Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Mahamudra, Adelaide, Australia, May 2018. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised a student seeking life practice advice to make the most of their life by practicing lamrim and bodhicihtta, thereby bring as much benefit as possible to all sentient beings.

Practice lamrim and bodhichitta, so that everything you do is with the motivation of bodhichitta, in order to free numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and bring them to buddhahood, the peerless happiness. Think, “For that I have to achieve full enlightenment, therefore I am going to do this action with bodhichitta, whatever it is—going to work, eating, working, sleeping, and so forth.” Practice mindfulness as much as possible, like that. In this way all your activities, such as walking, sleeping, or doing your job, are done with bodhichitta. Then every action becomes the cause of enlightenment and you collect more than skies of merit.

For example, if you generate bodhichitta and then recite OM MANI PADME HUM one hundred and eight times, when you recite the mantras for numberless sentient beings you collect more than skies of merit and good luck with each mantra.

If you are going to the stupa to circumambulate, generate bodhichitta at the beginning, then each time you go around the stupa it becomes the cause of enlightenment and you collect more than skies of merit with each step.

The same thing when you go to the market with bodhichitta. Whether you are coming or going, everything you do, even sleeping, each minute you sleep becomes the cause of enlightenment and you collect more than skies of merit if these actions are done with bodhichitta.

That is my main advice. Whatever you do in this way, by generating bodhichitta, you benefit every single hell being, hungry ghost, and animal—all those in the ocean the size of a mountain and those beings that are the smallest size, like fleas; those that live on the ground, in the trees and in the sky—and also human beings, suras, asuras, and intermediate state beings, including every sentient being, there is not one left out. All your actions benefit every single sentient being.

This advice, “Whether to Remove Deity Tattoos,” is from “Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book,” published in February 2018 on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive website:

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.