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The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition

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The Wisdom Realizing Emptiness


Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive has just published The Path to Ultimate Happiness, an ebook of teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche during the 42nd Kopan lamrim course. In this book, Rinpoche discusses our potential to bring benefit and happiness, including full enlightenment, to all sentient beings. Here’s a short excerpt:


By realizing the most subtle level of emptiness we are able to cut the very root of samsara, ignorance. There are many types of ignorance, but this is particularly the ignorance holding the I, the self, as something real in the sense of existing from its own side, not merely labeled by mind. The I that exists from its own side is something that is not there at all; it totally doesn’t exist. But this ignorance holds onto such a false I, not the I that does exist.


There is an I that exists, but it is empty. While it exists it’s empty, unifying emptiness and dependent arising, unifying ultimate truth and conventional truth, the truth for the ultimate wisdom and the truth for the all-obscuring mind. There are these two truths, ultimate truth and conventional truth, and emptiness and dependent arising unifies the two. That is how the I exists.


This ignorance that holds onto the non-existent I as existing is the root of all karma and delusion, and all the oceans of sufferings of the hell beings, the hungry ghosts, the animals, the human beings, the gods and demigods and the intermediate state beings. The wisdom that realizes emptiness can cut this root, eliminating the root of samsara and even the seed of that ignorance, ceasing all karma and delusion. Then, we become totally liberated from the oceans of samsaric suffering and never experience suffering again. We achieve ultimate happiness, the blissful state of peace, for ourselves.


That is the view of the Prasangika school, the wisdom realizing emptiness that is explained by that school, by recognizing the subtle object to be refuted, the very subtle hallucination. This does not happen by realizing the emptiness explained by the previous schools, only by the Prasangika’s explanation. There is only one emptiness and only by realizing that can we cut the root of samsara, ignorance.


Excerpted from The Path to Ultimate Happiness, teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche during the 42nd Kopan lamrim course in 2009 at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, lightly edited by Gordon McDougall and Sandra Smith.



You can order The Path to Ultimate Happiness from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive or the FPMT Foundation Store:

https://www.lamayeshe.com/shop/path-ultimate-happiness-ebook

https://shop.fpmt.org/-The-Path-to-Ultimate-Happiness-eBook-PDF-_p_3134.html


Watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche teach LIVE from Spain, Germany, and Switzerland, October 19-November 18! For links to live video streams:

https://fpmt.org/media/streaming/lama-zopa-rinpoche-live/




Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service.


https://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-wisdom-realizing-emptiness/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Australia, May 2018. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.
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Over 2.5 Million Lives Liberated for Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Long Life


In July, over 2.5 million living beings, including large and small fish, shellfish, and two goats, were liberated in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Nepal with dedications made for Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s long life. These beings were taken around holy objects and blessed with mantras and mantra water before release. 


In Singapore, at Amitabha Buddhist Center, Ven. Tenzin Drachom arranged the liberation of 2.5 million lives. 


In Hong Kong, at  Cham Tse Ling, Ven. Pemba arranged the liberation of 12,516 lives. 


In Nepal, Tania Duratovic of Enlightenment for the Dear Animals joined Kopan Monastery in liberating two goats that would otherwise be killed. The two goats were later put on the Animal Liberation Sanctuary land to live out the rest of their lives. Lama Zopa Rinpoche named the two goats Conventional Bodhichitta and Ultimate Bodhichitta. 


Animal liberation is a specific practice done for animals which would otherwise be killed. The practice involves taking the animals-in-danger around holy objects to leave positive imprints in their minds, reciting mantras for them, blessing water to sprinkle onto their bodies, and then releasing them. This differs from general animal blessings which involve blessing any animal with mantras or a holy object. Animal blessings are, of course, wonderful to do for animals, but this is not what is meant by “animal liberations.”





