Teachings from the Mahamudra Retreat (Audio and Unedited Transcript)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Adelaide, Australia (Archive #1443)

The following are excerpts of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's teachings at the Mahamudra Retreat hosted by Buddha House, in Mylor, South Australia, from 9 April to 4 May, 2004. These recordings do not form a complete record of the retreat, as they do not include teachings by other Sangha, various prayers and dedications, and portions of the initiations and secret teachings.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with koala in Adelaide, Australia, 1983. Photo: Wendy Finster.
Day 2 Part A: Teachings before the Gyalwa Gyatso initiation

[Group recitation of OM MANI PADME HUM]

So, good evening to everybody. Yeah, so we’re going to do some protector prayers as it’s traditionally done before the initiation, the preparation. But also, now it is quite a crucial time for the organization as a whole to, very important time to pacify obstacles and to, for the continuity and develop benefiting other sentient beings and the teaching of the Buddha, our kind compassionate Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. So, that and then, as you all know, the dream that, I’m not sure it’s mine, but Lama’s, Lama Yeshe’s dream that to build a hundred feet Maitreya Statue, so to be able to start as quick as possible and to continue and complete and to be the most beneficial, not just this world but for all the sentient beings, and the teaching of the Buddha, that is the only, which is only the medicine to heal the sufferings of the sentient beings, because cause of the suffering, because the cause of us sentient beings’ suffering is not outside, it’s within us, it’s our, the mistaken thoughts, the wrong concepts, the mistaken way of thinking and the action, what is called karma, which results, which positive, result, happiness, if it’s negative, result, problems or sufferings. So, and then their cause, the negative imprint left on the mental continuum by the past, the wrong concepts and the actions.

So therefore, yeah, so to last the teaching a long time. And of course, the very first important success, that is the particular, the Chenrezig, the Compassionate-eye Looking One, who is the embodiment of all the buddhas’ compassion, that manifested in human form that which can, which we can communicate or receive teachings directly, guidance directly, which gives that opportunity by manifesting in the human form, that we can see and receive guidance and teachings, so who is this world to guide us, whose purpose is only, no other purpose except to guide us sentient beings in this world, to bring peace and happiness in this world. So, His Holiness’s wishes to be succeed immediately, that’s the first thing, that’s the very first thing. Then my virtuous friends, the gurus, their wishes to be succeed. And then all the projects, every center in the FPMT, whatever plans they have, projects, any Dharma activity to be succeed and to be most beneficial to all the sentient beings, and as well as the 500-feet Maitreya Buddha statue to be, not just able to build, the main reason is, not just able to build the statue, the main reason is, the main goal is not the statue, the main goal is the happiness of sentient beings, happiness of numberless sentient beings, that is the main achievement, what is to be achieved.

And for that method, to achieve that we need various, we need so many other methods. So, and having holy objects, since people cannot see Buddha directly, like in the past, so many can receive teachings directly from Buddha, so therefore, easier, comparing to that it’s easier to see the statue of Buddha, to purify the mind and to receive blessing and by circumambulating, by making offerings, so forth, praying, to purify the defilements, negative karmas, and collect extensive merit and then through that, then soften their hearts and actualize, understand karma, the correct wisdom, the actual wisdom that understands what is right to practice, which result happiness, only happiness, and wrong, which only results suffering, which is to be abandoned, so to get this wisdom, Dharma wisdom, then specially to develop loving kindness, compassion, bodhicitta, then complete the path to achieve enlightenment quickly. [Pause]

So, I don’t know how long ago since it was planned to do this course. Huh? Six months or one year? Huh? Nine months. Okay, yes, nine months. So anyway, it was planned and so now so we’re gathered here. So, it is actualized. So not sure whether it’s going to be a Mahamudra course or what course it’s going to be. In what way it’s going to run out? Which way that it will flow or run out, run out or I’m not sure. Run out or run in. 

