The Need for Wisdom and Compassion (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Tara Institute, Australia, June 3, 2006 (Archive #1585)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave these teachings at Tara Institute, Australia, June 3, 2006.

How the Kopan Courses Started

Lama ton pa chom den de…. [3x]


[Rinpoche then continues with recitation of Praise to Shakyamuni Buddha to “…chog tu de pe chag tsel lo.”]

“Do not engage in unwholesome action,” means the action which has negative effect to oneself, which has result suffering to oneself and which causes unhappiness, problems to others. Not only causing problems but engaging also, causing others to engage in negative karma. “Engage in perfect wholesome action,” that which result only peace and happiness, result happiness to oneself and result happiness towards others. “Subdue one’s own mind, This is the teaching of the Buddha.”

So the solution, the essential method to not get engaged in unwholesome action and to engage in perfect wholesome action, the way to do is by subduing, by taming the mind, by taking care of one’s own mind, looking after oneself, taking care of one’s own mind.

So, often I say that, when you’re practicing Dharma in the daily life, that time you are taking care of yourself. When you’re not practicing Dharma then that means your attitude is nonvirtue, become nonvirtue and then your actions, whatever you’re doing, even praying or meditating, whatever activity you’re doing, not only doing job, eating, walking, sitting, sleeping, all those activities, but even doing prayer, doing meditation or charity to others, once your mind attitude is not Dharma, then that means nonvirtue then all your actions become nonvirtue, then result only suffering. All the sense enjoyments and everything becomes cause of suffering, a donation to all the negative karmas already collected, so much every day, with the body, speech and mind, and from birth and from beginningless rebirth, so it’s adding more donation to that, the extra negative karma. Or donating more sufferings.

So therefore, when you’re practicing Dharma that time you’re looking after yourself. You’re protecting your mind. How do you look after yourself? How do you take care of yourself? By protecting your mind. So, then if you protect your mind, which means protecting away from self-cherishing thought, protecting away from anger, protecting away from painful mind, desire, protecting away the jealous mind, pride, so however, these poisonous minds.

So, when you do that, so when you practice, how to protect from the self-cherishing thought, which brings so much problem, which brings all the depression, loneliness, all the mental and physical sufferings, which causes all the problems, so which engages even harm to, killing other human beings, even which causes that, and even war, when it becomes bigger then war, when there are many people involved. And you have influence then you can kill many millions of people in this world, so many millions of people like historically happened many times, so with the selfish mind. So, including day-to-day life unhappiness, all these problems, to oneself and causing problems to others, making others unhappy, disturbing others. So, all that, in order to seek happiness for oneself, the whole point is to seek happiness for oneself, so disturb others, because not being caring others and others’ happiness, others’ needs, then only, selfish attitude is only seeking happiness for oneself, so all that. So that’s why the selfish person doesn’t get along with the family, all the family become against to that person, unhappy with that person, even in the family and in the office, don’t get along, even in the office, whether the person lives in the West or he lives in the East, in the city or on the mountain or wherever, doesn’t get along. How many friends you’re able to find, make new friends, but doesn’t last. Doesn’t last, and sooner or later, even after one hour, even the same day or even after one hour become enemy, because of the way you speak or the way you behave so then so like that, even the same day so become enemy. So even you want so many friends, you want everybody to be your friend, but because of your selfish mind, then there’s unskillfulness in the way of speaking, ?conducting, all this, so these unkind actions upset others. The friend become, you make the friend to become enemy. Your attitude made the friend, selfish mind made the friend to become enemy to oneself, to get angry and upset and against you. [pause]

So doesn’t last the relationship, whether it’s companion or friend, whatever, doesn’t last. So you don’t succeed even in the happiness of this life, with a selfish mind. Difficult to find friends. Even you find your attitude makes them to become enemy. So makes enemy. More selfish mind there is, more enemy everywhere, wherever one goes. Then all the neighbors become enemy and at home, enemy, neighbors who are enemy, where one lives, people in the house, then also neighbors become enemy. And that person’s so easy to get upset. More selfish it is, unbelievable easy to get upset and get angry, so easy to get angry and very strong anger, because there’s also, stronger self-cherishing thought, stronger desire, then because that’s stronger, when things doesn’t happen then stronger anger and very easy to rise. So, negative emotional thoughts so easy to rise, jealous mind, and all this stuff, all the negative stuff, the negative emotional thoughts so easy to rise, so that person has no peace, constantly, can’t find peace. Then it’s just full of story, this person’s doing this to me, that person’s saying this way to me, that person’s behaving like this, that person’s doing , anyway, full of story, full of stories. Yeah, everywhere you go, this person’s doing this to me, that person’s doing this, the children are doing this to me, all this , then all the animals also don’t like to that person. The cats and dogs also don’t like that person. I don’t know about the horses. Anyway, animals they don’t like that person.

