E-letter No. 120: May 2013

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe, Lake Arrowhead, 1975. Photo: Carol Royce-Wilder.

Dear LYWA friends and supporters,

I hope you are well. Thank you very much for your interest in and support of the Archive. As I always say, we couldn’t do it without you. What I mean is, together we have a common goal: ensuring the happiness and welfare of all sentient beings through offering them the Dharma. With your financial assistance we are able to do the work we do. So here at LYWA we really see this as a joint effort and thank you so much for playing your part. We are grateful and blessed to play ours.

We rejoice in the merit that so many of you created by donating to the Archive on Saka Dawa. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. See below for details about how your donations support our work together.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Portland Oregon
May has been, in many ways, an incredible month. FPMT’s Maitripa College in Portland hosted three days of events with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Since I’m on the Board of Trustees I not only got to go but received special treatment, and who doesn’t love that!

That meant up front seats for the Environmental Summit, being in the Maitripa gompa when His Holiness came to this year’s commencement and received an honorary degree, and getting invited to a couple of relatively small luncheons with His Holiness. His Holiness also visited the FPMT International office. And then there was the dumb luck of being the hand-holding guy in the group photo with Maitripa Board and staff and His Holiness.

Anyway, it was a great visit and you can read all about it in the Mandala Magazine blog here.

As if all that weren’t enough, His Holiness Sakya Trizin also visited the office and gave a short talk at Maitripa.

HH Sakya Trizin’s visit coincided with the FPMT North America Regional meeting (NARM), which was also very successful. LYWA’s Jen Barlow also attended the last day of HH the Dalai Lama’s teaching, NARM, HH Sakya Trizin’s teaching and, of course, the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert that followed immediately after HH the Dalai Lama left the stage! Jen and I rocked that out from the second front row dead center. A veritable cornucopia of excellence! And, I guess, much merit consumed.

Supporting Our Mission
But, back to reality and what’s going on here at LYWA. Between now and the end the year we’re hoping to publish four more books by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Three are from the FPMT Lineage Series, part of our PFL Project: Rinpoche’s extensive lamrim teachings on the Perfect Human Rebirth and Impermanence and Death, and an amazingly detailed volume of emptiness teachings. The fourth is from our Heart Advice Series, a book of Rinpoche’s experiential teachings on refuge. An ambitious program for us but one that we’ll certainly try to accomplish.

Fortunately, these books have all been sponsored. Unfortunately, the infrastructure that allows them to happen has not. So we are again turning to you with our mid-year appeal for $50,000. We need this money not only to pay crucial staff but also to invest in the technology that, behind the scenes, is the backbone of the Archive.

As new technologies emerge, we endeavor to take advantage of the latest tools to preserve, catalog and publish the precious teachings of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Our technology costs this year include upgrading our archive servers to keep them secure and up to date; upgrading our archive database to improve access; upgrading office PCs; and renewing annual software contracts, including our license for ISYS, our text retrieval system that is so important to editors working on Rinpoche’s books. And of course there are the ongoing costs of continually updating and optimizing our website to make all these amazing teachings freely available around the world. It all comes to nearly $10,000.

In addition, there’s our annual financial review and our annual liability and property insurance, totaling $10,000. The other approximately $30,000 will help cover the salaries of essential staff members not directly involved in book preparation for the next few months.

In most previous years general donations have somewhat covered many of these costs, but this year our general donations have slowed a bit and there are also a couple of one-off expenses, so we really need your help at this time.

Make Your Donation Today
As mentioned above, we greatly appreciate those of you who made an offering to the Archive on Saka Dawa. You have helped us get an excellent start towards our $50,000 goal with your donations totaling nearly $5,800.

If you are able, please consider becoming a Member of Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive with your donation of US$1,000 or more. The main benefit of Membership is that you will be helping to make the Lamas' incredible teachings available to a worldwide audience. More direct and tangible benefits to you personally include free Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche books from the Archive and Wisdom Publications, and access to an exclusive members-only section of our website containing the entire LYWA library of publications in electronic format. Please see our website for more information.

If you make your US$1,000 donation today, you will receive all the usual Member benefits plus a beautiful 16x20 matted print of Lisa Sawlit's spectacular portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  [Please note: As of 2020, the print is no longer available.]

Donors of $50 or more will automatically receive the next free book we publish, most likely Rinpoche’s next book in the Heart Advice series on refuge.

Visit our website at www.LamaYeshe.com and click on the "Donate Now" button. Thank you!

What's New on Our Website
We recently posted the entire course transcript of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's teachings from the 27th annual Kopan Lamrim course from 1994. You can use the Index page to browse through by topic, or download the entire teaching as a pdf file for searching and reading at your leisure.

