Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Dharamsala, India, February 2017. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Mindfulness of how things exist as merely labeled by the mind can bring peace and happiness, Lama Zopa Rinpoche explained while teaching at the 100 Million Mani Mantra Retreat in Italy.

“What you see, what you hear, what you think, what you taste, what you touch—all the six objects—are merely labeled by your mind. Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, from birth to death, everything is merely labeled by your mind, including your I,” Rinpoche says in the teaching shared in a nine-minute video clip.

By observing that everything from beginningless rebirths to endless future lives is merely imputed by your mind, your meditation on mindfulness becomes more profound, Rinpoche explains:

“It is so important; we can do meditation on just this for weeks, for months, for years. It is so good. It is so fantastic! It brings only calmness—only peace and happiness.

“In reality, nothing exists from its own side, including the I. There is no I from its own side. There is no action existing from its own side. There is no object existing from its own side. There is nothing—forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tangible objects, all this—that exists from there, except what is merely labeled by your mind. That is the reality!

“So do mindfulness of that for a weekend, then weeks, months, even years. After we receive many teachings on emptiness, this is what you have to practice, meditate on. You have to practice mindfulness of this in daily life, whether you are doing business, whether you are doing cooking, whatever work you are doing, secretary or whatever!

“For example, when somebody complains about you, makes you angry, at that time, meditate. Look at the I and think the I is merely labeled by mind. Look at the reality of the I, what exists, what doesn’t exist. Think the I is merely labeled by mind; meditate on that. The great anger [you feel] at the person who complains about you, abuses you, stops. The minute you think about how the I is merely labeled by the mind, the anger is gone.

“So therefore, you can see in daily life, when you are doing business, when life is so busy, when you are talking to people, whatever you are doing, part of your mind is in meditation on mindfulness. That is incredible. It gives peace and happiness in your heart, in your life.”

The quotes from Rinpoche have been lightly edited and are 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:

Watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche teach during the Bodhicaryavatara and Rinjung Gyatsa Retreat at The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia, March 30-May 12, 2018.

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.