Mahamudra and Medicine Buddha Teachings

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Crestone, Colorado (Archive #1711)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave these teachings at the White Eagle Conference Center in Crestone, Colorado, in June 2008.  The teachings include the oral transmission of the First Panchen Lama's root text for the Precious Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra and the Medicine Buddha jenang. The transcripts have been edited by Ven Ailsa Cameron.

You can listen online to these teachings and follow along with the unedited transcript here.

First Discourse, 5 June 2008

So, first I want to say, “Good afternoon.”

Since whatever is happening in the world is a dependent arising, there must be some reason why we have gathered here. I would like to share the little understanding that I have, a drop from the ocean of Dharma, and maybe we can benefit each other.

At this time we have received a precious human rebirth, which is extremely rare to find because the cause of it is difficult to create. However, at this time we have achieved this, and with it we can achieve any happiness that we wish for ourselves. This is not just the happiness of this life—even ants, those small, precious sentient beings, are expert in achieving the happiness of this life. And even mice and tiny insects are very clever in achieving the happiness of this life. Achieving the happiness of this life is nothing special. It’s not a special capacity, or quality, of human beings, because those non-human beings are expert in achieving the happiness of this life.

The special capacity that we have as human beings with a precious human body is achieving happiness beyond this life, achieving the happiness of all the future lives. The happiness of just this life is very short-term happiness. Here we are talking about achieving the happiness of all the coming future lives.

It’s clear that anyone who is seeking the happiness of just today and not thinking to achieve the happiness of tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and all the coming weeks, months and years is very foolish. If they prepare only for today’s happiness and not for all that future happiness, they will get into trouble when tomorrow comes or the day after tomorrow or next week, next month, next year.

This human body has all the potential to achieve happiness in all the coming future lives. Until we break this circle of death and rebirth, by ceasing its cause, we have to die and be reborn, continuously. The cause of this cycle of suffering death and rebirth is not external, but comes from our own mind. It is caused by our mind, by our wrong concepts, our hallucinated minds, our impure minds, our delusions, and their actions, karma. So, until we cease this cycle, we have to die and be reborn, but this human body gives us the opportunity to achieve happiness in all those future lives.

On top of that, it gives us the potential to achieve ultimate happiness, the cessation of suffering. We can cease the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death; the worry and fear of meeting undesirable objects and of being unable to find desirable objects. We can cease all the sufferings of the hallucinated mind of desire, which exaggerates the beauty of an object so that attachment then arises and we cling to that object. This wrong concept is built up on the basis of the object of ignorance. There are many different types of ignorance, but here I’m talking about the ignorance that is the king of the delusions, the ignorance from where all mental and physical suffering comes, the ignorance from where all the delusions and karma come. That ignorance, that unknowing mind, is ignorant about what the I, the self, is. We think and talk about the I, the self, twenty-four hours a day, from birth until death. We are always thinking and talking about the I, the self. Even in the life before this, it was like that. There was not just the concept of the I, but the ignorance, the wrong concept, of the I. This wrong concept of the I existed even before the birth, or conception, of this life. While there’s no such I, no such real I in the sense of one existing from its own side and not merely labeled by the mind, this wrong concept held on to such an I. While such an I is totally nonexistent, totally empty, this wrong concept believes that there is such a real I.

So, the continuity of this ignorance existed in the life before, just before conception, and the continuity of this ignorance is beginningless.

During beginningless time, we have been constantly thinking of the I, but without knowing exactly what it is. To express it in a very gross way, if you look for this I within yourself, you can’t find it.

There are five aggregates: the aggregates of form, feeling, discrimination, compounding aggregates and consciousness. None of these aggregates is the I, and you can’t find the I, the self, on these aggregates, From the top of your head down to your toes, nowhere can you find the I. You can’t find even the I, the self, that exists, the I that is merely labeled by the mind, the I that does meditation, the I that creates the cause of suffering and the cause of happiness, the I that wants happiness and doesn’t want to suffer, the I that wants to achieve liberation and the peerless happiness of enlightenment. You can’t find even the I that is merely imputed by mind, which exists, anywhere on these aggregates. Nothing of this is the I; you can’t find this I anywhere on these aggregates. So, there is no doubt that you can’t find the false I.

