual path to enlightenment, the oral teaching of the training in the thought of enlightenment for the benefit of all the kind mother sentient beings, Oh then, it is necessary to feel at least like this. This is the method of the fortunate ones who received the omniscient mind, enlightenment, which is the oral teaching, training in bodhicitta, the door of the Mahayana path. It is well expounded by the great highly realized philosopher, Asanga. It is a profound teaching which contains the essence of the infinite knowledge of Dharma that the highly realized bodhisattva, Atisha and the Dharma King of the Three Worlds, the great Lama Tsongkhapa have. It contains the essence of 84,000 teachings without missing one. All these are set up for the graduated practice of one person’s enlightenment. This is the sole path through which all past, present and future buddhas have received enlightenment.

So just, giving a, just a drop, just very brief commentary on the teachings. The, meditated on the, so these teachings two things, the graduated ... the before training the Bodhicitta which is actually ..... meditating on the base, the preliminary practices. So before, oh then they are like this. What to do at the beginning of the session the you know, what preparations, you know, how to do, you know, how to begin the session. Oh then, the actual body, then comes, you know, actually the, meditation... then actual action, you know, actual action, then, what to do at the end, completion. So, how to begin the session, what is the preparation, oh then the, in order to make the, in order to make the actual action, the meditation practice to be successful, to not occur, to not occur any hindrances and to be, to be, yes know, to be instant, to be, to receive the realizations instantly, in one second, in one second as the person wishes. Anyway, to not occur, you know, hindrances and to be successful, however, to receive the realizations in one second, that I am joking, but, however to not occur the hindrances and to be, you know, to have successful meditations. So there are six preparations like this.

Yesterday, I stopped at the mandala offering part. The external mandala, outer mandala, if you read the meaning of the prayer, if you just visualize it, as you see in the drawing. This drawing is flat, if you visualize like this, the visualization becomes as you see on this cloth, just roughly on this water you have to visualize this time is the round. It looks like the eye.

The short mandala prayer, “Sa zhi pö kyi jug shing me tog tram”, if you visualize it as in the translation, remember the meaning of that prayer, what is translated, that is outer mandala offering, just visualizing what is there in that shape. “Sa zhi”, the base, painted with scented incense and strewn—strewn? Ah yes, strewn—strewn with flowers, adorned with Mount Meru at the center. This is not right. The colors are not right. It has a different color. She drew each side with the same color, but the side that faces you should be white. When you offer a mandala, east is in front of you. There’s two ways to start, either east you visualize east, you are offering mandala, in the front of the merit field, or either, front of you.

One is for purification, offering here is east starting here is for purification and offering here, that is for receiving realizations. So however, it is same meaning, but east is there! East, south, like this, and west and north. So, this side, Mt. Meru’s face should be white, silver color. It is adorned with Mt. Meru and the four continents and sun and moon and this is, this is visualized in the pure field of Buddha. By visualizing in the pure field of Buddha, I offer. So, because of this offering may all sentient beings enjoy in this pure field of Buddha.

This is the meaning what is contained in this short prayer that we chant “Sa zhi pö kyi jug shing me tog tram.” Even if you just visualize what is contained in this short prayer, that is outer offering. First visualize everything as it is there, then visualize all the continents, all the realms, all the place of the sentient beings, in the pure field of Buddha. Then, having great enjoyments. Not having ugly places. Like deserts, full of thorns or red rock places, kind of hot places, very, very extremely hot, or then kind of extremely cold—undesirable places where sentient beings suffer, you transform them into the pure field, into the beautiful field, then you make the offering to the Buddha. The sentient beings are living there, enjoying in the pure realms.

Then, the next prayer is extremely beneficial for the mind. Maybe, we have time, pipi break.

If we visualize the mandala offering as beautiful as possible, you can visualize it as pure realm, having the highest quality of enjoyments. Then, it is very good for the mind, psychologically it helps the mind that has too much miserliness, too much attachment in the material possessions. That mind is you know that mind is uncomfortable mind, or that is suffering mind. So, the objects of the miserliness, the objects of attachment, as best as possible, the greatest quality as you can, visualize them. Then, if you offer if you renounce, completely dedicate from the heart all to the merit, to the holy objects, to the merit field. From the heart you offer to the merit field, then that is practice, without being attached, without being miserly, from the heart offering, making complete determination, offering like this to the holy objects, the merit field. This is the practice of renouncing attachment.

It is method to diminish and control attachment and miserliness. When you completely determined, completely decided in the heart that what you offer is Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s, it is Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s. Think, it is no longer mine, it is no longer mine. After you offered your own body, material possessions, you know, in that mandala, all you material possessions what is there, everything, all the great enjoyments, what is in each continent, the realm of the gods, where they have incredible great enjoyments, material possessions, jewels, unbelievable. Like the king of the suras, even one of his earring, , if all the jewels on this earth were put together and if it is compared to the value of that, they could never compare to the value to his earring, even just one ornament. So sincerely offer like this.

Like for instance, if you have an object that you are incredibly attached to and you completely decide to give it up to somebody else, because you are attached, your mind is unhappy, very unhappy, very unhealthy. Each time you remember this then, you mind absorbs in it, your mind you know strikes in it, like a thorn going into the flesh. Your mind goes inside, strikes into it. When you completely decide to give to someone, the mind not wanting to give it up, wanting to keep it and physically giving it. Not like something you do without choice, but sincerely from your heart you completely decide to give it to that person.

After you had given it, there is no that clinging, there is not that miserliness, that clinging unhappy mind. That unhappy mind is not more anymore. The mind become so quiet, the mind become so quiet, quiet from that miserliness, the unsubdued, unhappy mind, the sticky mind, the mind which sticks to the object from that attachment. The same thing to the person, you have a similar mind. It makes the mind happy; it makes the mind very quiet. There is that realization; it makes the mind very quiet. You can feel the mind empty of the fullness of the miserliness. This is the effect you get when you make offerings, you make charity, when you have completely decided; you receive that effect, that benefit, that calmness right away in your mind.

This is the essential method for controlling and diminishing miserliness and attachment, this is the purification. Doing this mandala offering is a powerful method to purify the unsubdued mind of miserliness and attachment. As you don’t have any possessions, any body, any material possessions, you don’t have clinging to those objects, so it helps to stop anger arising. Many times we develop anger, pride, jealousy—those minds—because of attachment to our body, our material possessions, absolutely believing “This is mine.” Completely clinging to our body, our friends, our material possessions, the surroundings, completely clinging, thinking “This is mine, this is really mine, this belongs to me. Nobody else can use it; nobody else can have it.”

As there is clinging like that, when somebody else disturbs you, taking your possessions, disturbing your friends or surroundings, using something of yours, you get angry, you think it’s terrible. You think it’s terrible this can happen, it’s incredible, and anger and the other unhappy minds arise. So, by renouncing the clinging mind with this practice of the mandala offering, it helps stop those other disturbing negative thoughts arising. This prayer you say is extremely useful because you renounce the minds that all the problems of your life come from.

In the second prayer that we often say, Dag gi chhag dang mong sum kye wäi yül—“The objects of my attachment, hatred and ignorance.” Chhang means “attachment,” and hatred, ignorance arise. Then Dra nyen bar sum lü dang long chö chä—“Friends, enemies and strangers, my body wealth and enjoyments.” Dra is enemy, nyen is relative or friend, and bar is indifferent person, lü dang long chö chä is our body and material possessions, that includes also virtue. So these are the objects we need to renounce. The enemy is the object from which our anger arises, the friend, body, material possessions are the objects from which our attachment arises, and from the stranger ignorance rises. As we haven’t renounced attachment, anger, ignorance, as we are keeping these three poisonous mind here, when we meet these objects, we suffer, we suffer between these objects, between these three poisonous minds, we get tortured.

Tortured, all problems come. All the problem arises from that. That’s why in this prayer the second verse is phang pa me par bül gyi leg zhe nä—“Without any sense of loss, I offer this collection.” Like, while you are eating ice-cream, when you are so thirsty, so hungry, while you are eating ice-cream, and all of a sudden a beggar comes and asks for ice-cream, asks to give her that ice-cream that is in your hand, before you have a bite. With much anger, you wasted a hour to get this ice-cream! Then, all of a sudden here is a beggar who asks for the ice-cream that is in your hand. What do you feel in your mind? While you are so hungry and so thirsty, at such a time as that, you know, a beggar asks this of the ice-cream in you have in your hand, just the moment before you are going to have a bite.

