Kopan Course No. 16 (1983)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, By Lama Thubten Yeshe
Kathmandu, Nepal November 1983 (Archive #395)

This is a transcript of teachings given by Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, during the sixteenth annual meditation course, November/December 1983. Edited by Uldis Balodis, June 1985. You may also download the entire contents of these teachings as a PDF file.

The immeasurably kind Lama Yeshe gave three teachings at this meditation course, now available as an ebook, The Enlightened Experience: Collected Teachings, Vol. 3. These were Lama Yeshe's last public teachings before he tragically passing away in March 1984, so they have a special significance.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe in Geneva, Switzerland, 1983. Photo: Ueli Minder.
Kopan Course No. 16 Index Page
Editor's Preface

According to the vajra instructions of Lama Zopa, the transcripts have been extensively edited to eliminate repetitions and to present the teachings in reasonable fluid English. However, I have attempted not to lose the characteristic qualities of the lamas’ method of presentation entirely.

Due to incorrect hearing and interpretation there are doubtlessly many errors of meaning and the responsibility for these is borne solely by the editor. It is hoped that this book will bring inspiration and a deeper understanding of the Dharma to those who were unable to attend the course and those of us fortunate enough to share that month on Kopan Hill.

Finally, I wish to thank the many kind people, too numerous to mention, for their dedicated work of transcribing the manuscripts and for their suggestions and encouragement.

May whatever virtue created through the effort that has gone into this publication be dedicated to: the long life of Lama Zopa Rinpoche; the quick return of Lama Yeshe; the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; the quick return of His Holiness Ling Rinpoche, His Holiness Serkong Rinpoche and His Holiness Zong Rinpoche; the long life of all the teachers of the holy Dharma, their students and for the flourishing of all centers of study and practice. May every living being rapidly attain the sorrowless state.

Uldis Balodis, Editor
Boudha, Nepal
June 30, 1985

Note: These month-long teachings were separated by the editor into individual lectures, and grouped according to which lama gave the lecture. The majority of the teachings were given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, however, three teachings given by Lama Yeshe during this course are also listed below. Click on the links below to go directly to a particular lecture or section. As this is a transcript from audio tape, you will notice some comments related to the tapes within the transcript.


Lecture 1

  • Outline of the path to enlightenment

Lecture 2

  • The need to practice Dharma
  • The dissatisfied mind

Lecture 3

  • The meaning of OM MANI PADME HUM
  • The path and stages
  • The three principal paths
  • Chenrezig
  • Relating experience to karma

Lecture 4

  • Introduction to lamrim
  • Motivation

Lecture 5

  • Refuge

Lecture 6

  • Historical background of lamrim
  • Karma
  • Introduction
  • Result of the ten non-virtues: killing

Lecture 7

  • Exchanging self for others
  • Karma
  • Result of the ten non-virtues: stealing

Lecture 8

  • Karma
  • Results of the ten-non-virtues: sexual misconduct
  • Telling lies
  • Slander
  • Speaking harshly

Lecture 9

  • Karma
  • Result of the ten non-virtues: gossiping, covetousness, ill-will, heresy

Lecture 10

  • Karma
  • Results of the ten non-virtues: heresy

Lecture 11

  • Refuge
  • Karma
  • Heresy and avoiding Dharma
  • Ways of knowing phenomena

Lecture 12

  • Suffering and its causes
  • Discussion of the origins of life
  • Evolution of human beings
  • Generating altruism

Lecture 13

  • Dependent arising: the difference between "labeled" and "merely labeled"

Lecture 14

  • Stages of mental development
  • Subtle mind and body - omniscient and omnipresent
  • Stories of lineage lamas

Lecture 15

  • Karma
  • Result of the ten non-virtues: heresy
  • The practice of virtue


Lecture 16

  • Mahayana Ordination: Explanation of the ceremony

Lecture 17

  • Karma: The four characteristics

Lecture 18

  • Karma
  • Purification and the accumulation of merit

Lecture 19

  • Karma
  • The four characteristics
  • Thought training

Lecture 20

  • Karma
  • The four characteristics

Lecture 21

  • Protecting karma

Lecture 22

  • Making the human life meaningful

Lecture 23

  • Generating compassion

Lecture 24

  • Karma
  • Accumulation and purification
  • Creating the ten non-virtues

Lecture 25

  • Prayer of the graduated path to enlightenment
  • The cause of cyclic existence

Lecture 26

  • Karma
  • Creating the ten non-virtues: killing
  • Stealing
  • Sexual misconduct

Lecture 27

  • Precious human rebirth
  • Its rarity
  • The degenerate ages

Lecture 28

  • The deva realms
  • Precious human rebirth
  • Preparing for future lives

Lecture 29

  • Mahayana ordination: The benefits
  • Suffering of change

Lecture 30

  • Biographies of Shantideva and 'Small Path’
  • How to practice Dharma purely

Lecture 31

  • The five powers during life
  • The power of attitude
  • The power of blame

Lecture 32

  • Mahayana ordination: Benefits of ordination
  • Pervasive compounding suffering

Lecture 33

  • Karma
  • Creating the ten non-virtues: The need to protect
  • Karma from sexual misconduct
  • Stealing

Lecture 34

  • The five powers during life
  • The power of blame: evolution of the shortcomings of the self-cherishing mind

Lecture 35

  • Mahayana ordination: The benefits
  • Repaying the kindness of others

Lecture 36

  • Karma
  • Creating the ten non-virtues: lying
  • Slander
  • Harsh speech
  • Gossiping

Lecture 37

  • The selfish attitude

Lecture 38

  • Mahayana ordination: The benefits

Lecture 39

  • Karma
  • Creating the ten non-virtues: covetousness
  • Ill-will
  • Heresy

Lecture 40

  • The five powers during life
  • The power of prayer
  • The power of training

Lecture 41

  • Mahayana ordination
  • The benefits
  • The kindness of others

Lecture 42

  • Mahayana thought training
  • Advice on daily practice
2. Lectures by Lama Yeshe