Mandala eZine February 2009

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Mandala eZine February 2009

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  • Mandala eZine

    A BENEFIT OF

    FOUNDATION

    MEMBERSHIP

    Mandala eZinee-VOL. 2 ISSUE 1

    FEBRUARY 2009

    DHARMA WORKAre you a

    Foundation Member?

    If not, click here:

    www.fpmt.org/

    membership

    DHARMA WORKWhen 9-5 turns 24/7

    plus Teachings from Lama Thubten Yesheand Lama Zopa Rinpoche

  • F O U N D A T I O N M E M B E R S H I P

    The Buddha taught that every living being has the potential to be free from sufferingand to develop limitless love and compassion. For more than thirty years, the Foundationfor the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) has provided Dharma educationwhich transforms people's minds into their highest potential, teaching people how tounderstand and integrate the teachings of Buddhism into their heart. The heart of FPMTreaches out across thirty-three countries, preserving and transmitting the MahayanaBuddhist tradition and its values toward the happiness of all beings.

    As a Foundation Member, you will belong to an international community ofstudents, with access to a vast network of Dharma centers, projects, and services,as well as some of the most qualified lamas and geshes of our time.

    As Buddhism has spread internationally, an accurate presentation of the tradition byqualified teachers in whom students can place their trust is critical. FPMT follows theguidance of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, a peerless representative of the Buddhistteachings in a troubled world. FPMT's founder Lama Thubten Yeshe was a master of thetradition whose teachings still resonate powerfully. FPMT's Spiritual Director, Lama ZopaRinpoche, is respected internationally as a lama of rare ability who has truly realized whatit means to live for others.

    Your membership supports the Foundation in its global Dharma and socialservice activities according to the guidance of these amazing teachers.

    Elements of the Buddha's Mahayana tradition are at risk of degenerating and fadingaway. Our work preserves what the Buddha taught according to the tradition of LamaTsongkhapa, upholding the rich array of Buddhist practices which FPMT has inheritedfrom its teachers.

    In the early years, FPMT was a tightly-knit family of a handful of students looking foranswers and two ground-breaking lamas who had profound answers to give. We are nowan international community of over 150 centers, retreat centers, monasteries, nunneries,hospices, health care clinics, publishing houses, and more, and we are still a family:

    Become a Foundation Member today and lend your heart tothe cause of happiness for all.

    MEMBERSHIPLEVELS

    $30 YearGolden FishOne Year of MandalaMagazine and e-Zine.Foundation Store Discount - 5%

    $60 Year/$5 MonthRight-Turning ConchOne Year of MandalaMagazine and e-Zine.Foundation Store Discount - 10%

    $108 Year/$9 MonthPrecious UmbrellaAll of above plusMystic Tibet DVD

    $240 Year/$20 MonthDharma WheelAll of above, How to Meditate onEmptiness MP3, Access toselected courses (TBA) 2009Online Learning Center

    $360 Year/$30 MonthEndless KnotAll of the above; Free DiscoveringBuddhism DVD Set; Full accessto Online Learning Center andLight of the Path Program (TBA)

    $600 Year/$50 MonthLotus FlowerAll of the abovePlease allow us to honor you onthe web and in print

    $1008 Year/$84 MonthTreasure VaseAll of the aboveYearly Patron Puja

    $5000 and beyondVictory BannerAll of the aboveSpecial Honoree

    fpmt

    Visit www.fpmt.org/membership and register online.FOUNDATION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE MAHAYANA TRADITIONFPMT International Office. 1632 SE 11th Avenue. Portland, OR 97214-4702. USA.

    (503) 808-1588 phone * (503) 808-1589 fax * membership@fpmt.org Images of the Eight Auspicious Signs Andy Weber

    fpmtMembership Ad Final 1.23.09 different shadow:Layout 1 1/27/09 6:29 AM Page 1

  • February 2009 MANDALA EZINE 3

    contents4 Letter from the Editor

    6 TEACHING:On Marriage by Lama Thubten Yeshe

    9 COVER FEATURE:Dharma work: When 9-5 turns 24/7

    22 MEDIA PAGE

    COMMUNITY FORUM:23 Discussion Topic24 Photo Bulletin Board

    e-VOL. 2 ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2009.The Mandala eZine is published as anonline quarterly for Foundation Membersby FPMT Inc., 1632 SE 11th Ave,Portland, OR 97214-4702.