It’s very strange, I just remembered this one. So, when we were at Kopan, that time the monastery wasn’t built, very old time, so Lama and myself we were staying with the very first student, her name was Princess Zina Rachevsky, name looks, her name sounds very big name, anyway. Because her father was a king in Russia, there was a revolution happened, then I think they left Russia, came to, lived in France, and then I think maybe she was born in France, I think, my guess. So then, ______ _______ alive and lives in America and married, I think, maybe, yeah, I think, I guess, married maybe to the first husband has been Conrad ?Rooks, one wealthy person, then the second person, I don’t know whether she married or not, but anyway, another husband, second, I don’t know his name. So, then she lived in Greece, all over the world, I think. I’m not sure, become even beggar, I’m not sure where exactly, but I think all kinds of different lives she lived in different parts of the world and she had all the experiences of life. I think except the enlightenment. So except the realization part. All the, whatever experiences in the life, in this world, I think she’d gone through, I think.

So anyway, not to expand the story…. So we were staying this, on the Kopan, Kopan is the name, I think, the village, that area, so there’s a hill and then there’s an old building, I think British style, British architect style building that was built by the king, previous king. I think not the one who was killed, but even before, his father. Built for his guru or his astrology, that they do astrology, I guess king’s activities or life. So this house was built by the previous Nepalese king, one before, I think the father of the son who become king and killed. So after we moved there, so we’re staying there, so I had one dog called Dolma, Dolma, same as Tara, Tara, Dolma, that was my mother’s present, because when I was, the mainland China took over Tibet, Communist China took over Tibet, then after, already nine years ago, I was a long time in Tibet, no, sorry! Not nine years! Nine months ago. So then after nine months I escaped from a place called Pagri and this very center of business where I lived three years and did puja almost every day, each year there’s one or two days break, otherwise puja every day. Tomorrow this family, the next day that family, next day that family, next day that family. So fixed up, sometimes there’s extra pujas, the benefactors. So my teacher who took care of me in Tibet, whom I met there and who took care of me in Tibet, he’s a senior monk from Domo Geshe’s monastery, whose past life was a very great yogi, that Lama Govinda, a German professor who went in Tibet and met Domo Geshe Rinpoche, this great yogi, and, [pause] I don’t know how much teaching he received, I mean, unless he knew Tibetan I’m not sure how it was, anyway. Unless they communicated telepathically, without translator. So anyway, I don’t know whether he had a translator or not.

So anyway, so he met the great yogi, Domo Geshe Rinpoche, so then he wrote these two books, The Way of the White Cloud and the one is what? Another book called Science and Buddhism or something? Something like that. Yeah, two books. So during the 1960s, 70s, I think, when the explosion of LSD, Buddha grass, so when all these things exploded, discovered and exploded, by the young people in the West, so that was one book that, some people had karma with that book, ______ ?style book, and then they find very interesting. Then they come to India and Nepal to look for a guru or to look for a new life, a spiritual path.

So, [pause] Zina, this Russian, this first student, so she saw this book, The Way of the White Cloud, so that talked about Domo Geshe Rinpoche, so then inspired her and then she came to look for guru in Darjeeling, because there’s two monasteries belong to Domo Geshe Rinpoche. One is old one, one is new one, in Ghoom, this is one town called Ghoom where there’s a train station. One old one that, I think, it’s offered by the Indian government or something, I’m not sure. Then there’s another new one built under the road, the road which leads, the road which goes to Darjeeling, that town. So built by one private, one benefactor.