Please rejoice that over 2.5 million sentient beings received blessings and kindness from students of Lama Zopa Rinpoche– those offering the practices as well as those who have donated to the Animal Liberation Fund. All the merit of animal liberations is dedicated to the long life of Lama Zopa Rinpoche—something worth rejoicing in as well!


“Where there is a mind, there are feelings such as pain, pleasure, and joy. No sentient being wants pain; instead all want happiness. Since we all share these feelings at some basic level, we as rational human beings have an obligation to contribute in whatever way we can to the happiness of other species and try our best to relieve their fears and sufferings.”

                                                                                                                          — His Holiness the Dalai Lama




https://fpmt.org/charitable-activities/projects/retreats-and-practices/pf-news/over-2-5-million-lives-liberated-for-lama-zopa-rinpoches-long-life/

Caption: This goat and another, who were going to be killed, were liberated and the merit of this was dedicated to the long life of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
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How a True Dharma Practitioner Bears Hardship


Lama Zopa Rinpoche first taught at the month-long lamrim meditation course at Kopan Monastery in 1971. Rinpoche continues to offer teachings at the course most years. During a teaching at the 2017 Kopan Course, Rinpoche spoke about the great Drukpa Kagyu practitioner Gyalwa Gotsangpa (1189–1258):


Gotsangpa was unbelievable. I read the life story. He almost passed away by so many lice attacking him. He purposefully made charity of his body to the lice. Two times or three times he almost passed away.


He bore most unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable hardships to practice Dharma, purposefully. He was not just somebody who was very poor; he was poor, but not like that. He purposefully chose to bear hardships.


This lama, this great yogi, he had no interest in monasteries, organizations. His whole life was without monasteries, organizations. Gotsangpa. So comparing his Dharma practice to our Dharma practice, which is just between our lips, but his is wow, wow, wow, unbelievable hardships!


His advice is when you have sickness, when you experience cancer, relationship problems, or anything, pray: “May all sentient beings be free from sicknesses, spirit harm, negative karma, defilements.” Negative karma and defilements are collected from beginningless rebirths. “May all sentient beings be free from disease, spirit harm, negative karma, and defilements.”


“By my experiencing this sickness,” so every sickness, even relationship problems, or whatever, do according to that. So cancer, whatever it is: “By my experiencing this sickness or this problem, then may all sentient beings be free from sicknesses, spirit harm, negative karma, and defilements, and quickly be free and achieve enlightenment.”


You recite that like OM MANI PADME HUM, a mala. Like reciting a mantra, recite it like that. Meditate like that and recite like that. That is unbelievably good.


Even while you are walking, sitting, whatever, recite like that. So you collect merits more than the sky. You collect so many merits, more than the sky, when you do this, and it becomes the greatest purification, purifying the defilements and negative karma that you collected from beginningless rebirths. Then it becomes a quick path to enlightenment for you.


In other words, you use your problem; you use it for other sentient beings, numberless sentient beings, to achieve enlightenment. To free them from all the suffering and to achieve enlightenment, you use yourself, including your problem.


Like that, it is amazing. If you do like that, like reciting a mantra, if you do like that, then the cancer can be cured. Even if it is cancer, even if it is a disease for which there is no medicine, it can be cured.


Watch the teaching by Lama Zopa Rinpoche from which this excerpt is taken:

https://youtu.be/59YtMWKaxZ8





Colophon: Excerpted from Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings at Kopan Monastery, December 8, 2017. Simultaneously transcribed by Ven. Joan Nicell. Lightly edited by Laura Miller, October 2018.



Find out more about the courses offered at Kopan Monastery:

http://kopanmonastery.com/courses-retreats/courses




Find complete videos of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s recent teachings:

https://fpmt.org/media/streaming/teachings-of-lama-zopa-rinpoche/


Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.


https://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/advice-from-lama-zopa-rinpoche/how-a-true-dharma-practitioner-bears-hardship/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche blessing a sick woman in Maratika, Nepal, February 2018. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.
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October 2018 International Office e-News Now Available!


