LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE NEWS November 2005
RINPOCHE'S CURRENT ACTIVITIES AND SCHEDULE(For the confirmed schedule and details of how to book for these events, please contact the center directly or go to http://www.fpmt.org/teachers/zopa/schedule.php)
Rinpoche will teach part of the Kopan November course.
Rinpoche then goes to Root Institute, where on 17 and 18th December, Rinpoche will give the Great Medicine Buddha initiation, followed on 19th Dec by the Maitreya Gom Lung, and then 20 - 21 Dec will lead a Maitreya retreat.
The 2006 schedule is not finalised yet - as soon as more dates get fixed, information will go out via the e-groups and Rinpoche's schedule webpage.
MEMORIES OF RINPOCHE'S TOUR OF SPAINFrom Claire Isitt:
"I was fortunate enough to travel with Rinpoche on His teaching tour in Spain this summer. Highlight memories which I thought others would enjoy include...
Rinpoche's generosity with His time - for example, Rinpoche always wanted to give an extra talk before leaving each center - this happened in Rinpoche's room in Madrid (with Rinpoche cutting up fruit for everyone); cramming into the library in Oseling with Rinpoche giving the Milarepa mantra to us (which somehow didn't get given during the initiation!). Rinpoche sitting below a large palm tree in Juan and Paloma Bas' garden in Onteniente in order to give a lung to the students of Tekchen Choling Study Group. This then meant that we would leave late in the day to travel to the next center, with Kiko (Tushita Retreat Centre director) driving us through the night.
Rinpoche with great care making delicious warm fruit pudding for the lunch with staff and volunteers in Oseling. 8 Nalanda monks sleeping in the corridor of Nagarjuna Barcelona during a gap in making wealth vases with Rinpoche. Rinpoche naming one of Bea (dynamo of Tushita Retreat Centre and cook on the tour)'s dishes for an eventual cookbook - enchiladas became Compassion and Wisdom! Rinpoche at 3 am in Barcelona finding time to give specific advice for the Spanish center directors' meeting. Rinpoche giving the lung of the Golden Light Sutra in Barcelona - only to come back after the break to find Rinpoche in peals of laughter as He had given a different lung..and then the amazingly wonderful teachings on emptiness (which we hope will form part of a book of Rinpoche's teachings and guided meditations on emptiness).
Taking the advice below from Rinpoche..."
ADVICE FOR CENTERSWhile in Spain recently, Rinpoche gave some advice for the Spanish National Meeting - and the advice is relevant for all centers.
CREATING MERIT FOR THE CENTERBe careful, watch your behaviour to other people, be kind.
Offering food to center students is a way of collecting unbelievable merit because students are the pores of the Guru. Disciples of the same Guru collect more merit from offering food to fellow disciples than from offering to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, numberless statues, stupas. People don't think of this, think only of offering food in monasteries. But you can collect merit this way too.
If you offer with the thought that they are the Guru's pores, as they have the same Guru, if you offer with this recognition whenever you meet someone with the same Guru then even if you offer chocolate, water, or money, anything that you have if you offer with this recognition then that is an unbelievable way to collect merit, by thinking that as they have the same Guru so they are the Guru's pores. So then if you offer to many Sanghas who have the same Guru then you are making offerings to that many pores of the Guru. So this is the easiest way to collect skies of merit by offering. By offering even just one candy, flowers or even one grain of rice to a statue of Buddha or even a visualized Buddha you collect skies of merit but here it is much more powerful than offering to the 3 jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) as well as all the statues, stupas and scriptures existing in all directions, so no question if offering to really the same Guru's disciple, whether lay or Sangha - it doesn't have to be only Sangha. These benefits should be understood so that when you make offerings to the Guru's pores you think correctly. This is the best business.
Sometimes centers don't have much money, but if the director knows Dharma, they can very skillfully create merit [without needing much money]. When you meet people, support people, you also collect merit, which means that you can achieve enlightenment, support one's own and other's happiness. If organizers at centers are not skilful and wise, knowing how to take care of people, then even having a geshe teaching Dharma may not be enough. Developing the center doesn't only depend on the teacher, but on how you look after people. People can be made to feel welcome so they are attracted to come to the center, or not. So we must pay attention to this.
The essential thing is to make people happy, serve them well. This helps to build up the center, to get material support very easily even without pushing. The purpose of course is to have more facilities because then the center has more ability to spread the Dharma, more comfort, facilities, so more people can enjoy, receive the Dharma, so you can benefit them more, liberate them from oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment.
You need to be aware of so many things. However the key thing is to know how to take care of people. Must cherish every person who comes to the center, feel they are so precious, take care of them. Respect naturally comes from that, then caring, then the person is so delighted.
There are so many opportunities to collect merit for the center if you know Dharma. Even just offering a bowl of water or cup of tea to a person who is a student or disciple of the same guru collects so much merit.
This is one way to build up the center. Think big. This is a bodhisattva's skilful means to benefit sentient beings.
We have so many words at FPMT meetings, we need to put them into practice at the center.
SUTRAS PLAYED ALOUDPeople come to the Dharma center for purification, to achieve liberation and enlightenment, so such an easy way to help them is to have a sutra playing where they can hear it as they are resting or working.