So she came to look for Domo Geshe Rinpoche, but of course, the monastery, to look for guru, of course Domo Geshe Rinpoche wasn’t there. I think that time, I think, I don’t know maybe in Tibet or maybe in Delhi or Kalimpong or, no, maybe in Tibet, probably, I think. Hasn’t come out yet. Maybe in the prison. So anyway, then one monk misunderstood, one monk there in the monastery, he thought that she’s my friend, our friend. So then the monk brought her in our room, we were staying one small room, belonged to my teacher, ______ ______ in his room, Lama and myself. So then the monk brought her, he opened the door and said, Oh, this is, I think, your friend. This is your friend.

So then she, a lady came with lots of, what do you call? Blonde hair? Or , and then the sweater, this Tibetan sweater from the bus station at Darjeeling, they sell, the some things. Came, and then she asked some questions and so then my teacher who took care of me borrowed a big kettle of Tibetan tea and a big mug, the monks were, drink Tibetan tea, so a big mug. So then totally, completely filled with Tibetan tea, and then she drank. I think she drank completely, I think, that day but since from that I never saw her drinking Tibetan tea.

I don’t know what impression she got. So I think many people, first Tibetan tea, if it’s a bad one, then they never drink Tibetan tea in the life, because they think all the Tibetan tea’s the same. Anybody make. . Anyway, just, doesn’t matter, Tibetan tea, anyway.

Yeah, so what I was saying? Yeah, then Nepal, I stop that story and then in Nepal, so we were staying together this English, British, what do you call? Architecture, the house. So then sometimes , of course there was some unhappiness, sometimes, so somehow the dog, that dog, this was a present to me from my mother, the first time I met since I left from Tibet. So she heard, she checked, she was so worried what would happen to me in Tibet, so she was thinking to send three people to look for me in Tibet. So anyway, when I escaped through Bhutan to Buxa then she heard I was there, then she said, If now if I drink just water, I’m very happy. So that’s what I heard, through, I think, people message.

So then when we arrived, we were supposed to go, the idea is supposed to go to Sri Lanka to start a Mahayana center, that was the idea, then we went to see His Holiness and interview, that’s my first interview and Lama’s. Then, went to Religious Office, then had to go to Religious Office, gave advice, and I think he gave advice [Tibetan], I don’t know what, how to say, I don’t know, I can’t translate the expression, but what it means is don’t teach others without yourself practicing, or experience, I think probably what he meant.

So anyway, so that didn’t worked out. I think, if we did go, I’m not sure what would have happened. So anyway, I think there then the Sanghas may not like. So this, she waited for one year, after we met, nine months stayed together in Darjeeling, I tried to translate a few things with my few words, her questions and then Lama’s answer, so nine months. So then she went to Sri Lanka and she lived there, waited for one year, I think, kept correspondence. Then she came to Calcutta, we went to Calcutta, that’s my first time going to Calcutta, must be also Lama, so met there. And then I think Delhi, then went to Dharamsala. So, that time the India and Russia there’s no good relationship, so she’s from Russia, she has a Russian name. So she’s not a spy but the way she behaved, way she walks and how she behaves, look like very intelligent, looking kind of, people may suspect very easily spy, by the way she kind of behaves, but she’s not a spy at all.

So anyway, so then requested to His Holiness that she wanted to become a nun, not naan, roti, Indian. I’m joking! That I’m joking, anyway. Naan. It sounds the same, nun. Anyway, so His Holiness didn’t have time so His Holiness asked, suggested Lati Rinpoche, one of the senior lamas there, after His Holiness, one senior lama at Dharamsala. So Rinpoche gave, came to Tushita. That time Tushita is like a, become like a, of course, it’s an extremely blessed place, because His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche, our root guru, lived there, the living Heruka, lived there for seven years, so it’s extremely blessed place. The house belonged to the family called, the family has title Naropa because their lineage, their family lineage from Naropa, the great yogi Naropa, Saraha, the Tilopa, Naropa, that one. So the family generation from that.

So anyway, so His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche has already moved to lower Dharamsala, so that place become like a haunted house, like haunted, haunted house? Haunted. So it’s full of mice, and haunted house. So anyway, she was ordained there. So while she was taking ordination , because I think there may be Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, I think, I think there might be Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, so I think maybe, so anyway, other high lamas, other geshes or lamas. So while she was receiving ordination then the head of the spies, the top head of the spies from Delhi, who has a mustache like this, his name is ?Tsering or something like that, but usually he stands at the train when you arrive then he’s just right there. Anyway, he’s walking down below the Tushita, back and forth, waiting all those hours. But there are six people always follow, with car and motorcycle, wherever we go so these people follow. Also in the train, same compartment, in the same compartment then everyone is there. From Calcutta. But they change, from Delhi then they change.