We also have a number of new additions to Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book. There is a wonderful teaching on the preliminary practice of making prostrations, and on liberating animals and circumambulating stupas with them. And, an amazing prayer written by Rinpoche for children is included below as this month's eletter teaching.

There are now nearly 1300 advices from Rinpoche on all kinds of topics posted in the Online Advice Book. Browse through the categories, search using our Advanced Search function, or see here for a list of all new advices posted last month.

Your past support has been so important to us, enabling us to accomplish so much in recent years. We are excited about our forthcoming projects, and hope that you feel inspired to join us as we continue to make the Lamas' teachings available around the world, in all ways possible.

Thank you so much for your kind support. We could not spread the Dharma without you!

Much love, 
Nick Ribush

This Month's Teaching: A Prayer for Children

Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe with babies and Italian students in Taceno, Italy, 1976. Photo: Peter Iseli.Rinpoche dictated this prayer and short commentary as a response to a center’s request for a prayer for children to recite at an inter-religious event in Colombia. [Note; the actual prayer is the indented text in italics below.]

There are seven fundamental methods to bring success for oneself and for the world. Each child can pray for happiness for themselves and also for the world. The first fundamental is kindness; to practice kindness day and night. You could say something like this:

May the precious, wonderful, dear children, who are full of potential, be able to eliminate their own problems and the problems of the world, of all living beings. May they bring all the happiness of this life and all the future lives, as well as the ultimate everlasting happiness, to all sentient beings. May they complete the cessation of all the suffering and the causes of suffering—the actions that create negative karma, and the wrong concepts, the obscurations and the disturbing attitudes.

May they complete the true path, the ultimate wisdom directly seeing the ultimate nature of the I and of all phenomena, and the peerless and perfect happiness. May they complete the qualities of the cessation of the wrong concepts and hallucinations, and may they complete the qualities of understanding in themselves. May the precious children, who are beautiful, enchanting, like a flower about to blossom, offer all the temporary and ultímate happiness to the world and to all living beings.

That is the description, now comes the prayer:

May we practice kindness day and night, forever, not only towards friends, but also to strangers, and especially to the enemy; not only towards human beings, but also to animals and other beings who want happiness and don´t want to suffer.

May we constantly enjoy our lives by rejoicing. May we constantly enjoy happiness by rejoicing in all the positive things that bring benefit to others and to ourselves. And may we especially rejoice when we see all the good things that happen to others.

In the world, we feel jealous and unhappy when good things happen to others. If somebody has any happiness, we feel jealous instead of rejoicing. So we can use this method of rejoicing to become sick of jeaolusy and to destroy it. Rejoicing is very good education; this is the education that we need. The world suffers so much—there are economic problems, wars and famine, so these happen because we didn´t create good karma. Instead of rejoicing, we feel sad when good things happen to others. Rejoicing is missing from children’s education. Our problems don´t come from outside, they come from the mind.

May we develop patience to achieve all happiness, temporal and ultímate, and to bring that happiness to others; not only to our family, but to all sentient beings.

May we develop all the 16 human qualities, an understanding which makes our lives different.

May we become skilled in not harming sentient beings, and may we become only the source of happiness for sentient beings, like sunshine.

May we practice contentment.

This is very important because so many people do illegal things; they go to prison and give many problems to the government. Even rich people destroy their lives due to lack of contentment, and it’s the same for poor people. Because of lack of contentment, young people take drugs, they don't find jobs, they destroy their lives with alcohol, so many things. By not having contentment and satisfaction, there are so many problems in their relationships, they kill, steal and so forth. This is another important thing that children need to learn.

May we learn contentment and satisfaction. May we learn to enjoy contentment, which brings great freedom into our lives and brings us so much happiness. May we be an example to the world.

May we practice these good qualities and when somebody abuses or harms us, may we immediately forgive them. In daily life, when we make mistakes and harm others, may we immediately ask forgiveness.

This is very important, because it brings so much happiness and harmony to our lives—to our families, to the world and to all sentient beings. What we do in this life—if we are happy and if our conduct is positive —that becomes the cause for us to have a good mind and good conduct in future lives, so we don't cause harm to sentient beings.

May we be able to develop courage, to be an inspiring example and to be of benefit in so many ways for the happiness of others, not only for ourselves.

One person with a negative mind can destroy the world, and harm so many millions of people. This has happened in the world so many times. A child who develops a positive mind is like the sun shining, eliminating the darkness in the world, for all to enjoy. Therefore, a child who develops these qualities brings great benefit to the world, to millions and millions of sentient beings.

Read more advice from Rinpoche regarding education, practices, and advice for children and teenagers in Rinpoche's Online Advice Book.