Your mind will suffer, isn’t it? It doesn’t want to give, deep from deep, deep from the heart you know, it doesn’t want to give. “I must have this. I must have this. You know, “for me!” “I must have this for my happiness; I must have it. How could I think of giving it to him!” These thoughts, “I must have it...” and “for my happiness,” this is what we keep in deep of our heart, very inside, very deep, this is what we have in our heart. Having this miserliness, it is difficult to separate away from this object, from this image object, from this small object you know. It is very difficult to separate away from this, you find very difficult. Without feeling like that, deep in your heart, this is what phang pa me par means—without any sense of loss. You don’t feel if you give it to him you lose your pleasure.

So, without miserliness, please grant me blessings and release me from the three poisonous minds, right away, right away. Right this second. By dedicating the object like this, by offering like this, it helps to diminish the confused mind. This is a very straight, psychological method. After it is offered, it belongs to the Buddha, so how dare I think I can possess it myself with my clinging and attachment.

We normally don’t say the inner offering mandala in the courses. The Tibetan prayer is not here, but even though Tibetan prayer is not here the phonetics, still you can visualize, the first one, Sa zhi pö kyi jug shing me tog tram—that is outer mandala offering and this one is inner mandala offering. This is very good, very good for the mind. You just offer what it says there, by transforming in the pure realm, like this, you offer. Then, when you offer the inner mandala offering, your whole body absorbs in the mandala and transforms in the mandala, then you offer. So, this is the way to visualize in the meditation.

This is very good also to control, the remedy to the attachment to the body. If you have too much attachment to your own body, you can practice this. Here in the book it says “our” but that should be “my.” “My skin is transformed into a golden foundation, with a golden base. My blood is transformed into an ocean of nectar.” The blue part is the ocean, in the center between those golden hills and the continents, the blue, that’s supposed to be water. That is not water but it shows, that there is water between there, the Pacific. “My flesh becomes beautiful garlands of flowers. My hands and feet, my forelimbs are transformed into the four great worlds, four continents. Upper and lower parts of the limbs, the upper and lower parts of two arms and two legs, become the four continents.

Each limb makes two pieces, so there are eight; they are transformed in the eight small continents. “My stomach is transformed into Mt. Meru.” So, you can have big stomach! “My head is a beautiful place.” The top part, the palace of the king of the suras. “My eyes are transformed into the sun and moon. My heart is transformed into a beautiful jewel.” I think this jewel is on the very top of the palace, on the roof there is a top, like you can see in the churches, some kind of point, like that. Spire? Yah. You can also see this on the top of the temples, on the roof. So, your heart is transformed in that top jewel.

“My inner organs become beautiful possessions and enjoyments.” All the piece, the intestines, lungs, all that is around are transformed in a beautiful possessions which has great quality, very high enjoyments for human beings and for the sentient beings. This is inner mandala offering, You can also practice, visualize like this. So, before, when your body absorbs, after you finished making outer mandala offering, then your body absorbs to this, then it is transformed, then you offer. I think that’s all.

The secret mandala and those other mandalas, secret mandala only can be practiced by somebody who has received a Highest Yoga Tantra Vajrayana initiation. Then, if you want to make the shunyata mandala offering, it is like this.

If you visualize a rock, a piece of stone, it wouldn’t mean anything to your mind. The simple way is to think like this, if you want to practice the mandala offering of shunyata, then think, “I myself and the mandala offering, the object that I offer, you think, in my dream I offer the mandala, in my dream I am making the mandala offering.” So, like this, this is the shunyata mandala offering. So this shunyata, practice is so easy! You just remember your dream, that’s all. Oh then like this, if you can concentrate well, if you can feel that I you are making the mandala offering, as if you were dreaming making a mandala offering it helps. In that way, even though you don’t know the terms of shunyata, even though you don’t understand shunyata, even though you don’t really feel anything, even though you just see the words, “shunyata” or “voidness” whatever, if you concentrate well, it is very effective, it shakes you truly-believing conceptions a little bit, it moves them a little bit. It touches it a little bit.

It doesn’t mean that you don’t exist, that I’m trying to prove you don’t exist; that what you offer doesn’t exist; that the object of offering doesn’t exist. It’s not saying that. Of course there is something there, something of you, something of the mandala offering. What you believe is there, that there is a holy object that you believe is there, there is something which does not exist. So I think the mandala part is that much.

If you want to receive realizations quickly, then the mandala is one of the most important methods to bring realization quickly. This has been experience of all the great meditators who actualized the path, this graduated path, such as the Lama Tsongkhapa by making billions of mandala offerings, in such a cold place. Tibet is extremely cold, much colder than here. The cold you feel here in the open is nothing. Living in a cave, not eating, as he lived an ascetic life, completely renounced the worldly life. His mandala offering, the materials that he used for his mandala offering was not silver, not brass, nothing like that. It was just a flat stone. It was not extremely smooth like grass, and on this flat stone he offered the mandala, so many times like this, then he meditated on the graduated path to enlightenment. That’s how he received the realization of shunyata, by making so many mandala sufferings. And there are many other stories of many other meditators that, how they have received realizations by making many mandala offerings.

One time when there was no rain, Atisha’s disciple, Kadampa Geshe Dromtönpa was advised to make mandala offerings every day, so many times, and when he did, from that time he received realizations and rain fell so easily.

Then after the mandala offering, making request from the deep of the heart to all the holy objects of the merit field, asking all the lineage lamas for the realizations of sutra and tantra, for all the realizations of the graduated path to enlightenment. Usually, there is an elaborate visualization, visualizing the lineage lamas and all the different aspects, the buddhas, like this. So usually in the courses, as that is very difficult to visualize the many different aspect of the buddhas like this, all the lineage lamas like, so we visualize in one embodiment, one essence, the essence, the aspect of the Guru, in Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s aspect, but the essence is all the lineage lamas, the gurus, and all those other different aspect of buddhas, the deities the bodhisattvas, the protectors, we visualize like this. So, this is the sixth preparation what, how to do at beginning of the session, which is the method to pacify the hindrances and to make the meditation successful. How quickly you can actualize the graduated path to enlightenment through meditation practice depends on how much effort you make in the six preparations. Who doesn’t, who doesn’t care for these six preparation, who doesn’t have any understanding, who just has intellectual understanding of meditation, their mind is very dry, like a rock, like a stone; it is not like soft soil, where you can plant a seed and it can easily grow. It is like rock, it is like iron, the mind is like this, so it is very difficult to fertilize, difficult to grow anything from there, difficult to grow realizations.

So, we are going to meditate on the practice of transforming eating food into virtue, the nonvirtuous action of eating food, transforming it into virtue, in order for even eating food to become the method to purify and collect merit.

So, first, you visualize in the front of you, maybe you can visualize the whole pot that is there in the kitchen! And then you transform the pot transform into an incredible large jeweled pot, a clean jeweled pot the size of the Earth, incredibly large. Then, the food is transformed in nectar, which has a blissful taste, and the color of liquid of silver.

This is actually what you offer but, before thinking this, you should visualize the whole food that is in the pot you know, that is in the plate, you visualize that first.

Then think of this piece of vegetable. First check your motivation, first check your motivation for the food here in front of you. Check your motivation, check the mind. If there is attachment, wanting to eat only for your own happiness, then think like this, “If I eat this food with attachment, that makes me to be born as a preta. If I eat the food with anger, that makes me to be born in narak. If I eat the food with ignorance that makes me to be born as foolish animal. So therefore I shouldn’t be attached, I should not eat the food with anger or ignorance.” Again check up the, again check up the mind. If there is self-cherishing thought, wanting to eat the food for your own happiness, only for your own happiness, check within your mind.

If there is the self-cherishing thought in the mind, then think like this, “Even for this piece of vegetable, so many creatures have died, have been killed, they have suffered, and people have worked very hard. So, even for this piece of vegetable I have received, so many sentient beings have experienced suffering and difficulties, even going through death, being killed.

And even just for one grain of rice, first of all, when the land is fertilized either by a cow or a buffalo working or by machines, so many creatures were killed; there was so much incredible suffering. And other animals, buffaloes and cows, suffered in the hot sun, burning the skin, pulling things, with much hunger and thirst. Then, people worked very hard and experienced much difficulty.

Then, this grain of rice also came from another grain of rice; it is the continuation of another grain of rice, and to get that previous grain of rice, so many sentient beings also suffered and were killed. Likewise, that grain of rice also came from another grain of rice, and so many sentient beings suffered like that.

Like this, unimaginable numbers of mother sentient beings experienced incredible suffering, an incredible number of them getting killed, just for this one grain of rice. So, who finally eats this plate full of rice, only me. How dare I eat this food that has been obtained from the suffering if so many sentient beings for my own happiness alone. This is such a selfish motive.