Anyway, that’s side-talk.

So anyway, so at Kopan, so of course sometimes some unpleasant sometimes. So the dog, now I’m coming back to the story, coming back to the story. So the dog, this Lhasa Apso, Dolma, a very good dog, so when there’s something, unhappiness, the dog, I think, feels, so the dog, when she comes, when she enters in the room, then she comes, then the dog is sitting on my bed, the dog. I think the dog feels the mind, so I think the dog barks, even though she lives there. Even though she lives there every day, I mean one of the persons living there, but the dog barks. That’s very unusual to do that. It’s not unknown person.

So anyway, so even the animals do not like the, I just remembered this story but anyway, generally, like that.

So everything started from her, that doing courses at Kopan, that started from her. So one time we were, so the connection with Lama and myself, the connection with the Western students, the Western people, so that started with her. Darjeeling and then Nepal, Kopan. So how it happened coming to Kopan, coming to Nepal was, so the Indian government didn’t give us visas to go to Sri Lanka, so then, so that was Lama’s idea, so Lama said maybe for the time being you go to Nepal, so because I was born there. So that was the year, there are twelve animals and each year has a name, so that is the bird year, so that is the special year, bird year is the special year to make pilgrimage in Nepal. So usually people come all over the Himalayan mountains, from all over they come to make pilgrimage in Nepal, Kathmandu, like that. So, one, firstly because that was the time, so then all my families they heard I was there so then they all came down, everybody came down. So this was, they were extremely happy to meet and then, so this dog was her present to me.

I never, this dog so unbelievable the behavior. I never saw her, for seven years I never saw where she’s making kaka. We don’t have any special prepared anything, so never saw for seven years, she make pee-pee or kaka. So only after seven years just outside, so she, even the food, it’s like a person, even the food she doesn’t immediately eat. She just waits a little bit, like praying. Like doing meditation, so she doesn’t immediately grab. So whatever food, she just waits a little bit then eats.

So, later there were other big dogs, neighbors, in Baudha or other dogs, they bite, so like that, and then she passed away. When I come near her then she stopped screaming, but I’m not there then she’s screaming. So I think something, I think, from the past, some very strong, I think, connection.

So anyway, there’s a whole, doing the meditation courses started from her, started by her, the meditation courses came from her request, so up to now. So we were at Bodhgaya one time, receiving the commentary, Yamantaka commentary from His Holiness Ling Rinpoche, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s elder tutor. So that time there was one Japanese monk called Zengo, he came from Scotland, Lama Trungpa’s monastery, the center. So, I think this Zengo, this monk, I think did, led a meditation course in Bodhgaya. So then, she, her style is, where there’s any high lamas then go to see them. So because of her then we had a chance to meet His Holiness Karmapa, I think maybe a few times and Kalu Rinpoche, one called ?Chagdud Rinpoche, those lamas who lived at Darjeeling, many lamas we were able to meet because of her, translating for her, things like that. And sometimes so Lama help her to make a Dharma question, what question to ask, then she asked the lama.

So anyway, met Zengo and then we went to the place where he was leading the course, not attending the public course, so went there and there was Losang Yeshe’s mother was there also, so together, Olivia. Then there were a few other people, I think. So Zengo led a meditation, half-hour, I think. And then Lama and myself were there. So anyway, at the end of the meditation, over, well, from my own side, I don’t know what Lama, probably may be different, he’s very high level of understanding, way of seeing things, so I think, so my ordinary mind, I thought, Oh, at the end I thought, That doesn’t make any differences, the meditation that he led and having deep sleep. Having deep sleep and the meditation he led, what came into my mind was no differences. But I’m sure in Lama’s case it will totally something else.