Anyway, [pause] so anyway, I don’t remember, in the Mahamudra, in the root text, as it’s mentioned there, not just merely words and merely lips, must do very precise taking refuge and generating bodhicitta. So, do very precise, means very strong, not just mere words from the lips, means your heart mixed with it, refuge and the generating the thought of enlightenment, the altruistic mind to achieve enlightenment. Then, even to see the ultimate nature of the mind, it depends on collecting merits and purifying defilements. And with the preliminary, having done as many as possible, hundreds of prostrations by reciting the Prayer of Confessing Downfalls, the Thirty-five Buddhas, reciting the Thirty-five Buddhas’ names. Then one, about 100,000 Vajrasattva mantras, so these things as, having done as preliminary. Then, making request from the bottom of your heart, from deep from the heart to the root guru, the inseparability of all the three-time buddhas. So it means with that guru yoga mind, from deep from your hearts, from one’s own heart making request, so not artificial but deep from the heart. So, making request to the root guru and inseparability the three-time buddhas, numberless past, present, future buddhas.

So that means to receive the blessing of the guru, otherwise cannot, without that, without that strong, coming from your heart, not somebody forcing, kind of dictator or somebody forcing, but from your heart, coming from your heart, then one receive the blessing of the guru, then, then it’s possibility to see the, I think the both, nature of the mind, the conventional nature of the mind, clarity, this also I think becomes that, which in some other traditions regarded as, seeing that as emptiness or dharmakaya, called dharmakaya, seeing dharmakaya or dzog-chen, one level of maybe dzog-chen, not the ultimate, the simultaneously-born great bliss, not that primordial mind, that direct cause of dharmakaya, the only direct cause of dharmakaya. However, so I think even that, clarity, to see even that conventional nature of the mind, even that, I think even that might depend on, I would think, purification and collecting merits, so no question about going beyond from that, seeing ultimate nature, nature of the mind, ultimate nature of the mind, that that is no question. Because that, no question because that is the main, that is the direct, that is the only direct method to liberate oneself from the oceans of, unimaginable oceans of samsaric suffering and cause, all the negative emotional thoughts, the action and karma, so, and the very root, the ignorance. The very root, the unknowing mind. Believing, not, unable to see, unable to realize or unable to discover or unable to see the I which exists, its nature. And believing that the I which, believing the I which doesn’t exist, that ignorance, root of samsara, root of all our sufferings, do not see the I which exists, experiences happiness, experiences suffering, creates the cause of happiness, creates the cause of suffering, do not realize or do not see that, that the I which exists, experiences those, experiences hell, experiences enlightenment, experiences liberation, experiences samsara, experiences happiness, experiences problems, so do not see that I which exists and (?)its nature. But what it believes is I which doesn’t exist, which is not there, believing it exists.

So that’s the whole torture, so we are constantly tortured by that ignorance, from the time without beginning, from beginningless samsaric rebirth we are tortured by the ignorance. So why we have to die, why we have to experience, why we have to be reborn, experience suffering of rebirth, that’s due to, caused by this ignorance and why we have to die and because of this root, this ignorance, what makes us to die and reborn and all the sicknesses, it is said 404 different, the sicknesses as mentioned in the texts, however, I don’t know how many number of disease is mentioned in the West, counted, I don’t know the number counted all the disease, however, including cancer, so, when I was, after I escaped from Tibet, from Nepal went to Tibet, lived a few years, then escaped from Tibet, the Mainland China they took over Tibet, then escaped through, that was nine months ago, a long time ago, I was still in Tibet but then the torture, any leaders of the monasteries, any leaders of the people, heads, anybody who has name or head of the people, so all those get tortured, among the public. So when that is about to happen, coming day after tomorrow to where, to the monastery where we lived, so that night when we heard, we escaped through Bhutan, lived seven, maybe seven days the main city of Bhutan, Bhator, then another seven days, one family that we knew, who used to come in Tibet for business.

