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Happiness Doesn't Depend on Only Material Development
“If happiness depended on only material development, rich countries such as America would be very happy places,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche reflects in “In Search of a Meaningful Life” in Teachings from Tibet, an updated and reprinted collection of lineage master teachings from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. “Many people try to follow the American way of life, thinking it will bring them happiness, but personally, I find greater peace in more spiritually minded countries such as India and Nepal. These are much happier countries, more peaceful for the mind. When I return to India after traveling in the West, it’s like coming home. There are so many differences. India is actually a very spiritual country and this makes a great difference to the mind.

“When you look at materialistic societies and the way people live, your own mind gets disturbed. The people there are increasingly busy, and new and different problems continually arise; they’re tense and nervous and have no time to relax. In India, you see people relaxing all over the place, but in the West, you pick up the vibration of the population’s agitated minds and finish up feeling nervous yourself. If happiness depended solely on external development, countries like Switzerland and America would be the most peaceful places on earth, with less quarreling, fighting and violence, but they’re not like that.”

Find Teachings from Tibet on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive: http://www.lamayeshe.com/shop/teachings-tibet

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.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/happiness-doesnt-depend-on-only-material-development/
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Robes Offered to the Buddha Statue in Mahabodhi Temple Every Month
Every month on the full moon, the Puja Fund sponsors the offering of robes, made of the most precious material, to the most holy Buddha statue in Mahabodhi temple, Bodhgaya, India.

During the robe offering, students and Sangha from Root Institute offer prayers and practices including verses like this from the Nyung Nä sadhana:

In order to purify my mind, I offer an exquisite precious garment,
Multicolored like Indra’s variegated bow,
That when touched becomes the cause of bliss
May I be adorned with the holy garment of patience.

Please rejoice in this monthly offering that is so precious. You are welcome to contribute to this by offering to the Puja Fund at any time.

You can learn more about the extensive pujas, practices and offerings sponsored by the Puja Fund or about any of the other Charitable Projects of FPMT.


http://fpmt.org/charitable-activities/projects/retreats-and-practices/pf-news/robes-offered-to-the-buddha-statue-in-mahabodhi-temple-every-month/
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Update from Buddha Amitabha Pure Land
“It’s exhausting,” Ven. Gyalten Yarphel told Mandala in a phone call on Thursday afternoon, August 27. “Breathing all the smoke, it’s hard to be energetic.” Ven. Yarphel (John Jackson) was speaking from Buddha Amitabha Pure Land (BAPL) in North Central Washington state in the United States, where wildfires continue to burn out of control.

On Thursday, August 20, fires came through the valley where Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s retreat house and Buddha Amitabha Pure Land are located. According to Ven. Yarphel, the fire came up to and burned around the structures — Rinpoche’s house and the retreat cabins — and the two large statues — Medicine Buddha and Amitabha Buddha — leaving small unburned islands on the land. Sadly, their close neighbor’s house was burned to the ground.

The current residents of the 500-acre retreat property had evacuated their homes the night before, but had to stay with neighbors as the road out of the valley was blocked by fires and did not open up until early on Thursday morning, when they got out. They stayed with friends who lived about 40 miles away and returned to the BAPL on Tuesday, August 25. 

On Wednesday, August 26, the winds came up and blew an ember into the trees near one of the retreat structures on the land (not Rinpoche’s house). The trees caught fire and caused the structure to combust and burn to the ground.

On Thursday 27, the winds picked up again, and those staying on the property were told to again evacuate. While most of the ground at BAPL is charred, Ven. Yarphel said there is still a lot of fuel for fire in the trees, although he added that Rinpoche’s house seems to be safe. Fires continue to burn in the surrounding areas and across the valley. Spot fires could flare up on the property depending on the wind and other conditions. There is also very dense smoke, which prevents air assistance with the fires.

Ven. Yarphel said the firefighters are doing all they can, but simply don’t have enough resources. The Okanogan Complex fire, which is the fire affecting BAPL, is currently covering 302,224 acres and is threatening to merge with another large fire burning to the east, the North Star fire, covering 179,834 acres. In addition, wildfires fueled by drought and a very warm summer are burning throughout other parts of the Pacific Northwest. 

