Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book
Dharma Organization Work :
Service and Support of the Dharma
- Service and Support of the Dharma
- Rinpoche's Thank-you Cards, Letters and Gifts
- Generosity and Charitable Projects
- Paranirvana Sutra
Service and Support of the Dharma
|Study and Service for Sentient Beings|
|A translator wrote to Rinpoche asking for advice.|
My dear Noah,
Thank you for your kind letter. I am very grateful for all the effort you have made in your study and working for sentient beings. I think this is very worthwhile, even if it was difficult. It is very worthwhile.
Please continue your study and service to sentient beings. Always try to keep the mind of bodhicitta as your best friend.
With much love and prayer...
|Helping a Nun
|Rinpoche gave the following advice to a student who was offering service to an older nun.|
My very dear Sally,
How are you? I heard you have been serving my precious nun. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you billions of times, my dear. Generally, serving a sentient being in need with the good heart, is the purpose of our human life. This is the meaning of life.
Every time we offer service for others or even for one other being, we create far greater merit than from making offerings to all the buddhas. It says in the Bodhicaryavatara, by the great bodhisattva Shantideva, “Even thinking to really benefit others is much more meaningful than having made offerings to Buddha, so there is no question when one actually attempts to benefit others.”
This is always good to remember, especially in the morning when we wake up and the day begins, also during the day if we are depressed, if our mind is experiencing difficulties or anger.
This nun is precious, so you collect greater merit. This is important, because without merit there is no happiness, no realizations of the path, and we can’t achieve total liberation—the cessation of the whole entire suffering of samsara and its cause: karma and delusion.
Also, we can’t achieve full enlightenment for numberless sentient beings. Without merit we can’t liberate even one sentient being from the sufferings of samsara and its cause: delusion and karma. We can’t enlighten others, even if we cease the subtle defilements.
Now you can see how creating merits is so important, it’s most urgent. We need to actualize these attainments, even right now in this second.
Please take care of her. Serve her and the center, to benefit all suffering living beings.
With much love and prayer...
|Years of Service
|Rinpoche wrote this letter to a longtime student based in Mongolia, a senior monk who had given many years of service to Rinpoche.|
My very dear Lawrence,
I read your message. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, as well as on behalf of the whole FPMT, for all you have done in Mongolia.
Thank you for making the center bloom like a lotus in Mongolia, and for spreading the Dharma to the Mongolians, young and old. Not only that, but thank you for all your past great service and the sacrifices you have made for the organization, for many years, as well as building a monastery by yourself, and for what you have done in many other places.
Now, many of the old FPMT Sangha members are gone, like clouds disappearing in the sky. You are one of the extremely rare ones among all the Sangha. Most didn’t have enough endurance, but you are one of the FPMT wish-granting jewels.
In all the different activities that you have done, like building monasteries, spreading Dharma, and so on, you had to bear a lot of hardship. You had to practice all the three types of patience—patience toward the enemy, toward sufferings, tiredness, and so forth, and patience reflecting on the Dharma (bearing hardships to study Dharma and so forth), while offering service to spread Buddha's teachings, the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa.
So, thank you very much.
|Rinpoche sent the following letter and also some handwritten cards to a student and benefactor.|
My most dear Charles,
How are you? I hope things are going well with you regarding receiving investments.
Everybody here has read the Arya Sanghata Sutra, even the dog OM MANI PADME HUM might have read a few words, and dedicated them sincerely to your receiving all the investments that you wish for.
We also recited all together the Padmasambhava prayer “Fulfilling spontaneously all the wishes.”
I will also read the Golden Light Sutra, and I will check what more can be done. I am also continuing to write the Arya Sanghata Sutra and I dedicate this for my most dear Charles. I will also dedicate water offerings to Dzambala, other pujas, and some other practices to you. My heart is there with you.
Thank you very much. There are no words left to say. I enjoyed staying with you very much, even though it was a very short time. Even though you are so busy, you took care of me, of every single need, and did not forget anything.
It is amazing! Your precious heart, your wish-fulfilling heart.
I was very impressed how you have taken care your of all your workers, the maids and bodyguards. I really saw how you care so much for them, all their needs, where they sleep, and their freedom, totally.
One time I came down to eat and I noticed that you smiled at them from your heart, not a political, forced smile, around the nose (left and right side), but a happy smile.