To express it in a very gross way, you believe that the I is inside this body. You totally believe this. You don’t have a particular belief that this I is in your toes, your fingers, your brain, your nose or your belly, but you have a constant, general belief that the I is somewhere in your chest. But if you look for exactly where it is, you can’t find it anywhere.

When you look for a million dollars in your purse and don’t find a million dollars there, it means that the million dollars doesn’t exist in your purse. It proves that it’s not true at all, that there’s no million dollars there. If it were true that there were a million dollars in your purse, when you looked for it, you should find it, and the closer you looked at it, the clearer you should see it. But that is not what happens.

Discovering the truth of the I is an essential discovery. So, in this life, while we have this precious human body, we should make this discovery; we should realize the ultimate reality, the truth, of the I.

When you don’t look for the I, when you don’t examine closely, it looks is if the I is there; but when you look for it, you don’t find it. To the hallucinated mind, it appears as if it exists, but when you search to see whether it really exists, you can’t find it. The way the I appears is a total hallucination; it is totally false. It is a totally false I. However, this wrong concept believes without any doubt that there is a real I there and holds on to that real I, believing what it appears to be is a hundred percent true.

Why have we been born at this time with suffering? Why weren’t we born with the ultimate happiness of liberation, devoid of all these problems and their causes, karma and delusions? Why have we been born with a body that is suffering in nature? Why have we been born with a mind that is suffering in nature? Why do we experience so many problems with the body and the mind? It’s because of this ignorance not knowing the ultimate reality, the ultimate truth, of the I; not knowing that this I is empty. Here empty isn’t used in a nihilistic sense; it doesn’t mean that the I doesn’t exist, but that it is empty of the false I. I is not empty of I, but I is empty of the false I, the I that exists from its own side, not merely labeled by mind. We have been trusting in and holding onto that false I not only from this morning, not only from birth, but from beginningless rebirth. That’s why we are born with suffering. Even when we are born, when we are conceived in our mother’s womb, we are born with suffering. Of course, most people can’t remember their consciousness taking place on the fertilized egg in their mother’s womb and their physical body developing for about nine months, more or less, with all the changes week by week. Of course, you can’t say, “I wasn’t born,” just because you don’t remember it. You can’t say that you were born only at the time of your very first childhood memory. So, you can’t leave the definition of whether or not something exists up to your own belief.

Most people can’t remember being in their mother’s womb, so of course they can’t remember anything before that, before their conception. And if they don’t remember even that, how could they remember the life before that? Even though this is true, you would be fooling yourself if you said that past lives don’t exist because you don’t remember them.

However, the conclusion here is that we experience suffering because we didn’t eliminate this ignorance in our past life by actualizing the remedy of the path in our mental continuum. So, because this ignorance hasn’t been completely ceased, we have been born with sufferings, with problems, in this life. And it has been like this during beginningless rebirths.

Now, what I’m going to say is that with this body, we can achieve ultimate happiness, with total cessation of true suffering, of all the oceans of samsaric suffering of human beings, hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals and the worldly gods, the asuras and suras, by ceasing the cause of suffering, karma and delusion.

Not only that, but with this human body we can cease even the subtle defilements left by this ignorance, the concept that holds the I and the aggregates to be truly existent while they are not, while they are empty of that. The state of mind that is complete in all the qualities of cessation (not only cessation of all suffering and its cause but even the subtle negative imprints, which mainly interfere in achievement of the fully knowing mind, the state of omniscience) and complete in all the qualities of realization is the peerless happiness of full enlightenment.

When you achieve that state, you can liberate the numberless hell beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering; you can liberate the numberless hungry ghosts from the oceans of samsaric suffering; you can liberate the numberless animals from the oceans of samsaric suffering; you can liberate the numberless human beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering; you can liberate the numberless worldly gods, the asuras and suras, from the oceans of samsaric suffering; and, as well, you can liberated the numberless intermediate state beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering. Not only that, but you can bring them ultimate happiness; you are able to bring the numberless sentient beings from each realm to full enlightenment.

