Mandala eZine February 2011

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Mandala eZine February 2011


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    e-VOL. 4 ISSUE 1

    FEBRUARY 2011

    The Official

    Publication of

    The Foundation for

    the Preservation

    of the Mahayana


    Mandala eZineMandala eZine




  • Books Meditation supplies Study programs Videos Practice books Ritual objects

    fpmt e Foundation Store

    May our Dharma publicationsspread all over the world

    and in every corner of the world. Lama Zopa Rinpoche

    Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition

    FMPTshopAdAug2010.indd 1 8/16/10 8:43:43 PM

  • e-Vol 4 ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2011. The Mandala eZine is published as an online quarterly for Friends of FPMT byFPMT Inc., 1632 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214-4702.

    LAMA YESHES WISDOM6 Taking Suffering and Giving HappinessBy Lama Yeshe

    ADVICE FROM THE VIRTUOUSFRIEND11 Fighting for FreedomBy Lama Zopa Rinpoche

    COVER FEATURE14 Friends of FPMT

    COMMUNITY FORUM19 Discussion Topic20 Photo Bulletin Board

    MEDIA PAGE23 Featured Media

    COVER:Portrait of Lama Yeshe, 1975. With the idea of com-missioning a statue of Lama Yeshe, Mummy Max (MaxMatthews) arranged for a series of shots taken just of hishead from every angle, as well as photos of Lama in med-itation posture. Photo taken on Saka Dawa (the cele-bration of Buddhas birth, enlightenment and death) atChenrezig Institute, Australia, 1975. Photo donated byWendy Finster. Courtesy of Lama Yeshe WisdomArchive.

    fpmt Mandala eZineCONTENTS



    February 2011 MANDALA EZINE 3

  • Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive contains recordings and transcripts

    of Lama Thubten Yeshes and Lama Zopa Rinpoches teachings

    dating back to the early 1970sand were still growing! Our

    website o ers thousands of pages of teachings by some

    of the greatest lamas of our time. Hundreds of audio

    recordings, our photo gallery and our ever-popular

    books are also freely accessible at

    Please see our website or contact us

    for more information

    LIFE, DEATH, AND AFTER DEATHby lama yesheedited by nicholas ribush120 pages, free

    Tibetan Buddhism teaches us to understand the death process and trains us to deal with it so that when the time of crisis arrives and the various illusory visions arise, instead of being confused, well know whats going on and will recognize illusions as illusions, projections as projections and fantasies as fantasies.


    by lama zopa rinpocheedited by ailsa cameron458 pages, $20

    Teachings from Land of Medicine Buddha October-November 2001

    KADAMPA TEACHINGSby lama zopa rinpocheedited by ailsa cameron288 pages, free

    Commentary on essential pieces of advice from Kadampa Geshes.

    * plus shipping charges of $1 per book ($5 minimum)

    * plus shipping charges of

    free books!*

    A6B6N:H=:L>H9DB6G8=>K:ED7DM+(+!A>C8DAC!B6%&,,(>C;D5A6B6N:H=: #8DBLLL# A6B6N:H=:#8DB

    LYWA Mandala Ad 2010_10.indd 1 10/27/10 1:19:32 PM

  • February 2011 MANDALA EZINE 5

    Mandala is the official publica-tion of the Foundation for thePreservation of the MahayanaTradition (FPMT), an interna-tional charitable organizationfounded more than thirty yearsago by two Tibetan Buddhistmasters: Lama Thubten Yeshe

    (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is now a vibrantinternational community with a network of over 150 affiliate centers,projects, services and study groups in more than thirty countries.

    Editorial PolicyRecurring topics include: Buddhist philosophy; Education; Ordinationand the Sangha; Buddhism and Modern Life; Youth Issues; FPMT Activities Worldwide; Lama Yeshe and his teachings; Lama Zopa Rin-poche and his teachings; His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his teachings,among many other topics.

    Writers, photographers and artists, both amateur and professional,are encouraged to submit material for consideration. Mandala currentlydoes not pay for publishable content; we credit all photos and other workas requested.

    Mandala, in addition to the Mandala eZine, is published quarterlyand is available via the Friends of FPMT program. Additionally, bothpublications are supplemented by online stories published exclusively

    Friends of FPMT is a donor program composed of Friends workingtogether to support FPMTs global activities.

    To learn about Friends of FPMT levels and benefits, contact us orvisit:

    Mandala is published in January, April, July and October.Mandala eZine is published in February, May, August and December.