You have really shown care for them and I was amazed to see your good heart. You are such a good model, a good example, and you have helped them to be very good human beings. They care for other beings, and this is from your example, from having lived together for so many years.
My example is just words from the throne. People can be kind and nice for a few days at the very beginning, but then they forget; their anger and emotional mind arises, and they become unpleasant and negative again.
Also, your children, even though I haven’t seen much of them, or been with them for long, seemed to be very well behaved and quiet and enjoy themselves, not wild, crazy, spoiled children. So many rich people in the world and their children are extremely spoiled, very uncontrolled. They become a huge worry for the parents, and the parents don’t know what to do. I think this is because from the beginning they didn’t know how to take care of their children.
I give all my merits to you; whatever virtuous activities I do are all yours.
With BIGGEST love and prayers...
|A student wrote to Rinpoche about how he was building a retreat house to do life retreat. He also offered some land for Rinpoche to build a retreat house.|
My dear Norman,
How are you? I am sorry for all the fuss people made about your land. I hope now it’s going to be quieter. I am happy that you got what you needed for the retreat house. What a precious present to receive all those tapes from you. Thank you very very much.
I have checked with one Amala dakini, and she said you would achieve shi-nä. She is very happy with you and said to send regards on her behalf. Enjoy the precious path.
With much love and prayers...
|Fundraising for Maratika Lama
|Rinpoche wrote the following request to help a lama with his projects.|
A request to those whose continuum possesses the wealth of pure superior intent to benefit others and who have the fortune of courage for extensive generosity:
At the time when the Tibetan King Trisong Detsen built the monastery of Samye in Tibet, there were different incidents. For example, it often happened that what had been built during the day would be destroyed by spirits during the night. So the great master Padmasambhava, following an invitation, came from India, the land of the superiors, to Samye, where he subdued the spirits and turned their minds towards the Dharma, and they are now known as the 12 protector guardians of Tibet. This had a great impact on the development of Tibet, because they remained in the Himalayan region and protected the spreading of the Buddha Dharma and the holders of the Dharma in Tibet.
The great masters and king of Tibet built many temples, monasteries, and so forth in the more important and significant places of Tibet. The realized scholars of Nalanda Monastery in the holy land of India and the great translators of Tibet translated the source for the happiness of migrators, the jewel of the teachings of the Buddha, and the teachings of the great siddhas, such as Nagarjuna, Asanga, and so forth, into Tibetan. The glorious Atisha, the main one among the learned and realized, stayed in Tibet for many years.
The Tibetan people guarded the Dharma by not focusing only on increasing material wealth and by not allowing other religions to enter from the outside. In this way, not only did no bad views develop in Tibet, but everyone was attracted or devoted to the Buddha Dharma. In the monasteries they subdued their continuum with the training in morality and practiced listening, contemplating, and meditating on the Buddha Dharma. Realizing in this way the grounds and paths prescribed by the Buddha, beings as innumerable as the stars in the sky attained liberation and enlightenment. Tibet became a holy place, as its earth was blessed by the holy Dharma, and the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism: Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug, spread. Up to this day, innumerable learned and realized lamas come from these lineages.
Later, when red communist Mao became the leader of the Chinese people and occupied Tibet, they completely destroyed many monasteries, where the Dharma is held, and imprisoned many Dharma practitioners, such as lamas, trulkus, geshes, and lay practitioners. The Tibetan people experienced many years of hell on earth with infinite sufferings.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is the sole source of happiness not only for Tibetans but for all migrators, had to go into exile. However, His Holiness has traveled to many countries, explaining the holy teaching of our teacher (Buddha Shakyamuni) in an extremely clear, extensive, and profound manner, which is related to the human way of living on a daily basis. Thus, explaining the purpose of human life brought much happiness and peace. As such, his life and work are beyond words.
It is due to the loving kindness of His Holiness’s body, speech, and mind that in these days the lamp of Dharma light continues to shine in many foreign countries where before there was only the darkness of ignorance. All of this is due principally to the kindness of His Holiness, which one can observe directly. Due to this, every year many thousands of people in many countries are able to follow the Buddhist path to enlightenment, as well as bring peace and happiness in their hearts. In such a way, they are able to make their precious lives meaningful. All of the above mentions are solely due to the kindness of the great master Padmasambhava.