The residents at BAPL hope to return to the retreat land on Friday, August 28. Early reports on Friday said that no new structures were burned. The residents staying on the retreat land are without electricity, but there is one generator, which provides internet access, some light at night and runs a pump for water. They also have food and can cook on a camp stove. Gelek Sherpa, who has been staying there painting the large Amitabha Buddha statue, will be returning to California next week as it’s become too difficult to continue his work because of smoke and swarming wasps and yellow jackets. Ven. Yarphel is looking forward to getting out of the smoke, too. He’ll be leaving for Mexico next week to attend the retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche. 

For now, fires continue to threaten Buddha Amitabha Pure Land. Some rain is forecast for the area over the weekend, however if it is accompanied by wind and lightning, which was the cause of the current fires, it might not help. Students may do prayers and practices to dispel fires as advised by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. This advice can be found in last week’s post “Wildfires Threaten Buddha Amitabha Pure Land and Pamtingpa Center.”

You can see a short video after the August 20 fire of Buddha Amitabha Pure Land on Facebook. 

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.


http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/update-from-buddha-amitabha-pure-land/
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Dharma Is Developing the Mind
“Since we want only happiness and no suffering, it is extremely important for us to practice Dharma,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche says in “In Search of a Meaningful Life” in Teachings from Tibet, an updated and reprinted collection of lineage master teachings from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

“Dharma is not chanting, doing rituals or wearing uniforms; it’s developing the mind, the inner factor. We have many different inner factors: negative ones, such as the unsubdued mind, ignorance, delusions and so forth; and positive ones, such as love, compassion, wisdom and the like. Dharma practice is the destruction of our negative mental factors and the cultivation of our positive ones.

“Linguistically, the word ‘dharma’ means ‘existent phenomenon,’ but when we say ‘the practice of Dharma’ or ‘holy Dharma,’ it means that which protects us from suffering. That is the meaning of the holy Dharma; that is the Dharma we should practice.”

Find Teachings from Tibet on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive: http://www.lamayeshe.com/shop/teachings-tibet

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.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/dharma-is-developing-the-mind/
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Respect Other Religions, But Analyze Animal Sacrifice [VIDEO]
“Of course, we should respect all the religions, all the major religions in the world,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaches in a new video on FPMT’s YouTube channel. “People don’t have the karma and are unable to be Christian, unable to be Muslim, unable to be Buddhist – they don’t have merit, they don’t have the karma. People find happiness in whichever religion they follow. Not everybody is Christian, not everybody is Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist. They get happiness from other religions. So, we must respect others. That’s so important. But, animal sacrifice should be checked and analyzed. …”

Watch “Respect Other Religions, But Analyze Animal Sacrifice” on YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzyfFFZL6Lk

You can watch more video clips of Lama Zopa Rinpoche on FPMT’s YouTube page: http://bit.ly/fpmt-youtube

For longer videos of Rinpoche teaching, visit: http://bit.ly/rinpoche-available-now

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/respect-other-religions-but-analyze-animal-sacrifice-video/
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August FPMT E-News Out Now!
We hope you enjoy the August edition of the FPMT International Office E-news – out now!

This month we bring you:

Highlights from Lama Zopa Rinpoche NewsRecent Grants Offered by our Social Services FundNewest Online Feature from Mandala magazineCelebrating FPMT’s International Sangha Day…with pizza!and of course more…….


http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/announcements/august-fpmt-e-news-out-now/
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Lama Zopa Rinpoche in New York
On Sunday, August 30, Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave a Most Secret Hayagriva long life initiation for New York‘s Sherpa community. The event was organized by Ogmin Jangchub Sishu Tsogpa, the association of former Kopan Monastery monks and nuns living in New York, and held in the building owned by the United Sherpa Association in Queens. American actor Richard Gere also attended the event, which was the day before his birthday. He was offered cake and thanks by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

During Rinpoche’s August visit to New York, he had quite a few visits with the former monks and nuns of Kopan living in New York. There was a large picnic with the Kopan community and other Tibetans and Sherpas in a park on Long Island mid-month. After the picnic, Rinpoche gave Dharma advice. 

Rinpoche also had dinner with a group of former Kopan monks and nuns at a restaurant in Queens. The group gathers about once a month for a social dinner and to offer each other support and discuss things like helping those back in Nepal who were affected by the devastating earthquake. 

“Wherever Rinpoche goes in New York City, there are always ex-Kopan monks in yellow cabs to take Rinpoche there,” shared Ven. Roger Kunsang, assistant to Rinpoche and CEO of FPMT. This is because many of the former monks living in New York drive cabs and Ven. Roger knows who to call to have one of them pick up Rinpoche.