So anyway, then Zina she want us to lead a course, meditation course. So she asked Lama a few times. Lama didn’t accept. So she, I was very eager to do, I think must be, I think, not sure what the motive is. So anyway, then she asked me to do, so I asked Lama, so Lama says, Okay, if you think beneficial, you can do, or something like that. I don’t remember exactly what…. So I accepted, so we did at Kopan, after we came from Bodhgaya we did the course. So I think it was five days, five days or three days, I’m not sure. Yeah, so there were two pages for the course people, one line on the perfect human rebirth, one or two lines, something like that. Then for the hell there’s more, the largest, the most number of the lines, I think maybe seven or eight lines on the hell. So that’s the largest, that’s the greatest explanation there. Then after that, karma, refuge and karma, one line, something like that, so just stopped there. So, I think, maybe, there was one nun, American nun, now I haven’t met for a long time, so many, she helped and then I think maybe Anila Ann, I’m not sure. So anyway, this was the material for the course.

So then from Bodhgaya Zengo came and some people came to Kopan, those who have met they came, joined the course. Zengo came, ?did the last day or night. So one day was bodhicitta, the last night, the very last day, night, talking on bodhicitta. So, I don’t know how many people were there, so they liked so much. Also, Zina, Zina was there, that is the only course that she was there, the very first course. So then after when I was having dinner with Lama, so she brought the dinner and she was so astonished, she was so surprised that I can talk this, that give teaching. She was totally surprised.

So then, anyway, so that’s the first, then from there then second course started, third, then like that, so up to now. Then there was two big courses, one-month course two times it was done at Kopan. Then when Lama and myself started to travel to Australia, the West, America and to, I think the first Western country’s Australia, I think. So then when we did Diamond Valley course. So then didn’t have time, enough time to do the big course, one month, two times, didn’t have time, so then up to now one time. So other times there are many courses, short courses, led by, there’s a very good nun, Sweden nun, Karin. She lives there, doesn’t travel, doesn’t go round the world and practice, herself practice well and has been leading courses for so many years. So in one year so many courses led. So she has great experiences. So one time I was doing preparation for initiation, so she was leading the meditation, animal suffering, hell sufferings to the people, so I was hearing, so I thought even a geshe, not all geshes but even a geshe, I mean, just anybody just being geshe, even a geshe wouldn’t be able to lead the way she explained the lower realm sufferings. I thought that, be able to do. But, I mean, of course, not all the geshes, I’m just saying generally, of course that’s, I mean there’s enlightened beings, I mean there are great bodhisattvas and there’s different types who has, like Lama, Lama Yeshe, who has all the skills to present, to fit it, others’ minds. Yeah. So has been extremely beneficial, all those courses.

Then, the Lama Lhundrup, the abbot, resident teacher or the abbot of the monastery and there are many other geshes there, so they, and there was also Geshe Lama Konchog, who’s a great, unbelievably great, highly achieved, highly attained yogi, that which we were not aware, when we were living together we were not aware that was a great yogi. Only find out how he practiced Dharma, unbelievable, like Buddha did six-year the ?ascetic life, like Milarepa, he did exactly the same. So, he never tells us. During his life never tell us he lived the life like Milarepa, ?ascetic life. We know that he has, he practiced and had realization the emptiness or the, so bodhicitta, thought of cherishing sentient beings, compassion to others, these things, these basic things, from his talk or the way he behaved or from his talk, some stories when he was in , the high mountains when he was many years of retreat, some stories, but he never tell us the actual story. Only find out later after he passed away. So, really unbelievable.

So, the recent times, I was supposed to be there when the nunnery and the monastery, all the buildings build, the temple built, those stupas built, everything finished then to go there to consecrate. That was the plan. But then one elderly lady, a benefactor, one elderly lady from Malaysia came, her name is mother ?Peg, so very kind. So she was there to join the enthronement of Geshe Lama Konchog’s incarnation. So she, because I think their project is run out of money and I think she wanted to help, I think $100,000 to develop ?up there, but she wanted to see with her eyes. She says, I want to see and I want to smell. So then she wanted me to come. So then she hired a Russian, the big Russian airplane, the helicopter for that. So I went there. So suddenly happened going there. So that place, unbelievable. Still stay pure, no corruption. The culture still the same, ancient culture and very amazing place. So, very close to Tibet, snow mountains and rock. So there has been only two Western people came, in the past. It’s a restricted area there, Nepalese government doesn’t give visa to go there. So they say only two people came in the past.