So, bringing all the numberless sentient beings from each realm—all the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, asuras, suras and intermediate state beings—to the peerless happiness of full enlightenment, with cessation of all faults and completion of all qualities, is our project. This is the meaning of our life; this is what we are living out life for.

Can you imagine this? Having this goal in your heart, you would have joy in your life all the time. What greater happiness in life could there be? None. There is no greater happiness than this in life. This is the best life, the most exciting life. All your problems of depression and low self-esteem would be gone.

Anyway, if you live your life just with attachment to this life, you’re the same as an animal, an insect. Living your life by clinging to this life’s happiness for yourself brings so many problems and so much unhappiness every day, every month, every year. It makes your life full of unhappiness. Because of attachment, anger, jealousy and so many other sicknesses of the mind, delusions, then arise. You are constantly tortured by anger, jealousy, pride and so forth. You constantly torture yourself, especially with attachment. The basic one is attachment, and then there is the big one, selfishness. They constantly torture you, never giving you any peace. And they give you so much harm, causing you to create negative actions, unhealthy actions, nonvirtuous actions, non-Dharma actions, and you then cause so much harm to so many other sentient beings even in this life, and there is no doubt about in past lives and future lives.

In brief, you create so many problems with that ignorance, with the selfish mind, with attachment, or desire, and you then constantly suffer. They don’t allow you to experience real happiness, true happiness, ultimate happiness.

However, if the goal you have in your heart is to benefit others, to liberate the numberless beings in each realm from all their suffering and its causes and bring them to full enlightenment, you have constant joy in your life. If you’re living your life with that goal, with that pure mind, no matter what you are doing—meditating, studying Dharma, working, driving your car—you have constant happiness in your life. You have nothing to be scared of; so many of the problems in your life disappear. You don’t need to experience so many of the problems of life. You become free. Because of your motivation for living your life, you are making your life meaningful every day, every hour, every minute, every second. With that mind, you benefit everybody, every living being—not only your family and not only human beings, but all the animals and all the insects, all the ants, and even the tiniest insects that can be seen only with a microscope. You are benefiting every single insect, even the tiny beings that you can see only through a microscope. You are also benefiting every single hell being, every single hungry ghost, every single asura, every single sura. You are benefiting anybody who is suffering, anybody whose mind is obscured, every day, every hour, every minute, every second, with your body, speech and mind. With this motivation, you use your body, speech and mind to benefit everybody, to bring happiness to everybody: the happiness of this life, the happiness of all future lives and the ultimate happiness of total liberation from the oceans of samsaric suffering and its causes and of enlightenment.

Now, what I’m saying is that all those mountains of problems have to do with those sicknesses of the mind, such as anger, attachment and so forth. You free yourself from all of them by abiding in this most exciting, most wonderful, most healthy mind: the attitude wishing to liberate the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to full enlightenment. You are free from all those problems because you freed yourself from those minds. Because you’re living your life with this motivation, those delusions do not arise, and your mind is not under their control, so you don’t create karma. So, you’re free from all these unbelievable problems that you cause yourself and cause others.

The conclusion is that we’re not sure how long—how many days, hours, minutes, seconds—we’re going to have this precious human body; but it’s a very short time. Therefore, this is the time to do the best we can with our life, without fooling ourselves, without cheating ourselves.

The reasons we need to practice Dharma, to practice meditation, are basically what I explained just before. Even a non-believer, someone who doesn’t believe in reincarnation and karma and who believes there is only one life, wants to live. Even though they believe there is only one life, they don’t want to die, they want to live, which tells us something. Even that person, who doesn’t believe in reincarnation, who doesn’t believe that there was a past life or that there will be a future life, still needs to practice meditation, to practice Dharma. They need to find a better way to live their life, a better motivation for their life; otherwise, they will constantly suffer with their selfish mind, anger, attachment and so forth.

Since your wish is not to experience problems, you still need to meditate, which is just a different name for practicing Dharma. You need to transform your mind into positive, healthy thoughts, ones that don’t disturb the mind but do the opposite: bring you peace. You need to transform your mind into those thoughts, so that you don’t experience disturbances. Instead, you will experience peace, happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment in life.