Then arrived this border of Bhutan and India, the Buxa, which was a concentration camp, where Mahatma Gandhi-ji and Prime Minister Nehru were prisoned, where the monks came from Lhasa and other places who wanted to continue their study so there were about 1,500 monks, so which was concentration camp during, when India was under the British. So that’s same for Geshe-la, Geshe-la here also was there. So, studying very hard at Buxa. Studying very hard, unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable hot and very unhygenic, so hot that very bad for health and so many people, so many monks passed away, sick. So Geshe-la and so many other monks, there was probably best opportunity, I think, time studying, day and night. But I didn’t, there I had all the opportunity but I didn’t study. I just wasted my time doing some paintings, doing some paintings and learning, reading English book, just collecting the vocabulary, words, just by myself. One time I started to learn the dictionary, like I thought way to learn like the Tibetan style learning texts, memorizing texts, so I started to learn the dictionary one time, I started one time the dictionary, very thick dictionary, Tibetan and English. So anyway, so I tried, there are some books, English books given by one family in Darjeeling, because I think she was supposed to be, I was told anyway she was supposed to be some relative, anyway, so her husband is a teacher of a very good school in Darjeeling, St Joseph’s School, I think. So regarded, those who passed that school regarded very good quality, anyway, student or education. So, his father’s, mother’s a great, very devoted benefactor of this very high lama, Domo Geshe Rinpoche, whose past life was a great yogi, the Lama Govinda who wrote I think two books, The Way of the White Cloud and another book, so he went in Tibet, met Domo Geshe Rinpoche, the great yogi, and the incarnation passed away just a few, just two years ago I think maybe, in New York, near New York, in New Jersey, somewhere.

So, this relative, her husband gave some, because he’s a school teacher, he already passed away, but she is still there. So he gave a few books, so I, so instead of studying Dharma, I memorized these English words, then again I forget because there’s no way to use, to speak, so I just memorize then again forget, then again, after some time again memorize, then again forget. So I wasted a lot of time like that.

So anyway, what I was talking about? What? What? Oh, sickness, that’s right! So that time, very famous TB, it was very famous. So many monks got TB, because of the unhygenic place, yeah, the conditions, that and so hot, very unhygenic, so so many monks passed away and so many got TB. So it was very famous, TB was very famous, never heard of cancer, never heard of cancer. The Pabongka, great Pabongka, the enlightened being, who really benefited so much the teaching of the Buddha and sentient beings in Tibet, I mean now not only sentient beings in Tibet, his teachings even in the West, all over, the Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, one of the most experiential, I mean, coming from his own realizations, a simplified teaching, directly coming from his own practice and realizations that affect, which is regarded, very common lam-rim that is used in the monasteries, other than Lama Tsongkhapa. So that and then especially very clear, very profound explanation, commentaries on the deity’s path, such as Heruka, Tara Cittamani and so forth, Vajrayogini, very commonly used.

So anyway, the incarnation become geshe at Buxa, did the geshe examination, everything is done, and then just about to turn Dharma wheel, then I think due to sentient beings, I think, karma, obstacle, so then took cancer, passed away, not at Buxa, at Darjeeling, not Darjeeling but before, from Siliguri, you go up, you climb the mountain, then there’s one town called (?) Takshang, so there in the hospital passed away, so cancer. That was the first time I heard cancer. So I went, Lama and myself we went to see the holy body there in the hospital. Of course, then after that then reincarnated, yeah, so I think, I guess living in Nepal now.

So anyway, so those SARS and as the time goes, so many new sicknesses come. So from where they come, they don’t come from other, it looks like coming from outside, of course, contagious disease, especially those, looks like coming from outside, from other people, you get from other people, like that, but there has to, but from the very beginning when the human beings started on the earth, they didn’t have TB that time, they didn’t have cancer, from the very beginning when the human beings started on this earth, so somewhere it has to start, so somewhere the sicknesses has to start, somewhere. I don’t think the very first human beings in this world had cancer and TB, things like that. Or any, those contagious disease. Or, I don’t know, I’m not sure, but I heard that, so the sentient beings, the living beings, so the human being came from the monkey and the monkey that you go back, you go back evolution then, well, what I heard was, from some bubble, water bubble, some bubble from the water, the very, very origination, so you go back, from the animal you go back, then what I heard was some bubble from water, so anyway, I think the water bubble it may not have TB or cancer.