So, we landed there and then the nuns all, it’s early morning, they all came out, rushed from prostrations inside the temple. That which is a very blessed nunnery. But the monastery is quite far, didn’t make, didn’t have enough time because you have to come back in the same day. So then, they offered mandala, gave some talk. Then we went to Milarepa cave, then you go up a little bit, so rocky mountain like this, so you go up a little bit from the, up then there’s a Milarepa cave. This is the cave where Milarepa didn’t, naked body, so the sister feeling so shy, Milarepa’s sister where she offered a big roll of woolen cloth, where Milarepa cut a piece and then put on here, here, toes and organ. He made pieces like that. So, that from the story, so that’s the cave.

So then you go still above, still you go above then there’s Geshe Lama Konchog’s cave, that’s, there’s no road, so near the cliffs. I used, besides two legs then this, with two hands crawled up like that. There’s thorn bushes. So if you fell down then big trouble. So, what he did was, so to cut the relationship with the people, from the town, people to not come, to not disturb his meditation, so he lived there without need food, without need to make food. I think he lived on, I don’t know what, taking the essence, I don’t know, wind…. Huh? Huh? [Student: Nettles.] Nettles? I’m not sure. Anyway, seems he, no food, but I think he already practiced this living on the pills, taking the essence. There’s a few, you can do with the stone, living on stone, if you do meditation practice and then, and the water, close to the water, without need food, without need to go to look for food. So he has achieved that already. So I think, so to cut, nobody knows that he’s there, for so many years.

And then some people came, looking after animals they came up, then they saw, very long hair like this, so then they didn’t know who he is so they threw stones, and then he left that, then that person went down, then after a few days, there came, sixteen people, strong people, to throw out. So then Geshe Lama Konchog went even very much higher, huge rocky mountains, huge, went higher, then did meditation. Then he came down, under one tree, without any house, he did meditation, did practice for two years without any shelter, under one tree. So that tree was shown to me by the, in the helicopter by Tenzin Zopa, Lhundrup’s brother, Tenzin Zopa, he was showing me, but window’s down below so I couldn’t see it, had to bend so couldn’t see the tree. He was saying, Oh, there it is there. He can see but I cannot see. Because big window is down below, way down.

Then, Geshe Lama Konchog’s naked that time, even in the village, almost no clothes. I’m sure there’s some cover down there for sure, but…. So, naked. So what happened was, the villagers they threw dust on him because they didn’t understand. They didn’t understand. They don’t know, they think crazy person or something like this. So he was the poorest person in the area, he didn’t have clothing. So then one couple, one family couple from under their bed, on top they sleep, under the bed they took dust and then throw on Geshe Lama Konchog, dust from the house, under the bed.

So now, the brother of this man who did that, he’s now caretaker, he’s the caretaker of the Kopan Monastery now. So Geshe Lama Konchog I heard he often tells, when he sees the brother, Oh, you’re the one who did this. So he said this is a little bit inauspicious, bad luck for him.

So exactly like Milarepa, exactly like Milarepa he lived for so many years there. I mean, he never ?allows these stories. Amazing! This is completely sacrificing the life to Dharma. So of course, if you do that much, of course, you will achieve realization. No question. Not just lam-rim but also the tantric path. So we didn’t know that he has very high achievement, completed the tantric path we have no idea. That, we know that he has some experience of lam-rim, yes, but no idea, only after. So when his holy body is cremated, unbelievable, all sorts of different shapes of relics came out. And then there were five-colored relics came out, so then the news went out, so then the head lama of Nyingma, Penor Rinpoche, from south India was giving a teaching in Baudha, in the Nyingma monastery, so he heard and then he told his students during the teaching that, told that these five different color relics means that Geshe Lama Konchog has achieved the five wisdoms of the buddha. Yeah, the wisdom of accomplishment and the mirror-like wisdom, yeah , I don’t remember. So those five types of wisdom, yeah, anyway, five wisdom of buddha, it is a sign that he has achieved.

So also, I met a lama, a very high lama from Tibet, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama was giving the Fifth Dalai Lama’s, the Fifth Dalai Lama saw many deities and received initiation, like Padmasambhava, saw one main one then many other deities, so there’s lineage of initiation, so some time ago His Holiness gave at Dharamsala. So His Holiness said that maybe this could be the first time gave this initiation, after the Fifth Dalai Lama received, maybe, I’m not sure, gave, but this might be the first time giving to others. So, during this time there was one high lama from, came from Kham, so we, I had a talk with him about Geshe Lama Konchog, I think he heard. So he told me that in a Kagyu text there’s a whole explanation, a whole path, the explanation of how you get this in the body the five different colored relics. So I asked him the text, but I didn’t get.

