11 episodes

In this podcast we focus on teachings of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, on topics of the Graduated Path to Enlightenment, the lamrim. The lamrim is a textual tradition that organizes Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings into a complete step-by-step path to enlightenment. Each episode is an extract of a longer teaching, capturing the essence of what Rinpoche taught.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche Essential Extracts Lama Zopa Rinpoche

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

In this podcast we focus on teachings of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, on topics of the Graduated Path to Enlightenment, the lamrim. The lamrim is a textual tradition that organizes Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings into a complete step-by-step path to enlightenment. Each episode is an extract of a longer teaching, capturing the essence of what Rinpoche taught.

    Because We Can’t Stand Suffering for Ourself or Others, We Must Take Refuge

    Because We Can’t Stand Suffering for Ourself or Others, We Must Take Refuge

    Whether we understand the qualities of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha or not, if we open our hearts to them and rely on them, we will have an unmistaken refuge—like catching hold of a rope when we are about to fall into a fire. When we come to understand how Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha free us from samsara and bring us to enlightenment, our faith will become more and more stable. Rinpoche explains that Refuge begins by considering our own situation until we can’t stand being in samsara for even a second more. Next we can think of how numberless other sentient beings have also been experiencing the sufferings of samsara from beginningless rebirths. Like us, they don’t like suffering but create the cause for suffering, without end, day and night. Thinking of this helps us generate compassion for ourself and others who are numberless. Because we can’t stand this situation for ourselves or others, we must rely on Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha strongly, from our bones, with all our heart. The teaching for this episode was recorded on September 16, 2017, at Light of the Path Retreat, United States.

    • 13 min
    The Guru Appearing in Ordinary Form Is Most Kind to Us

    The Guru Appearing in Ordinary Form Is Most Kind to Us

    Our gurus appear to us according to our impure karma, in an ordinary aspect, showing mistakes and having delusions. Because of this ordinary aspect, we are able to see the guru, communicate with the guru, and receive teachings and advice. Without their manifesting in this ordinary aspect we would remain lost in samsara, like a small child abandoned in a desert. We could not become free from the lower realms, from samsara, and from the lower nirvana, nor could we achieve the great nirvana of enlightenment. Because every second that our guru appears to us in an ordinary aspect is most unbelievably kind and precious, we should cherish our guru as more precious than the numberless buddhas. The teaching for this episode was recorded on April 6, 2018, at Great Stupa Of Universal Compassion, Australia.

    • 17 min
    A Long Life Should Be Used to Benefit Others

    A Long Life Should Be Used to Benefit Others

    The purpose of taking a long-life initiation is not to gain more time for creating negative karma through harming ourselves and other sentient beings. Rather, the purpose is to pacify life obstacles and to use the resulting long life to collect virtue, to abandon the causes of suffering, and to purify the negative karma already collected. Most importantly a long life should be used to benefit others.
    We have taken this human body to free others from suffering and cause them happiness. By cherishing others, they give us enlightenment. On the other hand, by following self-cherishing thought, we won’t succeed even in accomplishing the works of this life. To fulfill the purpose of our life, we need to have a good heart. That will make us happy and then we can make others happy.
    The teaching for this episode was recorded on September 22, 2019, at Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Singapore.

    • 24 min
    From Birth to Death We Believe in the Hallucination Projected by Ignorance

    From Birth to Death We Believe in the Hallucination Projected by Ignorance

    What would it be like to experience the world without the hallucination of true existence being projected onto everything we experience? We need to become a buddha for this to happen, Rinpoche explains. Right now the gross negative imprints left by ignorance from beginningless rebirths decorate whatever appears to us—form, sound, smell, taste, tangible object—making it appear real but it is actually a total hallucination. In reality, it is merely imputed by the mind. From birth to death everything that appears to us is a total hallucination, like watching a movie produced by our karma and then believing everything, including the I, is real. All of the problems of life arise on the basis of this hallucination. Our ignorance creates suffering, this is why we need to eliminate it. A buddha does not have this. Practicing mindfulness of emptiness in daily life is the most important awareness. After one realizes emptiness, all that has been appearing as real, including the I, is understood to not have even an atom of true existence. The teaching for this episode was recorded on June 30, 2019, at Ganden Buddhist Centre, Latvia.

    • 16 min
    The Real Enemy Is Our Self-Cherishing Thought

    The Real Enemy Is Our Self-Cherishing Thought

    All of our failures, problems, illnesses, and suffering from beginningless rebirths come from cherishing ourselves, Rinpoche warns. If we want happiness, we must start cherishing others. If someone harms us, instead of blaming them, direct the anger toward the real enemy—self-cherishing. This way, there is no anger toward others, no external enemy for us to harm and kill, and we can put the blame where it belongs, our own mind. This is like shooting a long-range missile exactly on target, causing the enemy (the self-cherishing thought) to burst into a thousand pieces. Less anger means more happiness, more peace. Cherishing others is the root cause of happiness for ourselves and others, all the way up to enlightenment. The teaching for this episode was recorded on December 10, 2017, at Kopan Monastery, Nepal.

    • 14 min
    Disrespecting the Virtuous Friend Brings Eons of Suffering, Devotion to the Virtuous Friend Brings Enlightenment

    Disrespecting the Virtuous Friend Brings Eons of Suffering, Devotion to the Virtuous Friend Brings Enlightenment

    What is the “virtuous friend?” Rinpoche explains that the virtuous friend is all the holy actions of all the buddhas. These manifest in our own guru, therefore, to disrespect our guru—with anger, heresy, complaints, negative thoughts, and so forth—is to disrespect every single buddha. There is no suffering result heavier than this. Likewise, belittling our guru causes us to suffer for eons. On the other hand, without a guru, we cannot receive the blessings of the buddhas. Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are embodied in the guru to whom we go for refuge. By pleasing our guru, we please all the buddhas. The more we correctly follow our virtuous friend with strong devotion, the less obstacles we will encounter and the more quickly we will achieve enlightenment. The teaching for this episode was recorded on April 06, 2018, at Great Stupa Of Universal Compassion, Australia.

    • 12 min

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