The benefit of vows

  We don’t like the sound of vows: we feel as if someone is forcing us into a corner, or that vows squash us down, or that we’ll get punished when we’re naughty and break them.   But if we think about it, when we learn to do anything,...

Emptiness and dependent arising go together

  Buddha says that whatever exists necessarily exists in dependence upon various factors – causes, parts, and so on – and is therefore empty of existing from its own side: the two truths: dependent arising and emptiness. One of our biggest mistakes when we hear...

Don’t think of receiving, think of giving

  The first of the six perfections of the bodhisattva is giving, generosity, or as Lama Zopa Rinpoche likes to call it, charity, and the first of the three levels of giving, the easiest, is giving material things.   The second, much more difficult, is the...

We all need knowledge-holders

  When I first met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, at Chenrezig Institute in Queensland, Australia, in 1976, I knew I wanted a spiritual path but I didn’t know I needed a spiritual teacher: a mentor, a lama, a guru.   The fact is, whatever we learn, the...