So, you see, somewhere it has to start, it didn’t start like that, so that becomes very interesting, somewhere it has to start. So therefore, that becomes very interesting research, it didn’t have continuation before, somewhere somebody, first time on this earth got sick, so how that happened? So, it has to be explained, it has to be discovered. So, cannot give full answer, satisfied answer without relating to the mind of the person, the way of thinking, attitude of the person, without relating to that, without relating to the person’s actions, the person’s attitude, without relating to that, without that being the main cause, whatever, you can’t get satisfied answer. If it is examined, you won’t get satisfied.

So, normally in the world either do not know karma, do not have full knowledge of mind, which includes karma and reincarnation, all these functions of mind, gross and subtle, so lack of full knowledge of mind, so because of that then do not know all those things what the mind can do, all the negative things, all the positive things, skies of benefit, happiness, you can achieve for yourself and can cause to other sentient beings, and also negative way also you can do same, harm to numberless sentient beings, harm, yeah, continuously harm to yourself. However functions of, activities of the mind, in a gross way and subtle way, however, lack of that. Or you do have, studied, do have idea of karma, studied from the text, what the text explained, you do have understanding, but in daily life you don’t think about that, you don’t remember that, it’s left in the text. You do not remember, you don’t relate what Buddha said or what the lam-rim says, you don’t relate in your real life. It’s left in the text or discussion or explanation, but you don’t really relate in your real life. But even your real life when a problem comes, the outside condition you regard them as the main cause of your life problems. So even there’s some understanding of karma, what is said in the text, but so like that, when a real problem comes or you try to think your childhood time, try to think, try to put your childhood, but the father, you’re not sure, can’t really, doesn’t really remember the father has abused to you, doesn’t really remember, if there’s no clarity, but you some guess, Oh, maybe (?)done it, then becomes huge problem, then huge problem. Then the father becomes more harmful enemy than your self-cherishing thought. The father becomes big enemy in the world than your ignorance, root of samsara.

Root of samsara, one doesn’t feel that much. Root of samsara, ignorance, you don’t feel that much. Of course, one talk about it, as it’s explained in the teachings, but you don’t really have that recognition of, this is the great enemy in your life, for your happiness, especially long-lasting happiness, ultimate happiness, liberation, and then peerless happiness, full enlightenment. That you really need to achieve, I mean even without talking that, happiness coming in all the future lives, happiness of all the future lives, even that is so important, leave out liberation and enlightenment, those ultimate happiness, leave aside that, just the nearest, the happiness of all the coming future lives, that one is, you need to prepare right away, because death can happen any time, so you need to prepare that right away, make sure and for happiness in all the future lives, anyway, so, yeah, the negative emotional thoughts, like the clinging (?) to the mind, desire and ignorance, self-cherishing thought, one doesn’t, those, yes, maybe you have some feeling of bad, but that, even you don’t remember really the father did that, try to think and then maybe, may have done, then it becomes huge, unbelievable enemy, huge enemy, big enemy in the world, in the life. So, however, like that, if we can feel that, to our delusions, then that person can practice pure Dharma. Then that person will have also courage, that person will have so much, every day they’ll feel courage to protect him or herself from delusion, will keep, naturally, without effort, like that, if one see the shortcomings of delusion, how harmful, how bad it is, then naturally, without effort, you naturally keep away, you keep yourself free from delusion naturally, without difficulties.

So, then, that way, twenty-four hours pure Dharma, not only that, then everything whatever you do cause of liberation. So, yeah, like that. So due to culture, that’s due to culture, so society, the culture, what society thinks. But society does not think, in the West, ignorance is the main enemy. Attachment, desire, painful mind is the cause of all the confusions, doesn’t think, doesn’t give that education. Or self-cherishing thought. Ignorance is not, that is kind of subtle, but ego, self-cherishing thought, that’s maybe easier, however, that’s not, society doesn’t think terrible, the society education. So also it’s quite a lot to do with the society, what the society believes, it follows here. But if the society believes ignorance, that and self-cherishing thought is so harmful, terrible, then I think, yeah, then it’s easy, then people would put a lot of effort to not follow self-cherishing thought, to be careful with it, to be careful. Then people will be so careful, so like that.

