Lama Zopa: Meditations to Generate Realizations

Lama Zopa Rinpoche: Meditate on bodhicitta

Lama Zopa Rinpoche: Meditate on bodhicitta

Lama Zopa Rinpoche: Meditations to Generate Realizations

A student wrote to Rinpoche asking for practice advice.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche. With regard to your meditation, you can train your mind in the generation stage, until one sees all gurus as buddha and all buddhas as the guru, until one has very strong, stable devotion, not the devotion that arises after just a few hours or days, but devotion spontaneously arising from the heart. You must work every day on guru devotion. This should be your fundamental practice. In addition to that, until you feel that all the works of this life are not important and you have no wish to acquire these (good reputation, comforts, material goods, happiness in this life, etc.); until the understanding arises that death can happen any moment, any day, and therefore works for this life have no meaning and are nonsense and childish; until these understandings spontaneously arise in your heart, until you have these realizations, you should meditate on the general lower path of the lam-rim, the path of the lower capable being.

When you feel about samsara the same way that prisoners feel about being in prison, day and night, naturally wanting to be free with an intense will to get out; when you feel as if your naked body is sitting on a thorn bush; when you feel as if you are in a nest of poisonous snakes; when you feel as if you are on fire; when you feel in these ways that samsara is unbearable and you don’t have the slightest attraction to samsaric pleasures, even in your dreams, but only the wish to be free spontaneously arises in your heart day and night, then you have realized renunciation in your mind. You should also meditate on the true cause of suffering, the shortcomings of samsara (delusion and karma). Also, meditate on the three, four, and six types of general sufferings of samsara, the 12 links, and the sufferings of the individual samsaric realms.

One should come to feel as a mother feels toward her beloved child, as if that child is the most precious one in her heart—whatever problem the child has, even if the child were drowning or in a fire, the mother herself would jump in and rescue her child by herself alone. Meditate until that strong stable feeling simultaneously arises from the bottom of your heart toward all sentient beings without exception, not only wishing sentient beings to be free but wishing to cause it by yourself alone, to free all sentient beings from suffering and achieve full enlightenment for all sentient beings by oneself alone. For that purpose we achieve enlightenment. So, this thought needs to arise spontaneously and effortlessly day and night, all the time. You must meditate on bodhicitta until you gain this realization. Finally, the unmistaken realization of emptiness is when you can see subtle dependent arising and emptiness as one object, when you can see that things exist depending on their base and on thoughts as labels.

When you have the realization that anytime you want to see yourself as the deity and the mandala, it automatically happens, as explained by Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, without the slightest effort, this is the generation stage. Everything, every detail, is very clear. This also entails being able to concentrate for hours without a single thought entering (attachment or scattering thought). Thus, this is how to go about meditating on these realizations. Without realizations of renunciation you cannot attain bodhicitta realizations. Therefore, one needs to work on attaining renunciation, doing analytical meditations on renunciation, bodhicitta, emptiness, guru devotion, and the generation stage. This is what you can do from now on. You can do as many of these meditations as you can each day.

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