Then, by thinking this the self-cherishing thought become less, it becomes less strong. So think, “I must make that action of eating most beneficial for all the sentient beings, especially the sentient beings who suffered for this.”

Then you transform the food in jeweled pot and nectar. Then think, “In order to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all the kind mother sentient beings, especially the sentient beings who suffered for this, I am going to make offering to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha.”

Then visualize Guru Shakyamuni Buddha at your heart, lotus and moon seat, radiating, formation of light.

Then you say, you repeat this prayer, thinking that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha is so pleased by taking the nectar, you repeat the prayer:

Dag sog khor chä tshe rab tham chä du
Kön chhog sum dang nam yang mi dräl zhing
Kong chhog sumpo gyün du chhö pa la
Kön chhog sum gyi jin lab jug par shog.


[Rinpoche says each phrase and the audience repeats.]

So, when you take food, constantly if you think, visualize, making offering to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha each time, if you can concentrate like this, then each action of eating food becomes a virtue, the cause of receiving enlightenment, as it is possessed by, held by bodhicitta.

[Dedication prayer.]


Try to cultivate pure motivation like this, thinking, “I must achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all the kind mother sentient beings, the numberless, kind mother sentient beings who are devoid of happiness and constantly suffering. So attaining enlightenment depends on listening and understanding, actualizing this graduated path to enlightenment.”

So think, “Therefore I’m going to listen the oral teachings of training the thought of enlightenment, which is the essence of the graduated path to enlightenment, for the benefit of all the kind mother sentient beings.”

The listening subject is the oral teaching on the training of the thought of enlightenment, which is the door of the Mahayana path. For those fortunate ones who attain enlightenment, the omniscient mind, it is a very profound realization, the thought of the highly-realized, the propagators, Nagarjuna and Asanga. It is a profound teaching, which contains the essence, the infinite knowledge of Dharma that Atisha, the great bodhisattva Atisha and the Dharma King of Three Worlds, the great Lama Tsongkhapa. It contains all the essence of the 84,000 teachings without missing, and is the sole path through all past, present, future buddhas who have attained enlightenment. Just to offer a very brief commentary, such like that, a drop from the ocean. As it is in the outline, the meditating on the preliminary subjects, the meditation subjects, in order to train he mind in those two bodhicittas, relative and absolute bodhicitta, in order to actualize the two bodhicittas is the actual body of this teaching.

So, there are three ways to meditate on the usefulness of the precious human rebirth, which is perfected in eight freedoms and ten richnesses or enrichments. There are three ways to think about how this can be made highly meaningful: how it is highly meaningful to obtain temporal happiness, how it highly meaningful to obtain the ultimate happiness and how it is highly meaningful, even in a short time, even in one minute, second, like this. I briefly explained yesterday, like this.

Since we people in the West like very much to go on to beautiful places, beautiful mountains and beautiful, beautiful, beautiful parks, to have vacations, the perfect place to go for vacation, for holiday, is the pure field of a buddha.

If you can go in to pure field of a buddha for holiday, for vacation, then you can have real vacation, you can have real holiday. Otherwise any place that normally people go for holiday, compared to a pure realm, is such an ugly place. Where you’re going for vacation is ugly, and it doesn’t help to relieve the confused mind. So, if you’re competent, you should try to go in those pure realms where there are bodhisattvas and buddhas to have your picnic.

It is also easier to attain enlightenment with this precious human body, with this human body that’s born in this southern continent. Why it is much easier to attain enlightenment than with other bodies, in the realm of the gods and in other human beings’ continent? Because bodhicitta is easier to actualize with a human body, bodhicitta is easier to actualize than with the those other human bodies, when bodhicitta is actualized it is stronger, when it is actualized with this human body it is stronger. To attain enlightenment is easier, and especially to practice Vajrayana, which is the profound, the quick method which attain enlightenment in one short life.

That is something that there’s no possibility at all to do with other human beings’ bodies, with the body of the gods. It is impossible to practice tantra. Only in a body, such this the perfect human rebirth, the precious human body which has eight freedoms and ten richnesses, which is born in this continent, only this has the chance, only this body can practice tantra, Vajrayana.

Therefore even if you wish to attain enlightenment in just this next life, it is possible, it is definitely possible. Why is that? Because from your side, you have received this precious human body which has the eight freedoms and ten richnesses, and also the teaching, the profound, quick method to attain enlightenment in one life hasn’t degenerated. This teaching has not degenerated yet; it exists in the experience of the minds of the highly-realized gurus. In previous time, the method came from India, but nowadays it is in the hand or it is in the mind of the Tibetan Lamas, it exists with the experience of those highly-realized gurus.

The method is not degenerated yet, it exists. Therefore, there is a possibility to try to practice this quick path to enlightenment. Then, there’s no question if we can’t practice, why we can’t achieve enlightenment by practicing the Vajrayana path. There’s a potentiality, even from the side of the body, there’s not that much incredible difficulty in the material enjoyments such as the great yogis, whose holy life stories you’ve been hearing, such as the great yogis, Milarepa. Many of those great yogis and Indian pandits, all those great numbers of Tibetan lamas, the great yogis attained enlightenment in one life, many followers of Lama Tsongkhapa, even the eight disciples of the great yogi Milarepa have attained enlightenment in one life.

There have been many, such as the great yogi Milarepa. He was living an ascetic life, not only living purely in the Dharma, not having even a tiny smell of the evil thought of worldly dharma seeking the pleasure of this life. Besides mentally it is like this, not having even one day’s food in the cave, not having even the whole arrangement— breakfast, dinner, lunch, all these things—not having even one day’s food. He didn’t even have a cup of tea to drink in the cave, just living many times on nettles, nettles mixed with water.

From his life story you might have heard that one time some robbers came who steal from the great yogi Milarepa’s cave, but they couldn’t see anything in the cave to steal. They were checking round what things he had and then when Milarepa was making the soup, cooking the nettle, nettle mixed with water. So they asked, “Where is your pepper? Where is your salt?” He put some more nettles in and said, “This is my salt.” Then he put some more nettles in and said, “This is my pepper.”

When he was living in the cave, his body, the outside, was ugly, not like our body, very shiny, very fat, very fat and shiny-looking, which shows we eat very good food. The external appearance of his holy body was kind of blue looking, outside kind of skinny and outside people might think he lived his whole life in starvation, kind of easy to be blown away by wind.

So even though he didn’t have any material possession, he didn’t have even one cup of tea in the cave, but the surprising thing, the wonderful thing is that he attained enlightenment in one short life. So, why is it not possible with us?

So, the precious human rebirth which has eight freedoms and ten richnesses is highly meaningful, in even a short moment.

Just for example, when we say the refuge prayer at the beginning of the session, Sang gyä chhö dang tshog kyi chhog nam la / Jang chhub bar du dag ni kyab su chhi [“I go for refuge until I am enlightened /To the Buddha, the Dharma and the Supreme Assembly”], the first two lines mean taking refuge in, relying on the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and asking them to guide you. Then with the last two lines, Dag gi jin sog gyi pä sö nam gyi / Dro la phän chhir sang gyä drub par shog [“By my practice of giving and the other perfections,/ May I become a buddha to benefit all sentient beings.”], you are cultivating bodhicitta. This is also the dedication, because you are saying, “because of these merits may this happen in this way.” So on one hand it is the bodhicitta motivation and on the other it is the dedication.

Even in this short time, when you say this prayer just one time, even if you don’t repeat it three times, even just saying it one time, if your mind is not wandering, if your mind is concentrated on the meaning of the prayer, even in such a short time, with the hands prostrating like this, meditating on the meaning of the prayer, “May I attain enlightenment for the benefit of all kind mother sentient beings because of these three times’ merits. For that reason I will cultivate bodhicitta.” Even in such a short time, even in such a short moment, if you are concentrating on the meaning, if one is, you know, remembering the meaning of this prayer, or if one is meditating, remembering the meaning of this prayer, you collect infinite merit. Without much effort, you have easily gained infinite merit, good karma. Then, when you repeat it three times, you collect three times infinite merit, it becomes that much purification.

We tried to meditate the other day, the day before yesterday in the afternoon on the short prayer I repeated three times. That is what it contained, that is from this prayer.

Actually, this short prayer, this one verse, contains refuge cultivating bodhicitta and all the preliminary meditations, from the meditations on the guru practice, and perfect human rebirth, from there to karma, which is the graduated path of the lower intelligence being, and from there, from equanimity, the meditations on the samsaric sufferings, evolution of samsara, the twelve links, the three higher practices, the path and all these, the graduated meditations to bodhicitta.