So anyway, so, it become kind of run away, my side-talk.

So anyway, yeah, so what I would like to say here, that, so I think when Sarah was giving introduction, so you heard already but the very essence of this course, then as much as possible strong practice of purification and collecting extensive merit and guru yoga, to receive blessing, that can really, can change, that can really do something to one’s own mind in this life, on this body, the human body that which is received just about once, this time, so that at least we bring our mind, level of mind, our mind closer, more purified, more merit and more devotion, so stronger and stable, so and leaving some positive imprint to realize Mahamudra, to make the mind, to bring the mind closer, make the mind more ready, more closer to that, the gross mind to realize emptiness, then from this blessing, then also comes tantra Mahamudra, the direct cause of dharmakaya, clear light.

So as many of you already read Milarepa’s life story, so like that, that is an example, that is the proof, that is the scientific proof, Milarepa’s experience, such strong devotion, nothing affects, however Marpa, how much he scolds, instead of giving teachings, initiations, even though the Milarepa, purpose is to receive initiations, teachings, but from Marpa’s side, his guru Marpa, who’s enlightened being, Hevajra or who is Vajradhara, so instead of giving teaching, initiation, gave only a hard time for many years, only scolding. Even he appeared in the teachings, even he came sometimes, never received teachings alone, so Marpa never called him to give teachings, initiations, for him alone, so Milarepa came, when there’s public teaching then he slipped inside. So he slipped inside. Anyway, so (?) trying with the other people to hear teaching, then Milarepa, when Marpa see Milarepa’s there among the public, then immediately scold, Marpa immediately scold him out or beat. And then only give hard work, build the nine-story tower. I think still, seems still it is there in Tibet, people come, go to see. I think might be, I haven’t, I didn’t make it, even though I went three times pilgrimage in Tibet, but didn’t, somehow didn’t get to see Milarepa’s nine-story tower, I think it might be (?) Lhodrak, somewhere.

So anyway, [pause] Marpa let him to build the nine-story tower alone, without any other helper, without coolies, without other coolies, like that, coolies, porters, coolies. Anyway, so after he completed the nine-story tower then Marpa asked him to take each pieces back to same place from where he brought each stone. Then, to tear down, after tear down everything. Then again Milarepa was asked by Marpa, advice is to build again. Then again tear down, bring the stones back to the same place, then again build up, again tear down, so three times. Still didn’t give initiation, teachings by Milarepa’s guru, Marpa.

Marpa’s, his wisdom mother insist so much to give teaching, initiation. Then, after having built three towers, then Marpa gave, because he’s enlightened, himself is enlightened being so manifested the deity, mandala, then initiated, like that. Then, gave all the advice, where to go to, gave all the teachings, where, which holy place to go to practice, like this ?Sipri, one holy place in Tibet, that which combines all three, Mount Kailash, that and then another Heruka’s holy place called Tsari in Tibet, it’s supposed to be very, very difficult, extremely difficult to make pilgrimage, there’s no actual road, so the whole mountain going, you circumambulate, but there’s no road. So in Tibet there’s red Indian, so they, by giving a lot of food and a lot of gifts, presents, so then they take, cut the wood, so they take to circumambulate the whole mountain, Tsari, Heruka’s, one very, extremely holy place of Heruka.

So, I met one geshe, Sera Je, Geshe (?) Tabkye, who lived with Geshe Sopa in Madison, who lived with Geshe Sopa Rinpoche. So he told me that he went for pilgrimage at Tsari. Before he entered, seems before he entered in Sera Je Monastery he went with some people, he did pilgrimage there, the Heruka’s holy place, Tsari. So he explained that, every day when you go for pilgrimage, there’s no such road, so every day you can’t really tell whether you’ll be alive today, because the rocks and trees and sometimes you have to go by laying down, so can’t really tell that you’ll be alive today. So every day like that. Anyway, it is said by His Holiness Zong Rinpoche in the ?maybe teachings, that if somebody, without shoes if you circumambulate this Tsari, because much hardships, so you purify so many negative karmas, so then, after that you achieve clairvoyance, your mind becomes very clear, so you achieve clairvoyance, able to see past and future, like that.

