Category Archives: Dharma in Daily Life

The Essence of the Dharma



The essence of the Dharma is to subdue one’s mind by taming the disturbing, obscuring, emotional thoughts that bring so much suffering to yourself and to others, from life to life.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

In this teaching from the 33rd Kopan Course in 2000, Lama Zopa Rinpoche discusses the classic Buddhist instruction “Engage in the perfect wholesome action. Subdue one’s own mind. This is the teaching of the Buddha.” Rinpoche then leads us in the ultimate exercise to subdue the mind: a contemplation of emptiness. Read along with a transcript of these teachings on our website here.


Everything Depends on Your Mind



As Buddha said, you are your own enemy or you are your own liberator. You can create a hell realm or you can create enlightenment. Everything depends on what you do with your mind.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

In these 2000 teachings given during the 33rd Kopan Course, Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains how everything is merely imputed by the mind and then shows how this wisdom can enable us to transform all karmic appearances into happiness. You can read along with the full transcript at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/day-2-emptiness-everything-comes-mind


The Urgency of Realizing Lamrim



So we’re going to destroy, to totally cease, make it completely non-existent, this enemy, this inner enemy, this delusion, this demon, this self-cherishing thought that harms, that has been harming you, torturing you, and all the time, giving you problem all the time, even this life.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives this introductory teaching during a lamrim retreat at Vajrapani Institute in 2006. In this session Rinpoche impresses upon us the urgent importance of concentrating all our efforts on realizing the stages of the path to enlightenment for ourselves and all sentient beings. Read along with the transcript on our website.


The Dharma Will Protect Us



How to live the life? First your attitude becomes Dharma. Then with that attitude one lives the life, one does the works, one does the activities.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche observes that we think we can rely on purification practices to deal with our negative karma. Rinpoche warns us against relying too much on purification because it must be done perfectly to be effective. Rinpoche then directs our attention to the suffering realms around us and explains that in order to resist our karmic tendency to accumulate such causes of suffering, our main effort should be focused on living our lives according to the Dharma. These teachings were given by Rinpoche in Sydney, Australia in 1993. Follow along with the transcript on our website at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/purification-karma


The Label Is Not Enough



Do not be confused by people who try to disprove the existence of objects of faith like reincarnation or karma by simply labeling them as nonexistent.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche addresses how some people try to disprove the existence of reincarnation and other objects of Buddhist faith by labeling them as false views or heresy. Rinpoche demonstrates how labeling something cannot make the labeled phenomena function according to that label. In a similar way, we should not be confused by people who label our objects of faith as nonexistent. Instead we should rely on our faith and apply our wisdom in meditation to experience their functional phenomenal existence. Rinpoche gave these teachings during a lamrim course at Maitreya Instituut, Emst, in August 1990. You can read along with the transcript at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/benefits-understanding-karma


The Enemy is the Kindest Person



By developing the mind in patience, whatever happens to you, whatever harm others give you, you will never get angry.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains the power of the mind of patience to bring happiness to all beings we encounter on the path to enlightenment. The most powerful way for us to develop stable patience is to practice when confronted by the anger of others. Thus the angry person is the most kind to us, kinder than the friends that love us and the strangers we ignore.

Rinpoche gave these teachings at the Thirty-third Kopan Meditation Course held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 2000. Read along with the transcript at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/day-4-practicing-patience-enemy-kindest-person


There is No Enlightenment Button



You can’t attain the path just by knowing the words. You have to practice.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche reminds us that we can’t expect to just press a button, say a few words and become enlightened. After all we have accumulated countless causes of suffering during countless lives over countless eons. Even Shakyamuni Buddha himself demonstrated facing many hardships for the sake of enlightenment. We must also expect hardships while practicing Dharma with all our heart.

Rinpoche gave these teachings in June 2008 at the White Eagle Conference Center in Crestone, Colorado. Read along with the transcript at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/day-three-part-b-bearing-hardships-lama-atisha


The King of the Superstitious Mind



The basic Buddhist philosophy is that everything comes from karma which comes from your mind, from your intention.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains how imprints condition our mind to project karmic appearances upon everything we see, hear, smell, touch and taste. By changing our mind, we can change our experience. This short teaching by Rinpoche is excerpted from Lecture 10 of the 41st Kopan Course held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in December 2008. You can read along with the transcript on the LYWA website at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/basic-philosophy-buddhism-audio-and-unedited-transcripts


The Power of Cherishing Others



Even if we feel we are only capable of doing small things to help others right now, don’t feel hopeless or depressed. Instead rejoice because even the smallest attempt to help others should fill our hearts with happiness and joy.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche encourages us to examine whether our attempts to help others are in fact motivated by cherishing ourselves. Rinpoche assures us that even if our capacity to cherish others is small right now, even our smallest attempts to cherish others should fill our hearts with joy. Rinpoche then illustrates the power of cherishing others by telling the story of Asanga and Maitreya. These teachings given by Rinpoche in Sydney, Australia, 1993. You can read along with the transcript at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/cherishing-others-asangas-teachings


The Yoga of Offering Food



With that continual thought of benefiting other sentient beings, then with every single morsel of food or drop of drink, you collect limitless skies of merit.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

These teachings were given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche at the 36th Kopan Meditation Course at Kopan Monastery, Nepal in 2003. In this session, Rinpoche teaches how and why to make all our meals the practice of Dharma and the cause of enlightenment. Rinpoche explains in detail the three motivations for making food offerings and then joins the students in a food  offering practice. Read along with the transcript of these teachings at https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/lecture-7-yoga-offering-food