Kopan Course No. 17 (1984)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kathmandu, Nepal November 1984 (Archive #396)

The following is a transcript of teachings given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the Seventeenth Kopan Meditation Course, in November 1984. The transcript consists primarily of lam-rim teachings, and includes teachings on emptiness and dependent arising.

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

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in meditation on Saka Dawa at Chenrezig Institute, Australia, May 25, 1975. Photo: Wendy Finster.
Kopan Course No. 17 Index Page


The Index Page provides an outline of the topics discussed in each of the lectures. Click on the headings below to go directly to a particular lecture.

Note that as this is a transcript from audio tape, there are some comments related to the tapes within the transcript.

This transcript does not represent the entire course, just Rinpoche's teachings. During the early part of the course, discourses were given by geshes and Western students.

Lecture 1
  • Are actions done with wisdom of shunyata causes of samsara or not?
  • Question and answer
  • Emptiness and the Madhyamaka Schools
  • Perception and reality
Lecture 2
  • Reading the Heart Sutra to protect against interferences
  • Three Principles of the Path
  • Practice of lam-rim
  • Advice on Dharma practice
Lecture 3 
  • Transmigration of consciousness
  • Subtle karma and nature
  • The story of the arhat, Small Path
  • Proving Shakyamuni Buddha is a perfect guide
  • Togden Rinpoche
  • Pabongka Rinpoche
Lecture 4
  • The preliminary practices
  • Lama Atisha and Lamp for the Path
  • Should not waste the perfect human rebirth
  • Overview of the stages of the path
  • Tantra: completion stage
Lecture 5
  • The two selflessnesses
  • Recognizing gak.cha, the refuted object
  • Emptiness and dependant-arising
  • Meditation looking for the “I”
  • Seeing the emptiness of true existence
Lecture 6
  • Commentary on the Heart Sutra
  • Experiencing the two truths of “I”
  • “I” is empty, emptiness is “I”
Lecture 7
  • Geshe Jampa Wangdu
  • Searching for the refuted object
  • Why fear comes
  • See everything as dependant arising or as a dream
Lecture 8
  • Imputed existence, tak.yo
  • Experiencing emptiness and dependent arising
  • Overcoming the fear of losing “I”
  • Continuity of consciousness
  • Meditation on “merely labeled”
Lecture 9
  • The importance of meditating on subtle dependent arising
  • Various meditations on dependent arising
Lecture 10
  • Labeling on the base
  • The five aggregates
  • The three types of feelings
  • Various types of consciousness
  • Lo.rig
  • Meditation on “merely-labeled”
Preparation for bodhisattva vows
  • Motivation
  • Our selfish attitude
  • Eliminating self-cherishing
Lecture 11
  • Taking aspiring bodhisattva vows
  • Eliminating selfishness
  • The dedication prayer from Chöd
  • Developing compassion
  • The suffering of animals
  • Practicing patience with the enemy
  • Benefits of less self-cherishing
  • The happy kind-hearted person
  • The kindness of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha
  • Mahayana compassion
Aspiring bodhisattva vows
  • The ceremony
Refuge and precepts
  • Relative Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
  • Absolute Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
  • How the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha guide us
  • Living in the five precepts
Refuge and precepts ceremony
  • Conventional and absolute Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
  • The precepts of refuge
  • How to confess broken upasika vows
  • The ceremony
Oral Transmission of the Nyung-nä text 
  • Gelongma Palmo and King Indrabhuti
  • The nyung-nä lineage
  • How to make any action virtuous
  • The story of Sharipu
  • Benefits of nyung-nä practice
  • Oral transmission
  • Kyabje Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche
  • Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
Final Lecture
  • Precious human rebirth
  • The five powers
  • Keeping bodhicitta in our hearts
  • Advice on daily practice