by: Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
The most happy thing in my life, most fulfilling thing is to work for and to benefit sentient beings. Even just the mere thought to cause happiness to sentient beings, to benefit them, to free them from suffering is the BEST offering to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas. This is the best offering, the best puja; this is what pleases their holy mind most.
“The meditation on bodhichitta that you said you are doing is the best practice, that makes you achieve all the realizations and attain enlightenment in the quickest way,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche wrote to a student who had written to thank Rinpoche for bringing him so much happiness through his publications. “It is also the quickest way to free the sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to full enlightenment. Especially if you are doing the practice of bodhichitta with tong-len – taking numberless sentient beings’ suffering and the causes of suffering into your heart, onto yourself, and destroying the self-cherishing thought as well as the ignorance, the root of your samsara, the oceans of suffering of samsara. The real I, which is the false I, which is like a dream, like a hallucination, an illusion – like thinking the reflection of your face in the mirror or on the ocean is a real face – that is destroyed, that is realized to be empty, as it is empty. So you can do a short meditation on emptiness like this. Meditate on shunyata, emptiness only.
“When you take the sufferings of others, do so with compassion. When you dedicate to others, your body is in the form of numberless wish-granting jewels and all sentient beings receive whatever they want from that, and they achieve the dharmakaya and rupakaya. Dedicate all your enjoyments and all your belongings to the numberless six realm sentient beings, so they receive everything they want and achieve the dharmakaya and rupakaya. Then you dedicate all your past, present and future merits and their results, as well as all the good things in this life and in your next rebirth. Dedicate all the enjoyments in good rebirths from life to life, then the everlasting happiness of nirvana, and next, the ultimate happiness, the peerless happiness, the total cessation of all the obscurations and completion of all the realizations. So you dedicate all of this to numberless hell beings, numberless hungry ghosts, numberless animals, numberless human beings, numberless asuras, numberless suras and numberless intermediate state beings. And from that they achieve everything, the dharmakaya and rupakaya.
“When you take the suffering and its causes – wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow – this is the most powerful purification. Negative karmas and obscurations collected from beginningless rebirths are purified. It is most amazing, most amazing, most amazing, most amazing, most amazing! …”
Read the rest of Rinpoche’s letter with advice on tong-len practice on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive: http://www.lamayeshe.com/advice/tong-len-practice.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.