The part of the meditation on the evolution of samsara, the realms of samsara, the sufferings of samsara, such as the four noble truths, these meditations are the graduated path of the middle potential being. Then, the graduates meditation that leads to bodhicitta is the graduated path of the higher intelligence being. All of the path is included in this short prayer, this one stanza.

I think I’ll stop here. Then, if you want to go for a pipi.

So it is very good when this prayer is recited to not let the mind wander, but to meditate on the meaning of the subject. So, just, in just in that two or three seconds, you have meditated on bodhicitta, you have planted the seed of bo, the principal cause of enlightenment. In just even two or three seconds, like that, if you meditate on the subject of this prayer. I would think even more than that.

[Break in tape.]

… even of you spend your whole life until the time of death, or practicing kundalini, or the whole life meditating on that kind of thing. You don’t need even one birth, besides not seeing a human being, you don’t even see one bird, even one ant. Your whole life is completely in the retreat like this, even in the cave.

Even if you think, “I am practicing tantra” even if you don’t know any other meditation, if you don’t know much teaching, don’t know much Buddhadharma, don’t know much meditation, I would think just one second remembering this subject, just meditating the meaning of this prayer, the benefits of this prayer, the advantages, can never compare to the advantages even if you meditate for a hundred or a thousand years keeping silent, or practicing tantra, all these things, possibly becoming completely skinny, torturing yourself, all your teeth falling out. Then what happens after you die? The result is you can’t take even have a human rebirth. You either take a sort of animal body, full of hairs, with four legs or you are born in the narak realms. It is difficult to even receive a good rebirth, as you are not trying to control the disturbing negative thoughts which produce negative karma.

However, even if you don’t know so much about other meditations or Buddhadharma, if you know this meditation—just this much—I think it is extremely worthwhile, extremely worthwhile. Then, if even you spend your whole life just meditating one these subjects and you don’t know any other different types of meditations, if you don’t know the graduated path to enlightenment—even if all you do your whole life then is meditate on this all the time, repeating it again, again—I think that is extremely, extremely worthwhile. It makes life highly meaningful, highly beneficial, without question. It makes your life beneficial to each sentient being. Your life is dedicated to each sentient being.

It is said in the teachings that even if you do purification for hundred years with other methods, without training in meditating on the mind of bodhicitta, compared with even an hour’s session meditating on the graduated path to enlightenment, especially bodhicitta, which is far more meaningful? Which one becomes more meaningful, this one session meditating on bodhicitta or the one hundred years practicing those other purifying methods? The one that is more meaningful is the one session practicing the graduated path with bodhicitta. This has been much more meaningful than the other one practicing purification without mind training in bodhicitta.

This is greater purification. You do much more purification, if you do one session meditating on bodhicitta then doing a hundred years doing purification with other methods.

Also it is effective for the mind when you think of the meaning of this prayer, when it comes to the point of the sentient beings, “I’m going to receive enlightenment for the sentient beings,” if one can think, as I mentioned before, the sentient beings who are migrating, who are wandering in the six realms and constantly suffering. This is contained in that, but if you can remember this, it is just like watching at the movies, like a flash, if you can remember all the sentient beings who are suffering the six realms. By remembering that, compassion arises so that your motivation of bodhicitta becomes stronger.

Also, it is said in the teachings Entering the Path to Enlightenment written by the great bodhisattva Shantideva,

If you even think of the benefits of working for the happiness of all sentient beings without missing one out, the merits are far greater that making offerings to all the buddhas, without question.

Similarly, Maitreya says in the sutra The Teaching of the Beautified Tree,

The benefits of a person who simply thinks “I am going to cultivate bodhicitta for the benefit of all sentient beings,” and prostrates with palms together, is much more extensive than the virtuous action a person creates by having extensive offerings filling the universes equal to the number of sand grains in the ocean filled up with all the seven precious jewels and makes these offerings to the number of buddhas equal to the number of sand grains of the ocean for eons.

So the person who puts his palms together like this and simply thinks “I am going to cultivate bodhicitta for the benefit of all sentient beings,” this benefit of this is much more extensive than that other virtuous action, of making that extensive an offering to that many buddhas for that many eons.

Perhaps if you check up how many people are practicing, you can understand how long it can last, how quickly it will be degenerated. You can understand by checking the number of people who understand and who have actualized or practiced the path. It is a small number and the number is decreasing of those who have a perfect understanding of the whole path and who have realized the path. Even though the number is getting smaller, even though it is difficult time, but from your side, from your individual side, if you try to practice, if you try to understand then it will benefit other sentient beings and it can benefit the teachings to last. It gives opportunity other sentient beings to receive the teachings, to understand the teachings.

No matter how much a person is an expert, no matter how much a person is skillful in obtaining only the happiness of this life, just how brave he is to take care, to save his life from dangers caused by other sentient beings, that person is no higher than the animals.

In order to protect his own life, he kills other sentient beings, human beings and, non-human beings, sometimes by being diplomatic, by playing political games with different means, sometimes in a violent way, sometimes in a peaceful way, going around, using many different ways to destroy others, in order to obtain his own happiness of this life. That is not the meaning of being a human. Even if the person is so brave having killed millions and millions of people, other sentient beings, that is nothing; that is not the meaning of human life. Even animals do that. The tiniest animal, an ant, can kill a very powerful animal like an elephant. A tiny worm can get in the lung or heart and can kill a human being like that. One tiny animal such as ant, by going into the stomach of such an incredibly powerful animal as an elephant, can kill the elephant.
Then even cheating each other, playing political games, even animals are expert in this, non-human beings are expert. Like if you just watch a spider, how he puts his web outside and he himself hides somewhere and then an animal comes there on top, and he comes out and eats it up. He hides in the corners. So they are very expert in regards obtaining the happiness of this life. Just to get food each day, they are also very expert. They are also expert protecting themselves.

When I was a child, I remember many times I disturbed the spiders. I was supposed to read the texts when I was with my teacher, from early morning, sunrise, when the light starts to come, from that until night, whole day, except for pipi time. [GL RL] Then pipi time was maybe sometimes three minutes—two minutes for Sherpas—I think three minutes, before breakfast. But when the teacher was going out, so instead of reading the text then I played with the spiders. [GL RL] I threw pieces of paper, pieces of wood on the web so the spider came out. He came out but he can’t recognize whether it’s an animal or not. I think it tried to bite it but it’s not something that he could eat. So he tried one or two pieces then he dropped it out. [RL] So I have so much negative karma to purify. [GL]

Then also if you watch what happens between a cat and a mouse, if you just watch and think. Then the cat is just trying to obtain the happiness of this life; just to get his food he is doing his own work. He walks without making a noise, very quietly and he hides in some corner and is ready to jump from the corner. He checks up, the mouse might be somewhere here, it will come out through either this hole or that hole. Then it spies all the time in the corner. Then when the mouse comes out, you know, then. They also play political games like this.

Then also the same thing, many wild animals do like this in the forest.

In regards collecting materials for the happiness this life, there are many animals who are expert collectors, like collecting things for next year, for the happiness of this life.

Just if you look at the flies who make honey. Bees! I am sorry. That was a great mistake. [GL RL] Bees. Bees, they are skillful. we human beings depend on them, on their help, to eat the honey. They also think, they also have also this idea, very deep in the heart, “my happiness,” you know, “I might be hungry, I might in trouble next year, in the winter time.” They have also same idea as we have, thinking about future, thinking to solve the problem in the future. So then like this, in the summer time they collect honey, with much effort, to eat in the winter when there are no more flowers. There are many things like that.

So it is with similar human beings who only think of the happiness of this life, who collect many material possessions, who spend so much; it’s the same thing. They are similar to the mouse who is also an expert in collecting material possessions. They also collect jewels, they also collect precious things. They collect food to eat in the winter time. They save things, not eating it all at the present time.

There is one plant, one sweet plant. It has a sweet taste but different from raisins, maybe sweeter than raisins, I am not sure whether it is in the West. If you have in the West, it is very good to put in cakes or in bread. It’s a plant that grows in Tibet, from the ground, I think it’s underneath the ground, it’s not on top. So this mouse, call torma in Tibetan, eats the seed plant and they collect all these things and put them together, put them altogether, maybe in one or two places. So that is saved to eat in the winter time, in other times when there is no other food. So, when people walk on the ground, when the ground is soft, their feet goes down, then they know there is this food, this seed that is collected by the mouse. So they take it out.