You can play the Sanghata Sutra, or other sutras. Hearing the sutras can purify not only the ten non-virtuous actions, but also the five extremely heinous non-virtues and prevent rebirth in the lower realms.
It is very good to have a sutra recited by a holy being (such as the recording of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's reciting the Sanghata Sutra) so that there is more effect from the blessing of their speech. Or can have the sutra recited by someone whose voice is enchanting, and who flies like to listen to...!
Colophon: Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave this brief advice to Karen Itzel during the retreat at Oseling, Spain; August 25th 2005. Notes taken by Claire Isitt and Karen Itzel.
ANIMAL LIBERATION FOR CHILDRENFor all centers that offer kids' programs, and for parents, Rinpoche would like you to really promote and use these tools with the associated practice, have the children make them up and encourage them to use them, and especially encourage them after catching the bugs to circumambulate holy objects with them.
Use these Animal Liberation Tools, one on each hand to catch small insects in so they can be removed from your house without injury. Designed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche these bug catchers are not your ordinary bug catching jar! Covered with mantras that benefit the bugs and quotes which benefit the humans, these unique tools of the Buddhist trade will not to be found in any store!! Tools are provided on flat card stock and required simple assembly.
http://shop.fpmt.org/product1?SID=1&Product_ID=1111&Category_ID=8 is where they are on the FPMT website!
Mandala magazine (Feb/March 05 News) published the story of the little boy who wrote to Rinpoche about liberating animals, and makes a nice way to introduce the practice:
A young nine-year-old Dharma student from New York wrote to Lama Zopa Rinpoche recently to tell him: "I have been vegetarian all my life. I read your article that said you should catch bugs and let them go outside. So, when I was at Milarepa kids' camp in Vermont, I caught about fifty flies indoors, one at a time, using small paper cups. It took me all afternoon. Then we brought them to Geshe Tsulga, who blessed them, and then we took them down to the stupa, circled it while praying, and let them go. I thank you a lot for starting Milarepa." (Signed) Rafaello.
Rinpoche replied: "My very dear Rafaello, I was very happy to receive your email telling me that you had saved so many flies and spent your afternoon liberating them. I want to thank you very much for practicing my advice, liberating these living beings.
"Here is some more explanation about the benefits of helping living beings like this. Please see if you can understand this advice and also help other boys and girls to understand how important it is to help others, especially to help the animals and all the different creatures in the world to protect their lives.
"With much love and prayers," (Signed) Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
To read the advice given by Rinpoche to Rafaello for helping animals in everyday life and when they die, go to www.fpmt.org/teachers/zopa/advice/ A sample excerpt: "I started the tradition of how to liberate animals. The way we do animal liberation causes long life, but that alone doesn't ultimately help the animals, so the best thing to do is to circumambulate the animals around holy objects and to bless them with mantras and prayers. So you can carry the animals around a table in the middle of a room with many, many, many holy objects on it piled up, many tsa-tsas, pictures of buddhas, texts, whatever you have, and then you take the animals around these holy objects.
"If you love your animal very much then this is what you must do for them for their good rebirth and quick liberation from samsara."
NEW TRANSLATIONS BY LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE
AMITAYUS LONG LIFE SUTRA -The new translation Rinpoche did of the Amitayus Long Life sutra is at: http://www.fpmt.org/teachers/zopa/advice/pdf/longlifesutrasept05.pdf
Here is something Rinpoche says about the sutra:
It's very good to print for people who have cancer, and for the success of activities and projects. If a business has difficulties, or is difficult to start, if you have difficulty finding a job, or the job is not going well, you can print many copies. You can print many copies, weekly or monthly, to make merit, not particularly for mundane success but generally to collect merit for realizations, conditions for Dharma practice. Then you can dedicate the merits of printing for all sentient beings. This is one solution for success and long life. Also, when you die you will get born in Amitabha's pure land.
ZUNG OF THE EXALTED COMPLETELY PURE STAINLESS LIGHT -This is available to download in full from http://www.fpmt.org/teachers/zopa/advice/pdf/zungecpslaug05.pdf
Benefits of this mantra as explained in scripture
Anyone who talks to a person who has recited this mantra, their five uninterrupted negative karmas are purified.
Just hearing the voice of a person who has recited this mantra, being touched by their shadow, or touching that person's body purifies negative karmas collected in past lives.
If you recite this mantra, you won't be harmed by spirit possession, poisons, or by the elements [fire, water, air and earth].
All the Buddhas will protect you and guide you and all the devas and those who are living in samaya4 will support you.
More benefits as explained by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
|Lunch was offered by Rinpoche to the 31 Sangha present after Sojong at Land of Medicine Buddha, during Choden Rinpoche's recent teachings.
|Ven Steve Carlier (who interpreted for Choden Rinpoche) with ice cream!|
|Rinpoche in the garden at Aptos during the video made for the recent Essential Education Conference (Rinpoche is wearing a cardigan to make His appearance less religious!)|
|Rinpoche painted these for an event to raise funds for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings in 2007 in San Jose, USA|
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