This place, which is called Maratika, is greatly blessed, as the great master Padmasambhava meditated here on Amitayus (the long life deity) and actualized the state of deathlessness (the siddhi of immortal life). Apart from other lamas, the great Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche does long life retreat every year here for His Holiness’s long life, which also greatly blesses the place. Especially, according to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, due to this accumulation of white virtue, just through seeing, hearing, remembering, and touching this place, the two obscurations of beings will quickly be purified, one will be looked after by the all-knowing one (the great master Padmasambhava) from Urgyen, and easily attain the state of omniscience. This holy place has many more infinite blessings than just explained, and every sick and afflicted being should go there.
The Lama Kunsang, in his lifetime, did many retreats and practices, listening and contemplating in this place. For seven days he practiced generosity and so forth of his body to many animals, following what Buddha himself did in the past. Lama Kunsang was the student of Lawudo Lama, Kunsang Yeshe, who was said to be me in my previous life. At the time of Lama Kunsang Yeshe's passing, during the time of the dissolution of the elements, the two were conversing with each other. After the transference, Lama Kunsang went to Tibet to consult with a few qualified venerable lamas, primarily with Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche, and asked them for observations. They all agreed strongly that I was the first reincarnation of Lawudo Lama, Kunsang Yeshe. All of this happened due to the great efforts of Lama Kunsang.
Taking great difficulties upon himself, Lama Kunsang built a monastery there. Now the son of Lama Kunsang, Lama Karma-la, has great plans to build a hospital, guesthouse, school, and monastery for the benefit of the Dharma and migrators. Since there is no doubt that this will greatly benefit the teachings and migrators, I request you to kindly give donations. All the kind benefactors will permanently be mentioned in the prayers of their Sangha.
With many thanks and prayers
Labeled incarnated name Thubten Zopa
|Rinpoche sent the following thanks to benefactors of his projects.|
My very precious wish-fulfilling friends, whose minds are enriched with devotion to the triple gem,
Whose minds are enriched with devotion, being the source of compassion – root of all beings’ happiness,
Whose minds are enriched with devotion, being the source of all goodness – up to enlightenment.
With my hands at my heart I very sincerely thank you all, give numberless thanks, for your generous support to me in my Dharma activities, supporting my office and all the Dharma projects.
Please do not misunderstand the quote below, this is not meant to mean I am a Buddha. I want to say something here that comes from the Arya Sanghata Sutra:
If one plants a seed in the supreme field of the Buddhas it has great results. In this way, you will enjoy so many results; those wise ones will have happiness. You will abandon negative karma and engage in so much virtue. Anyone who makes charity to my teachings, even the size of a hair, will have great enjoyments and so much wealth for 80,000 eons. Wherever that living being is, karma will always be generous. Like this, giving to the Buddhas is very profound and has a great result.
|To a Benefactor
|Rinpoche gave the following advice to a kind benefactor and student.|
My most dear precious Kim,
Good morning. How are you? I thought to send this short happy message to you, like official work, ha ha. Roger explained to me what you have said, that you want to do whatever I say, and support me, by wanting to accomplish projects like the Maitreya project. It relieved my heart and relaxed me. Space and happiness came into my heart. I have a purpose, to try and live in this world.
With big love and prayers,
PS: Hospitals and schools are very needed, but these are just for this life’s happiness and that is very short compared to all future lives, while you are in samsara. Without Dharma there is no end to suffering, there is no end to rebirth, death, sickness, and all the problems. All of this is mentioned in the Buddha’s texts and in the existing teachings of the great lamas. The teachings of the Buddha and the great lamas depend on the existence of holy objects of the Buddha. Building holy objects, as well as preserving scriptures that are used to learn and to purify negative karma, creates merit. Even just seeing holy objects creates positive imprints and creates the cause for enlightenment. The Buddha has explained in the sutra called the Mudra Developing Devotion how unbelievable merit is collected by sentient beings just by merely seeing holy objects. It also purifies so many obscurations and plants the seed of enlightenment, which eventually brings one to enlightenment. Also, by building holy objects, so many people get jobs and are able to feed their family, educate their children, send them to school, etc. So much social service can happen, and this is the best social service, with this kind of project. It offers the best kind of social service for this life and spiritual benefits for future lives, both. Ha ha ha hah!
|Costs of Maitreya Project
|A benefactor asked some questions about how much the Maitreya Buddha statue project would cost. Rinpoche commented the following.|
The cost is nothing compared to all the billions of dollars the governments waste. One atomic bomb costs so many billions of dollars. One missile costs the same as the Maitreya Project. I think one bomb costs 200 million dollars. Billions of dollars are spent on nonsense things.