    COVER: Lama Zopa Rinpoche writingout Prajnaparamita Sutra

    www.mandalamagazine.org

    www.fpmt.org

    6

    15 16 24

  • LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

    4 MANDALA EZINE February 2009

    Iam thrilled to write you asMandalas new managingeditor. I come to you from San Francisco, California,via Liberation Prison Project where I was fortunateenough to work under Ven. Robina Courtin for fouryears. As many of you know, she served Mandala asEditor from 1995-2000. Lets cross our fingers thatsome of her masterful editorial magic rubbed off on me!I am entirely indebted to Nancy Patton who

    meticulously brought you 40 issues of the magazinebefore me. She has helped me into this role with themost generous care I could ask for. Her enthusiasm,precision and intense love for Mandala are truly aninspiration to me, and I humbly step into these verybig shoes with palms together, bowing low in herdirection. Nancy, from my heart, thank you.This issue of theMandala eZine is dedicated to all of

    the Dharma workers out there. We invite you to stepback and REJOICE in the tremendous work you are doing, the inconceivable merit,the virtue of benefiting others in this profound way.Well hear from Lama Zopa Rinpoche about applying the right attitude toward

    our work, keeping ourselves from feeling overwhelmed and cultivating the innerprofessional. Well also hear from new and seasoned Dharma workers around theworld who share their stories and advice for offering service.But first! With Valentines Day and Hallmark promises just around the corner,

    well begin with a teaching on marriage from Lama Thubten Yeshe (pg 6); andfor this issues Discussion Topic (pg 23), we invite you to write in and discusshow you differentiate between attachment and love. (Trick: This is a DHARMAquestion!)Youll find Dharma treasures on the Media Page (pg 22) and some of the many

    faces of Mandala readership on our Photo Bulletin Board (pg 24).Please take your time and enjoy.All my love,

    Carina RumrillManaging Editor

    D E A R R E A D E R S

  • February 2009 MANDALA EZINE 5

    HEAD

    Mandala Publications produces two quarterly publications, Mandala Magazine, and the MandalaeZine, offering authentic Buddhist teachings as wellas modern reflections on the path to enlightenment.Mandala Magazine and the Mandala eZine are published by the Foundation for the Preservation ofthe Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an internationalcharitable organization founded more than thirtyyears ago by two Tibetan masters, Lama ThubtenYeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten ZopaRinpoche.

    FPMT is now a vibrant international community, with a network ofover 150 affiliate centers, projects, and services, and members in morethan thirty countries.

    Mandala eZine is published quarterly in February, May, August andNovember for Foundation Members. Mandala Publications currentlydoes not pay for publishable content; we credit all photos and otherwork as requested.

    THE MANDALA EZINE IS AVAILABLE VIA FOUNDATION MEMBERSHIP.

    Basic Membership $US30. Benefits include:A years FREE subscription to Mandala MagazineThe Mandala eZine5% discount on all purchases in the Foundation Store

    To learn more about higher membership levels and benefits, contactus or visit www.fpmt.org/membership

    Foundation Membership supports the educational programming,charitable projects, and global services of FPMT.

    Managing EditorCarina Rumrillcarina@fpmt.org

    Assistant EditorMichael Jolliffemichael@fpmt.org

    PublisherSara Blumenthalsara@fpmt.org

    Art DirectorCowgirls Designcowgirl@newmex.com

    AdvertisingSandra Petersonadvertising@mandalamagazine.org

    Membership andCenter SubscriptionsSandra Petersonmembership@fpmt.org

    FPMT Inc.1632 SE 11th Ave.,Portland, OR 97214-4702Tel: 1 503 808 1588Fax: 1 503 808 1589Toll free USA only 1 866 808 3302

    FPMT Board of DirectorsSpiritual Director: Lama Zopa Rinpoche

    Board members:Khenrinpoche Geshe LhundrupVen. Roger KunsangVen. Pemba SherpaKaruna CaytonAndrew HaynesPeter KedgeTim McNeillTara MelwaniAlison MurdochPaula de Wijs-Koolkinwww.mandalamagazine.org www.fpmt.org

    A B O U T M A N D A L A

    Lama Thubten Yeshe

    Lama Zopa Rinpoche

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  • TEACHING

    These days, one of the main reasons that aman and a woman become friends is sexual.They get together for sexual pleasure. Inearlier times, marriage had a divine quality acouple came together out of respect, with the aimof creating a kind of totality. That gave meaning

    to getting married, and marriages made withsuch purpose became good ones.Many of todays marriages become disastrous

    because they lack purpose; theres no worthwhilegoal for coming together. A couple should notcome together out of grasping at each other; there

    6 MANDALA EZINE February 2009

    On MarriageBy Lama Thubten Yeshe

  • February 2009 MANDALA EZINE 7

    should be more meaning to it than that. But ourcraving desire and lack of wisdom work togetherto create an extreme situation that finishes upcausing conflict: the woman agitates her man; theman agitates his woman in either case, it endsin goodbye.