When I first saw this, I thought the people had bought it, but it wasn’t that. I asked them what was it like before or how you prepared it. There are no branches or anything. The last part is cut, this part is cut, only the middle part is left and there is no dirt; it’s clean already. It’s always clean, no dirt. It’s ready to eat. So people they get one plate or two plates like that.

And also mice are very expert in regards to giving harm. If somebody gives harm to them then they know how to give harm back, even after one month, three months, even if it takes a long time, even if they can’t give harm right away. Maybe the mouse was swept out of the house. Then after some he time comes back, and then if there is food in the storeroom, he eats it. If you have things in the safe, if there is food in the safe, things which he can bite and destroy, he clears the safe. If you have precious things in a wooden box, he bites this. Even if he can’t open it, he bites through the bottom or from the top, whatever he can, me makes a hole, gets inside then some things he eats and whatever he can take he does and, things he can destroy he does. So, they can give revenge back. Even after taking long time, they don’t forget, they don’t forget, you know.

Three years ago, I think, in my room there was a mouse. Maybe two mice, they made nest even under my bed. And I think one of the monks, I think a tall monk, was instructed by Lama Yeshe to not leave the mouse there. I think with a stick, he tried to kick the mouse out. Before they were not disturbed, they were just sitting around and then after that what happened, after some time, they took revenge. One day I went to the cupboard. There is some clothes in the drawer, and there was one thin robe, this thing called a zen, that one of the nuns called Max bought me to wear in the West, or something, in a hot place, one very, very thin one. It was folded and it was just left there a long time. One day I went to take some clothes there and this robe was folded there, it was bitten by the mice. It was folded like this, very nicely folded, up and down like this, and he made a hole straight from there down to the end. So you see, when it was folded many times, by making hole like this then it can have many holes when you stretch it out. But he never moved, he never disturbed anything, any of those other old clothes, you know. So I thought this is an expert; he is very wise, according to what ordinary people are like in the world, people who can give harm back. [GL]

There are many fantastic stories of mice, many examples.

One time in Tibet, there was a great Kadampa Geshe, a great meditator, called Langri Tangpa, who never laughed, who never smiled, who never laughed in his life. Only three times he laughed in his life. One of the things that caused him to laugh, in his cave there was some mice going round, kind of keeping themselves busy, so while he was meditating he would just watch what they were doing. Then there were three mice and there was a crack between the floor and the wall. What they were doing, they had stolen a turquoise from a family, from a box where they put jewels. Then they transported it at their home. The turquoise might have been quite big. They were trying to manage to transport it, one mouse goes up there to the other side, the other mouse lay down, and they use him as a bridge, then this mouse comes after to push the jewel on the back. So even though they are the dumb animals, they are so skillful in obtaining just the happiness this life, they are so skillful. So that made him to laugh once. [GL] Usually he meditates on the impermanence all the time.

There are so many examples, stories of animals that are very interesting. There are many things animals can do that the human beings can’t, methods just to obtain happiness this life.

Just as a person is capable of doing a job, just to live, just to complete each day life, to obtain the means of living, even the animals, the monkeys, the elephants, all those animals in the circus are the same. There are dancing animals, elephants. Elephant are difficult animals to teach, but they also have jobs. They can do anything like human being does, in the circus, dancing different ways, according to music. They can do many things. What I am saying, any of these means, however, is just working for the happiness of this life. That is not the meaning of the human life, because even the non-humans, animals can do.

...how to make the life meaningful. In the West people are so curious. They think just to walk on waters, or if a person can fly, then it’s like being enlightened. If the person can fly then it’s more than enlightened. Enlightened, buddhahood, the person who has achieved buddhahood doesn’t make sense to the person. If you say this person can fly, this person can walk on the water, then wow! They think much more than having achieved buddhahood. That is an extraordinary life.

Flying, it’s nothing surprising, because there are so many numberless creatures flying in space. Mosquitoes fly. Mosquitoes who bite can fly. Numberless creatures fly. If you look in the space in summertime, numberless creatures having luminous bodies. Many people curious, worried about not seeing light. “I don’t see light, how terrible I am.” Even worms can see some. You can see fish who produce electricity, blue fish. In the zoos they have tiny blue fish which produce electricity and also at night time you can see flies that have light. They don’t have a machine to produce light but they have light. [RL] They have light along with them and that they can see enough. But even if a person has light, that is nothing. Even if he can fly, all these things, nothing of these powers is the meaning of this human life.

We flew numberless times. The experience of flying is nothing new; we have experienced flying numberless times, by taking those animal bodies, the different animal’s body, we flew numberless times. We have light in the body numberless times.

Even if you have psychic knowledge and are able to remember past and future or you can read other people’s minds, even if you can see very far things, can understand other people’s languages without needing to go to school, without needing to be taught, even if you can understand the previous causes that were collected of things like famine—even if you have all the five psychic knowledges, this still is not the meaning of human life because we have all experienced this numberless times in previous lives. And even having one-pointed concentration which lasts for how many hundreds of years without any distraction is still not meaning of this human life.

Creating virtuous action is the meaning of human life. Creating virtuous action is the meaning of human life but it’s still not the highest or best meaning of human life. The best thing, the highest meaning of human life is year by year, month by month, week by week, day by week, trying to leave the impression, training the mind in the three principal aspects of the path of the graduate path to enlightenment, and also training the mind in the graduated path of the Mantrayana, of tantra. By leaving an impression on the mind of this path, then leading closer and closer, day by day, week by week, leading the mind closer and closer to the three essences, the three principal aspects of path to enlightenment and the Vajrayana.

And even if you can’t do so many of those things, even if your mind is incapable of doing all these, the thing that makes the life most meaningful is training the mind completely on concentrating on the thought of enlightenment, bodhicitta.

For instance, the way of leaving an impression each day to making the mind closer to the principal aspects of path and the Vajrayana graduated path to enlightenment, how to lead the mind closer to that, is every morning, first doing the direct meditation on such a short teaching which contains the essence of the whole path. With purification, then concentrating on the meaning of the subject. In such short time you have moved the mind that much closer as you leave that much impression on the path, actually that much. This one of the best methods to make life meaningful in that day. It becomes meaningful. This is one of the main methods to quickly attain enlightenment.

I think I’ll stop here.

Then my suggestion is this. Since you don’t have time to do all the to meditations every day, since it is difficult to spent so much time in studying, meditating and things like that, without working one very good thing to stop each year becoming useless, meaningless, is to make retreat on the lam-rim, retreat on the graduated path to enlightenment. Make a retreat on the teachings you have received, each year, for either fifteen days or if possible one month. That is excellent, or even at least one week. Then during that times as much as possible try to train the mind in bodhicitta. In that way then all the money you have saved by working very hard, exhausting the body and mind, by spending the money for the retreat or taking teachings, it becomes so worthwhile that you have been working, that you have been going through the difficulties of working. Even if you have the intention like this when you work, to collect the money to practice Dharma, even your work becomes very good, it becomes Dharma.

Visualize the nectar, with Guru Shakyamuni Buddha at the heart. “I am going to meditate in order to receive enlightenment for the benefit of all the sentient beings.”




Even when you have collected virtue, and think, “I have collected much good karma, I have collected much virtue, I have meditated for years and years. I have been meditating five years ago. I have been meditating seven years.” Like this. Even if you think like this, “I have collected much virtue by keeping precepts,” even if you think like this, “I am good, I am not bad, because I have been keeping precepts, I took ordination many times. I meditated for seven years, how can it be possible?” Even if you think like that about the virtue that has been collected if you check up like this, [it can still be destroyed].

If I mention this quotation from the great bodhisattva Shantideva’s teaching, we can understand from this.

The charity of offering to those who have gone to the blissful state which has been collected for thousands eons can be destroyed in one second by anger.

The great bodhisattva Shantideva said this in his teachings. He also said,

If one second’s negative action can cause you to be reborn in the unceasing narak state for eons, then no question that you will be unable to migrate to the realm of the happy migrators by the negative karma that has been created since beginningless previous lifetimes.

Remembering this quotation, this teaching is extremely beneficial, extremely effective for the mind, to control the disturbing thoughts, and in order to constantly create good karma.

If you get angry at a very new bodhisattva, let alone a higher bodhisattva then the good karma you have collected for thousand eons can be destroyed. If you get angry at a sentient being who has a higher realization than you, so much good karma that has been collected for long time, for thousands of eons, for many hundreds of years, depending on level of the other person’s mind, gets completely destroyed. It gets completely destroyed, like this. Even though those merits are dedicated, it makes it to not experience the result of those virtue, it delays it for thousands of eons, for two or three eons, even though it is dedicated. By anger arising, it postpones for that length of time experiencing the result, depending on whom you get angry with, if other one has higher realization than oneself.

