Kopan Course No. 33 (2000)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal (Archive #1257)

These teachings were given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the 33rd Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 2000. The transcripts are lightly edited by Gordon McDougall. You can download the entire contents of these teachings as a PDF file.

You can also listen online to the teachings and read along with the unedited transcripts. Click on these links to access Days 1-5 and Days 6-10.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche after the first US course in California, 1975. Photo: Carol Royce-Wilder.
Kopan Course No. 33 Index Page

The Index Page provides an outline of the topics discussed in each of the lectures.

Lecture One

  • Introduction
  • How amazing Westerners have an interest in Buddhism
  • The purpose of meditation
  • The meaning of life
  • Emptiness: How the I exists
  • Ignorance and the six realms
  • The different views of emptiness
  • The benefits of listening to Dharma
  • Dedications

Lecture Two

  • The body and mind are in the nature of suffering
  • The enlightened mind
  • Emptiness: The ignorance of what the I is
  • Emptiness: Base and label, child and name
  • Emptiness: Labeling the table
  • Emptiness: The object of refutation
  • Emptiness: Imputing true existence on the base
  • Emptiness: Imputing beautiful
  • The body and mind are in the nature of suffering
  • The purpose of life is to liberate others
  • Oral transmission of the Diamond Cutter Sutra
  • The emptiness of the A
  • Meditating on how all objects are labeled by the mind
  • Everything comes from the mind
  • Guru devotion is the root of the path

Lecture Three

  • Emptiness: How the mind labels
  • Emptiness: Good and bad depend on the label
  • The kindness of the enemy
  • Rinpoche’s two alphabet teachers and his early life
  • Geshe Rabten
  • Good and bad are labeled by the mind
  • Problems come from our own karma, not other people
  • Seeing problems as opportunities

Lecture Four

  • Compassion is the essence of religion
  • Subduing the mind is right view
  • Meditation on emptiness 
  • Shakyamuni visualization meditation
  • Bodhicitta makes it easy to realize emptiness
  • Practicing patience
  • The enemy is the kindest person
  • The benefits of practicing patience
  • Thought transformation is the best psychology
  • The four noble truths: the origin of suffering
  • The twelve links: karma and consciousness
  • The twelve links: name and form 
  • The twelve links: consciousness, karma and ignorance
  • Everything comes from the mind 
  • [Dedications] 

Lecture Five

  • The four noble truths: The four aspects of the truth of suffering, impermanence
  • Problems come from not understanding impermanence and selflessness
  • Meditating on impermanence and death
  • The twelve links: Seeing how problems come from our own karma
  • Being aware in the break time of how we label everything
  • A pure mind sees things purely (the preta, the deva and the human)
  • Meditating on how everything comes from the mind
  • The ten nonvirtues: Killing
  • The ten nonvirtues: Sexual misconduct
  • The karmic results of keeping vows
  • Introducing Geshe Sopa
  • Oral transmission of the Thirty-five Buddhas, introduction

Lecture Six

  • Emptiness: How things appear to exist from their own side
  • Emptiness: The “A” seems to appear from its own side
  • Emptiness: The I is neither one with nor separate from the aggregates
  • Emptiness: The I is not one with the aggregates
  • Emptiness: Nor is the I separate from the aggregates
  • Emptiness: Year is merely imputed
  • Emptiness: Seeing life as like an illusion
  • Emptiness: A year is merely imputed
  • Emptiness: the aggregates are merely imputed
  • Everything is merely labeled

Lecture Seven

  • Emptiness: The rope and the snake are merely labeled by the mind
  • Bodhicitta: the seven points cause and effect
  • Bodhicitta: the kindness of the mother
  • Bodhicitta: Repaying the kindness
  • Bodhicitta: generating loving kindness
  • Adding Dharma to Roger’s car
  • Bodhicitta: Generating loving kindness
  • Bodhicitta: Special attitude
  • Only enlightened beings can help all sentient beings
  • Dedications

Lecture Eight

  • A Mahayana motivation
  • The shortcomings of self-cherishing
  • Self-cherishing stops you following the guru
  • Self-cherishing brings all unhappiness
  • Bodhicitta is the source of all happiness
  • All happiness comes from others
  • The ten nonvirtues: Stealing
  • The ten nonvirtues: Lying
  • The ten nonvirtues: Slander
  • The ten nonvirtues: Gossiping
  • The ten nonvirtues: Harsh speech
  • The ten nonvirtues: Covetousness
  • The ten nonvirtues: Ill will
  • The ten nonvirtues: Heresy
  • Karma: The four outlines
  • Six ways of purifying
  • How to live with bodhicitta
  • Dedications

Lecture Nine

  • When is a person dead?
  • Seeing the suffering nature of samsara brings realizations
  • The early days at Kopan
  • Lama Yeshe gets sick
  • Meditation on death
  • Death meditation: The clear light
  • The death process
  • The importance of understanding reincarnation and death
  • The Dalai Lama can remember past lives
  • Ordinary people can remember past lives
  • Fear at the time of death
  • Geshe Jampa Wangdu
  • The uncertainty of when a person is dead
  • Refuge in the Triple Gem
  • Remembering the Triple Gem helps at death
  • Refuge in the Triple Gem frees from samsara
  • The importance of taking vows
  • The refuge ceremony
  • How to practice refuge in the Buddha
  • How to practice refuge in the Dharma
  • How to practice refuge in the Sangha
  • How to practice refuge in general
  • The oral transmission of the Medicine Buddha mantra
  • The Vajrasattva mantra
  • Dedications

Lecture Ten

  • The benefits of writing and listening to Dharma
  • The Prajnaparamita teachings are the heart of the Dharma
  • The purpose of filling statues
  • The benefits of printing the Diamond Cutter Sutra
  • The oral transmission of the Diamond Cutter Sutra
  • The importance of putting effort into Dharma practice
  • Advice for daily practice

Next Chapter:

Lecture One »