Category Archives: Emptiness

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.

Karma in Everyday Life

We are released from confusion while we are aware of the reality of things.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche encourages us to live our life with a mind that is aware of the reality of things so that we avoid the confusion that leads to negative karma. Rinpoche also recites in English the Heart Sutra and Lama Tsongkhapa’s lamrim text The Foundation of All Good Qualities. These teachings were given by Rinpoche during a lamrim course hosted by Maitreya Instituut in August, 1990. You can read along with the transcript on our website.

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

The Meaning of Secret Mantra

The meaning of the word ‘mantra’ includes the whole path to enlightenment.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Zopa Rinpoche discusses the use of mantra in highest yoga tantra and explains how our minds should approach the practice of the mantra of Chenrezig. These teachings were given at the Twenty-Eighth Kopan Meditation Course in November 1995. Read along with the transcript on our website here.

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

Subduing the Mind

If one practices mindfulness in the reality of these things, that which is impermanence, there is liberation from samsara.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The mind is the source of all suffering and the source of all happiness. In this session Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains how subduing the mind by meditating on the reality of impermanence is the method by which we can become liberated from samsara. Many of the powerful and poignant examples Rinpoche uses to illustrate impermanence are also used as classic illustrations of emptiness. These teachings were given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Sydney, Australia, in 1993. Read along with the transcript at


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

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

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