We invite you to read our October 2018 FPMT International Office e-News. This month you’ll find:



Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s schedule updates 


highlights and advice from our most recently published blogs
The Path to Ultimate Happiness, a new ebook by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
an inspiring video of MAITRI Charitable Trust


The Inner Job Description (IJD) App now available in six languages 



… and much more!



French and Spanish speakers will find the FPMT International Office News translated each month in the “Bienvenue” and “Bienvenidos” tabs on the FPMT homepage.


The FPMT International Office News comes from your FPMT International Office. Visit our subscribe page to receive the FPMT International Office News directly in your email box.


https://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/announcements/october-2018-international-office-e-news-now-available/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Chenerzig Institute, Eudlo, Australia, June 2018. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.
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Lhabab Duchen Is on October 31


Lhabab Duchen, one of the four great holy days of the Buddhist calendar, takes place this year on Wednesday, October 31.



Lhabab Duchen celebrates Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s return to Earth from the god realm Thirty-Three after teaching Dharma for several months to the gods there, including his mother, Mayadevi, who had died a week after Buddha’s birth and been reborn there. As a merit multiplying day, the karmic results of actions done on this day are multiplied 100 million times. This amazing result is sourced by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to the vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic.



Specific advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche for practices to do on merit multiplying days can be found on FPMT.org, including advice to recite the Sutra for Remembering the Three Jewels. (Advice for merit multiplying days can also be found in French.) If you choose to recite the Sutra of Golden Light on this special day, you might like to report your recitations using the facility on the FPMT website, which you can find on the Sutra of Golden Light reporting page.



Please keep in mind that according to the late Kyabje Choden Rinpoche, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s gurus, the observation of auspicious days should be according to the date in India, not the date in one’s home country. Therefore, when Lama Zopa Rinpoche is not in India, Rinpoche celebrates merit multiplying days and other auspicious dates according to the time in India.



Special thanks to the Liberation Prison Project for preparing a Tibetan calendar with information on holy days and other important dates for avoiding or engaging in various activities.





Through comprehensive study programs, practice materials, and training seminars, FPMT Education nourishes the development of compassion, wisdom, kindness, and true happiness in individuals of all ages.


https://fpmt.org/edu-news/lhabab-duchen-is-on-october-31/

Caption: Image from rigpawiki.org
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Dagri Rinpoche Teaches at Kalachakra Centre's Retreat Facility


In order to give Kalachakra Centre students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of Buddhism and go further in their practice, the FPMT Paris-based center acquired a large farm in Perche in northwest France. Student Christa Muller-Rappard shares details about the retreat facility, a two-hour direct train ride from Paris, and Dagri Rinpoche’s recent visit.


The sun is shining hot and bright over Kalachakra Centre’s retreat facility, Saint Cosme en Vairais retreat centre. The sound of a tractor breaks the silence as it comes nearer; the birds and crickets sing their songs.





A big country house with a joyful and bustling kitchen and dining area welcomes you. Moving beyond this area, a beautiful wooden gompa is revealed. It is in stark contrast to what came before, like the transition between the mundane and the spiritual.


One is held in awe, surrounded by exquisite hand-painted thangkas. They beautify the stone and adobe walls with their bucolic and rustic charm, reminiscent of a time long gone.


The robe-colored cushions invite one to be seated. A certain calm takes over because of the palpable reverberation of thousands of mantras, prayers, and aspirations of the holy beings, buddhas, and lamas who have graced this space.


A wooden staircase leads upstairs to a bright and airy corridor with several dormitories.


Kalachakra Centre’s retreat facility, inaugurated by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, has been beautifully renovated. It is quiet and beautiful, spacious and cozy. In addition to the big country house, there are three other buildings on the land. These buildings are for guests and retreat participants. It is also possible to camp on the grounds around the center.





The retreat facility offers annual one-month lamrim teachings given by Geshe Jamphel Gyaltsen, a geshe resident at Nalanda Monstery, as well as a Vajrasattva retreat, Kalachakra retreat, and Shamatha retreat.