Rinpoche also gave teachings and participated in other activities organized by Shantideva Meditation Center, the FPMT center in New York. We’ll have more on those events in the days to come.

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.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/lama-zopa-rinpoche-in-new-york/
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The Analogy of Lightning
“We can also use the lightning analogy to explain emptiness in a very simple way,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche says in The Perfect Human Rebirth: Freedom and Richness on the Path to Enlightenment, part of the FPMT Lineage Series from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. “Imagine we are walking on a road, unable to see anything. When it’s completely dark we don’t label anything because we can’t see anything. Then there is a flash of lightning. In the brief flash we see a tree and another person on the road. The two bases appear because of the sudden light and we label them ‘good,’ ‘bad,’ ‘ugly,’ this and that. Even during this short period attachment and aversion arise. As soon as there’s the appearance of the base, we label it.

“… We waste the precious time we have assigning positive and negative attributes to people and things they don’t in reality have, as so we set up patterns that feed our delusions and make our life miserable. Our ‘real’ friends, our ‘real’ enemies, the ‘real’ places we love and hate, the ‘real’ things we love and hate to do, when we die they will all disappear in a flash, the help and harm they gave us no longer there. Only the delusions we held onto concerning those objects remain as negative imprints on our mental consciousness to determine our next rebirth. So how pointless it is to cling to these delusions while we are alive. They seem so real now, while lit by the lightning flash, but they will be gone in an instant.”

Find The Perfect Human Rebirth: Freedom and Richness on the Path to Enlightenment on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive: http://bit.ly/perfect-human-rebirth

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.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-analogy-of-lightning/
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Lama Zopa Rinpoche Receives Oral Transmissions from Khyongla Rato Rinpoche
Lama Zopa Rinpoche traveled at the end of July 2015 to New York City, where he is spending the month of August. The primary reason for Rinpoche’s visit to New York was to receive oral transmissions from Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, a highly respected Gelug master and the founder of the Tibet Center in New York City. 

Over the years, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has received transmission from Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, who is 93 years old, most happening in India. But this time, Lama Zopa Rinpoche received oral transmissions over a period of three weeks, meeting with Khyongla Rato Rinpoche on most days for about three hours either in New York or New Jersey. During the first week of transmissions Khyongla Rato Rinpoche would come to the apartment where Lama Zopa Rinpoche was staying in the city. The following weeks, Lama Zopa Rinpoche would travel to New Jersey, where Khyongla Rato Rinpoche lives, to receive the transmissions.

According to Ven. Roger Kunsang, Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s assistant and CEO of FPMT, Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, while frail, is still able to move around and is quite sharp. “He’s very low-key and humble. He also has his own peculiar sense of humor,” Ven. Roger shared. “There was quite a lot of joking between Khyongla Rato Rinpoche and Lama Zopa Rinpoche during the visits.”

After the first week, Khen Rinpoche Nicholas Vreeland — who is the first Western abbot of a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India, which is Rato Monastery — arrived from Singapore where he had been assisting with His Eminence Ling Rinpoche’s visit. Khen Rinpoche, who is a devoted, long-time student of Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, also received the oral transmissions. [See Mandala‘s “The ‘Monk with a Camera': An Interview with Khen Rinpoche Nicholas Vreeland,” for more.] 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaches at the Tibet House in New York City on Thursday, August 27, and Friday, August 28, at 7 p.m. The teachings on “Opening the Door to Liberation” are organized by Shantideva Meditation Center. For details, visit their website. 

Rinpoche is also giving a long life initiation of Most Secret Hayagriva at 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 30, at 41 – 01 75th Street, Elmhurst, New York. The event is organized by Ogmin Jangchub Sishu Tsogpa, the association of Kopan’s ex-monks and nuns in New York.

More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s webpage. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to FPMT News.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/lama-zopa-rinpoche-receives-oral-transmissions-from-khyongla-rato-rinpoche/
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It's Wiser to Make Preparations for the Next Life
“The conclusion is that we can’t say past and future lives don’t exist just because we can’t remember them,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche says in Creating the Causes of Happiness, the second volume in a Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive series drawn from the 24th Kopan course in 1991. “We can’t say they don’t exist. It’s possible that past and future lives exist. It can be possible. It can be possible. Even if it’s not a hundred percent sure, it can be possible. Therefore, it’s wiser to make preparations for the next life, it’s better, it’s wiser, before it gets too late. I’m not talking about lunch!

