Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Great Medicine Buddha retreat volunteers at Rinchen Jangsem Ling, Triang, Malaysia, April 2016. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave this thank you note to a volunteer in October 2017.

All your past happiness from beginningless rebirths and now your future happiness up to enlightenment is received from every sentient being. This includes every single comfort, even sleep and the small pleasures. It all comes from every hell being; from every single hungry ghost; from every single animal, those on the oceans that are large like whales, and those small like flies that run away when you walk in the grass; from every single ant; from the insects in the bushes, in the trees and in the sky; from the numberless human beings in numberless universes; from the numberless sura beings and numberless asura beings; from everyone.

Even Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha that we always take refuge in, so we can become free from samsara and achieve lower nirvana and enlightenment—even Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha come from numberless sentient beings.

That means sentient beings are the most precious ones, the most kind ones. Even without talking about the happiness of past lives or future lives, everything comes from sentient beings—every single comfort, our house, food, clothes, everything.

Therefore, by volunteering, by working here, this is the best thing. This is the best purification of your negative karmas and obscurations collected from beginningless rebirths, and in order to collect extensive merits and become the cause of enlightenment—by working here, by developing the good heart, bodhichitta, for every single sentient being, including the insects, the ants, that the numberless bodhisattvas cherish the most.

Every single person that you take care of, numberless bodhisattvas cherish them the most. Every single insect that you take care of, move out of the way or save from the water, numberless bodhisattvas cherish them the most and they love you very much, your work.

This advice, “Numberless Bodhisattvas Love You Very Much,” is from “Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book,” published in June 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.