This year Kalachakra Centre was incredibly fortunate to receive Dagri Rinpoche at its retreat facility. Rinpoche kindly taught us for several days in August 2018. His visit marked the retreat facility’s ten-year anniversary.


With his usual good humor and incredible kindness, Rinpoche gave us commentaries on Langri Tangpa Dorje Senghe’s famous text, The Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, as well as Vajrasattva and Tara initiations, offering us all immense benefits and clarity.


The retreat finished with a beautiful tsog offering with Kalachakra Centre’s resident geshe, Geshe Drakpa Tsundue in attendance.


Most of the students came from Paris, where they are regular students at Kalachakra Centre.


Dagri Rinpoche had not come for nine years, but he was very happy to recognize some old faces. We hope he can visit us again soon.



For more information about Kalachakra Centre in Paris and its retreat facility, visit their website:

https://www.centre-kalachakra.com/#


The Eight Verses of Mind Training is available from the FPMT Foundation Store:

https://fpmt.org/edu-news/eight-verses-of-thought-transformation/



FPMT.org and Mandala Publications brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings, and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects, and services around the globe. If you like what you read, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.


https://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/dagri-rinpoche-teaches-at-kalachakra-centres-retreat-facility/

Caption: Dagri Rinpoche with Geshe Drakpa Tsundue, Ven. Thubten Donyo, Ven. Elisabeth Drukier, and students, Kalachakra Centre’s retreat facility, France, August 2018. Photo by Charles Ho.
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Maitri Charitable Trust: Dharma in Action since 1989


Since 1989, Maitri has been operating as a beneficial example of Dharma in action. Maitri is a registered charitable trust in India working to support the poor and disadvantaged in the province of Bihar, India. 





While Maitri was created to fight and provide education about leprosy and support leprosy patients, this NGO is also engaged in eradicating, controlling, and educating others about tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and birth control; offers medical assistance and care for expecting mothers and new born babies; provides life-saving assistance to malnourished small children; supplies rehabilitation for disabled people; and rescues and cares for animals. 




Please take a few minutes to watch this inspiring video of Maitri’s work by Marc-Andre Brunelle.





For the sixth year in a row, due to the kindness of a benefactor, the FPMT Social Services Fund has been offering substantial grants to Maitri in support of their incredible and compassionate work and service. Please consider supporting Maitri in any way you are able so this work can continue, as director Adriana Ferranti wishes, “as long as there is suffering.”



For more information about Maitri Charitable Trust and to donate directly to their work, please visit their website: http://www.maitri-bodhgaya.org/


Read “Maitri Charitable Trust: Service in the Land of Noble Truths,” published recently by Mandala:

https://fpmt.org/mandala/online-features/maitri-charitable-trust-service-in-the-land-f-noble-truths/








https://fpmt.org/charitable-activities/projects/social-services/maitri-charitable-trust-dharma-in-action-since-1989/

Caption: Mothers and children being cared for at Maitri, Bihar, India, January 2018. Photo by Phil Hunt.
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Practicing Kindness


Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive has just published The Path to Ultimate Happiness, a new ebook of teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche during the 42nd Kopan lamrim course.


In this book, Rinpoche discusses our potential to bring benefit and happiness, including full enlightenment, to all sentient beings. Rinpoche explains the lamrim, the stages of the path to enlightenment, teaches extensively on emptiness and the good heart, and gives commentaries on sur practice, the Offering Cloud Mantra, and other prayers and practices. 


The Path to Ultimate Happiness conveys the spontaneous and intimate quality of Rinpoche’s teaching style and includes many anecdotes from his own experiences. Here’s a short excerpt:


The teachings about karma are very, very important. If you remember this in your daily life you will become very careful, not only avoiding negativities, not harming others, but also being kind, generous and gentle to them. You are able to practice this because you see its importance. You are able to abandon the negative karmas that cause you to receive harm from sentient beings for hundreds or thousands of lifetimes.


