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--- Dharma Online : Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Teachings ---

Experiencing the Ambrosia

Lama Zopa Rinpoche
(ABC Newsletter, Feb-Mar 96)

On purification

While doing confession, if one can meditate on the emptiness of each negative karma, it becomes unbelievable purification --- powerful and unbelievable merit.

If one can't get the feeling of emptiness, then one should think that it is merely labelled. After confessing each negative karma, think, ‘This is merely labelled, this is merely labelled’. That gives you an idea of emptiness --- that it doesn't exist from its own side. If this doesn't give directly the feeling of emptiness, then think: ‘Dependent-arising, merely labelled, subtle dependent-arising’. This can help one get the feeling of emptiness.
Every time one meditates on emptiness, so much merit is accumulated. As we have the freedom to practise the Dharma, we should make use of this opportunity to purify and accumulate inconceivable merit in such a short time.

(Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 30 Jan 95)
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On accumulation of merit

Meditating on rejoicefulness is one of the most profitable practices for accumulating merit. It is the easiest way to accumulate most extensive merit and good karma. The more good karma we are able to accumulate, the quicker we are able to achieve enlightenment. Achieving enlightenment depends on how fast we can accumulate merit, how quickly we can finish the work of accumulating the two types of merit --- the merit of wisdom and method.

Therefore in everyday life, the more we are able to accumulate merit, the closer we come to enlightenment. This is the greatest among all the achievements, the greatest success and the most important thing for all sentient beings. So I usually emphasize to stop there for a while (after the limb of rejoicing in the Seven-Limb prayer) to meditate on rejoicefulness --- rejoicing in one’s own three times’ merits and the three times merit of all the Buddhas, bodhisattvas and sentient beings.

(Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 30 Jan 95)
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On compassion

the good heart
Without compassion one lives one’s life with the ego, the motivation is the ego. Then depending on the ego, dissatisfied, disturbed and unhealthy states of mind --- attachment, anger and harmful thoughts --- arise. They motivate negative karma which harms oneself and harms others. So from life-to-life, one harms all sentient beings, directly or indirectly. So there is this danger of oneself, one person, giving harm to numberless sentient beings.

So now, if one has compassion, all the sentient beings --- starting from the nearest person, animal, or (any) being around oneself --- don't receive harm from oneself Instead they receive peace and happiness.
So all the peace and happiness that other beings receive from you is up to you. It is in your hands whether you offer all this happiness and peace to other sentient beings or not.
Therefore having a good heart, practising loving kindness, compassion, bodhicitta, and benefitting other sentient beings, becomes the most crucial work, the utmost necessity, not only for one’s own present life and future lives’ day-to-day happiness, but especially for the peace and happiness of the numberless sentient beings.

results in good health
As I have mentioned, having a good heart --- practising compassion and bodhicitta --- is the best method and the best way to be healthy. Through a healthy mind, the body becomes healthy.

When the mind becomes unpeaceful, dissatisfied and disturbed, when strong attachment, anger, jealousy, pride and so forth arise, then the vehicle of the mind which is the winds gets disturbed. Because of that, the four elements in the body get disturbed and unbalanced. When the four elements get unbalanced, disease comes. The imprints left on our consciousness due to past negative karma then manifests (as disease).

is one’s good friend
The best way to fulfil all one's own wishes for happiness now and in the future is by practising compassion. The most reliable friend that helps you all the time, who never cheats you, is your mind of compassion --- bodhicitta, the good heart.

Especially when one has a problem, when one's life is in a difficult state, compassion transforms it into happiness. Practising compassion is the best way to have a long life, the best way to achieve wealth, the best way to quickly purify and create the cause of happiness, the best method to achieve all happiness up to the ultimate state of enlightenment.

Chenresig manifestation as deity
The Compassionate-Eye-Looking Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, or Kwan Yin, is the embodiment of all the Buddhas' compassion, aimed specially at granting the blessing to generate compassion within the minds of sentient beings and to develop bodhicitta. Only through this is one able to achieve all the realizations of the Mahayana path to full enlightenment, the non-abiding sorrowless state. Only then can one give perfect service, do perfect work for all the sentient beings who equal the infinite space, without the slightest mistake.

Working for others without the slightest mistake and without any problem, one will be able to bring sentient beings from happiness to happiness, to the highest full enlightenment --- the cessation of all the mistakes of the mind and all the obscurations, and the completion of all the realizations.

manifestation as mantra
Even if one doesn't have any intellectual wisdom or knowledge, and even if one hasn't studied Dharma or can't read Dharma books, still if one spends the life reciting the Compassionate Buddha's mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, then just from this practice, the mind naturally gets transformed into compassion. And one will be able to develop greater and greater compassion towards other sentient beings.
om mani padme hum By reciting the Compassionate Buddha's mantra, devotion also develops. Then because of devotion to the guru and the Triple Gem, other realizations come very easily. One will be able to generate wisdom and realize emptiness, the ultimate nature.

(Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 28 Jan 95)
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On wisdom

There is no way that a real "I" exists. The "I" is simply what the mind has made up. It is a label, an idea, made up by the mind which then believes in it. Because there are aggregates, because there is a base, the mind just simply made up the label "I".

Therefore, because it is just an idea of the mind, the "I" is completely empty. Because it is merely imputed by the mind, the "I" doesn't exist at all from its own side. It is merely what the mind has made up, what the mind has imputed and then believes in.
The main point is that even the "I" which exists - the merely imputed "I" - is completely empty and doesn't exist at all from its own side. It is completely empty, like space. It is not space but like space. It is not completely non-existent but it is like it doesn’t exist.
So what it is is extremely subtle. There's a very subtle and fine border line between the existent and non-existent, fine line like the sharp side of a razor blade, unbelievably subtle and fine. This is what the "I" is like. It is very subtle. The ‘I’ is completely empty of existing from its own side, like it doesn’t exist.
In reality, all actions, the body, mind, aggregates, objects, forms, sounds, smells, tangible objects, the sky, clouds, cars, all these things that appear very real and concrete, all phenomena are like this ‘I’ that is completely empty from its own side, empty like space. This is the reality, how everything is. But due to our hallucination, due to the imprints left on our mental continuum by the past ignorance, everything --- the ‘I’, actions, objects --- that is merely labelled by the mind appears to exist from its own side.

(Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 29 Jan 95)
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The Three Goals of ABC

There is nothing complicated about the goal of ABC. It is not difficult to understand.

First, it is to achieve happiness for future lives. That is the most immediate thing.
Next goal is to achieve liberation, to completely end death and rebirth, all the sufferings of samsara --- the oceans of suffering of the hell, hungry ghost, animal, human, sura and asura beings. To completely end suffering and never to experience it again, to achieve ultimate liberation for oneself and also to cause all other sentient beings to achieve this.
The third goal, and the most important one, is to achieve full enlightenment, the completion of all qualities and cessation of all mistakes and obscurations. To achieve full enlightenment and be able to lead every sentient being into peerless happiness, full enlightenment, by freeing them from all the sufferings and causes of suffering

(Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 31 Jan 95)

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