Lama Zopa Rinpoche turning the prayer wheel at Root Institute, India, January 2018. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

How you see something depends on past karma as well as on how you label it, Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaches in a short video clip recorded during the 100 Million Mani Mantra Retreat in Italy in October 2017. 

“Even if it is an unpleasant object, even if it is problem, in a relationship or whatever, the way you view it is the way you label it—positive label or negative label,” Rinpoche teaches. “You make a positive label by thinking of the benefits of the problem.”

“When you don’t think of the benefits,” Rinpoche continues, “then you just carry on putting on a negative label. Then you suffer like this; you torture yourself like this.”

“Therefore, you see that Dharma practice, meditation, is soooooooooooooooo important!” Rinpoche concludes. “If you know Dharma, if you practice Dharma, meditation, then you completely transform [problems] into happiness! So you enjoy your life, especially your life every day, every hour, minute. With bodhichitta, you make beneficial your life to numberless sentient beings!”

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Quoted text based on the unedited transcript of the 100 Million Mani Mantra retreat in Italy, which you can find here with video recordings of the complete teachings:

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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.