This second quotation, generating anger and heresy like that to holy beings, such as one from whom one received initiation or from whom one’s guru, things like that, generating anger and heresy creates incredible powerful negative karma. Even one single of the action of having anger results in being born and experiencing the sufferings in the worst state that’s called the unceasing suffering state, to be experienced for one eon. From that negative action, generating anger or heresy for one second.

Normally, we don’t know who is a bodhisattva and who is not a bodhisattva. With our limited knowledge, from outside looking, we cannot discriminate the level of the person’s mind. Looking from the outside, we cannot discriminate. Because outside looking is the vision of our own mind. It’s the vision of our own karma, it’s the vision of our own mind, our own karma. Therefore, we see other sentient beings according to our karma, how purely we see other sentient beings depends on our karma.

There is so much to talk about on this point; there are so much stories to explain the point. Just like a photographing a scene badly, if you make a bad film, then when you project it onto the wall, what you see looks bad. What you see there is what is recorded in the film. You can’t see better, you can’t see something different there. You can’t see something better, that person in the film having better actions, a better life on there, what the person is doing is not recorded on the film. If what is on the film is that person stealing, then all the other good things that person does is not recorded, meditating or making charity or something. That film is like karma. Our karma is like this film.

[Break in tape.]

We don’t know who is a buddha, who is not a buddha, who is a bodhisattva, who is not a bodhisattva. We cannot judge except if one has the mind power, psychic knowledge in order to see the level of other person’s mind. Therefore, now we check up, one month, one day, in one week how many times we get angry, one month how many times we get angry, one year how many times we get angry, like this, by checking, then we understand, we can see clearly, like this we can understand, we can see how many virtues there are or not. So therefore it’s extremely important to be careful with other sentient beings, even if it’s an animal. Even if it’s not a human being, we has to be careful. As we cannot see the level of mind, outside we cannot judge as we see, so it’s extremely important to control the anger.

The cause of a perfect human rebirth is moral conduct, charity and prayer like this, but check up. Even without talking the precepts, just even let’s say taking one precept, not killing. How many people in the world are living in just that one precept, not killing. It’s such a small number, an incredibly small number. People who are not living in the precept of not killing, it’s an incredible number, an unbelievable number. This only talking in this world. An incredible, unbelievable number, like this. Checking outside like this, checking relating one’s own life also, then even you can think you took ordination many times, then also many times also it wasn’t taken purely or it was broken, things like that. Then, as I just mentioned, it was destroyed by anger arising.

Even the virtuous actions that was done, was not so powerful, not perfect. Not perfect. And then any nonvirtuous actions collected by yourself, most of them were done so perfectly, just purely, perfectly, with motivation, with the action, the goal, the rejoicing, “how good it is that I have killed! How good it is that this morning I have killed ten mosquitoes in my room who was disturbing me.” Then feeling much happier. “I have killed all these.” After killing one life, one fly, feeling great happiness in the mind, “How fantastic, that’s what is needed, that is what is needed!” Things like that.

If something, some bad thing, some catastrophe happens to your enemy, happens in his life to somebody you feel jealous of, you think how good it is, you feel so happy, how good it is, you know, clapping your hands. Maybe you dance also! [GL] Some people do. Some people have parties if the person they dislike very is killed or dies or something. That’s how nonvirtuous actions are done so perfectly, with rejoicing, but this doesn’t happen so much with the virtuous actions.

Even if there is virtuous action that has been collected, it is not enough powerful at the death time to receive a perfect human rebirth after this, right after this, it is not enough powerful. But nonvirtuous actions are very powerful.

Some of these you can understand. One way to check up, is all the animals who are under the water. In the depth of their heart, in their mind is “my happiness;” they are only concerned with the happiness just this life. Thinking this is the most important thing, they keep themselves so busy, running up and down, trying to find a place to escape from fears, from the danger of other animals, trying to find food to eat, trying, too busy, so busy seeking food, things like that. So busy running up and down. With attachment, with the attachment seeking the pleasures of this life. Then same thing, you just watch again the same thing with the animals that you see on the ground, the same thing.

Watch one city, just visualize, like you see on television. If you just watch, for instance, your city, if you just watch all the people, those who are so busy by flying in an airplane, so busy flying in the space, so busy going in the water, so busy going on the road in the cars, so busy in the shops, just watch the whole thing. And watch their mind. Just watch all their minds. So again, the same thing you can find, in the depth of their hearts there is only the thought of the happiness of just this life, just this one life. That is what is in the depth of their hearts, all the time only concern for the happiness of just this life. To obtain this aim, keeping so busy doing different things, in the house, flying in the space, going under the water, in the cars, doing all kinds of different works to obtain just this aim, whatever the person can think of.

The works of this life are done with attachment seeking pleasure of this life. So now, especially with this last one we can see how difficult it is to receive the perfect human rebirth in the next life. Whether it is difficult or easy? From this, this is the answer to the previous thing. This is the answer to the question why it is extremely difficult to receive the perfect human rebirth. Through these examples and even through numbers, even the number of human beings are so incredibly few, while others are so incredibly many, so it is incredibly easy to be born [non-human].

You see many couples who want to have a child very badly. They do whatever they can, seeing doctors and whatever has to be done, they manage so many ways, but they never get a child. They try so hard with all the methods they can think of, what the doctors and others suggest, but nothing happens. This is the answer to that question, the question why human beings numbers so incredibly small and number of others so large and so easy to be born.

What is the thing that makes you waste this precious human rebirth? What makes it difficult to receive the perfect human rebirth again and what disturbs you from receiving ultimate happiness, to receive nirvana, to receive enlightenment, why? Because, as long as your mind is in the evil thought of worldly dharma, then it doesn’t allow any place for the mind to renounce samsara. It doesn’t allow you to have a place for the mind renouncing samsara, this realization. The mind renouncing samsara depends on receiving the mind renouncing not only the suffering realm but also the causes of the suffering realm, the cause of the samsara, delusion, disturbing negative thoughts, such as attachment. That is what has to be renounced; that is the most important thing what has to be renounced, attachment. So, if there is the evil thought of worldly dharma lives in your mind, there is no way to receive the mind renouncing samsara. So, you can see now how the evil thought of worldly dharma disturbs receiving the mind renouncing samsara. That’s how it blocks you receiving ultimate happiness. Because mind renouncing samsara, that is the door of the path to nirvana. It is impossible also to attain enlightenment, because without receiving mind renouncing samsara you can’t achieve bodhicitta.

How it disturbs both temporal happiness and the practice of Dharma, it disturbs creating the cause to create virtue. Like for instance, even the person is trying to live in the precept, the evil thought of worldly dharma makes you to have concern for the happiness of this life, so the evil thought of worldly dharma obliges you to not care about breaking the precepts. Even if you only feel it a little bit, it disturbs your meditation. Even if you want to meditate, even if you try, even if you sit down for one hour, it doesn’t let you meditate, it cause many other thoughts to arise, such as attachment and other disturbing negative thoughts, by remembering the wrong object, you know. There are many examples like this.

I think I’ll stop here.

[Break in tape.]

[Even if you meditate with the wish for reputation] at your house or another friend’s house, again it doesn’t become pure Dharma. “If I meditate like this, with closed eyes, then those friends who see me, who will pass through my room, will think I am great meditator. They will think how good I am, ‘thinking I really know meditation.” Again, you are clinging to the happiness of this life, reputation. Again the meditation doesn’t become Dharma since you meditated with the evil thought of worldly dharma.

Even teaching Dharma, even teaching meditation, this only the form, the action which looks like a pure action, which looks like a Dharma action. Just like this example that from morning until night that makes whatever you do—eating food, making kaka, pipi, coughing, working, reading, anything action that you do—every single action what we do, what makes it to not become Dharma, what makes it to not become virtue? That is as we have already talked about, we have already discussed how, we have already meditated, with your own life, how the whole life has been spent, lived for this the evil thought of worldly dharma.

So, you see, what makes the whole daily life, all actions, all daily life action that … it, even though one doesn’t meditate, even one doesn’t talk Dharma, or even one doesn’t make offerings, kind of saying prayers, one doesn’t do, but any other, even one doesn’t do but the daily action what the person normally does, by living in the home, in the city, normal action what he does, the whole thing can become Dharma but, can become Dharma, can [pause] playing music, dancing, making business, whatever it is, can become Dharma. Can become Dharma, can make the life meaningful. But why it doesn’t, you know, why it doesn’t become Dharma? Why all become nonvirtue? That is … what [pause] what is the thing that doesn’t let you, that doesn’t let us, all these actions to become Dharma, that is by the evil thought of worldly dharma.