The Maitreya project gives jobs for many thousands of people in India, which is very poor. It takes care of families, and children can go to schools. Besides the Dharma, the benefit to the whole world is as limitless as the sky.
|Rinpoche gave the following advice to a student who was a director of the Maitreya Buddha statue project, on how to approach and bring up the project to potential benefactors. The student had recently had a knee operation.|
How are you? I hope you had a great and successful operation. Now maybe you don’t even need to put your feet on the ground, you can just fly or walk in space. There are eight common siddhis and one of these is walking in space by the power of the wind. This means you can go to a place that takes many months to travel to in just a few hours. Maybe now you don’t need to rely on airplanes to go to Bodhgaya. This is just a joke, sorry. But it would be very nice if it happened that way.
I was wondering how things are going with the plan for the project? Here, I have one very important thing to mention. I heard that there are some people who may help the project. I am wondering if you are able to meet this family and present the project. In my observation, it comes out better if you meet them than if I go there to meet them. So, I wanted to see if you would go and meet the family and present the project.
You can explain the incredible social services that this project will offer. Bihar is a poor state, and by building the statue, so many thousands of people will get jobs and be able to feed their families, go to school, etc., and that is without even mentioning the limitless skies of benefit that are received because it is a holy object. Because of the power of the holy object, it can purify all the negative karmas, and one can accumulate merit. This is how one can achieve enlightenment, by collecting inconceivable merits. This is what plants the seed of enlightenment, ceases all the sufferings, and creates the cause to achieve full enlightenment. Through this, realizations come in their hearts, and this is how numberless beings are able to achieve enlightenment.
Every day, so many tens of thousands of people will come. Just from India alone, many buses will come, and all these people will have the unbelievable opportunity to create the cause of happiness not only for this life, but more importantly, for all the coming future lives, all success, and ultimate happiness—liberation and enlightenment. Also, people will come from all over the world.
People who help to sponsor this project will have their family names written where all the people can see, so everyone can rejoice, regardless of how much they have sponsored or helped the project, the whole, entire project or half, for whatever they have offered.
This is a great, unbelievable contribution to the Indian nation and Indian people, a great gift to the world, especially India, and is something in which to rejoice. It is the most important thing in which to rejoice in one’s whole life, especially at the end of one’s life. This is really something that one has done to benefit the world, to bring peace for all living beings, to spread peace in the world. This project can really help against war, famine, disease, torture, poverty, sickness, and the dangers of fire, water, earth, and wind.
This is because peace and happiness for the world and for all sentient beings depend on loving kindness and compassion. Loving kindness and compassion cannot be created by machines or tablets, they are an attainment, a realization, something which has to be developed from the mind. They are things which have to come from the mind and from one’s heart. For this, you need to purify negative karma, the obstacles and defilements, and to receive the conditions to collect merits to be able to study the path to enlightenment, see how to develop compassion and loving kindness, and then practice this. Just praying is not enough to actualize this. This project helps you to actualize the prayers.
These are some basic reasons for how important it is. You need a lot of merit to develop the education of loving kindness and compassion, to develop the good heart. This is the root of all happiness for oneself, now, and in the future, and ultimate happiness, liberation and enlightenment, for oneself. This is also the root of all other living beings’ temporary and ultimate happiness, as well as liberation and enlightenment.
This project makes it possible for this education to happen. This is how you can present it to the family and to others, to inspire them, and to explain the benefits and reasons why it is so important.
I meant to send this information to you one or two weeks ago but it just didn’t happen, so before I completely forget I would like to send this message to you. It would be very kind if you could meet them, pass on this message, and educate them regarding the benefits of this project—how it benefits not only them but the whole of mankind, the whole world, all living beings, who are also numberless in other universes.