So however, one is Heruka’s holy body, one is holy speech, one is holy mind, the Lapchi. So the (?)Sipri, all three, it’s very, incredibly precious holy place.

So anyway, so Marpa advised which place to go to meditate, to actualize the path to enlightenment. So then he went there, Milarepa went there and followed exactly Marpa’s advice. And then, by practicing patience, there are three types of patience, so patience taking the suffering voluntarily, ______ of practicing Dharma, bearing hardships, cold and whatever, all this, so anyway, of course then after some time he accomplished Six Yogas of Naropa, there’s nothing, even naked body doesn’t need to feel cold, after you have those realizations, through meditation of tummo, there’s no such thing, even you live ice cave, ice mountain or ice cave, they get melted with your heat. [Pause]

So quite some time ago, I think the United States, there’s a special army, special trained army, on the very cold places, ice or something, they have to live such places. So I think there was, I heard something that finding out from the meditators from Dharamsala, who practice tummo meditation, the tantric practice, who are able to generate heat, who have gone through this experience and to teach them, those armies who are in the ice, so that they don’t suffer. I think I heard something, wasn’t sure. I think there might happen some discussion or something. [Pause]

So, with the, however, what made Milarepa, this Tibetan yogi, Milarepa become enlightened, able to achieve enlightenment in a few number of years, in a brief lifetime of degenerated time was able to achieve enlightenment, that is because his such strong guru yoga, guru devotion, that Marpa, however Marpa treated, that it never affected to his, never lost his devotion, never affected to his mind, never rose any heresy, anger towards his guru Marpa, it never affected to his mind, his devotion never lost and always strong devotion. So like this. And putting into the practice every single advice whatever Marpa, his guru Marpa advised. So correctly devoting to the virtuous friend with thought and action, so cherishing more than his life, so because of that, Milarepa is not particularly great scholar or studied in the monastery for so many, thirty, forty years, not like that. Received essential teachings from Marpa and meditated on that. So here what I’m saying, what made Milarepa so successful is the essence, is from this, cherishing his guru more than his own life, so correctly devoting to the virtuous friend with thought and action. So that’s what made him to be enlightened in that very lifetime, within a few number of years. And to be able to enlightened numberless sentient beings, since from that time.

So, in reality, Marpa, from Marpa’s side, Milarepa’s guru Marpa’s side, he want even, from his side he didn’t want to give teaching, initiation, even for some time. He wanted, even to give, continue the Milarepa bearing hardships. Marpa wanted, from his side, he wanted Milarepa to, even to bear longer hardships by following his advice. Anyway, if that happened then it is said in the story that, if that happened, as Marpa wanted, as Marpa had planned, even longer bearing hardships, Milarepa bear hardships following Marpa’s advice, then Milarepa would achieve enlightenment even much quicker. So that was Marpa’s plan. But because Marpa’s the wisdom mother pushed, insisted very much, she can’t stand so and then she pushed, insisted on Marpa, after building the tower three times, nine-story tower, then she pushed very much, so then Marpa, yeah, gave teaching, initiation. But otherwise, if it is, if she didn’t push and it was according to Marpa’s plan, then Milarepa could have been enlightened even earlier.

Anyway, so that, all the Milarepa’s life story, all the realizations that he had, he practiced and he liberated himself, overcome death, overcome, first he’s afraid of impermanence-death, anyway he’s afraid of death, then he went to the mountains to meditate, then later he actualized the tantric Mahamudra, not just realized emptiness but, not just sutra Mahamudra but tantric Mahamudra, actualized the primordial mind, the simultaneously born bliss and then he’d totally overcome death, the cycle of death and rebirth, no fear. Beginning, he begin to practice Dharma with fear of death, so he used the fear to practice Dharma; at the end he overcome the fear, by developing his mind in the path, the Highest Tantric path, the primordial mind, great bliss, simultaneously born great bliss, then he’s totally free from fear. So then, anyway then he’s able to overcome all the sufferings, able to free himself from all the sufferings, so no fear, no danger, no fear.

