The Living Heart of Compassion


Compassion should be at the heart of our life, at the center of all our relationships and in all our practices.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives the transmission of the mantra and dharani of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion and explains why reciting these mantra helps us to develop compassion from the center of our heart for all beings and especially for those we see as the enemy. Rinpoche illuminates how the path to enlightenment depends first on developing immeasurable compassion for each and every being. These teachings were given by Rinpoche during a Maitreya puja at Shakyamuni Center in Taichung, Taiwan, in March 2007. You can follow along with the transcript on our website.

The Power of the Object of Merit

If you don’t practice Dharma, don’t learn Dharma, don’t meditate, if you don’t pray to have realization of the path to enlightenment, at least even the path to liberation, if you don’t do that then so many sentient beings have to suffer for you to live, for your happiness, it is so unimaginable, unbearable, so unbearable.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Everything we do to keep this human body alive inevitably harms other sentient beings and thus accumulates negative karma. Rinpoche describes this harm and the incredible power of the object to quickly accumulate huge amounts of positive merit. Contemplate how this power of the object can help us accumulate more than enough positive merit to offset the constantly accumulating negative karma of living. May we accumulate more than enough positive merit to quickly and more quickly constantly progress on the path to enlightenment for the sake of all mother sentient beings. Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave this Dharma talk prior to a refuge ceremony at Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Singapore, on January 18, 2009. You can read along with the transcript on our website.


Make Your Life Worthwhile

Don’t cheat yourself. Don’t deceive yourself. Don’t be distracted by sense pleasures. Exist where you are right now. Make your life worthwhile.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

This month’s LYWA podcast is a short spontaneous Dharma talk by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on the importance of making this life worthwhile, given on April 20, 2000 while Rinpoche was traveling in a car through San Francisco on the way to FPMT’s Tse Chen Ling Center.

Practicing the Good Heart

You have to develop perfect power, so that you can reveal to all sentient beings the appropriate methods according to their level of mind.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains why practicing the good heart is so extremely important, the basis of all action. Recognizing the workaday world reality in which most of his students live, Rinpoche shows us how to think and act so that every moment of our lives will be of maximum benefit to both ourselves and others. This excerpt is from a four-day course given at an American FPMT center, Tilopa Center, Decatur, Illinois, in August, 1997. These teachings were published by LYWA as Virtue & Reality. You can read along with the edited transcript here.

Chanting the Names of Noble Manjushri

Manjushri bodhisattva is the highest manifestation of being, the embodiment of all knowledge.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The Ārya-mañjuśrī-nāma-saṅgīti (Chanting the Names of Noble Manjushri) consists of 160 verses and mantra sentences, condensing an enormous tantric lore. Listen to Lama Zopa Rinpoche reciting the Ārya-mañjuśrī-nāma-saṅgīti in Tibetan. Rinpoche recorded this recitation in 2006, and asked for the recording to be made available for anyone to listen at any time during their day. Rinpoche also suggested to play it loudly so that animals and others nearby can hear it, and thereby benefit from it as well.

Recently His Holiness the Dalai Lama has offered us all the precious advice to recite Chanting the Names of Noble Manjushri continuously for a few months, for the swift return of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s reincarnation. Thus all students of Lama Zopa Rinpoche are requested to please recite Chanting the Names of Noble Manjushri as much as you can, continuously, starting now. You can download the English translation of Chanting the Names of Noble Manjushri and read His Holiness’s letter of advice on the FPMT website.

It’s all in your mind

You have no enemy when you don’t have anger. Only when you have anger you have enemy in your life. So it’s all to do with your concept. It’s all in your mind.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

These teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on the power of our perfect human rebirth are from a commentary Rinpoche gave on the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, an essential mind training text composed by Kadampa Geshe Langri Tangpa. These teachings were hosted by Tse Chen Ling Center, in San Francisco, California, in November 2003. You can also listen along with the transcript on our website.

Imagine the Power of Bodhicitta

The incredible, unbelievable, most unbelievable, no words, how most important to generate bodhicitta, can you imagine?

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche celebrates the power of bodhicitta during teachings given by Rinpoche at the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive home office in October 2012. Rinpoche was in town to attend the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to FPMT’s Kurukulla Center in Boston, Massachusetts. You can read along with the transcript here.

Contemplate Karmic Appearance

If we don’t create good karma again, we cannot predict what will happen to us after this minute, after this hour, tonight, tomorrow, next year.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

From extensive teachings on karma excerpted from a lamrim course led by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Maitreya Instituut, Emst, in August 1990. Read along with the transcript on our website.

Renouncing the Self-cherishing Thought

One must understand that by hurting others, you are also creating the cause to be hurt by others. To really solve the problem one has to do something with the cause, which is within your mind.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains how the self-cherishing thought seeking happiness negatively affects our karma. But the study of karma is missing in Western psychology. So we must take special care to understand how  karma works so we will be inspired to practice the methods that will stop and purify our negative karma. These teaching were given during a lamrim course hosted by Maitreya Instituut, Emst, in August, 1990. Follow along with the transcript on our website.

How Guru Shakyamuni Frees Sentient Beings

So, what is the way that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, what is his way of freeing the sentient being from suffering? By revealing the absolute truth, by revealing the nature of the existence.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains how Guru Buddha Shakyamuni frees us from suffering by revealing the true nature of reality. But the Buddha cannot transplant his realizations of emptiness into our minds. It is up to each of us to apply the teachings so we may generate our own realization of emptiness. Rinpoche gave these teachings at the 14th Kopan Meditation Course at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1981. You can also follow along with the transcript on our website.