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Lama Zopa Retreat Notes


Some notes from the Lama Zopa Retreat. These are a few things I Twittered as they came up during teachings. See the Photos link for more great pictures. In the shot above, Lama was saying that there is a valid base of experience, which is the fist, and then mind imputes the label onto it. If we hear a sound, for example, it happens, then the mind labels and we take the label as real. In Emptiness teachings this is applied to the self by what is called the the merely imputed "I" that is labeled by mind as real. The clutching hand symbolizes the way mind apprehends reality by imputing this label.

  • Putting hands together, saying, "May I achieve enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings," creates more merit than making offerings of worlds filled with the seven types of jewels numbering more than the grains of sand in the Ganges, to all the Buddhas.
  • Everything we’ve ever done, from beginingless time,  is for the merely labeled "I" – which doesn’t exist AT ALL!
  • Ego equals self-cherishing thought. Let go of "I" and cherish others as a quick way to realize emptiness. My thought, to apply this to 12-Step Recovery: The self-cherishing I exists very deeply on a subtle levels. Meditate on that. When anger, fear, resentment or other character defects arise, we can see this merely imputed false sense of a real "I". Meditate on that. Look at your chief resentment, say at you mom for example. Meditate on that. Watch from a place of non-judgmental calmness. Don’t go after the thoughts. Be present. See the "I" arise with the anger. What it closely. It is totally NOT existent right there at that time. But it appears to be so. If you meditate deeply with your 4th step in this way, you’ll see that this principle of "self" examination is indeed an opportunity for spiritual growth. Watch the self arise in the form of resentment. Then turn your mind to cherishing others. We all suffer this way. When we see it in ourselves, we can be of maximum service to others.
  • OM MANI PADME HUM contains the whole Buddha Dharma, is Chenrezig’s name and persuades the dietie’s holy mind to bless your heart.
  • May I and all suffering sentient beings achieve the vajra body.
  • With a selfish mind we cause harm to numberless sentient beings – if we consider past and future lives.
  • 84,000 teachings for 84,000 types of delusions…all from the negative imprint of the hallucinations of the merely imputed "I."
  • The purpose of all the 84,000 teachings is to subdue the mind. To which a friend said something like the 84,000 volts is to subdue the perpetrator. My thought: That is a great example. The real perp is the the ego, as Chuck C. put it – self-robbery. From a Buddhist POV – the egoic, self-cherishing mind keeps us in ignorance. The massive Megajolt of Vajrayana Buddhism blasts our eyes open.
  • If a non-Bodhisattva has anger arise for one second to a Bodhisattva, it destroys the merit of 1000 eons
  • There is no breaktime from Dharma. Unless you want to choose suffering. Then you can have many eons of a break.
  • Don’t cling to the hallucination. That is the instruction.



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