Mandala eZine February 2009

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Mandala eZine February 2009


Mandala eZineA BENEFIT OFFOUNDATIONMEMBERSHIPMandala eZinee-VOL. 2 ISSUE 1FEBRUARY 2009DHARMA WORKAre you aFoundation Member?If not, click WORKWhen 9-5 turns 24/7plus Teachings from Lama Thubten Yesheand Lama Zopa RinpocheF O U N D A T I O N M E M B E R S H I PThe Buddha taught that every living being has the potential to be free from sufferingand to develop limitless love and compassion. For more than thirty years, the Foundationfor the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) has provided Dharma educationwhich transforms people's minds into their highest potential, teaching people how tounderstand and integrate the teachings of Buddhism into their heart. The heart of FPMTreaches out across thirty-three countries, preserving and transmitting the MahayanaBuddhist tradition and its values toward the happiness of all beings.As a Foundation Member, you will belong to an international community ofstudents, with access to a vast network of Dharma centers, projects, and services,as well as some of the most qualified lamas and geshes of our time.As Buddhism has spread internationally, an accurate presentation of the tradition byqualified teachers in whom students can place their trust is critical. FPMT follows theguidance of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, a peerless representative of the Buddhistteachings in a troubled world. FPMT's founder Lama Thubten Yeshe was a master of thetradition whose teachings still resonate powerfully. FPMT's Spiritual Director, Lama ZopaRinpoche, is respected internationally as a lama of rare ability who has truly realized whatit means to live for others.Your membership supports the Foundation in its global Dharma and socialservice activities according to the guidance of these amazing teachers.Elements of the Buddha's Mahayana tradition are at risk of degenerating and fadingaway. Our work preserves what the Buddha taught according to the tradition of LamaTsongkhapa, upholding the rich array of Buddhist practices which FPMT has inheritedfrom its teachers.In the early years, FPMT was a tightly-knit family of a handful of students looking foranswers and two ground-breaking lamas who had profound answers to give. We are nowan international community of over 150 centers, retreat centers, monasteries, nunneries,hospices, health care clinics, publishing houses, and more, and we are still a family:Become a Foundation Member today and lend your heart tothe cause of happiness for all.MEMBERSHIPLEVELS$30 YearGolden FishOne Year of MandalaMagazine and e-Zine.Foundation Store Discount - 5%$60 Year/$5 MonthRight-Turning ConchOne Year of MandalaMagazine and e-Zine.Foundation Store Discount - 10%$108 Year/$9 MonthPrecious UmbrellaAll of above plusMystic Tibet DVD$240 Year/$20 MonthDharma WheelAll of above, How to Meditate onEmptiness MP3, Access toselected courses (TBA) 2009Online Learning Center$360 Year/$30 MonthEndless KnotAll of the above; Free DiscoveringBuddhism DVD Set; Full accessto Online Learning Center andLight of the Path Program (TBA)$600 Year/$50 MonthLotus FlowerAll of the abovePlease allow us to honor you onthe web and in print$1008 Year/$84 MonthTreasure VaseAll of the aboveYearly Patron Puja$5000 and beyondVictory BannerAll of the aboveSpecial HonoreefpmtVisit and register online.FOUNDATION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE MAHAYANA TRADITIONFPMT International Office. 1632 SE 11th Avenue. Portland, OR 97214-4702. USA.(503) 808-1588 phone * (503) 808-1589 fax * Images of the Eight Auspicious Signs Andy WeberfpmtMembership Ad Final 1.23.09 different shadow:Layout 1 1/27/09 6:29 AM Page 1February 2009 MANDALA EZINE 3contents4 Letter from the Editor6 TEACHING:On Marriage by Lama Thubten Yeshe9 COVER FEATURE:Dharma work: When 9-5 turns 24/722 MEDIA PAGECOMMUNITY FORUM:23 Discussion Topic24 Photo Bulletin Boarde-VOL. 2 ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2009.The Mandala eZine is published as anonline quarterly for Foundation Membersby FPMT Inc., 1632 SE 11th Ave,Portland, OR 97214-4702. COVER: Lama Zopa Rinpoche writingout Prajnaparamita www.fpmt.org615 16 24LETTER FROM THE EDITOR4 MANDALA EZINE February 2009Iam thrilled to write you