Category Archives: Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The Eight Benefits of Practicing Refuge



So this time I must receive full enlightenment, that which is free forever from samsara, for the sake of the sentient beings.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

From teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche prior to a refuge ceremony at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, November 6, 1992. In this session, Rinpoche explains the eight benefits of practicing refuge and leads the students in prostrations. Follow along with the transcript here https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/refuge-practice-precepts


A Meditation on Emptiness



Delusion and karma come from the mind; they don’t come from outside. The main cause is the mind, so we need to learn more about our own mind, about delusion and karma, and about the path.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Like a star, a defective view, a butter lamp flame, an illusion. These classic teachings on emptiness are explained with great compassion by Lama Zopa Rinpoche during a retreat on the four Kadampa deities held at Institut Vajra Yogini, France in 2003. Read along with a lightly edited transcript at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/6-meditation-emptiness


The Emptiness of Sound



When we hear the sound, we will know what is the hallucination and what is the reality, what is false and what is the truth of our view of the sound.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

This short excerpt is from a series of teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche at a retreat held at Institut Vajra Yogini, France, from April 18 to May 11, 2003. A torrential rainstorm had begun and Rinpoche takes that opportunity to lead the students in a profound meditation on the emptiness of sound. Read the transcript of these teachings at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/3-emptiness-sound


Pervasive Compounding Suffering



Letting go of desire is not losing; it is only gaining. It is freeing ourselves from the prison of samsara. We are put in the prison in chains but by letting go of desire we are released; we are free.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

These teachings were given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the 36th Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 2003. In this session, Rinpoche teaches on the shortcomings of desire and how the path to liberation must begin with renunciation. Rinpoche also explains the three scopes of practice and emphasizes that we must practice all three scopes on the graduated path to enlightenment. Read the transcript of these teachings at www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/lecture-5-pervasive-compounding-suffering


The Shortcomings of Desire



Desire will be there all the time, but on top of that there is more anger. So much of the problem is desire; it is really the whole world’s problem.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

These teachings were given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche at the 36th Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 2003. In this session, Rinpoche discusses how we must understand how pervasive compounding suffering permeates everything we experience. Without understanding this, we can never remove our suffering completely and instead will wander mindlessly in ignorant darkness driven by endless desire and dissatisfaction. But with Dharma wisdom, you are a success no matter what happens. Read along with the lighted edited transcript of these teachings at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/lecture-4-shortcomings-desire


The Kindness of the Enemy



The minute our anger arises, we find an enemy in our life. We see a person that we hate or we want to hurt, or a person harms us and we see them as an enemy. But the minute our anger is gone, we don’t see them as an enemy.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

These teachings were given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche at the 36th Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 2003. In this session, Rinpoche discusses how we can only practice patience with those who appear to be our enemy. By resisting our urge to respond to the enemy in anger, we protect our mind and advance our realizations. Because these benefits are dependent upon the practice of patience, Rinpoche urges us to recognize the special kindness of the enemy and to feel a very deep sense of gratitude towards them.

You can also read along with the transcript of this podcast at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/lecture-3-kindness-enemy.


The Path of Universal Responsibility



Just by lecturing that we need compassion, that alone cannot generate compassion in the hearts of the people in this world. We need to learn how to develop compassion. Compassion, like rain falling, doesn’t just happen.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

These teachings were given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the 36th Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 2003. In this first lecture, Rinpoche begins by describing universal responsibility and illustrates this practice by telling the story of the four harmonious brothers. Rinpoche explains how living in harmony is the cause of inner and outer peace and powerful beauty. Rinpoche also gives commentary on the eight Mahayana precepts and ends with a guided meditation on universal responsibility. You can read along with a lightly edited transcript on our website at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/lecture-1-universal-responsibility


The Power of Positive Attitude



When we protect our mind, we protect our life.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

These teachings were given in June 2008 at the White Eagle Conference Center in Crestone, Colorado. Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains that when we practice a positive attitude, the good heart, we cause ourselves and everyone around us to be happy and healthy. Rinpoche notes that the good heart is so powerfully protective that a person doesn’t necessarily need a Buddhist motivation for their actions to become Dharma. You can read along with the transcript at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/day-one-part-b-positive-attitude-taking-care-yourself-dedications


The Benefits of Thought Transformation



All the hindrances of life, all the hindrances of meditation, of practicing Dharma, by practicing Mahayana thought training, all those hindrances of meditation, of Dharma practice, all those become helpers, beneficial conditions to practice Dharma.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

When we face so many obstacles and challenges to our practice, it can be helpful to listen to this excerpt from teachings on Geshe Langri Tangpa’s Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Manjushri Institute, Cumbria, England, August 16-24, 1979. These teachings were given by Rinpoche while Lama Yeshe was still alive. You can follow along with the transcript at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/benefits-thought-transformation.

You can also read the history surrounding these teachings in Big Love: The Life and Teachings of Lama Yeshe in Volume 2, Chapter 17: Even Your Enemy Who Tries to Kill You is Your Best Friend. Big Love is available at https://www.LamaYeshe.com/BigLove


Making Your Mind Vajrayana



So whatever happens, whatever is happening around, around you, your heart has peace.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

In this month’s podcast, Lama Zopa Rinpoche leads us in the vajra practice of Chenrezig. Rinpoche begins by chanting Om Mani Padme Hum slowly and powerfully. Within that resonance Rinpoche teaches on how to maintain the vajra visualization of Chenrezig where method and wisdom are unified in one mind. Rinpoche also touches upon the vajra method of hearing all sounds as mantra and then leads the group again in chanting Om Mani Padme Hum, this time using the kind of chanting Rinpoche says he would hear his mother use at Lawudo. While chanting Rinpoche repeatedly pauses to refresh the visualization of Chenrezig on the crown of all sentient beings to whom the practice is dedicated. After ending this session of chanting while visualizing mindfully, Rinpoche returns to analyzing the emptiness of Chenrezig and helps us see how true existence looks when it is projected on that visualization.

Listening to this experiential teaching will both increase your knowledge of the ultimate view and deepen your practice of Chenrezig for the benefit of all. Rinpoche gave this talk in Madrid, Spain on June 10, 2009. You can follow along with the transcript at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/chenrezig-visualization.