Messages From Lama Zopa

Lama Zopa shares teachings, links, and other Dharma insight with everyone.

The Importance of Dharma Friends and Group Practice

Posted on May 17th, 2013 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends,

I would like to encourage all KTC members to come to our weekly pujas,
practices, and teachings: Chenrezik at 9:00 on Sunday and meditation at
10:00, Chenrezik or Short Green Tara on Tuesday evenings at 7:00. Having
Dharma friends and engaging in study and practice is one of the main
reasons we keep the Albany KTC open. If we could practice Dharma correctly
on our own without the support of lamas, Dharma friends, and pujas, we
would have no need of a Dharma center at all. However we cannot practice
Dharma properly on our own until we develop deep experience and
realization. As Kyabje Thrangu Rinpoche, the senior tutor to the Gyalwang
Karmapa, asserts:

It is excellent to know what the genuine Dharma is. However, if one does
not meditate, the ultimate result will not be obtained, so practice is very
important. Further, rather than practicing alone in a solitary place, it is
better to practice in a group. Shiwa Repa said, “The basis of virtuous
activity is compatible Dharma friends.” Through the encouragement of lamas
and friends who truly follow the Dharma, faith and diligence will increase
and laziness and discouragement be reversed.

So please join us at KTC for teaching and practice in a supportive
environment blessed by great Kagyu lamas.

Yours in Dharma,

Lama Zopa

*We should not be satisfied just by merely knowing some teaching,*
*We should be satisfied when we put it into practice.*

-The Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Proper Care of Dharma Books

Posted on June 3rd, 2014 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends,

Attached is an important teaching on the proper care of Dharma books. All of us have Dharma books, but we often don’t know how to care for them in accordance with Dharma. We can accumulate merit through the proper treatment of Dharma materials but also create negative karma due to carelessness. Therefore, I request all Dharma practitioners to keep this instruction in mind.

May all beings be happy!

Lama Zopa


Proper Care of Dharma Books

Dharma books contain the teachings of the Buddha: they have the power to protect against lower birth and to point the way to liberation. Therefore, they should be treated with respect, kept off the floor and places where people sit or walk, and not stepped over. They should be covered or protected for transporting and kept in a high, clean place separate from more ordinary things. If it is necessary to dispose of Dharma materials, they should be burned with awareness and care rather than thrown in the trash. When burning Dharma texts, it is considered skillful to first recite a prayer or mantra, such as Om, Ah, Hung. Then you can visualize the letters of the text to be burned being absorbed into the syllable Ah, and the Ah being absorbed into you. After that you can burn the texts.

­– Quoted from books of Palpung Publications, a branch of Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat, HP, India.

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Preliminary Kagyu Monlam Teachings

Posted on January 7th, 2014 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends,

As you may already know, our supreme master, the Gyalwang Karmapa recently gave preliminary Kagyu Monlam teachings in Bodhgaya, India. His teaching is based on the commentary on the mahamudra preliminary practices by Jamgon Lodro Taye. The first few teachings concern the nature and function of refuge which is important for all Buddhists to understand and practice. The teachings were expertly translated by KTD’s own Lama Yeshe Gyamtso. As you won’t find anything more brilliant or relevant than this, I urge you all to take the time to properly receive these teachings. Please don’t be lazy! Even if you are exceedingly busy, at least listen to the first teaching in the series. You will not be disappointed.

Karmapa Chenno!

Lama Zopa

“We still look for something outside ourselves, not knowing how priceless and how important what we already have is. We need to look at these seeds of virtue in our mind as if they were as rare as a Buddha.”

– The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

These teachings may be found at the following link:

The Shower of Blessings

Posted on November 9th, 2013 by Lama Zopa

The Shower of Blessings is a sadhana of Guru Rinpoche composed by the great Jamgon Mipam Rinpoche that includes a tsok.

In general, veneration and offering to Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava is extremely important for vajrayana practitioners. Along with the Jetsunma Arya Tara, reliance on Guru Rinpoche is one of our primary means of dispelling obstacles on the path. In particular, for followers of the supreme Gyalwang Karmapa, the chanting of The Seven-Line Prayer (included within the Shower of Blessings) will help remove obstacles to the Karmapa’s enlightened activities. As a group, we can dedicate the merit of our accumulation of the prayer to the long life and far-reaching activity of the Buddha Karmapa. Moreover, the tsok or ritual thanksgiving offering is a unique vajrayana practice not found within the lower vehicles. Done properly, it is a powerful method for purifying violations of the three vows and accumulating merit.

For these reasons, I request you all to participate in this special puja when it is scheduled at KTC. Please bring your mala and a vegetarian snack or drink to include in the tsok. Because the food and drink is offered to Guru Rinpoche and the Three Precious Jewels, it should not be old or previously used in any way. In order to accumulate merit, offerings should always be fresh and of the best quality. Attached is a beautiful image of Guru Rinpoche drawn by the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa himself. It includes the Seven-Line Prayer. All vajrayana practitioners should memorize this essential prayer drawn from the terma or hidden treasure tradition. I urge those of you who have not yet done so to memorize and recite this prayer in your daily practice.

Yours in Dharma,

Lama Zopa

seven-line prayer