So, [pause] as Milarepa himself expressed, I got afraid of death, escaped to the mountains. Now I’ve realized the nature of the primordial mind, the emptiness. Now if even death comes to me I have no fear. [Pause]

So, what I’m saying is, all that Milarepa’s, all that life story, yeah, through such guru yoga, very strong guru yoga practice, correctly devoted his guru Marpa with thought and action, achieved all those realizations, ceased all the gross, subtle defilements and achieved full enlightenment in that very lifetime. So all those are scientific experience by the yogi, not scientific, anyway, scientific experience by the meditator, by the yogi, who exactly practiced as Buddha taught.

So, what the root text of Mahamudra has mentioned, that in order to realize the ultimate nature of the mind, that to be successful in what are requirements, what makes this possible, happening, achievement, so _______ here just recently, which many people, many of you are familiar with the Milarepa life story so that is the proof, even though there are numberless other meditators, yogis, such as Lama Tsongkhapa and so many from the different, India, Tibet, many countries, who correctly did the practice and achieved enlightenment. [Pause]

So, to use this time, this occasion to make it most meaningful as possible, most beneficial as possible the retreat and whatever we do, so to make it most meaningful, Dharma, but not just Dharma, but most meaningful, most beneficial as possible for sentient beings. Even eating, even sleeping, whatever we do, so during this time to not waste, to make the life, this duration of retreat and as much as, not just Dharma but most beneficial Dharma, so that’s what I want to express. And because, of course, some people always practice, day and night, even sleeping become yoga, there’s, in tantra, not only sleeping become part of lam-rim practice, but even become tantric practice, yoga of sleeping, there’s yoga of washing, yoga of eating, so there’s also, they are also part of the samayas, so the tantric samayas. So, some people’s life has been like that, always like that. But many of us may not be like that, so therefore, usually the retreat, coming for retreat, attending the retreat, what it is is normally you don’t have time, normally you don’t have time to do practice, maybe not even one practice, for some people not even one practice in the life, not even one mala of mantra, possible. Maybe some of us it’s possible like that, somehow unable to do. And also many engagements or like many engagements, yeah, I’m not sure whether there’s another word, not obligation, not engagement, some other word, I’m not sure. I can’t think of it, I can’t think of, anyway, neither obligation nor engagement. I’m not sure. Anyway, so what I’m saying is that, so life is very busy, many things, so and this is the only time, so therefore, in such a place, such a condition and being in a group, putting oneself with a group, then you have to follow the practice. It’s, the group helps you to create merit, purify the mind, plant seed of the path to liberation, enlightenment, sooner or later to achieve enlightenment and to be able to enlighten, to be able to liberate numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and bring them in full enlightenment.

So therefore, coming for retreat is very, very, very important. So therefore, think, very, very important. As I put it this way, as I say this way, when you practice bodhicitta, when you live precepts, the day when you are living in the precepts, that is you’re taking care of yourself, that time you are taking care of yourself, from, protecting yourself from the harm of the negative karma, harm from, you can say, delusions, can be also said that. So, because when you live in precepts, you’re not allowed, you don’t allow yourself, to not listen to delusion, what the delusion says, to not listen, to not follow, so do not engage in those negative karmas during that day or month or whatever, the lifetime precept or one day, however, so you don’t follow, you don’t listen to delusion those days, I mean, as one has taken the vow, that one day or how many days one takes precepts. So that is one very important one taking care of yourself, very basic things, taking care of yourself, taking care of your happiness, your liberation. Very important, taking care, very important, very basic, taking care of yourself, achieving, your happiness, not only this life, there’s of course much peace and happiness in this life, even in this life, but not only that, all the future lives, then liberation and then it’s dedicated to achieve enlightenment or it’s done with bodhicitta, then also enlightenment.