asMandalas new managingeditor. I come to you from San Francisco, California,via Liberation Prison Project where I was fortunateenough to work under Ven. Robina Courtin for fouryears. As many of you know, she served Mandala asEditor from 1995-2000. Lets cross our fingers thatsome of her masterful editorial magic rubbed off on me!I am entirely indebted to Nancy Patton whometiculously brought you 40 issues of the magazinebefore me. She has helped me into this role with themost generous care I could ask for. Her enthusiasm,precision and intense love for Mandala are truly aninspiration to me, and I humbly step into these verybig shoes with palms together, bowing low in herdirection. Nancy, from my heart, thank you.This issue of theMandala eZine is dedicated to all ofthe Dharma workers out there. We invite you to stepback and REJOICE in the tremendous work you are doing, the inconceivable merit,the virtue of benefiting others in this profound way.Well hear from Lama Zopa Rinpoche about applying the right attitude towardour work, keeping ourselves from feeling overwhelmed and cultivating the innerprofessional. Well also hear from new and seasoned Dharma workers around theworld who share their stories and advice for offering service.But first! With Valentines Day and Hallmark promises just around the corner,well begin with a teaching on marriage from Lama Thubten Yeshe (pg 6); andfor this issues Discussion Topic (pg 23), we invite you to write in and discusshow you differentiate between attachment and love. (Trick: This is a DHARMAquestion!)Youll find Dharma treasures on the Media Page (pg 22) and some of the manyfaces of Mandala readership on our Photo Bulletin Board (pg 24).Please take your time and enjoy.All my love,Carina RumrillManaging EditorD E A R R E A D E R SFebruary 2009 MANDALA EZINE 5HEADMandala Publications produces two quarterly publications, Mandala Magazine, and the MandalaeZine, offering authentic Buddhist teachings as wellas modern reflections on the path to enlightenment.Mandala Magazine and the Mandala eZine are published by the Foundation for the Preservation ofthe Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an internationalcharitable organization founded more than thirtyyears ago by two Tibetan masters, Lama ThubtenYeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten ZopaRinpoche. FPMT is now a vibrant international community, with a network ofover 150 affiliate centers, projects, and services, and members in morethan thirty countries. Mandala eZine is published quarterly in February, May, August andNovember for Foundation Members. Mandala Publications currentlydoes not pay for publishable content; we credit all photos and otherwork as requested.THE MANDALA EZINE IS AVAILABLE VIA FOUNDATION MEMBERSHIP.Basic Membership $US30. Benefits include:A years FREE subscription to Mandala MagazineThe Mandala eZine5% discount on all purchases in the Foundation StoreTo learn more about higher membership levels and benefits, contactus or visit Membership supports the educational programming,charitable projects, and global services of FPMT.Managing EditorCarina Rumrillcarina@fpmt.orgAssistant EditorMichael PublisherSara Blumenthalsara@fpmt.orgArt DirectorCowgirls Designcowgirl@newmex.comAdvertisingSandra Petersonadvertising@mandalamagazine.orgMembership andCenter SubscriptionsSandra Petersonmembership@fpmt.orgFPMT Inc.1632 SE 11th Ave.,Portland, OR 97214-4702Tel: 1 503 808 1588Fax: 1 503 808 1589Toll free USA only 1 866 808 3302FPMT Board of DirectorsSpiritual Director: Lama Zopa RinpocheBoard members:Khenrinpoche Geshe LhundrupVen. Roger KunsangVen. Pemba SherpaKaruna CaytonAndrew HaynesPeter KedgeTim McNeillTara MelwaniAlison MurdochPaula de www.fpmt.orgA B O U T M A N D A L ALama Thubten YesheLama Zopa Rinpoche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hese days, one of the main reasons that aman and a woman become friends is sexual.They get together for sexual pleasure. Inearlier times, marriage had a divine quality acouple came together out of respect, with the aimof creating a kind of totality. That gave meaningto getting married, and marriages made withsuch purpose became good ones.Many of todays marriages become disastrousbecause they lack purpose; theres no worthwhilegoal for coming together. A couple