Conversely, when you do one act of kindness for a sentient being, you will receive help from that sentient being for hundreds and thousands of lifetimes. From your one act of kindness you receive the benefit from that sentient being for hundreds, thousands of lifetimes. Therefore, if you want to be happy, if you don’t want to receive harm from others, you need to practice the good heart, you need to be kind to others, not only to your friends but even to your enemies and strangers. Practicing kindness, you receive the result—happiness, enjoyment—from that sentient being for many hundreds, thousands of lifetimes.


The conclusion is that every day of your life, day and night, practice kindness to others, thus causing others to have happiness. That is essential; it’s the cause of your own happiness, not only in this life but in thousands of future lifetimes.


If you want your wishes to succeed all the time, you should make others’ wishes succeed. Causing others’ wishes to succeed is the cause of success of your wishes every day of your life. As much as you are able to do that, the result will be that in this life and all the future lives, all the time your wishes will succeed. Without any effort, without any worry or fear, whatever wish you have will just happen, exactly like that, including achieving enlightenment. Practicing kindness, as much as you can, you should fulfill the wishes of others. From one act of kindness your wishes are fulfilled for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes.


As His Holiness the Dalai Lama always says, if you want to live your life with a selfish attitude it’s better to live it by being intelligently selfish. By helping others, being kind to others, the result is that you will get happiness. From one act of fulfilling one wish of a sentient being, your wishes will succeed for hundreds of lifetimes, thousands of lifetimes. This is being intelligently selfish, thinking of how to get all your wishes fulfilled. This is correct but the main reason for helping others is still for your own happiness.


For bodhisattvas there is never a thought for their own happiness. It doesn’t arise even for a second. There is always the thought of cherishing others, of seeking happiness for the other sentient beings: the numberless hell beings, the numberless hungry ghosts, the numberless animals, the numberless human beings and the numberless gods and demigods. Only practicing kindness, fulfilling others’ wishes for happiness, thinking of others’ happiness, the bodhisattvas’ attitude is very pure. This is what we should all try to practice in our daily life.


Excerpted from The Path to Ultimate Happiness, teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche during the 42nd Kopan lamrim course in 2009 at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, lightly edited by Gordon McDougall and Sandra Smith.



To order the new ebook The Path to Ultimate Happiness, visit:

https://www.lamayeshe.com/shop/path-ultimate-happiness-ebook




An ebook series that presents teachings from the 24th Kopan course in 1991 is also available from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. For more:

https://www.lamayeshe.com/article/kopan-course-no-24-1991-ebook-series




Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service.


https://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/practicing-kindness/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche blessing all the beings in a lake in Washington State, US, June 2018. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.
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Chanting the Names of Mañjushri



Chanting the Names of Mañjushri, which is called Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti in Sanskrit, is available as a PDF and in ebook formats on the FPMT.org sutra page.




Over 160 verses comprise the text, which is categorized as a tantra, but can be read by anyone without restrictions. This praise of Manjushri was taught by Buddha Shakyamuni at the request of Vajrapani. It is a central text in all Tibetan traditions and is often recited and memorized by students.


Students can also find on FPMT.org links to an alternative translation of the text by Buddhist scholar Alex Berzin and links to an audio recording of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s commentary and oral transmission of the text on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.



PDF and ebooks formats of Chanting the Names of Mañjushri can also be acquired through the Foundation Store.


Through comprehensive study programs, practice materials, and training seminars, FPMT Education nourishes the development of compassion, wisdom, kindness, and true happiness in individuals of all ages.


https://fpmt.org/edu-news/chanting-the-names-of-manjushri/
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Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Schedule
Approximately May 10 – June 15 2019  Vajra Yogini Retreat, Institut Vajrayogini, France


https://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/schedule/lama-zopa-rinpoches-schedule-9/
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