With much love and prayers...
|Rinpoche sent the following card to a couple who give money from a donation box distributed by the FMPT for Rinpoche’s projects, called a Merit Box.|
Thank you very much for your kind letter and your Merit Box. I will dedicate the money to making the two-story statue of the female deity of controlling. This is to help my project. A student is trying to get a position in the Singapore embassy, he also needs this statue, and I will dedicate your money to this project.
Thank you very much for your devotion to guru, Dharma, and Sangha and your compassion for the most precious, kind sentient beings. Serve sentient beings, please continue your Dharma practice in this way, and also meditate on the lam-rim. Develop realizations step by step. Success will come with these conditions, and the most important one is to make your realization of guru devotion stable. This is the most important realization to develop, using the methods of strong purification and of extensive collection of merits.
Then, every day, pray with that strong guru devotion to the direct and indirect guru to grant realizations.
With much love and prayer...
|Rinpoche wrote the following letter to one of his students who had offered service for many years.|
My very dear James,
I hope you and all your family are well. Please give my sincere regards to your family.
The following quotation is from the tantric text called Oceans of Wisdom: “For those who are wise and fortunate in doing the guru’s activities, this has greater meaning than having made prostrations to the three times’ buddhas for one hundred thousand times ten million eons. If one accomplishes the advice of the guru, one will accomplish all one’s wishes and create inconceivable merit.”
According to the Glorified Kalachakra Tantra: “Even if one has made offerings to the Three Jewels for three countless great eons, and saved the lives of ten million living beings, one can’t achieve enlightenment in this life. But if, with a devotional mind, one pleases the guru who has oceans of qualities, one will definitely achieve sublime and common qualities (realizations) in this very life.”
I am not saying I am the guru who has oceans of qualities, but am referring to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Yeshe.
Another quotation: “Even if one does oceans of good things for eons, one can’t achieve enlightenment in this life. But if one pleases the virtuous friend, one will achieve sublime realizations (Mahamudra clear light), and enlightenment, which is obtained from the direct cause, clear light.”
As it is said: “Enlightenment, which is so difficult to achieve, from many millions of eons, is granted in this very life of the quarreling time by the guru.” This is the reason why one offers to be a servant and to please the guru.
So, dear James, in the past I asked you to invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and you did, and that was very beneficial. Again, I asked you to invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and that visit was incredibly beneficial. The largest number of people came to that event. Now you have a third opportunity to offer service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Also, for so many years you have been putting your heart into the organization and offering service. Everyone can understand the great benefit the organization has received from you. This means you have offered great service to the teachings of Buddha and to sentient beings.
|Thanks for Prayers
|Rinpoche thanked people for making prayers for the Maitreya Project, which involves building a very large statue of Maitreya in India.|
Most dear, devoted, and dedicated students of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha and sentient beings, again, it is really amazing what you have been able to accomplish. I am jumping up and down (with both feet) with joy and happiness (just like the fans do when their team has won the football, raising their arms and leaping into the air, although sometimes you can’t tell by their expression if they are happy or not, sometimes it looks like they’re angry). Anyway, this is my way of showing how happy I am with how you are helping and supporting the project.
This is the most urgent time for your help and support. It’s like if you are at the bottom of a cliff and someone lowers a rope for you, and you can’t quite reach it. Then someone comes (all of you) along and helps you reach the rope so you can climb to the top. Or it’s like you are dying of starvation and then someone brings you food.
From my heart, I want to thank all of you BILLIONS of times for helping with these recitations and pujas. I thank you on behalf of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Once this karma ripens it will have immense benefit for sentient beings and the teachings of the Buddha.
The FPMT is like a baby about to stand up.
With much love and prayer...
|Thanks to a Benefactor
|Rinpoche wrote the following letter to a benefactor (who is a nun) of the Maitreya Statue Project.|
Most venerable one who is beautified by the three higher, incomparable sources of inspiration for countless sentient beings to abandon the cause of sufferings and to follow the path to liberation and enlightenment and who is the incomparable leader, whose kindness to the FPMT organization, to Maitreya Project, and to me is inexpressible. I hope everything is going well with you.
You are the main source from whom we have received funding for the Maitreya Project and because of this we have been able to develop the Project, also due to the kindness of other small donations that came from other people.