So anyway, so in this place, Tsum, it’s called Tsum, when you arrive there, it’s only for Dharma, this place is nothing else, just to practice Dharma. So the people, the women they join, they sing song, welcome, and the very ancient tradition, very sweet, very nice, very sweet song, so for welcome. So Tenzin Zopa said when they’re happy, very happy, then they do this. The group of men sing then the women sing, so [a couple of words missed] like that for welcome. And also you’re going to leave also they sing.

So I did Milarepa tsog in the cave, because received Milarepa initiation from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s guru, His Holiness Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche, who’s Marpa’s son, Tarma Dode, incarnation of Marpa’s son. So received Milarepa initiation in the presence of the Milarepa statue that which is in Kathmandu, in one monastery, ?Pal te Ling, that historical statue that in Tibet, even the government every year send offerings to this statue. There’s many historical statues, so then the government offer, paint gold or make offering. So inside this statue there’s, when Rechungpa, Milarepa’s heart disciple Rechungpa was giving Dorje Pagmo initiation, so there’s a mandala, triangle-shaped mandala they used during the initiation, so actual wisdom was received and this mandala jumped, so it’s inside as a relic. So it’s said the monks, at the heart of this Milarepa statue there’s heat there. ?When ?we checked, but this, ?still ______. So in the presence of this statue received the initiation. So there’s tsog with that, so I did tsog offering there. Came down, did tsog offering there. So then had meal after coming down then left. It was in the afternoon. But I think you are supposed to be there only one hour, then fly, I think. But then the pilot also came with us, then I think he must have enjoyed so I think , so it was several hours.

So anyway, okay, that’s it, yeah, so I think that’s just side talk there.

[Rinpoche has a drink. Lhundrup whispers something in Tibetan.]

So Geshe Lama Konchog is really a hidden yogi. He never tell us even we lived together, all this. Only you go there then you, really amazing, just total surprise.

So anyway, so about the Kopan course, so how I got couraged to do Kopan, to do course, was by the kindness of this, of course, no question about Lama Yeshe, but this great lama that happened in Tibet, great pandit who was like sun shining in Tibet, benefited so many sentient beings, teaching of Buddha. He wrote many, many teachings, sutra and tantra, Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen. He is the founder of the monastery in Tibet, but near Nepal, ?Gyitong. This monastery is a great example of living in vinaya, a great example, it’s one of the pure, purest monastery.

So there’s a lam-rim, so when I arrived, when we arrived in Nepal, stayed, there was only one Gelugpa monastery at the stupa, so built by a Mongolian lama, so we stayed there nine months or something, then moved, with Zina moved to one building that belonged to Chinni Lama’s son, Chinni Lama is a married lama called Chinni Lama, I don’t know whether he’s Chinese or not but he’s the caretaker of the Baudha stupa, this great stupa, for so many years. So he has several sons so this building belonged to his son, called Thubten. So we stayed there I think maybe almost two years, something. So anyway, one day came one Sherpa, one Sherpa man came, who’s called Ang Nyima, so Sherpa’s names always begin Ang, usually. So this Sherpa man said he received initiation from, well, who’s supposed to be my past life, I’m not sure, the lay tantric practitioner, who was lay, not monk, lay tantric practitioner, so who was called Lama Yeshe, his name also Lama Yeshe, lived in the cave, Lawudo Cave, for many years. Always he do retreat then give initiation to others. So this Sherpa man said he received initiations. So anyway, this Sherpa man was a monk, he became a monk at Panchen Rinpoche’s monastery in Tibet, Tashi Lhunpo but later disrobed.

So he is like the guru of the other Sherpas including my cousin. So people who are selling statues, thangkas, business for their living, so twenty or something, he has sort of like disciples who make business on selling thangkas, statues, so he’s like the guru for them, selling thangkas, statues, so anyway, holy objects.

So one day he came to see us, so he gave Heruka commentary to Lama and then, since from that, composed by Dagpo Rinpoche, Pabongka’s root guru, so then since from that Lama read completion stage, Highest Tantra, the completion stage. So even from that time, so because I checked what Lama’s reading, when Lama’s out, I checked. I just spy on what Lama’s reading so, even from that time, completion stage. So that means in the ordinary people’s view means at that level.

