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  • ~ April 2006 ~ Shabda 1


    Forty-nine members from LDC along with several hundred others from around the world visited Kopan Monastery in Katmandu in March this year to witness the enthronement of the precious holy child recognized as the unmistaken reincarnation of the late Great Mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog. A major highlight of the three-day celebration was the WHITE TARA Long Life Initiation given by our precious guru, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche who preceded the initiation with a brilliantly simple yet profound

    Shabda Monthly Newsletter of Losang Dragpa Center April 2006


    teaching on how we can all benefit from the long life initiation. Lillian Too, who was with the LDC group presents here a summary of Rinpoche’s precious teaching given that day …

    Kopan’s main gompa was filled to overflowing … there were over 2000 monks, nuns and lay students of Lama Zopa Rinpoche seated on thick floor cushions. All had come to receive initiation into the White Tara long life practice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Even those new to the Dharma had

    Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche giving White Tara Long life initiation in Kopan monastery on March 4th 2006 following the enthronement of Tulku Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche


    2 Shabda ~ April 2006 ~

    known instinctively that what they were about to receive and the words they were about to hear were truly something precious, something special.

    The previous day, we had gathered in that same hall to witness the enthronement ceremony of Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche.

    The long life initiation was a beautiful bonus … Rinpoche was looking very well and when he greeted every one good morning there was a broad smile on his face … Rinpoche said … “ to cause happiness in this life is the goal of many people, but it is even more important to cause happiness for all our future lives. It is important to do service to other sentient beings, to overcome their sufferings and to attain the ultimate happiness of everlasting enlightenment.

    To attain enlightenment we need to cease all our defilements i.e. remove our strong feelings of anger, jealousy and attachment; It is important to cease even subtle defilements. If we can reduce these negative feelings, and can help others reduce these feelings we are helping them to attain enlightenment. This is the correct method.”

    Rinpoche observed that sometimes when things went wrong with one’s life causing suffering some people would blame their sufferings on their upbringing, on their parents … so like this would make them feel better …

    but sufferings is a result of negative karma ripening … and to overcome this we need to practice Dharma.

    Rinpoche told us that “ action unstained by anger, ignorance and attachment is Dharma. Happiness

    in our life comes from positive karma, which comes from practicing

    Dharma. If you don’t have good karma, even when others wish to help you, you cannot receive their help …”

    Rinpoche explained that when one does not have the good karma to receive help, one cannot enjoy whatever is given. He cited the example of food aid being sent to help poor people. Those who did not have the karma to receive the food simply could not do so. The food would somehow not reach them. The same with clean water sent as aid to those in need of clean water. Somehow by the time the water reaches them the water has become dirty.

    GIVE WITH NO EXPECTATIONS From the giver’s point of view it is important to give with no expectations at all of happiness in this life. Don’t give expecting to be rewarded with praise or wealth. When you give with a sincere heart then the act of giving becomes pure Dharma. When you give with the expectation of happiness in this life then it reflects pure attachment. Then it is not Dharma. It is non-virtue.

    Therefore charity must have the

  • ~ April 2006 ~ Shabda 3


    motivation of seeking happiness in future lives. There should not be attachment to this life. Only then is the act of charity considered as Dharma. When charity is done to achieve enlightenment for the sake of sentient beings it becomes the cause to attain enlightenment. It becomes pure Dharma.

    MOTIVATION IS THE KEY TO DHARMA Lama Zopa Rinpoche reminded us that correct motivation has the power to transform even mundane actions into Dharma. To cause long-term happiness of sentient beings, we must understand Dharma. Only when we understand Dharma can our practice of charity and morality become Dharma.

    COMPASSION ALONE NOT ENOUGH Rinpoche also told us that “Just compassion alone is not enough. The good heart alone is not sufficient. If one wants to be free of sufferings in all our future lives, then the good heart alone is not enough.

    It is necessary to actualize the path and to remove all of one’s DELUSIONS. For this you need to know the path, the true path, the real path! You need the realizations of the path. You need to learn the whole path.

    So while it is important to have the good heart, this alone is not enough. One must also learn the path, learn to meditate, learn to practice Dharma.

    NEED FOR A TEACHER It is important to learn from a qualified teacher who can reveal the unmistaken path. FPMT has such good karma to have so many good teachers qualified to reveal the unmistaken path. The teachers who teach at many of the FPMT centers have spent many years learning to debate i.e. to answer all your questions, so everything becomes very clear. So it is very fortunate and this is something to rejoice.

    MUST TAKE OPPORTUNITY It is so important that we take the opportunity to learn as much as possible. Then in this life we can have realizations, and even in the next life. With practice, realizations come so easily. Even if you do not understand, due to your own ignorance, still you will understand when you receive realizations. You will understand even when others cannot understand.

    MAKE EVERY EFFORT At teachings you must make a real effort to keep the body strong, to sit up straight, to stay awake. And then in one hour, so much one can learn. One can absorb so much Dharma. This is what really helps all your suffering.

    We do not have this opportunity all the time so when we do have the opportunity to learn, we should make every effort. So we must listen when Dharma is taught. It is not enough just to meditate! We must listen so we can learn Dharma to bring all sentient beings to full enlightenment. To benefit


    4 Shabda ~ April 2006 ~

    sentient beings who are numberless.

    ALL HAPPINESS COMES FROM DHARMA All happiness comes from Dharma. In this life and in future lives. Dharma practice is the key to ultimate happiness. So one needs to learn Dharma, and therefore one needs long life to be healthy, to benefit others. Otherwise attachment, anger and ignorance cause what we do to become non-virtue.

    Even when doing prayers, doing meditations can become non-virtue when one’s motivation is non-Dharma. When one’s motivation is non-virtue, then we are no different from animals – from the tortoise, the mosquito. There is then only attachment to this life. Then our life is just to create sufferings.

    WHEN YOU HAVE DHARMA When you have Dharma and you establish the correct motivations behind all your actions, then all your actions become creating good karma.

    When you have no Dharma your heart is empty. So how much power, wealth you possess still you become miserable. You have all the samsara wealth but still your inner life is empty. Even the beggar outside is happier because he has no worries about competition. When you have no Dharma there is no peace in your heart. There is only unhappiness, which can lead you even to generate the thought to commit suicide.

    Rinpoche asked us to reflect on those famous people – actors and actresses who have so much fame and wealth and still they feel depressed and suicidal. They have no satisfaction and their life seems empty. So Dharma is the most important. Without Dharma one is never satisfied.

    So we need to practice Dharma. And so we need long life so we have the karma to practice Dharma which will create the good karma to have happiness in our future lives.

    A POSTSCRIPT FROM RINPOCHE Note: The next day when I went to pay my respects to Rinpoche before flying home I thanked Rinpoche for the teaching of the previous day and Rinpoche reiterated the importance of practicing Dharma. He told me, “ yesterday there was not enough time so I left out another point on why Dharma is so important. You see,” He said, “ when the five senses of the body are stimulated,


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