should notcome together out of grasping at each other; there6 MANDALA EZINE February 2009On MarriageBy Lama Thubten YesheFebruary 2009 MANDALA EZINE 7should be more meaning to it than that. But ourcraving desire and lack of wisdom work togetherto create an extreme situation that finishes upcausing conflict: the woman agitates her man; theman agitates his woman in either case, it endsin goodbye.These days, I travel the entire world andmany young people come to see me to discusstheir relationship problems, but they all boildown to peoples coming together out of thewrong motivation. Whether youre a man or awoman, its important that theres not too muchgrasping in your relationship, that you dontagitate your partner. Extreme grasping at sexualpleasure is a problem; sexual pleasure is an irritant.You can see.However, many couples arent together for thesex. Their relationship is deeper than that, so theirattitude is different. They are very comfortable,free, somehow, with no tremendous expectationsof each other. Therefore, they have a goodrelationship. Im sure youve seen examples ofsuch couples, where theres not much grasping.In my limited experience of the Westernworld, many Christians, who believe in God, havevery respectful marriages. They believe in some-thing deeper than themselves and are not livingfor sense pleasure alone. I would say that suchcouples have been blessed by God or Jesus Thousands of people the world over get marriedevery day out of craving for sexual pleasure. Othersget married principally for reputation: Hes worldfamous; hes great. Still others marry for wealthor power. Those are all wrong motivations formarriage. The purpose of marriage should be toavoid extremes and gain balance in your life.However, it often turns out the complete opposite.These days, perhaps as many people getdivorced as get married. Dont think divorce iseasy. Psychologically, divorce can be hell. Its notas simple as OK, bye-bye, and its over. Its notlike that. First theres a huge build-up of psycho-logical pressure and when it releases its likefalling into hell. So, sentient beings are sufferinglike this.We criticize modern society for such ills, butits not societys fault. Theres nothing wrong withsociety its our mental attitude thats mistaken.We create all kinds of fantasies, grasp at sensepleasure and everything finishes in disaster.Buddhism explains that we circle from onelife to another because of craving desire and thatwe can put an end to cyclic existence, to rebirthin samsara, by abandoning desire. Craving iswhat makes the wheel of life go round and its ourown clinging that binds us to it; nobody elsemakes us cycle from one suffering life to another.The twentieth century example of this is thoseladies and gentlemen who get married, experi-ence problems, grasp at another person, then atanother, and another maybe they cyclethrough four or five marriages in a single lifetime.Some people have hundreds of lovers in their life.Why cant they stop?Why do they keep on grasp-ing? Theres nobody driving them to do this; theydrive themselves. They hang on continuously;non-stop. Desire is fickle in nature. Freud tried toexplain sex as the basis of most human problems.Buddhism disagrees. The main human problemlies much deeper than that yThis is an edited version of a teaching given by Lama Yesheduring a course at Istituto LamaTzong Khapa, Italy in 1978.The full version, plus other advice on marriage, can be foundat MANDALA EZINE February 2009DHARMA WORKFor over 30 years the monks and nuns of International Mahayana Institute have engaged in study, practice and service around the world, supporting your practice of Buddhism and laying the foundation for future generations of Buddhist practitioners like you.If your life has been touched through the service and practice oered by our community, then we oer you the opportunity to support the teachings, the monasteries and the monastics.Our practice of Buddhismdepends on you!Sangha JewelA Community of Buddhist Monks and Nuns399 Webster Street San Francisco CA 94117 oce@imisangha.orgSupport the Sangha Jewel at www.imisangha.orgWe serve your practice of Buddhism!February 2009 MANDALA EZINE 9DHARMA WORKAny work done with the teachingsof the Buddha alive in our heartsis Dharma work. Some of us sharethe precious and uniquely