Rejoice in Your Efforts

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Institut Vajra Yogini, Lavaur, France (Archive #1415)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave this advice about the merit of offering service at the Dharma center for the benefit of others. This is an excerpt from a teaching at Institut Vajra Yogini, Lavaur, France, May 12, 2003. Published in Mandala magazine, July 2009.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Taos, New Mexico, 1999. Photo: Lenny Foster.

So you should look at all the work you have already done for the center in the past, already you have taken responsibility, done all this service for others, being director or being whatever, different jobs of the meditation center, providing conditions, food, whatever it is for other sentient beings to practice Dharma, to do listening, reflecting, meditation practice. So, rejoice. What you have done in the past, all that, you see, rejoice. All those services for Buddhadharma and sentient beings, you rejoice.

Think, “How fortunate I am that I am able to offer in the present, in the future,” so rather than taking it as a burden, follow the bodhisattvas’ path. Follow the bodhisattvas’ attitude—that’s the way to achieve enlightenment. So in that way you achieve enlightenment very fast, without taking many eons. So the stronger compassion you have, how much good heart you have, you are able to achieve enlightenment quicker. So how much you are able to offer service to sentient beings, that much negative karma, so many eons of negative karma gets purified and you collect inconceivable merit and so that makes you able to achieve enlightenment quickly—quicker.

So then the whole thing about whether it becomes a burden or whether it becomes a pleasure for you, it depends on your attitude. Whether it becomes a burden or becomes pleasure, joy, to do this depends on your motivation. If you have taken it as a burden, with the motivation of self-centered mind, then there is nothing to enjoy in the life. With that motivation, with that kind of attitude everything becomes a burden in your mind; your mind doesn’t feel enjoyment, everything becomes suffering. Everything becomes problem. Nothing to enjoy in the life.

But with the other motivation “I am here to serve others,” in everyday life having that attitude, “I’m the servant for all sentient beings, all the people at the center, wherever, in the family or office, whatever, for all the people, all the rest of sentient beings, to cause them happiness.”  The loving kindness, compassion attitude, universal responsibility—the attitude which I mentioned before, so with this positive mind cherishing others, with this bodhisattvas’ view, then so much joy, and the more responsibility you have, you can see that you are beneficial. You can see you are meaningful, you see yourself as beneficial to others, you see yourself as useful for others. You see yourself, your life as a need for others. The more you take responsibility or the more you have responsibility then you see that you’re more needed by others. So you see you are more useful to others. Then there is so much in which to rejoice. So much to rejoice in. Then reflect like that.