Even though someone believes there is only one life, the basic wish that person has is to receive only benefit, peace, and not to receive harm. Receiving harm from others is a result of your own disturbing thoughts. If you generate and follow disturbing thoughts, you disturb and harm others, so you then receive harm from others in return. It is basically like that. Therefore, to not receive harm from others, you need to change your mind from disturbing thoughts, which harm you and others, into the positive attitudes that bring only peace to you and others. Receiving only benefit from others and not receiving harm from others depend on your attitude, on how you think of others, on how you look at others. If your attitude is positive, if your attitude is one of loving kindness, compassion, contentment (in other words, renunciation of the harmful thoughts or desire and so forth) or wisdom, which is the antidote to ignorance, as we talked about before, you will do only positive actions, healthy actions that benefit others, actions that become Dharma. Even if you don’t benefit others, at least you won’t harm them. When you benefit others, as a result, you will receive help from others.

For example, if you smile at and say hello to someone while you’re walking in the street, in a restaurant or somewhere else, it makes the other person happy. There’s a positive effect. That person then smiles at you or is happy with, feels close to you, which then makes you happy.

A few nights ago, because my blood sugar was high, I went for a walk for an hour or so on a beach near the Aptos house. There was a young guy roller-skating on the road, just playing on the road. I can’t remember exactly what I said to him. I think I smiled and said hello. (Of course, I need to check my motivation for smiling at him.) It was dusk time so I didn’t see him smile in return. However, I heard later that he asked our cook, the Swiss nun, Anet, “Is this your principle or something?” So, I think he felt something, and he said that it was good. Anyway, I’m just giving you a recent example.

Of course, you need to do it from your heart. If it’s not from your heart, it becomes politics. And when people find out it’s not coming from your heart, they become unhappy with you. Anyway, your desire is not to receive harm from others and to receive help from them and for others to be happy with you; and that depends on your attitude to others and how you treat them. Therefore, you need a healthy attitude—healthy is an important word, a positive motivation. If you smile at someone, it needs to come from your heart, from your concern for that other person’s happiness. You want to bring happiness to that person and free them from problems, from depression or unhappiness. You want to help them. Or, thinking of the kindness of that person, you then smile at them, a smile truly coming from your heart. That’s just one example but it applies to any other activity you do in relation to others.

If you live your life like this every day, even if you are a non-believer, wherever you are you make everybody happy. Because you make everybody happy, everybody is happy with you, so your wishes for happiness are fulfilled.

This is the wish of even those who believe there is only one life. Therefore, they need to motivate in this way. Their way of thinking needs to be of better quality; it needs to be special, pure, positive, healthy.

It is similar with the good heart to what I explained before. With a good heart you want to bring happiness to others and free them from their depression, from thinking that nobody loves them, or their other problems, which torture them. When you show someone that you are concerned about them, that you respect them from your heart or that you are aware of their kindness, it makes that person happy. So, in daily life, there are so many times when your attitude becomes Dharma and your actions become Dharma.

For example, when somebody who doesn’t believe in reincarnation or karma feels compassion for an animal or a person and wants to help them, even if no actual help is involved, that is Dharma. Generating compassion for somebody, whether a person or an insect, has to become Dharma. When you do this sincerely, for the reasons I explained before, you bring happiness to those who are unhappy or have mental problems, it becomes Dharma. As I mentioned before, if your motivation is one of compassion, loving kindness, contentment, patience or wisdom, even if intellectually you believe there is only one life, your actions become Dharma.

Therefore, Dharma, the transformation of the attitude into all these positive, healthy minds, which then motivate positive actions and result in happiness, is extremely important. It’s the most important thing in life, even for a non-believer. This is what brings happiness to you and to others.

