Lama Zopa Rinpoche offering charity to ants, New Mexico, 2017. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Even one small act of charity leads to happiness and success in future lives, and eventually it leads to enlightenment, Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains in a video clip from the 2016 Light of the Path retreat. “You have to know that. Keep it in your mind,” Rinpoche says. “Keep it in your heart; write it down.”

Because karma is expandable, Rinpoche explains, even if you do something small or simple, such as helping an insect or offering an old person a seat, that positive act will result in success over hundreds, thousands, of life times. Rinpoche also emphasizes how karma never gets lost. So the results of your positive actions will definitely be experienced. Rinpoche points out how necessary merit, positive karma, is for success and for achieving ultimate happiness and liberation.

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The nature of samsara is impermanence and the suffering that comes with it, Rinpoche teaches in this video clip. Relationships are changing. The best friend becomes an enemy. Because of attachment you are suffering so much. Why? Because you did not realize the Four Noble Truths in the last life. If you are actualizing the path, then you are free from the ocean of samsara. If you follow delusions and karma, if you follow attachment, then you torture yourself. Therefore, Rinpoche explains, you have to help others, who are in the same situation. This is why it’s so important to meditate on kindness and bodhichitta.

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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.