Kopan Course No. 36 (2003)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal (Archive #1441)

These teachings were given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the 36th Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 2003. Lightly edited by Gordon McDougall.

Rinpoche teaches on a range of lamrim topics, including refuge, motivation, Medicine Buddha and seven-limb practice, the purpose of our life, emptiness and much more. The edited transcript is freely available for download as a PDF file.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at the 12th Meditation Course at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1979. Photo: Ina Van Delden.
Kopan Course No. 36 Index Page

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

Lecture 1: Universal responsibility
  • Motivation: Dedicating for all sentient beings
  • The story of the four harmonious brothers
  • Non-harm means peace for ourselves and others
  • Kindness is the cause of a beautiful body
  • Eight Mahayana precepts: Rinpoche adds “in order to benefit and liberate”
  • Eight Mahayana precepts: Rinpoche adds “to not have war”
  • The need for compassion in the world
  • Meditation on universal responsibility
Lecture 2: Golden Light and Arya sanghata Sutras
  • The Golden Light Sutra and the Arya Sanghata Sutra
  • Dedication: Great compassion is the most important thing
Lecture 3: The kindness of the enemy
  • Everything comes from the mind
  • The enemy comes from the mind
  • The kindness of the enemy
  • The two mistakes of not practicing patience
  • The enemy is created by the mind
  • Knowledge without compassion is useless
  • Golden Light Sutra: Oral transmission
  • Dedication
Lecture 4: The shortcomings of desire
  • How happy we are depends on our level of motivation
  • Suffering: Pervasive compounding suffering
  • Suffering: Dissatisfaction is the result of desire
  • When the karma runs out
  • The disadvantages of desire: Desire feeds desire
Lecture 5: Pervasive compounding suffering
  • The wish to harm the enemy, desire
  • Renunciation is the path to liberation
  • Suffering: Pervasive compounding suffering
  • Renunciation is freedom
  • The need to cut the root of samsara, ignorance
  • The three scopes
  • The need to practice all three scopes
  • Dedication
Lecture 6: Refuge and Bodhicitta
  • Refuge: The useful fear of death
  • Refuge: The fear of suffering
  • Refuge: The doctor, the medicine and the nurse
  • Refuge prayer: We should recite it for all sentient beings
  • Refuge prayer: The merit of generating bodhicitta
Lecture 7: The Yoga of Offering Food
  • How to listen to Dharma
  • Golden Light Sutra: Oral transmission
  • The yoga of eating food
  • The yoga of eating food: The Hinayana and the Mahayana way of offering
  • Dedication
Lecture 8: A Direct Meditation on the Graduated path
  • Finding the fourteenth Dalai Lama
  • Liberating animals
  • Lamrim prayer: Introduction
  • The aim is to attain enlightenment
  • Lamrim prayer: Oral transmission
Lecture 9: Golden Light Sutra and refuge Ceremony
  • Golden Light Sutra: Motivation for oral transmission
  • Golden Light Sutra: The benefits of hearing the text
  • Dedication
  • Refuge: The benefits of offering to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
  • Respect for holy objects
  • The benefits of having holy objects
  • All happiness comes from offering to the Three Jewels
  • Even remembering just one member of the Sangha saves from the lower realms
  • The ten nonvirtues: Sexual misconduct
  • The ten nonvirtues: Ill will
  • The refuge ceremony
  • Dedication
Lecture 10: The Seven-Limb Practice
  • The Wheel of Life
  • The seven-limb practice: Prostrations
  • The seven-limb practice: Offering
  • The seven-limb practice: Confession
  • The seven-limb practice: Requesting
  • Golden Light Sutra: Oral transmission
  • The benefits of listening to Dharma tapes
  • Dedication
Lecture 11: The Emptiness of the Ice Cream
  • The importance of a pure motivation
  • The Buddha: His kindness in showing the path
  • Emptiness: The emptiness of the ice cream
  • Emptiness: Do base and label happen at the same time?
  • Everything is a creation of the mind
  • Emptiness: The object of refutation
Lecture 12: Practicing Dharma After Kopan
  • Golden Light Sutra: Oral transmission
  • Advice on Practicing Dharma after Kopan: Rinpoche’s Shakyamuni Book
  • Advice on Practicing Dharma after Kopan: Meditate on the lamrim
  • Advice on Practicing Dharma after Kopan: Continue lamrim mindfulness in daily life
  • Vajrasattva and Medicine Buddha oral transmission
  • Dedication
  • Rinpoche thanks students
Lecture 13: The Purpose of Our Life 
  • Extensive offerings
  • The seven-limb prayer: Rejoicing
  • The Medicine Buddha practice can bring world peace
  • Golden Light Sutra: Oral transmission
  • The Medicine Buddha Sutra: The benefits when somebody has died
  • The Medicine Buddha is important for Dharma centers
  • “Subdue the mind” verse contains all four noble truths
  • Everything is a projection of the mind
  • Ignorance creates a sense of true existence
  • Emptiness: The false I and the merely labeled I
  • Emptiness: Ignorance can be cut with emptiness
  • Benefits of holy objects: Animals circumambulating stupas
  • Precious human rebirth: The benefits
  • Only with a perfect human rebirth can we achieve enlightenment
  • The need to follow the entire path
  • The purpose of life is to free all beings
  • Je Drubkhang counts his gurus
  • Golden Light Sutra: Oral transmission
  • Dedication
Lecture 14: The Nature of Causative Phenomena 
  • Emptiness: Causative phenomena are in the nature of subtle impermanence
  • Like a candle flame
  • Like an illusion
  • More analogies of how things appear
Lecture 15: Golden Light Sutra Oral TRansmission 
  • Motivation
  • How to listen to Dharma
  • Golden Light Sutra: Oral transmission
  • Dedication
Lecture 16: Preliminary Prayers
  • Motivation: Extended seven-limb prayer
  • The Foundation of All Good Qualities
  • Extensive dedication
Lecture 17: The Need For Purification
  • How to practice daily prayers
  • The impermanence of the body
  • The four immeasurables
  • Visualizing the Buddha
  • The need for purification
  • Golden Light Sutra: Oral transmission
  • Dedication
Lecture 18: How Vajrasattva Practice Purifies Negative karma
  • Believing incredible stories
  • Avoiding heresy
  • The benefits of Vajrasattva practice
  • Lamrim motivation