Now, take the example of a relationship problem. When a relationship has ended and you have lost your husband, wife or partner, the meditation, or psychology, is to think of the reality of life, of impermanence. The nature of life is impermanence: your own life is impermanent in nature, as is that of the person you have lost to somebody else. Life doesn’t last long, and you could die at any time. Think of the people around you. Their lives are impermanent in nature, and death could happen to any of them any day—even today. This is happening in the world every day, every hour, every minute, every second. There’s nothing definite. It’s not certain that young people will live a long time and old people will die soon. There’s no such certainty in this world. In the human world, the northern continent, there is fixed karma, and everybody lives for one thousand years. But here in this world nothing is definite. When you see an old person or somebody who is very sick, you think, “Oh, that person is going to die soon, but I’m going to live for a long time.” But many times, even though you think that you’re going to live for a very long time, you actually die before that person who is very old or very sick with cancer. If you look around the world, this is happening all the time; it’s happening every hour, every minute, every second.

When you have a relationship problem, if you think in this way about the nature of life, this meditation, or psychology, helps to stop the clinging and grasping that torture you. The clinging and grasping that bring you unbelievable suffering don’t arise.

There are two things: your happiness and the happiness of others. In your daily life, while you are busy working, your heart should be full of concern for the happiness of others, whether it’s just one sentient being, one person or one animal, or many. Your actions then become not only Dharma but pure Dharma, because they are unstained by self-cherishing thought.

Now, I have one question for you. A person gives food or money to a beggar, somebody who needs it, but they do so with a motivation for their own happiness, for their reputation, so that other people will praise them. Does that person’s act of charity become Dharma or not? Does it become virtue or not? Maybe you can think about that.

Is that person’s action harmful to him- or herself? Is it harmful to others? The motivation is not pure. Since they want to be praised by others, their motivation is one of attachment seeking the happiness of this life. They’re not seeking the happiness of future lives but of this life. Since their motivation is nonvirtuous, totally black, do you think that action is harmful to them or to others? Or to both?

Anybody? [Nobody answers Rinpoche.]

Okay, then maybe you can inform me tomorrow.

I thought to do the oral transmission of the mahamudra root text just for auspiciousness, to plant the seed of the realization, but maybe I will do it tomorrow.

In their life, a non-believer always desires peace and to receive help from others. Since this is what they want, always to receive help from others and not to receive harm, from their side they must practice patience and the peaceful attitude of contentment, or satisfaction. If they follow desire, which is the opposite of contentment, the opposite of satisfaction, they won’t get what they are looking for.

So, there is no doubt that they should practice the good heart, cherishing and wishing to benefit others, because with self-cherishing thought, they will constantly suffer; they will never find joy and inner peace; they will never find fulfillment in their life. If you always follow your selfish mind, you become careless of others and you harm them. You don’t care about the happiness of others. You disturb or harm many other sentient beings and, as a result, you receive harm from others. There is an urgent need for the good heart, and there is an unbelievable need for Dharma, for meditation, in their lives.

I’m very happy to meet all of you, those I’m meeting for the first time in this life and all the old students. We must put our main effort into protecting our mind, into keeping our mind in virtue. Especially, we must put our efforts into developing the good heart, the wish to benefit all sentient beings, as much as possible. Besides the other meditations, that should be the most important thing during teachings and meditations, as well as during the breaks, when we are walking, eating, working, sitting, sleeping and so on. As much as possible, we should do everything with this thought of benefiting all sentient beings. As I mentioned at the beginning of the talk, as much as possible we have to put all our effort into that. We should train our mind in this during this course and, of course, becoming habituated to this will also help us in our daily life.

When we protect our mind, we protect our life. Whenever you practice Dharma, whenever the activities of your body, speech and mind become Dharma, you are protecting your life. At that time you’re looking after your life, you’re taking care of your life. When you are practicing, when your heart is in guru devotion or in bodhicitta, there is total peace. When you renounce desire, the clinging to samsara and samsaric perfections, the clinging to your own happiness of this life, your mind is in total peace. The painful mind of desire always results in only dissatisfaction. Of course, you should also practice awareness of emptiness and, higher than that, the tantric path, in which you look at everything as pure. You should practice the yoga of the three utilizations, or transformations: seeing yourself and all other beings as the deity that you are practicing; hearing all sounds as the deity’s mantra; and seeing the place as the mandala of the deity. However, there are different levels of the path.