    These days, I travel the entire world andmany young people come to see me to discusstheir relationship problems, but they all boildown to peoples coming together out of thewrong motivation. Whether youre a man or awoman, its important that theres not too muchgrasping in your relationship, that you dontagitate your partner. Extreme grasping at sexualpleasure is a problem; sexual pleasure is an irritant.You can see.

    However, many couples arent together for thesex. Their relationship is deeper than that, so theirattitude is different. They are very comfortable,free, somehow, with no tremendous expectationsof each other. Therefore, they have a goodrelationship. Im sure youve seen examples ofsuch couples, where theres not much grasping.

    In my limited experience of the Westernworld, many Christians, who believe in God, havevery respectful marriages. They believe in some-thing deeper than themselves and are not livingfor sense pleasure alone. I would say that suchcouples have been blessed by God or Jesus

    Thousands of people the world over get marriedevery day out of craving for sexual pleasure. Othersget married principally for reputation: Hes worldfamous; hes great. Still others marry for wealthor power. Those are all wrong motivations formarriage. The purpose of marriage should be toavoid extremes and gain balance in your life.However, it often turns out the complete opposite.

    These days, perhaps as many people getdivorced as get married. Dont think divorce iseasy. Psychologically, divorce can be hell. Its notas simple as OK, bye-bye, and its over. Its notlike that. First theres a huge build-up of psycho-logical pressure and when it releases its likefalling into hell. So, sentient beings are sufferinglike this.

    We criticize modern society for such ills, butits not societys fault. Theres nothing wrong withsociety its our mental attitude thats mistaken.We create all kinds of fantasies, grasp at sensepleasure and everything finishes in disaster.

    Buddhism explains that we circle from onelife to another because of craving desire and thatwe can put an end to cyclic existence, to rebirthin samsara, by abandoning desire. Craving iswhat makes the wheel of life go round and its ourown clinging that binds us to it; nobody elsemakes us cycle from one suffering life to another.

    The twentieth century example of this is thoseladies and gentlemen who get married, experi-ence problems, grasp at another person, then atanother, and another maybe they cyclethrough four or five marriages in a single lifetime.Some people have hundreds of lovers in their life.Why cant they stop?Why do they keep on grasp-ing? Theres nobody driving them to do this; theydrive themselves. They hang on continuously;non-stop. Desire is fickle in nature. Freud tried toexplain sex as the basis of most human problems.Buddhism disagrees. The main human problemlies much deeper than that y

    This is an edited version of a teaching given by Lama Yesheduring a course at Istituto LamaTzong Khapa, Italy in 1978.The full version, plus other advice on marriage, can be foundat www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=40

  • 8 MANDALA EZINE February 2009

    DHARMA WORK

    For over 30 years the monks and nuns of International Mahayana Institute have engaged in study, practice and service around the world, supporting your practice of Buddhism and laying the foundation for future generations of Buddhist practitioners like you.

    If your life has been touched through the service and practice oered by our community, then we oer you the opportunity to support the teachings, the monasteries and the monastics.

    Our practice of Buddhismdepends on you!

    Sangha JewelA Community of Buddhist Monks and Nuns399 Webster Street San Francisco CA 94117 oce@imisangha.org

    Support the Sangha Jewel at www.imisangha.org

    We serve your practice of Buddhism!

  • February 2009 MANDALA EZINE 9

    DHARMA WORK

    Any work done with the teachingsof the Buddha alive in our heartsis Dharma work. Some of us sharethe precious and uniquely challenging

    opportunity of working or volunteering

    for a Dharma organization. We might

    imagine a pure land of Dharma talk by

    the water cooler and pujas at lunch, but

    our jobs hardly feel holy all of the time.

    Whether rewiring the office for a new

    phone system, crunching numbers for our

    annual financial reports, helping a

    coworker navigate a divorce or volunteering

    for sixteen hours straight at a fundraising

    event, weve all been pushed outside of

    our comfort zones and areas of expertise.

    This section will give voice to some of

    the experiences of Dharma workers, with

    valuable advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche

    to help us find the Dharma in ourselves

    and our places of work.

    Transforming problemsinto happiness.Excha...