I understand at this time it is not easy and the funding is not so available for you, so I have very great appreciation and respect for your incomparable compassion. One of the qualities and signs of a holy being is that they don’t change their minds about whatever they have promised in the past. It is said in the teachings that once bodhisattvas make a promise, it is like it has been carved on a rock. With you it is like that.
It has been an extremely difficult situation for the Maitreya Project. When I heard that there were some funds available from the manager, it was unbelievable, like receiving food when somebody is dying of starvation. The funds would be highly beneficial now and I would appreciate it very much.
As you know this project is going to last for 1000 years and is built thinking of the long term. That is what makes it expensive. However, the longer the statue can last, the longer it can liberate sentient beings from oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment. The bigger the statue is the greater the number of sentient beings from all over the world who will come and receive so much benefit from it. Every single thing they do, whether circumambulating, prostrating, or making offerings to the statue, immediately becomes the cause to achieve enlightenment, even if their motivation is not Dharma, but is attachment and grasping to this life. Still, every single action of every single sentient being becomes the cause to achieve the whole path to enlightenment, including the root, which is guru devotion. Even seeing the statue purifies so many defilements and plants the seed of enlightenment, and that causes them to have realizations in the path in the near future.
I would like to thank you very very much for this recent donation.
With deepest gratitude and my prayers and love...
|Service to the Guru
|Rinpoche made the following comments to his attendant regarding hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama on land owned by the FPMT Maitreya Project in Bodhgaya, during the period that His Holiness was giving the Kalachakra initiation in Bodhgaya.|
It is more important to offer service as best we can to the guru than to build the Maitreya statue. There is no difference between offering service to His Holiness and offering service directly to Maitreya Buddha. Offering service to His Holiness is actually offering service directly to Maitreya Buddha himself.
|Thanks for Prayers
|Rinpoche sent the following message thanking all the Dharma centers for making prayers to benefit one of his projects: the Maitreya Project.|
I want to say thank you very much to everyone, to all the yogis, yoginis, heroes and heroines, to all the Rinpoches out there and all the precious ones having Buddha nature, to all you unbelievably fortunate ones practicing great compassion toward all sentient beings (with bodhicitta). I want to thank those who are praying, working, and liberating sentient beings from the most unbearable sufferings of the lower realms and the sufferings of samsara in general. I also want to thank those who are liberating beings from the sufferings of the upper realms, even from the subtle defilements, from lower nirvana, and bringing beings to enlightenment.
I would like to thank you all very much for all your service in making the thousand offerings to Maitreya Buddha, for performing Tara pujas, etc., for all your voluntary work and all your prayers. I would like to thank you for doing this on top of your everyday service to the teachings of Buddha, sentient beings, and your own spiritual growth.
So, here is a short message for you all:
I bow down to the holy lotus feet of the Buddha Maitreya, who is the
embodiment of all the buddhas (countless buddhas).
I bow down to the loving kindness of every single one of those buddhas.
I bow down to the loving kindness which creates omniscience that guides us obscured, pitiful sentient beings.
How does loving kindness guide us? It frees us from the lower realms and brings us to the higher happy realms. It not only frees us obscured, pitiful sentient beings from that, but also frees us from so much samsaric suffering, the whole of samsara, and brings us to ultimate liberation.
Not only that, this great loving kindness, which creates omniscience, even frees us from lower nirvana and subtle defilements, and brings us obscured, pitiful sentient beings to full enlightenment.
Each of the buddhas' great loving kindness protects us from all undesirable conditions, all those sufferings, and gives us the collections of goodness, all desirable conditions, and all happiness.
Loving kindness uses perfect power to free us from all those sufferings and gives us all temporary and ultimate happiness. Great loving kindness directs the perfect power each buddha has. There are countless buddhas, and that loving kindness makes each one benefit us. So, each buddha has this great loving kindness for us all the time.
There is great loving kindness in the heart of the Buddha for us, from time without beginning, as the continuity of our life is beginningless. So, until full enlightenment is achieved, the Buddha has loving kindness for us.
Maitreya Buddha is the embodiment of each buddha's loving kindness, and the symbol of all the bodhisattvas' loving kindness for all sentient beings.
Peace experienced throughout the entire universe, global peace, national peace, and each individual's peace comes from the good heart, loving kindness. Maitreya Buddha is a symbol of this.