    Managing Editor and PublisherCarina

    Assistant Editor,Advertising & Sales Michael

    Art DirectorCowgirls

    Friends of FPMT ProgramHeather

    FPMT, Inc.1632 SE 11th Ave.Portland, OR 97214-4702Tel: 1 503 808 1588Fax: 1 503 232 0557Toll free USA only 1 866 241 9886

    FPMT Board of DirectorsSpiritual DirectorLama Zopa Rinpoche

    Board MembersKhenrinpoche Geshe LhundrupVen. Roger KunsangVen. Pemba SherpaKaruna CaytonAndrew HaynesPeter KedgeTim McNeillTara MelwaniAlison MurdochPaula de Wijs-Koolkin



    By becoming a Friend of FPMT you can stay connected to

    all that FPMT has to offer including Mandala Publications,

    the FPMT Online Learning Center and various complimentary

    resources offered at the free level. We're confident we've designed

    a level that is perfect for your budget, studies and practice.

    Become A Friend of FPMT!

  • 6 MANDALA EZINE February 2011

    Lama Yeshes WISDOM

    We are most fortunate to have been able topinpoint attachment as the greatest of allproblems. When we speak of evil, demons andso forth, its the inner devil of attachment weretalking about. Even though for countless livesweve looked outside ourselves for the source ofour problems, theres nothing external to blame.Therefore we should rejoice that we have finallyidentified this inner cause of all suffering.

    We can be quite foolish. Say youre in aspooky old house somewhere with a couple offriends. Its late at night and youre watching horror movies on TV. One of your friends says,Dont go into the basement; theres somethingevil down there. Then, if you do have to godown to the basement, you feel scared: Therereally is something evil down here. Youre so easily prone to superstition. This is completelysilly. Theres no such thing as external evil andfear of it is simply a projection of the evil in yourown mind. If you speculate enough, your super-stitious mind is sure to produce something, andwhere once you were unafraid, you now feel fear.All such foolishness comes from attachment.

    Therefore finally recognizing that all thesenegative things demons, enemies, evil orwhatever other terms are used in everyday conversation, science or religion come fromthe inner demon of attachment and bravelychanging attachment to oneself into concernfor others is both wonderful and wise.

    There are countless living beings on Earthbut very few know about exchanging self andothers. This practice may be very difficultbut its extremely worthwhile. If you can doit, it will help solve all your problems.

    Changing your outlook in this way trans-forms whatever misery you perceive into thepeaceful path of liberation.

    We desperately need a method such as this.Life is suffering; our minds are weak. Exchangingself and others is truly revolutionary and thisinner revolution, which has nothing to do withradical external change, completely turns ourmental attitude upside down.

    If you were to think that Buddhism was simply about sitting in meditation practicingconcentration, you might reject it: My kneeshurt; my body wasnt built for this. Buddhism isjust a Himalayan lama thing. Anyway, I cantlive without working and taking care of myworldly affairs. Dharma is not for me. But Mahayana Buddhism is about much more thanjust sitting in concentration. If you are wise, youcan practice 24 hours a day.

    Whenever any difficulty or problem arises,instead of getting depressed, be brave. Think,Fantastic. If this problem had not arisen I mighthave felt I had no problems. This problem is myteacher; all problems are my teacher. They giveme knowledge-wisdom and help me recognizemore clearly the nature of attachment. This is sowonderful. May all mother sentient beingsproblems ripen upon me right now and maythey receive all my merit, fortune and wisdom.

    If you have difficulty taking the suffering ofothers onto yourself, first practice on yourself.The next time your knees hurt when youre sitting in meditation, take that pain onto yourego and let it freak out. Let your ego freak outmore and more. Practice that for a week.

    Then practice taking onto yourself all the

    Taking Suffering and Giving HappinessBy Lama Yeshe

  • February 2011 MANDALA EZINE 7

    Lama Yeshe at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, 1974. Courtesy of Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

  • 8 MANDALA EZINE February 2011

    Lama Yeshes WISDOM

    suffering you have ever experienced in yourlife. Your ego and attachment wont like thateither, but let them freak out again. Thenslowly, slowly extend your practice to takeupon yourself the sufferings of your parents,your friends, all the people in your country andall the people on Earth until you are receivingthe problems and suffering of all sentient beings throughout the universe. Then, withouthesitation, send out to them all your posses-sions, happiness and merit.

    What is the technique for actually practic-ing this taking and giving meditation, which Tibetans call tong-len? You combine it with meditation on the breath in what is basically anine-round breathing meditation.