So when your mind is transformed into renunciation of samsara, either renunciation of this life, then one makes one’s own mind, I mean, one way of saying, one bring inner peace and happiness, satisfaction, in one’s own heart, in one’s own life, by making your mind free from the bondage, the attachment, clinging to this life, so that means, that time your mind become Dharma. So whenever, in our daily life, whenever we practice Dharma, whenever your mind become Dharma, that is taking care of yourself, not harming yourself but taking care. From that you achieve only happiness, no suffering. And that happiness can be developed and complete, not like samsaric happiness, not like samsaric pleasure, where there’s no end. (?) Any you get, you lose, finished and again you try and again you stop, degenerate, it doesn’t increase, so it’s endless, it leads to endless suffering. So, not like that. The work attempting has no end, so not like that. Whenever you are practicing Dharma, whenever our mind become Dharma that is the best protection, taking care of yourself or what we say, loving to, you care yourself or you love yourself. When you are not practicing Dharma, when one follow delusion, nonvirtuous thought, that time then you are not taking care of yourself, you are abandoning yourself, not taking care. So, not only that, but harming to oneself, by following the negative emotional thoughts, the painful mind, the desire clinging to this life and no question about anger, those things.

So, not only abandoning, not taking care of yourself, so misusing, wasting the precious human body, the precious human life, misusing, use this precious human body to create the cause of suffering, to create the cause of the problems in this life, future lives, at the time of death, lower realms, even the human realm in the future lives, problems to experience, so the human body is used for that. So, it is not only misused, the most precious human body that we received once, just about once, this time, not only misused but, so used to create negative karma, which is harming to oneself, harming to others. So, this way then your delusion is abusing yourself, is abusing the precious human body or you are abusing your precious human body. Or the delusion is abusing you, as one follow the delusion, listen to delusion then that abusing you. Because the result of following the delusion, the result what you get, all these harms is not what, because all the harms, all the problems what you experience this life and future lives, this life and other lives, in future lives, this is not what you want. So therefore, the delusion is abusing you. Not only that, or you are abusing your human body, misusing, using to create the cause of the suffering, which means, then as a result then one’s own body and mind experience suffering.

So, conclusion, what I was going to say is, especially those of us don’t have much time to practice in the daily life, doesn’t get done much practice, so then here doesn’t have to do all those activities during the time here, so time for meditation or however, to purify the mind and collect extensive merit and to, duration, all the opportunities, as much as possible to make the mind closer to realization of the path to enlightenment, closer to liberation from samsara, closer to enlightenment and closer to be able to enlighten, to liberate the numberless beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and bring them in full enlightenment. So, become closer to that, that ultimate goal. So this is what we should have in mind during this time.

Then here, the Buddha House, I don’t know, the idea to do this retreat is, from where it came I’m not sure. Huh? Did it came from the center’s side or did it came from me, I’m not sure? Uh?

[Inaudible answer]

Anyway, so, the organization here, director Gabe and the whole organization here, looks like ten years of preparation, looks like ten years of preparation is done, work. Anyway, such, put so much effort, such, tried to make as wonderful, beautiful, conducive, as much as possible, so for that, I would like to thank very, very much from the bottom of my heart. So therefore, our practice, how much we are able to practice during this time, practice Dharma, it makes very meaningful, beneficial, everyone who put effort to organize, to set up, to organize, to set up all this, the place, everything, so it makes every single their effort so meaningful, so beneficial. And I mean no question, everyone who did service, no question, most beneficial, meaningful, so much purification, purifying the defilements, negative karmas and collect extensive merit, no question. Becoming closer, that makes closer to enlightenment, no question. Even so, as much as we are able to do more practice then makes even more beneficial their efforts. [Very long pause]

So going to do the prayers, the protector prayers, then....

[Rinpoche chants protector prayers]

The Palden Lhamo prayer, the Kalarupa and the Nam-tho-tse, the protector for morality, from those three higher trainings...[pause] 

[Rinpoche chants Offering and Requesting Prayer to Palden Lhamo (p34)]

Four-arm Mahakala.

[Group chants Nagarjuna’s Praise in English]

So, I think it’s a very good time to have a break, it’s a very good, it’s a very good time to have a break. So, to fresh, ______ by taking (?) break.

[Short mandala]