E-letter No. 93: February 2011

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

Dear LYWA friends and supporters,

Thank you for your interest in and support of the Archive. We couldn't do it without you. We hope by now you're seen a copy of our latest book, Lama Yeshe's Life, Death and After Death, which was sent to all our Members and Benefactors in January.


If you didn't receive one automatically and would like to order one you can do so here.

Bodhisattva Attitude
I'm writing to you from the back of a car on the road from Penang to Taiping, Malaysia. Tonight I stay in Ipoh, then go to Kuala Lumpur for a few days before heading back to Singapore. Most of my time in SE Asia has been spent in Singapore, where I have been attending Lama Zopa Rinpoche's teachings at Amitabha Buddhist Centre. Rinpoche gave a great Medicine Buddha initiation--great in the sense of both wonderful and extensive--four nights of teachings on the Lama Tsongkhapa guru yoga, part of an ongoing annual series, and a Namgyelma initiation. All of the Lama Tsongkhapa guru yoga teachings from 2011 will soon be available on the FPMT Online Learning Center; the 2010 teachings are currently available for free, under "Special Commentaries."

We produced Bodhisattva Attitude, a small booklet of Rinpoche's bodhicitta teachings, for the visit, and we offer you an excerpt below and the entire booklet on line. These amazing teachings have been expertly edited by Ven. Sarah Thresher and are taken from a larger book by the same title that we hope to publish for free distribution soon.

At this time we are seeking your help in sponsoring the Bodhisattva Attitude book and invite you to be a part of this great project by contributing here. Just be sure to mention Bodhisattva Attitude in the comments box during checkout.

Lama Yeshe teaching at Lake Arrowhead, California, in 1975. Photo: Carol Royce-Wilder.New Audio Online: Lama Yeshe in 1975We have just posted precious audio recordings of Lama Yeshe giving introductory talks in the USA in 1975. These talks form the basis of the introductory chapters of the LYWA publication Universal Love: The Yoga Method of Buddha Maitreya.

In these talks Lama covers a variety of topics, including meditation, compassion and bodhicitta. Each talk was followed by a lively question-and-answer session that highlights Lama's unique and engaging style.

Rinpoche's Online Advice Book: New This Month
Read advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche to students who asked about giving up practice commitments, and a response from Rinpoche to a person who wrote that he had killed his parents during a psychotic episode.

We've also just posted some letters to students doing lamrim retreat and one student who is working toward completing 1,000 Nyung Nas.

Year in Review
FPMT International Office recently made available a summary of the FPMT's accomplishments for 2010. We can all rejoice in the extensive work the FPMT does for the benefit if all beings.

Looking ahead for the Archive, this next year we hope to publish for free Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Bodhisattva Attitude (mentioned above and excerpted below) as well as DVDs for the teachings in the books Freedom Through Understanding and Life, Death and After Death, and more books from our Publishing the FPMT Lineage project such as How to Practice Dharma and teachings on perfect human rebirth.

All this we are able to accomplish through the kindness and generosity of our supporters. Thank you so much! 

Much love,
Nick Ribush

The Bodhisattva Attitude

 Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Lawudo Retreat Centre, Nepal, 1970.By dedicating your life to others in this way, you can enjoy every day. There is always DEEP happiness in your heart instead of jealousy and so many other sufferings. When you follow your ego, negative emotional thoughts and self-cherishing, even though nobody else tortures you, you are constantly tortured by attachment, anger and so on. You create so many problems and so much negative karma and then you suffer. You harm others and yourself and then you have to experience the result by again having so many problems. Your whole life goes by like this until one day death comes and that’s it. Life finishes in suffering.

With this bodhisattva attitude, you can enjoy life. You experience it with Dharma. Letting go of delusion, ego and especially the self-cherishing thought, you live with inner peace and happiness, in deep joy and satisfaction, by practicing Dharma. Then your heart is opened all the time, day and night. You are able to help other sentient beings and yourself. All your activities are accomplished and you achieve enlightenment, ceasing all gross and subtle delusions and completing all the qualities of realization. You are able to liberate others from sufferings and delusions and bring them to enlightenment.

If you live your life in this way with this total change of mind to the bodhisattva’s attitude, you have deep happiness all the time. There are no regrets now and no regrets in the future, just greater and greater happiness up to enlightenment. You are able to help both yourself and others.

In the West, millions of people suffer from depression, but if you dedicate your life in the morning to numberless sentient beings, there is unbelievable joy and happiness the whole day. Cherishing the I opens the door to all suffering, while cherishing others opens the door to all happiness. When you live your life every day for others, the door to depression, relationship problems and all these things is closed and instead there is incredible joy and excitement.

With this bodhisattva attitude you become wish-fulfilling for others. All sentient beings have been wish-fulfilling and kind to you since beginningless rebirths and now you become wish-fulfilling for them. From this, all your wishes for happiness are fulfilled, even your wish to achieve liberation and enlightenment and to benefit others by causing them happiness this life, future lives, liberation and enlightenment. You become the cause of all this for others. This is how to overcome all problems.

Recite this motivation in the morning and then during the day, if somebody gets angry at you, scolds, abuses, or says nasty words, whatever happens, remember this motivation. If you ask somebody for help and they refuse, remember this motivation. Then, instead of rising anger, delusions and all that junk and garbage, you will have great peace and happiness. The point is to generate this motivation in the morning and then remember it throughout the day, especially when something happens and there is a danger to rise harmful thoughts of anger, attachment and so forth. By remembering this motivation and keeping your mind in it, you are free from creating negative karma. There is so much peace and happiness now, and in the future, the result will be enlightenment for you and for all sentient beings.

Edited by Venerable Sarah Thresher. Read the entire booklet here.