E-letter No. 123: August 2013

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Queensland, Australia, 2000
Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe, Lake Arrowhead, 1975. Photo: Carol Royce-Wilder.

Dear LYWA friends and supporters,

Thank you so much for your kind interest in and support of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

Lama Yeshe Ebooks Redesigned

We are proud to announce that the ebook version of Lama Yeshe's Universal Love has been completely redesigned and updated. It is sure to look amazing on any ereader that you have! Visit our website for links to various vendor websites where you can purchase the ebook.

We have also updated the ebook version of Lama's Life, Death and After Death. Again, you can find links to ebook vendors on our website.

If you are a Member, you can download these and all our other ebooks for free in our Members Area. If you are not already a Member of Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, you can join with your donation of US$1,000 or more. See our website for details on the benefits of Membership, and to find more details about how to sign up. Thank you!

The Early Days at Kopan

Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Zina Rachevsky, Darjeeling, India, 1967.Read Lama Zopa's Rinpoche's account of How the Kopan Courses Began, from a teaching Rinpoche gave in Singapore in January 2009. Edited by Nicholas Ribush.

In this talk, Rinpoche tells of how they met their first western student, Zina Rachevsky, who encouraged them to teach and to establish their own Dharma Centers.

If you enjoy reading the early stories and looking at archival photos, there are many more for you to enjoy on our Big Love blog. As you know, we are in the midst of editing the official biography of Lama Yeshe, Big Love, and we are sharing pictures and excerpts from the book on our blog as we go along. Check it out.

What Else is New on Our Website

Through the kindness of a volunteer, our books are being converted to Braille. Our first book available in Braille is Lama Yeshe's The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism. Visit our page For the Visually Impaired for a link to download the Braille version. On the page there is also information about how to increase the size of the print for reading other teachings on our website. Please let us know what you think

We have just posted a practice advice given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche for The Mantra Destroying All the Negative Karmas and Defilements. Rinpoche explains the many benefits of reciting this mantra, including protection from many harms and the development of positive qualities. A longer version with instructions for practice and retreat can be found on the FPMT website.

Also posted this past month are two talks from Rinpoche on the benefits of working with those who are sick and dying. In 1998 Rinpoche was interviewed about Working in a Hospital, where he was asked about developing renunciation and how to best help relatives and friends who are dying. The second talk was given to workers at Cittamani Hospice Service in Queensland, Australia in April 2000; an excerpt from this talk is this month's eletter teaching below.

Read an edited version of a lamrim teaching given by Rinpoche in Nice, France in 1990, which includes teachings on emptiness, impermanence and death, and transforming problems. Edited by Ven. Ailsa Cameron. In the second discourse Rinpoche says:

If you generate the good heart that cherishes others, you only benefit others with your body, speech, and mind—from the one person you live with to all the rest of the sentient beings. So, you can see now that it's completely in your hands. Starting from your family and extending to all the rest of the sentient beings, whether anyone receives harm or peace from you is completely in your hands. You are completely responsible. Each of us here is completely responsible for the peace and happiness of all sentient beings, starting with our family. It is very important to remember this in everyday life.

The first discourse from this teaching includes an oral transmission of the Heart Sutra, the audio of which has also been posted on our website, along with the unedited transcripts. You can listen to that version here.

New Advices from Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Many new advices long and short were posted to Rinpoche's Online Advice Book this past month. They include:

As always, you can see a list of all new advices added in the past month here.

\"100 Million Mani Retreat in Mongolia

As you may have heard, Rinpoche is presently in Mongolia leading a 100 Million Mani Retreat. Videos of Rinpoche's teachings are being streamed online, with videos of previous teachings also available for viewing. The retreat is scheduled to continue through August 30th.

We leave you with Rinpoche's message to Cittamani Hospice workers, as mentioned above. Thank you so much for your kind support. We could not spread the Dharma without you!

Much love, 
Nick Ribush

This Month's Teaching: Why We Need to Help Others

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, Australia, May 1975.There is actually a reason that we need to help others. If a blind person is in danger of falling down a cliff because they cannot see and you have eyes to see that person’s life is in danger and arms to hold them, it doesn’t matter if that person doesn’t ask you to help them. Your help does not depend on their asking you for it. Just having the capacity to help is itself enough reason for us to run to that person and grab them before they fall down the cliff.

We have the same need to help other sentient beings—and it doesn’t depend on their personally asking for our help. We should help them simply because we have the capacity, or potential, to help them now.

And even if we don’t have the capacity to help them now, we can develop it by increasing our compassion and wisdom so that we can benefit others more and more deeply. The more compassion and wisdom we are able to develop, the more power we will have to liberate others from all suffering and its cause, which is within them, on their mental continuum. The cause of their suffering is their karma and delusions, their mistaken ways of thinking, and the negative imprints left by them on their mental continuum. We have every opportunity to develop our capacity, our compassion and wisdom, and be able to help others. Because we have the opportunity, we should help others.

The basic reason that we need to help others is simply that others are suffering and need our help and we have opportunity to help them now and to further develop our potential to help others.

This is the reason that I normally give as to why we need to help others. It is a clean-clear pure reason: it is simply that a sentient being is suffering and needs our help. Of course, you incidentally get a lot of benefit from helping others. You get skies of benefit when you help others sincerely from your heart, by knowing that the meaning of your being born as a human being at this time is to serve others. The purpose of your life is to serve others. When we serve others with this knowledge and with compassion, our everyday life brings us so much peace, happiness, and satisfaction. Our inner life is then full rather than empty.

In this world there are billionaires and other wealthy people whose attitude to life is not one of serving others but of using others for their own happiness. Their main aim is to make themselves happy and to avoid problems for themselves, but rather than searching for satisfaction from within their own mind, they look to achieve satisfaction from outside themselves. Even though they might be very comfortable externally, their inner life is miserable and filled with dissatisfaction. Their inner life is sad and empty.

There needs to be a total change of mind by thinking, “The purpose of my life is to serve others. Why have I been born a human being, with this rare and precious human body? I have received it to serve others, to free others from all their suffering and to bring them all happiness: the happiness of this life and of future lives and the ultimate happiness that is free from all suffering and all causes of suffering (karma and delusions, or negative emotional thoughts), especially the highest happiness of enlightenment. To bring them all this happiness is the purpose of my life.”

Serving others with a sincere heart brings us so much peace and satisfaction every day. When we do the work sincerely, it gives us so much peace, happiness and fulfillment. We feel happy, and we see our life as meaningful. It fills our life with happiness and satisfaction now and also ensures that we have the best future.

By serving others with a sincere heart, we have the best future. Helping to look after people who are sick and dying is itself the best preparation for our own death. By taking care of others—whether one or many—we collect so much merit and purify so much negative karma, and this means our death will come easily and without fear. Fear of death doesn’t come from outside, but from within our own mind, because of our delusions and negative karma. Fear is the result of attachment and other negative emotional thoughts and of the negative karma collected in the past. By serving others with a sincere mind in our everyday life, we purify so much of those negative karmas and develop a good heart.

Excerpted from a talk Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave to the workers at Cittamani Hospice Service, Queensland, Australia, April 2000. Edited by Ven. Ailsa Cameron. You can read the entire talk here.