So anyway, so he gave me the lam-rim, he gave exactly what I need, I mean, so the lam-rim, this is the largest commentary of thought transformation text, called lo-jong Chen-mo, the Great Thought Transformation text, composed by this great lama Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen. So I read this in Kathmandu then I go to the mountains, build a monastery there at Lawudo and read…. I’m supposed to watch the workers, whether they’re just wasting time talking or, I’m supposed to watch the workers, but in the cave so I read the texts, this and other texts, some other texts, how to practice Dharma, what is Dharma by Kadampa, collection of Kadampa, then this text. So, back and forth, carrying, so a few years I spend time reading this lam-rim text, lo-jong, thought transformation text. So, this is from where I got, not realization but, it should be like that but unfortunately, so but reading this, so that’s ?why I got courage, because this man gave this lam-rim text.

So anyway, so Solu Khumbu when I was up there, so the workers building the monastery, so only when I go to pee-pee, only when I go out for pee-pee, so then you have to go out, so then I look at them, during the pee-pee, not during the pee-pee but when I go, then I look at them, then they are talking, not doing work, talking. And so but I don’t have courage to tell them to work. So anyway , so even the time that I pay money for the workers, the people they work, people who carry this wood, long board and all this for many miles, not like straight road, either you go up or you go down, ?everything like this , so brought many days from the forest, there from the forest, it’s all you climb the rocks. Then you up very steep road, so many people brought, so many people brought, beared so much hardship to build this, brought on their back many miles. So then anyway, evening time, then I have to pay money to them. So I find very strange doing this because usually people offer money to me, then here then I have to check how many days you did, how many days you did work, like that, and then I give money, so I have to check, so I found kind of strange.

So, then, because I didn’t learn mathematics well in school, I didn’t learn mathematics well , so what I did is, I go back to the kitchen, after I finish paying money, go back in kitchen, my sister’s making food, so I sit there, so then I count from ten rupees, from ten rupees then you go higher and higher, then I come to the conclusion how much spent today and how much left. Then I write down. So like that, so because I didn’t learn mathematics well in school. So there’s one small bag, small handbag, plastic bag, that one American man from Peace Corps in Kathmandu, he came up with me to, I think to check, to put a post in the ground and something, I don’t know, I’ve forgotten now exactly what it’s for. So anyway, he gave this so I put the money under the table, like this table, so inside that. So then money goes down, it goes down like this, not like this, not like that, just exaggeration. So goes down like this, goes down, goes down, then somebody appears, then gives some money so again, gives some money, so like that, so all the ________ is done like that.

So anyway, so here one thing to, how the very first student, the Russian lady, Zina, and then the Sherpa man gave me this lam-rim text, so this is how the course, the Kopan Course, this is how it started from there, up to now. And then, I guess, from there there have been also courses in the West. So, could be Lama’s holy activities, Buddha’s activities, like that. I guess there’s karma like this, so then this text, those came, so I think, like that. So started from this Russian lady, the whole thing started from this Russian, first student, doing course and the connection with the Western people, up to now.

So up to the seventh course, when I was teaching, and after the teaching when people say, Oh, fantastic, this and that, in my heart I don’t think it’s me, it’s Lama Yeshe. So up to seven years here my feeling was Lama, it’s not me. Then I think maybe something went wrong, then I think something went wrong, then that feeling’s gone. But starting from the first course up to seventh, in my heart it wasn’t me, it was Lama. I mean, of course, anything that is correct, anything that benefits others, of course it’s Lama’s holy action. That’s no question. Any virtuous action, virtuous thought, any correct teachings, I mean, that benefit others, of course Buddha’s action, that means Lama’s action, like that.

Sorry, it become a story. Today become story. [pause] The story contains courage, courage to practice Dharma. So I think like that, to let go and courage to practice Dharma. [pause]

So before this story, what I was talking? Huh? [Student: This thing about people who didn’t like dogs?]

No, people who didn’t like dogs? No, no, the other way around. People who doesn’t like dogs, that must be very unusual person. Or liberated person. Can be unusual but can be liberated person. Doesn’t need to rely on dog. Your happiness doesn’t have to rely on dog. So I think that will be quite a liberated person, liberated person or meditator.