At night time, when you clearly check back from the morning, you find all the actions were done for the evil thought of worldly dharma, just as the evil thought of worldly dharma wants. So that’s how actions become nonvirtue. That’s how life is wasted. That’s one how one day, one month, one year, your whole life has been wasted like this. So it is so clear, like this.

So that’s the evil thought of worldly dharma disturbs all your actions, blocking them from becoming Dharma. It disturbs like that. Even if you try to practice Dharma, it disturbs them, making them not become Dharma, making them nonvirtuous actions. So that’s how it disturbs ultimate happiness, temporal happiness of future life, even this life.

This is one way to check up. This is one way to see the shortcomings of the evil thought of worldly dharma, to see how it is harmful it is. Check this, since you were born until now, each problem that you have experienced in the family, with other people, with yourself, even with yourself alone, if you carefully checkup the root of each life problem—not checking outside, but checking inside, checking the mind—when you start to experience the problem, when you start to get involved in that problem, think “What kind of mind do I have?” The mind which starts to experience the problem, what was that mind that I had? What type of mind? If you check like this, you will find for sure there is the evil thought of worldly dharma there, letting you to experience the problem. The evil thought of worldly dharma has arranged the problem. You can find this, as you check each problem.

All the worries, all the sufferings that we experience with material possessions, not having material possessions, not receiving material possessions, not getting enough money by working, things like that, protesting, making strikes, then all the worries, sufferings, by receiving criticism from other people, by hearing unsweet sounds, sounds that bothers you, undesirable sounds. When you meet unhappy situations, again the mind is feeling depressed, upset, feeling so much aggression. In the factory, if the machine is stopped, is broken, so today thee is no money or the things you need to receive in the factory to keep the production going on—oil or things like that, what makes the work go on—if that is stop for one week, if there is some kind of strike or if something happens, then again mind is down, your spirit is so down, on the earth; it’s the end of the earth. You are so upset, you come back home with an incredibly nervous, shaking hand, shaking body. Even the body is shaking like this. Even the nerves will be shaken out, all the veins out, with much sweat on the top of the nose, on top of the forehead, like this. [RL] So nervous. Having incredible worry if one week or two days if you don’t work. You won’t starve for several years; there is enough to last. Perhaps you might die after one more month, you know, but the incredible worry there is, you can’t relax, if there is no work.

If you know how to meditate, if you know the teaching, then you can see this as a fantastic opportunity, a time to meditate, a great opportunity to meditate. You don’t have to worry. The mind can be more happy because you have more opportunity.

In Switzerland, there are many Tibetan people, about one thousand Tibetan people there working in the factory and there are also some monks working in the factory, as well as many Westerners working in the factory. So I think some strike or something happened, I am not sure, and maybe one month or one week, I am not sure, somehow there was no work and all the other people were screaming, “There’s no work! What to do?” All kinds of noises they made. So nervous, so much aggression. But this married lama, he said to the other monks there, “I am extremely happy, I am so happy. [RL GL] I wish we had longer for such an opportunity as this.” [GL] That is because of different mind. Because that person knows how to make life happy; that person knows the teaching, a little bit Dharma, there is a great opportunity. That person’s mind can be more happy having something to meditate. Just an example, this lama in Switzerland who works in a factory.

The lama who talked like this, the one who felt so happy like this, he thought how silly the other people were being to be so upset and so worried. Even one day not having work they were also extremely upset. What I am saying all these things, all these worries of not receiving material possessions, that is caused by the evil thought of worldly dharma. It is so clear how all this aggression, all these worries came from the evil thought of worldly dharma because by receiving criticism, by not receiving material possession, by meeting an unhappy situation, because the person has so much clinging, because there is great expectation to the pleasure of receiving material things, praise, reputation from other people. There is so much clinging to reputation; there is so much clinging to meeting a happy situation, to hearing good sounds.

Similar like this, with a wife or husband, as there is so much clinging, incredible clinging, then there is that much worry. So much clinging on one hand and so much incredible worry on the other hand. If you go shopping, if you go little bit outside, if this husband goes a little bit outside, from the home, goes to far places, goes for parties, she has so much worry for the one who goes outside. “Oh, I must lose him.” Always that worry that she might lose him, so much worry in the mind. That is because there is so much worry to lose him and he will be taken away by other people, used by other people. So much worry to separate.

It sometimes happens that the wife or husband did not come back in the night time, ran away with somebody else, all of a sudden flew to some other countries with someone, with your husband or with another girlfriend. Then unbelievable worry in the mind! That is because there is that much clinging to the person, the pleasure of being with i. There is that much clinging so therefore that much worry comes. Usually, all the fears, doubt, all these things come, if something actually happens, before there is so much doubt, fear like this, when it happens, incredible unbelievable pain in the heart. With all these things it is so clear, it is so clear, if you just remember, examine our own experiences, how all these problems of life are caused by the evil thought of worldly dharma, all these aggressions, all these things. It’s so clear.

So that is one way to understand, to face, to control the evil thought of worldly dharma. One way is to think of the shortcomings, how it disturbs temporal happiness, ultimate happiness, how all life’s problems, all the worries, everything, how it is caused by the evil thought of worldly dharma. It is true, remembering, thinking of this, meditating like this, understanding this, this is the method to save, to control the evil thought of worldly dharma.

The more you understand how harmful it is, the more your mind gets that much more strength to control, to face the evil thought of worldly dharma. Just like the diet, the food, which makes you get sick, the more you feel that what is harming, more you know how dangerous it is, the more strength you get to protect yourself from that danger. Like this, same thing, you see. You don’t even want that thing which makes you get sick, that poisonous plant or that food, you don’t want even around in your room. Like that, if you find in the room there is something, a poisonous plant, right away you see, you throw it out, far away. Just like that, you get same sense, energy to control the evil thought of worldly dharma.

I think pipi break.

[Break in tape.]

Renouncing self-cherishing, cherishing others, that is what has to be practiced. After realizing this you can exchange oneself with others. You can do that for others, you can exchange oneself with others.

In order to be able to do that, it is not enough just to be able to speak of the shortcomings of self-cherishing but you should really recognize, really feel just like how an ordinary person feels with the enemy, the other person who gives you harm. Just as an ordinary person thinks, recognizing that as the enemy and then there is no thought rising to help, not one single thought rising day and night to benefit that enemy. Day and night, all the time having only the thought to destroy, to make him non-existent, all the time having the thought to control him, to destroy him. By using many methods you destroying him completely, just like that. Just like that. Just like this, you should figure, recognize, you should feel like this self-cherishing is the worst enemy.

Even when you travel to different countries there are all the fears and doubts. I might get sick or get hepatitis. Even the room you stay in and the food you eat. There might be mosquitoes there or insects that will cause you disease, that will bite you. The food you eat might make you sick. All this is caused by the self-cherishing thought.

Also having so much suffering to receive a bad reputation from other people. Worries about being unable to develop the relationships with the people you like. Or fears you won’t be able to control, to destroy the enemy. all these kind of problems are caused by the self-cherishing thought that is living in our heart.

The previous Kadampa geshes, the followers of Atisha, had ways of controlling delusion, the self-cherishing thought. For instance, the Kadampa Geshe Ben Gungyal says, the way to control delusion, the self-cherishing thought is by holding the pointed spear of remembrance at the door of the mind. By holding the pointed spear of remembrance at the door of the mind, think, “If he ties me, I will tie him. If he releases me, I will release him.” In other words, if he controls me, if he is becoming powerful, if he is becoming stronger, you have to become even stronger in controlling him. This is talking about the self-cherishing thought. “If he ties me, I will tie him. If he releases me, I will release him.” When he does not control me, I don’t have to control him.

[conversation with students] [RL]

“If he, the self-cherishing, releases me, I will release him.” This is the way how those highly realized bodhisattvas, the Kadampa geshes control delusion, the self-cherishing thought, like this.
Guarding the door of the mind is like the police, like the military who are spying for the enemy, always standing at the gate, constantly aware, just waiting for the enemy. Constantly aware what is happening around there and waiting for the enemy, by carrying guns. As soon as the enemy comes, the enemy’s face shows up at the gate, right away at the same time, they shoot him in the head, right away they shoot him in his brain. As soon as he shows, they shoot the enemy. Otherwise, if you are not quick enough, if you are slow, if you get late then the other enemy, the enemy, the other enemy he makes the defense. Before you destroy him, he destroys you.