Recently, I think, the students in the Dharma centers suddenly put more effort into prayers, to make the thousand offerings to Maitreya Buddha and Tara pujas, as I requested at that time, when we appeared to have come very close to securing funding for the Maitreya Project. For some time this has looked possible, but then recently, from my observations, it looked very difficult. Now, suddenly there has been a change. Before, it seemed that nothing would happen this year with the financing of the Maitreya Buddha project, that we would have to wait until next year. Now, suddenly, things have become much more positive regarding the funding. So, you can see how causative phenomena is dependent arising – if there are unmistaken causes and conditions, then the result can come. And all of this is existing in mere name, merely imputed, which shows that while it is existing it is empty, while it is empty it is existing. That is why all sentient beings can end their samsaric suffering, which as no beginning, and achieve enlightenment.
I would like to thank you all now for your sincere and devoted heart prayers for success in building the Maitreya statue.
With much love and prayers...
|Thanks for Support
|Rinpoche wrote the following to a man who helps one of his centers greatly.|
My very dear Norman,
Thank you very much for your kind email. I am sorry for the delay in replying.
From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you very much for all the many years of your service to the center. This has enabled the center to benefit many sentient beings. So many sentient beings have received teachings correctly, which allows them to practice correctly and to have correct realizations. From that, they can achieve liberation and enlightenment and be able to enlighten others.
All of this great benefit that has come from the center for so many years, and will continue to come in the future, came from you, your capacity, your intelligence, your devotion, and your compassion. I highly appreciate all your kindness and I request, with my two palms together, for you to please continue.
Of course, I don't need to repeat to you how important it is to teach Dharma to sentient beings, and how important it is for sentient beings to learn Dharma. To be able to become fully enlightened and reveal Dharma, Shakyamuni Buddha first generated compassion for all living beings by entering the Mahayana path and collecting merits by practicing charity for three countless great eons. Then he practiced the paramita of morality for three countless great eons, as well as practicing perseverance and the rest of the six paramitas. He also offered his limbs and his whole body to others. He was born so many times in royal families but gave away his wealth and gave up his family in order to complete the two merits, wisdom and virtue, and in order to achieve the two kayas, so that he could then reveal Dharma to us. In this way, these precious teachings were left in the world by Buddha.
How wonderful it is that you are teaching and translating this to many sentient beings. How joyful it is! How fantastic it is! This is the ultimate method of achieving world peace, and to enlighten all sentient beings.
Thank you very much.
With much love and prayers...
|Rinpoche wrote the following letter to the two caretakers of Land of Calm Abiding, the mountain retreat center in California.|
My very dear John and Nicky,
Thanks very much to both of you for your service. It is very kind of you. Of course, it is not an easy job. Here I would like to express what the great yogi Milrepa said:
“Ha Ha! The meditator meditating on the rock and the benefactor offering food have an auspicious arrangement to achieve enlightenment together… Ha Ha!”
It is exactly the same in your case, with both of you offering service to the mediators, which gives them a chance to continue their retreat. This retreat is not just focusing on breathing, and watching where thoughts are going and what they are doing; it is not only that. They are meditating on lam-rim, on the whole path to enlightenment, especially bodhicitta.
With much love and prayers...
|A couple had been working full-time to support a group of Dharma practitioners doing long-term retreat at Land of Calm Abiding, an FPMT retreat center located in a remote spot in the hills of northern California. Rinpoche wrote the following to thank the couple.|
Thank you so much for all your work in supporting the retreatants. I feel this is one of the best services you can do for others, because you are offering service to those who are practicing Dharma, who are working to end suffering in samsara and trying to achieve enlightenment for sentient beings. This is more important, in my view, than going to Africa and saving many people from starvation. Even if thousands of people are able to survive, it doesn’t mean they will practice Dharma, change their minds, and stop the causes of suffering and achieve liberation.
Each person who goes to Land of Calm Abiding is purifying their mind, collecting merit, and bringing enlightenment nearer. There is no question that if one of them actually achieves realizations, this person will be able to benefit sentient beings more and more, and will be able to bring others to enlightenment: the great liberation.
This is how the Land of Calm Abiding is benefiting all sentient beings. Thank you so much.