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“… On the basis of [reflecting on the lam-rim], we should generate the good heart, bodhichitta, the thought of benefiting others. This is our best refuge, especially for those of us whose lives are very busy, who don’t have much time for sitting or other traditional forms of practice. On the basis of reflecting on impermanence and death, we should make the good heart the main object of refuge in our lives. This allows all our actions to become Dharma, the cause of enlightenment and the cause of happiness for all sentient beings. Therefore, we should lead our lives with this attitude, the thought of benefiting all sentient beings.
“If you recite a Vajrasattva mantra once with bodhichitta you get the same benefit as you do from reciting 100,000 without it. If you make one light offering with bodhichitta, you get the same amount of merit as you do from making 100,000 light offerings without it. If you make charity of one dollar to a sentient being – a beggar or a homeless person – with bodhichitta, you get the same amount of merit as you do from making charity of $100,000 without it.
“It is said in the scriptures that if the sentient beings of three galaxies – the Tibetan term is tong-sum, but I’m not exactly sure how best to translate it, you should check for yourselves – all build stupas of the seven precious substances, such as gold, diamonds and so forth, and fill the whole world with these stupas, the merit of that is far less than that created by just one person offering a tiny flower to the Buddha with bodhichitta motivation. The person making this small offering with bodhichitta motivation creates far more merit than three galaxies of sentient beings covering the world with stupas made of the seven precious substances without it.
“Try to imagine this. If you build just one stupa you create unbelievable merit. It directs your life to enlightenment and is an amazing purification. So here we have three galaxies’ worth of sentient beings, each one building a stupa of the seven precious substances – not with bricks and mortar but with precious jewels – and covering the world with these. Nevertheless, the merit of one person offering a tiny flower to the Buddha with bodhichitta motivation creates far more merit than that.
“Thinking about this should inspire you to make bodhichitta your heart practice. It transforms your life like iron into gold or kaka into diamonds. Bodhichitta motivation gives your life its greatest possible meaning and makes every single action of your daily life as beneficial as it can possibly be. You should remember bodhichitta from morning to night, twenty-four hours a day. Hold it as your most precious possession, as your wish-fulfilling jewel. You should cherish your bodhichitta motivation above all else; remember it constantly and practice it at every moment. …”
Learn more about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche and his beneficial activities by visiting Rinpoche’s homepage, where you will find links to Rinpoche’s schedule, new advice, recent video, photos and more.
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About Mandala Publications
Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
Mandala print magazine is published in January, April, July and October. Mandala is available via the Friends of FPMT program.