When your mind, your heart, is in these meditations, and especially in bodhicitta, at that time you’re benefiting your life, and you’re also benefiting other sentient beings. When you’re practicing Dharma, you’re taking care of your life. When you are not practicing Dharma, you’re not taking care of your life. You’re not protecting your mind; you’re not protecting your life. When we live our life with the three poisonous minds, self-cherishing thought and so forth, we are doing the opposite of protecting ourselves; we are harming ourselves. We must discover this in our daily life.

In the West, there’s a lot of talking about loving yourself. So, when you’re practicing Dharma, you’re loving yourself. When you’re keeping yourself free from the painful mind of desire, self-cherishing thought, ignorance and so forth, when you’re living in patience and protecting yourself from anger, at those times you are actually loving yourself, actually taking care of yourself.

What we need to do is to live our life in lam-rim. It’s not that we just do a few minutes or an hour of meditation, and then the rest of our life has nothing to do with meditation. The rest of our life shouldn’t be the complete opposite to Dharma. What we do with our body, speech and mind shouldn’t become the cause of samsara, the cause of the lower realms. If we act out of desire or self-cherishing thought, everything we do, instead of becoming a cause to achieve enlightenment, will become an obstacle to achieving enlightenment. Our activities, instead of becoming the antidote to samsara, the way to cease karma and delusion, especially the root, ignorance, will become the cause of samsara. We have to try as much as possible to live in the lam-rim. Since we haven’t achieved any stable realizations, such as realization of the three principal aspects of the path to enlightenment, we can’t always abide in that; but we should remember the lam-rim again and again and try to keep our heart in the lam-rim as much as possible. Your meditation session will then be in harmony with the rest of your busy life. Otherwise, during the rest of the day, for much of the time you will be creating the causes of samsara.

Even in the meditation session, if you don’t know how to meditate, if you don’t watch your motivation at the beginning and don’t examine what is happening during your meditation, the whole time can be wasted. If your motivation is nonvirtuous, even though your action looks spiritual, or religious, it’s not, because your motivation is totally negative. That is the main time that you try to do something pure, something that is beneficial for sentient beings or at least for yourself, but if your motivation is nonvirtuous, it can’t happen.

Dr Chiu-Nan Lai invited me to come here quite a few times, but it didn’t happen until this time, on my way to Nepal, to Lawudo. I’m very happy to have been able to come here. I first met Dr Chiu-Nan Lai twenty years ago, in 1988, in Dharamsala. I have requested her for help many times, and she has been a great support and helped at many different times. She was also the director of Land of Medicine Buddha for quite a number of years, when nothing had been developed there. She has also helped with many other things, and been of great benefit. She has also benefited many people in the world, especially many Chinese people. As many of you know, she has been able to cure many people of cancer through diet, chi gong and nyung-näs, the Chenrezig, Compassion Buddha, retreat. I think many people have also recovered from their sicknesses during nyung-näs.

I remember one time many years ago in Taiwan, Chiu-Nan asked me to give the Eight Mahayana Precepts on one day of a nyung-nä, which is a two-day retreat, with a short session on the third morning. It’s two days of intensive, very powerful practice. It’s an excellent practice for people who live in the city—I mean, wherever they live: in the city, outside the city, on a mountain or on the ground. It’s especially good for people who have a very busy life and don’t have time to meditate for a month or even many days because they are working and taking care of their family. For those who don’t have time to go to some place to do retreat, I would suggest that a nyung-nä retreat is an excellent thing for you to do. Doing one nyung-nä purifies 80,000 eons of negative karma. That’s the general benefit, but it depends on how you do it, on how you practice. If you do it with guru devotion, bodhicitta or right view, you can purify so much more, even a million or billion eons of negative karma.

So, I remember that Chiu-Nan was leading the nyung-nä at a nunnery or some other place in Taiwan. One man there hadn’t been able to move his arm for thirty or forty years, but after doing the two days of the nyung-nä retreat, in which there are a lot of prostrations, he was able to move his arm.