    Start by breathing out through your rightnostril. Visualize the air you exhale in the formof white light, the essence of which is all yourpositive energy and wisdom. This white light radiates to all sentient beings in the six realmsof samsara and beyond. It enters their left nostril,goes into their hearts and generates in themgreat bliss. Visualize the air they exhale in theform of thick black smoke, the essence of whichis all their negativity, confusion and heavy suffering. This dark, polluted energy entersyour left nostril and goes down into your heart.Dont leave it outside of you; bring it rightdown into your heart so that your ego and attachment completely freak out.

    The nature of attachment is such that whenproblems arise, it blindly pushes them away. Thispractice trains your mind to handle negativity,feel compassion for the others and take their suffering and problems onto yourself, which in

    turn helps you overcome self-cherishing andcherish others more than yourself.

    Do the above cycle of breathing white lightout through your right nostril and black smokein through your left three times. Then breatheout through your left nostril and in through yourright three times. Then breathe out and inthrough both nostrils together three times. Atthe end of each nine rounds concentrate for aslong as you can that you and all other sentientbeings have been completely purified of all suffering, negativity and dualistic mind and arefully enlightened, experiencing everlasting blissthat pervades your entire body and mind. Whenyou lose focus on this, repeat the nine roundsonce more. Repeat this cycle again and again forthe duration of the session.

    Dont think that this is just a fantasy andthat doing this meditation makes no differenceto the suffering of yourself and others. Actually,it is a profound practice and each time you doit, it brings you and all other sentient beingscloser to enlightenment. The greatest obstacleto enlightenment is self-cherishing, and takingon all the suffering, karma and delusions of allsentient beings and giving them all your happiness and merit is best way of overcomingit. The most effective way of training yourmind to overcome self-cherishing is to practicetong-len meditation.

    Published in Ego, Attachment and Liberation, a free

    publication from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. The

    book features a collection of Lama Yeshes teaching

    from a five-day meditation course near Melbourne,

    Australia in 1975.

    Whenever any difficulty or problem arises, instead of getting depressed, be brave. Think, Fantastic. If this problem had not arisenI might have felt I had no problems. This problem is my teacher; all problems are my teacher ....

  • February 2011 MANDALA EZINE 9

    Essential Buddhist Prayers,An FPMT Prayer Book, Vol 2:Comprehensive collection ofpractices advised byLama Zopa Rinpoche to beperformed on the 8th, 15th,29th and 30th of the Tibetan month. (340 pgs)

    Heart Advice forDeath and Dying;Profound and accessiblewritten teachings on deathand dying by Lama ZopaRinpoche & 11 hours ofexquisite audio teachings andmeditations by Ven. SangyeKhadro on MP3 CD

    Buddhism in a Nutshell;Overview of the completepath to enlightenment. Writtenteachings by Lama Yeshe,Lama Zopa Rinpoche and VenAmy Miller & 11 hours of audioteachings and meditations byVen. Amy Miller on MP3 CD

    Essential Buddhist Prayers, An FPMT Prayer Book, Vol 3:Short daily practices of the primaryGelug Tantric deities: Guhyasamaja, Gyalwa Gyatso, Chakrasamvara, Vajrayogini, Yamantaka and more. Requires Empowerment.(340 pgs)

    Essential Buddhist Prayers, An FPMT Prayer Book, Vol 1:All ones daily prayers andpractices, from blessing the speech in the morning todedicating the merits in the evening. (292 pgs)

    FPMT Education ServicesProviding Programs and Pract ice Materials For All

    Available from the Foundation Store:

    Homestudy Courses:FPMT Prayer Book Series:

    FPMT Retreat Prayer Book;All of the daily practicesadvised by Lama ZopaRinpoche when in personal retreat. This text will also be used at group retreats with Lama Zopa Rinpoche. (360 pgs)


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    ggeenneerroossiiddaaddee kkeemmuurraahhaann ggeenneerroossiitteett ggaavvmmiillddhheett GGeenneerroozziittaatteeaa

    Practice generosity with your own International Merit Box kit, now available in eleven languages.Email for more information and to obtain your own Merit Box kit, or If you are already an International Merit Box participant, thank you for practicing generosity today, and throughout the year, in support of FPMT projects worldwide.


  • 10 MANDALA EZINE February 2011

    Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang

  • February 2011 MANDALA EZINE 11


    Fighting for FreedomBy Lama Zopa Rinpoche

    Every single thing in daily life that getsdone that is what the guru advisedleads to unbelievable purification...