Similarly, the Kadampa geshes are constantly aware what’s happening, aware of their own mind, all of their mind, all the time, what’s happening. They are constantly aware and waiting, constantly waiting, just like the example, that military who are standing there, completely concentrated, waiting for the enemy, to destroy him. So like that, they are constantly waiting. Whether the delusion arises or not, whether the self-cherishing thought arises or not, they are constantly waiting. And then as soon as it arises, in a second, just like the military who carries guns or knives, the powerful, sharp weapons, to completely destroy the enemy, just like soldier ready to shoot, as soon as self-cherishing or delusion arises, they use the meditations like the weapon, like a sharp weapon. What the Kadampa geshes do is this. All of a sudden, like powerful, sharp weapon, the powerful meditations, they remember, the pointed spear of remembrance of the meditations, the remedies, the meditations.

As soon as the enemy, the self-cherishing thought arises, the pointed spear, the remembrance of the meditation, right away they put it into the heart of the enemy. All of a sudden, without delay, remembering the meditation, which is like the pointed spear, in that way they destroy, they control the self-cherishing thought, the delusion.

That’s the way they try to control the self-cherishing thought, the delusion. “If he ties, I will tie him, if he release me, I will release him.” That means, if the enemy, self-cherishing thought does not arise so much, does not control me so much, there is no need to pay so much attention to that. If it arises strongly then there is need to pay much great attention to that, just like the soldier spying, waiting for the enemy. So that’s what Kadampa Geshe Ben Gungyal says.

If there is so much, incredible delusions coming up, just like the flood, just like waterfall and controlling you like this, at the same time what you should do, without letting delusion completely control you, strengthen your mind, just like if the enemy are using powerful bombs to destroy your own forces, then you also will have to use the powerful bombs. So, instead of being discouraged, work to strengthen your mind, then use the powerful weapons, bombs to destroy others. With the delusion it’s the same thing, you should have many different weapons, the meditations, the techniques, to destroy the delusion.

By trying like this, that is the way how you can control the self-cherishing thought, such as the evil thought of worldly dharma and all those other delusion. And one highly realized bodhisattva, Langri Tangpa, I think whose story I mentioned, as Geshe Langri Tangpa said, “I will offer the profit and the victory to other sentient beings.” Why? Why should you give the profit and the victory to other sentient beings, why? Because what you want is happiness, perfections. Why? Because all the good things, all the good things, all the perfections come by depending on kindness of sentient beings. Actually, what he is saying, try to give the victory to sentient beings, because all the good things are received by depending on them. He says ‘he’ meaning one sentient being, but it means all sentient beings.

So what this Kadampa geshe is saying is you give the victory, the profit to other sentient beings, because of you! What you want is happiness. What you wish is happiness, what you do not wish is suffering, so, all happiness comes from where? All happiness, all the good things are received from the kindness of the sentient beings, by depending on the kindness of the sentient beings. Sentient being means all sentient beings, every sentient being. So if it is all sentient beings, that includes also one sentient being, that enemy, what you think of as “my enemy.” By depending on that, all the good things come; they are received by depending on kindness of that sentient being.
If you think, “I don’t have to give my profit and victory to others; it doesn’t matter if I receive happiness from them, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want happiness, I don’t want happiness. I don’t care of temporal happiness, it doesn’t matter whether I receive or not.” However other sentient beings are kind. All the past, present, future, happiness, all the perfection is received from that sentient being.

Because of that, you should give profit and victory to that sentient being. Even if you yourself don’t care about happiness, if you want to help the sentient beings, sometimes there is the thought like this arising, questioning, why profit and victory should be given to others, doesn’t matter even because I have received happiness from him, so I must give profit and victory to others. If the question, this question arises then, if you wish to enlighten all the sentient beings, to release them from all the sufferings, to do that even you don’t care to receive your own happiness but to do that you have to achieve enlightenment. You have achieve enlightenment, you have to actualize the whole path, so that depends on sentient beings.

So, “Without taking the profit and victory to yourself, then you give it to other sentient beings. And take all the deceit and the blame on oneself.”

Here, Kadampa Geshe Langri Tangpa is saying that you should take all the deceit and blame on youself. Why? All the harm and all suffering comes from cherishing oneself. So this teaching advises, Geshe Langri Tangpa advises that this is the main thing. This is the main point why we should exchange oneself and others. That’s the terms we use, “exchange oneself with others” so it’s easy to get the wrong idea. Usually the way of thinking, you don’t have to call, I am robot or I am tree, I am flower or I am food to eat, I am Nepalese king. [RL] I am a buffalo. It doesn’t mean you have to be called like this. And point out that buffalo and say “that is me.” [RL] “The buffalo’s tail is my tail, the buffalo’s ear is my ear,” It’s not saying like this. “The buffalo’s foot is my foot.” It’s not saying like this. Part of explanation on this will come afterwards.

As I mentioned yesterday briefly, this is the way to think. Not just calling like this, not recognizing like this. This is the main point, his advice is this. This is the main point why, instead of cherishing yourself, you cherish others. Exchanging oneself and others means changing the thought, changing the object you cherish. You keep the thought of cherishing but the object changes. Instead of cherishing yourself and, renouncing others, you renounce yourself and cherish others. This is what is called exchanging oneself with others. The term I use, exchanging oneself with others. But it’s not like the example of buffalo, changing one for the other.

It’s not that the money he has in the bank is mine and the money in my purse is his. You can go to spend it, if it is like that. You have all this money. [RL] And make him surprised. [GL] So this advice, this is the main point. Because all this harm and sufferings comes from yourself, therefore you renounce yourself. Because all happiness, all perfections come from other sentient beings, so you cherish others.

From beginningless previous lifetimes until now, because of cherishing yourself and renouncing others, by this mistake still you have not attained enlightenment. You haven’t actualized bodhicitta, even though numberless sentient beings have attained enlightenment.

However, the conclusion is that it’s very good to remember this advice of the Kadampa Geshes during meditation. It’s very clear and very effective for the mind to control the self-cherishing thought. The conclusion is the shortcoming of self-cherishing thought is the base of all other delusions. Even if the three times’ buddhas, the past, present and future buddhas, explained shortcomings of the self-cherishing thought for eons, it cannot be finished explaining, there’s no end.

If you train your mind, just like this given by the Kadampa geshes, controlling the self-cherishing thought by remembering the shortcomings, in that way it is just like pouring cold water on water that so very hot, water that is boiling and making so much noise. When you put cold water on top of that it, all of a sudden it calms down quiet and become relaxed. Like when you have incredible pain in stomach that you can’t stand, by taking the medicine, all of a sudden the unbearable pain which makes you want to scream, it completely disappears, then you feel extremely comfortable. It happens to the mind like this. As one controls the self-cherishing thought, the mind, there is incredible peace, realization in the mind.

Without training the mind by taking oral teachings such as this oral teaching of thought training, then even if you have received a billion initiations, even if you have studied Dharma your whole life, with the self-cherishing thought which all the delusions constantly arise from, in your life there is no peace. Because of delusion and self-cherishing thought, all other delusions arise, and you cannot relax. You always becomes the servant to the self-cherishing thought, to delusion. There is no peace in your mind. Even though you know all the Dharma, even though you have an intellectual understanding of the whole Dharma, even though you have studied your whole life, there is no text that you don’t know, that you can’t say by heart, and you have received billions of initiations, as long as there is no change in the mind, there is no change in the mind through practices such as this thought training, there is no peace in your mind.

You have to control delusions, the self-cherishing thought. It’s like you’ve caught a flea in your hands and you can’t just open your fist or it will jump out, you have to keep it confines until you know how to get rid of it. You can’t let it get through your fingers. (Maybe if you have fat fingers it’s a little better.) The same thing with delusion. You have to control it, confine it.

If your mind is changed like this then it’s very easy for your mind to become oneness with Dharma. Then all all the Dharma practice becomes very successful and there is no more hindrances in the Dharma practice. Even if you’re living in the city in a country where there is no teaching, where you can’t hear even one word, once your mind is changed like this then the mind becomes oneness with Dharma. All the Dharma practice becomes successful. Otherwise if the mind is not changed, whatever you do, any education, any knowledge, whatever that is name, what you call education, even if it’s the Dharma knowledge, instead of becoming a remedy to the delusion, it become a friend to help delusion. If you don’t try to change your mind, just intellectual understanding, knowledge, education, becomes no use.

But now meditate on the verse from the root text. Cherishing others is the practice, by thinking of the benefits of it. So the verse from the root text is:

Meditate on the great kindness of all. By meditating on the great kindness of all the sentient beings, including your own enemy, then you see other sentient beings in the aspect of the deity. Then you can exchange yourself for others. In that way bodhicitta is easily actualized.