Lama Zopa Rinpoche talks with a visitor, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, March 2017. Photo by Bill Kane.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche talked in 2008 about our good fortune: being able to choose happiness. What is the source of this good fortune? Teachings on how to create the causes of happiness.

“What people believe in the world, the more common people, those who don’t have the Dharma,” he explained, “is that the cause of happiness is external: the five sense objects and external things together. But achieving that doesn’t mean they always achieve happiness, it doesn’t mean that. Only if the cause of happiness is there, then they will experience happiness. Therefore, they have a totally wrong belief, a totally wrong understanding of the cause of happiness … The actual cause of happiness is our own mind, the positive mind and positive actions.”

He went on to say that, “People who understand the cause of freedom have freedom in everyday life. For us, this time we have met the Buddhadharma and we understand, so we have freedom. By knowing karma and the mind, how happiness and suffering both have to come from the mind, we are able to stop creating suffering … and to achieve happiness.”

He added,“If we understand karma, we have freedom … We have freedom every day. No matter what activities we do with our body, speech, and mind, they become the cause of enlightenment, they become the cause to achieve the happiness of future lives and then the cause to achieve liberation from samsara and the cause to achieve enlightenment for sentient beings.”

First day of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings at Idgaa Choizinling Monastery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, May 2017. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

Rinpoche concluded by saying, “Once we have understood karma, we have full freedom in our life. Whatever happiness we want to achieve is in our hands. So, we are unbelievably fortunate. We must realize how fortunate we are, how unbelievably fortunate, how unimaginably fortunate, having this wisdom, this Dharma wisdom. We are unbelievably, unbelievably fortunate. For most human beings in the world, it’s not like that.”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche looking at the 8,000 Verse Prajnaparamita in the gompa at Guru Rinpoche’s place of holy speech, Jangsarbu lhakhang, Paro, Bhutan, June 2016. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Read the entire teaching here:

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.