“What was I saying?

“Before we regret it and have to actually experience the result, the suffering, before out life ends, it’s wise to make preparations for the happiness of future lives. It’s wise to make preparations for liberation, for the cessation of the whole, entire suffering and its causes. It’s even wiser to achieve full enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.”

Find Creating the Causes of Happiness on Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive: http://bit.ly/creating-the-causes-of-happiness.

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/its-wiser-to-make-preparations-for-the-next-life/
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Wildfires Threaten Buddha Amitabha Pure Land and Pamtingpa Center
Wildfires are burning out of control in many parts of the United States’ Pacific Northwest, including several large fires in Okanogan County, Washington, where both Buddha Amitabha Pure Land (BAPL) and Pamtingpa Center are located. Sangha were evacuated from Buddha Amitabha Pure Land on Wednesday night, August 19. Members of Pamtingpa Center and other FPMT friends in Tonasket, Washington, were evacuated on Thursday night, August 20.

For anyone in fire danger now or in the future, Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised Sangha at BAPL on Wednesday to “visualize His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the merit field, sending oceans of water where there are fires. The water also releases all beings from the lower realms.” The emphasis was on lots of strong, heavy water. This can be done while reciting the Migtsema prayer (the “Five-Line Prayer to Lama Tsongkhapa”) or Medicine Buddha mantras.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who is currently in New York, advised early this week for the Heart Mantra of Arya Vairochana and the image of the White Umbrella Deity (Dukka) to be posted facing outward on the boundaries of Buddha Amitabha Pure Land. This was done by Sangha before being evacuated. Rinpoche also advised Sangha to recite the White Umbrella Deity prayer and the Heart Sutra several times a day. Buddha Amitabha Pure Land is where Rinpoche’s retreat house is located and is also the future site for committed long-term meditation retreatants to attain lam-rim realizations as advised by Rinpoche.

Last year when wildfires were burning in Washington State, Rinpoche gave additional advice on wildfires. Rinpoche has given extensive advice on practices for different natural disasters, including practices for dispelling fire. This advice is always available on Rinpoche’s advice page on FPMT.org:
http://fpmt.org/teachers/zopa/advice/#disasters

Additional advice from Rinpoche on this topic is also available on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive:
http://www.lamayeshe.com/advice/natural-disasters

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.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/wildfires-threaten-buddha-amitabha-pure-land-and-pamtingpa-center/
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The Incredible Teaching of Caregiving
“We also went to see quite a number of old folks’ homes. Also recently in Australia. The first one was in America, I think, in Madison, [Wisconsin.] I was extremely surprised to see those young girls working in old folks’ homes, how they really took such good care,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche remembers in Cutting the Root of Samsara, the third volume in a Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive series drawn from the 24th Kopan course in 1991. “It seemed like it was not just a job to them; they worked with such kindness and sympathy. I was very impressed with that. Even though the old people couldn’t eat solid food, just things like bananas, and they had to be fed by mouth and things like that, these girls showed a lot of patience. I was very impressed by those young girls. I don’t think they had met Dharma.

“It seems there are different mental and physical states. One quite old lady seemed like wood, like a big log of wood lying down on the bed. She couldn’t move. That was very interesting. For somebody who has studied the lam-rim, the whole teachings on the graduated path to enlightenment, I think visiting such a place all day long itself becomes a meditation. If we do the work by looking at it with the understanding of the teachings, with the wisdom of the teachings, I think everything, the whole day, what we see while we’re serving becomes an incredible teaching.

“All day long what we see is the nature of samsara, which is only suffering. It also shows impermanence and becomes the cause of developing compassion. Developing compassion is the cause that makes it possible to have the realization of bodhichitta, and that makes it possible to attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.

“Even if we don’t know the lam-rim, the complete teachings of the graduated path to enlightenment, if we want to develop compassion, to develop a good heart, then I think doing such work, that service, with that motivation is excellent.”

Find Cutting the Root of Samsara on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive: http://bit.ly/cutting-the-root-of-samsara

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.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/the-incredible-teaching-of-caregiving/
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The Official Google+ Page for Venerable Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche —Spiritual Director of the FPMT
Introduction
Lama Zopa Rinpoche was born in 1946 in Thami, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, not far from the Lawudo cave where his predecessor had meditated for the last 20 years of his life. Lama Zopa Rinpoche is now the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition and oversees all of its activities.