Kopan Course No. 26 (1993)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal (Archive #971)

Lamrim teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche at the 26th Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in Nov–Dec 1993. Highlights include teachings on tonglen (taking and giving) in Lecture 4, a meditation on emptiness in Lecture 8, and teachings on karma and the four suffering results of nonvirtuous actions in Lecture 11 and Lecture 14. Lightly edited by Gordon McDougall.

Go to the Index page to view an outline of topics and click on the links to go directly to the lectures. You can also download a PDF of the entire course.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Lawudo Retreat Center, Nepal, 1990. Photo: Merry Colony
Kopan Course No. 26 Index Page

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

Please note: Because the tapes were undated and not broken into different teachings, the lecture numbers and dates are approximations.

Lecture 1: Universal Responsibility
  • The need to transform the mind
  • Our universal responsibility
Lecture 2: Transforming Problems
  • Looking for a problem, we cannot find it
  • We see impermanent phenomena as permanent and believe it
  • All phenomena are merely labeled
  • Learning to see problems as beneficial
  • I am one, others are countless
Lecture 3: Suffering and Its Cause
  • The suffering of samsara
  • The three types of suffering
  • The cause of samsara
  • We need to understand there is a greater happiness
  • Only when we are enlightened can we be the perfect guide
  • The paths of the lower and middle capable beings
  • The path of the higher capable being
Lecture 4: Tonglen Practice
  • Concentration also needs ethics
  • Tonglen: Making charity to all beings
  • The wish-granting jewel and karma
  • Tonglen: Give all the suffering to the self-cherishing thought
  • We can’t even find the merely labeled I, let alone the hallucinated I
  • The dictatorship of the self-cherishing thought
  • Attached to this life’s happiness, we are no different from animals
Lecture 5: All Happiness Comes from Others
  • Knowing what is Dharma and what is not
  • Eight Mahayana precepts motivation
  • Precepts motivation: Nothing harms like the self-cherishing thought
  • Precepts motivation: All happiness comes from others
  • Taking the eight Mahayana precepts
  • Emptiness and the phenomena that are empty
  • The emptiness of the tea
  • Prasangika’s object of refutation
  • Where is the tea?
Lecture 6: Tonglen Practice (Continued)
  • More tonglen
  • Make every action Dharma
  • Avert delusions as soon as they arise
  • Practicing Dharma is the most important education
  • Emptiness of the E
  • We suffer when our ego doesn’t get what it wants
  • We can only practice patience with those who harm us
Lecture 7: How Things Exist
  • The base is not the label
  • There is no E on the design, no tea in the liquid
  • Searching for the table
  • The importance of recognizing the object of refutation
  • The middle way between the two extremes
  • Phenomena, harm—everything comes from the mind
  • Recognizing the hallucinations as a hallucination
  • Only emptiness can cut the root of samsara
Lecture 8: Emptiness Meditation
  • Before we label a sound, we must hear it
  • In and out of meditation recognize the hallucination as a hallucination
  • Using criticism to realize emptiness
  • A meditation on emptiness
  • When we don’t label “problem” there is no problem
  • Meditation on emptiness like space
  • Meditating on emptiness like space during break times
  • The truly existing I appears due to past negative imprints
  • The twelve links and consciousness
  • Our aggregates derive from karma and delusion
  • We are the creator of our own world
Lecture 9: Mindfulness of Reality
  • Meditating on reality is the antidote to samsara
  • Impermanence and death
  • Not understanding reality, sentient beings suffer
  • Blaming the parents who are so precious
  • Drugs and awakening the mind
  • Overcoming karmic obscurations
  • Believing in one life and fearing death
  • We need to understand the mind to see how others are suffering
Lecture 10: Only Work for Others
  • Develop the two bodhicittas and the five powers
  • The main goal in life is to benefit others
  • Geshe Rabten and Gen Jampa Wangdu
  • Like the Buddha, only work for others
  • Experiencing problems for others
Lecture 11: Understanding Karma
  • We need to know that everything comes from the mind
  • Understanding karma is the foundation for preliminary practices
  • Positive and negative karmic results
  • The meaning of “root guru”
  • The guru is the merit field
  • The four results of stealing
  • Repaying the karmic debt
  • The need to purify and take vows
Lecture 12: The Essence of Dharma
  • Base and label and the queen of the Netherlands
  • The three criteria for an object to exist
  • Dying with the five powers
  • Rinpoche almost drowns
  • The mind at the time of death
  • The two practices: Not harming and benefiting
  • Following these two practices is the essence of the Dharma
Lecture 13: Eight Benefits of Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga
  • Oral transmission of the Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga
  • Dedications
Lecture 14: Karma and the Four Results of Nonvirtuous Actions
  • Meditating on subtle dependent arising
  • Accumulating merit with holy objects
  • The four results of sexual misconduct
  • The importance of taking vows
  • Unless we transform our mind there will always be problems
  • Living in morality is the best contribution to world peace
  • The importance of the meditation center and the teacher
  • Without transforming the mind, we need to be healed again and again
  • The results of the ten nonvirtues and the ten virtues: The four results of lying
  • The four results of abstaining from sexual misconduct
  • The four results of slandering and of not slandering
  • The four results of speaking harsh words and abstaining from harsh words
  • The four results of gossiping and abstaining from gossiping
  • The four results of covetousness and abstaining from covetousness
  • The four results of ill will and abstaining from ill will
  • The four results of heresy and abstaining from heresy
Lecture 15: The Four Opponent Powers
  • Vajrasattva initiation motivation: The four opponent powers
  • Dedications