Dr. Chiu-Nan Lai has been of great benefit to sentient beings in this world. Therefore, I’m very happy to have been able to find the time to come here for whatever small benefit that can bring. All of us together will do the best we can to make our lives most meaningful.

So, I think that’s it.

“Dag gi ji nye sag päi ge wa di….

"Sa zhi pö kyi jug shing me tog tram….”

We will now dedicate our merits.

“Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me and the merits of the three times merits collected by all other sentient beings, including the bodhisattvas, and by the buddhas, may bodhicitta, the source of all the peace and happiness, including enlightenment, of myself and of all sentient beings be actualized within my heart and in the hearts of all sentient beings, including the members of my family, without even a second’s delay. May bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, asuras, suras and intermediate state beings. May it be actualized in everyone’s heart.”

You have to realize that this includes all the numberless sentient beings living in the ocean, some as big as mountains and others so small that you can see them only through a microscope. All those numberless beings in the ocean live in constant fear and are constantly attacking and eating one another: the small ones eat the big ones and the big ones eat the small ones. When we pray in this way, we are including everybody: all those numberless beings in the ocean, all the numberless animals who live in the forests, all the insects on the plants, including those in the area around us here. It includes everybody. It includes every human being, including your enemy, if you have one.

From everybody here praying to generate bodhicitta, the altruistic mind to achieve enlightenment for sentient beings, you get liberated from all the sufferings and achieve all the happiness up to enlightenment. Then, as I mentioned before, you’re able to liberate the sentient beings from every suffering of samsara, including its cause, and to bring happiness to the numberless sentient beings: the happiness of this life, the happiness of all the future lives, liberation from samsara and enlightenment. You, one person, are able to bring all this happiness to numberless sentient beings. So, we’re praying for this bodhicitta to be generated in our heart, in the hearts of the members of our family and in the hearts of all sentient beings without even a second’s delay. And for those in whose hearts bodhicitta has been generated, to have it increased.

“Jang chhub sem chhog rin po chhe….

“May bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of all the world leaders, so that all the millions of people in each country will have perfect peace and happiness and be led in the correct path to peace.”

We should pray for this next one with great urgency. It’s a very important prayer.

“Due to all the merits of the three-times collected by me and by others, may bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of all the people of all the different religions—not only in the hearts of Buddhists, but in the hearts of Hindus, Christians and Muslims—without even a second’s delay.

“Jang chhub sem chhog rin po chhe….” [2x]

That we have met Buddhadharma at this time and have the opportunity to learn, to practice, to be liberated from all the suffering and its causes, to achieve enlightenment and to be of perfect benefit to sentient beings is because of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Even though we learn from other gurus, basically, without His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Compassion Buddha, Chenrezig, in human form, we wouldn’t have all this opportunity, not even the opportunity to meet other gurus. Therefore, we will pray for His Holiness to have a long life and for all his holy wishes to succeed immediately.

“Gang ri ra wäi khor wä zhing kham dir….”

The next prayer is for the fulfilling of His Holiness’s holy wishes.

“Tong nyi nying je zing du jug päi lam….

“Due to all the merits of the three times collected by me and by others, may all the father and mother sentient beings have happiness; may all the three lower realms—the hell, hungry ghost and animal realms—be empty of beings forever; may all the bodhisattvas’ prayers succeed immediately; and may I be able to cause all this to happen by myself alone.”

This also includes praying for your family, friends and so forth.

“Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me and the merits of the three times merits collected by others, which exist but which are totally empty from their own side, may the I, who exists but who is totally empty from its own side, achieve Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment (or to the enlightenment of your personal deity, the one to whom you normally pray), which exists but which is totally empty from its own side, and lead all the sentient beings, who exist but do not exist from their own side, who are totally empty, to that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists but which is totally empty, by myself alone, who exists but who is totally empty from its own side.

“I dedicate all the merits to be able to follow the holy extensive deeds of bodhisattvas Samantabhadra and Manjugosha, as they realize.

“I dedicate all the merits in the same way the buddhas of the three times dedicate their merits.

“Chhö kyi gyäl po tsong kha päi….

“Dag dang zhän gyi dü sum dang….”

So, thank you very much, hsieh, hsieh, and good night.