challengingopportunity of working or volunteeringfor a Dharma organization. We mightimagine a pure land of Dharma talk bythe water cooler and pujas at lunch, butour jobs hardly feel holy all of the time.Whether rewiring the office for a newphone system, crunching numbers for ourannual financial reports, helping acoworker navigate a divorce or volunteeringfor sixteen hours straight at a fundraisingevent, weve all been pushed outside ofour comfort zones and areas of expertise.This section will give voice to some ofthe experiences of Dharma workers, withvaluable advice from Lama Zopa Rinpocheto help us find the Dharma in ourselvesand our places of work.Transforming problemsinto happiness.Exchanging myself with othersAccumulating meritGuarding my attitudePURIFYINGCultivating enthusiasmLetting goCombating destructive emotionsThinking bigImagining that everyone isfulfilling all of my wishesOffering the victoryServing my kind mothersentient beingsPracticing patienceN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseN/ASunriseNAME: Dharma WorkerDate: Every WeekWHAT ARE YOU DOING? CLOCK RECORDDharma Work:WHEN 9-5 TURNS 24/7Photo: Piero for the Preservationof the Mahayana TraditionThe Foundation StoreBuddhist study materialsbooksmeditation suppliesritual objectseducational programsAll proceeds are used to further the charitable mission of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and FPMT Inc.To receive a 10% discount on your entire purchase, use coupon code MMD913.Coupon expires March 1, 2009.Oct2008FPMTMandalaAd.indd 1 10/1/08 1:04:32 PMFebruary 2009 MANDALA EZINE 11While circumambulating a stupa with buckets of worms balanced across his shoulders,Lama Zopa Rinpoche said this to FPMT CEO Ven. Roger Kunsang, In India, when onesparents are too old to walk, then their children carry them on their back in this way, fatheron one side in a basket and mother on the other side in a basket. So here I am carrying400 of my fathers and mothers on my back.Attitude for Our WorkBy Lama Zopa RinpocheOne must practice with the bodhisattva attitude every day. People cantsee your mind, what people see is a manifestation of your attitude inyour actions of body and speech. Pay attention to your attitude allthe time, guard it as if you are the police, or like a parent cares for a child, like abodyguard, or like you are the guru and your mind is your disciple. You need to guard your attitude all the time, 24 hours a day. Doing justwhat your mind says is very dangerous even small problems can lead tosuicide when emotions get involved. Thinking that this is what I feel, so Ican do anything its usually what the delusions want, not what the bodhisattva wants. This leads to long-term harm 12 MANDALA EZINE February 2009FPMTS NEW ESSENTIAL LAM-RIM PROGRAM A complete experiential commentary by Lama Zopa Rinpoche onAtishas Light of the Pathover the next 5 years at Kadampa Center, USA. The first teaching will be heldSeptember 12-27, 2009Gelong Thubten Gyatso will provide follow-up sessions during the course, with time for discussion and guided meditations. Dont miss this once in a lifetime opportunity.The event will be available via live webcast as well as downloadable audio and video after the event. In addition, over the course of the interim year following each event with Rinpoche, there will be follow-up courses/sessions to further unpack the rich content of what Rinpoche has Please note change of dateLama YesheWisdom Archivecontains recordingsand transcripts ofLama Thubten Yeshesand Lama ZopaRinpoches teachingsdating back to theearly 1970sand were still growing!Our Web site offersthousands of pages ofteachings by someof the greatest lamasof our time.please see our website or contact usfor moreinformationUniversal Love $15Lama Yeshes commentaryon the Maitreya yoga methodNew editions of two classic titles:Virtue and RealityThe Essence of Tibetan BuddhismOur latest titles. . .LAMA YESHE WISDOM ARCHIVEPO BOX 356, WESTON, MA 02493 INFO@LAMAYESHE.COM WWW.LAMAYESHE.COMFebruary 2009 MANDALA EZINE 13DHARMA WORKA center or an office is a place for Dharmapractice. When one goes to the office, dealingwith people, one has to recognize its a place topractice lam-rim, the three principles of thepath1, tantra, and the six paramitas2. The sixparamitas fit very well for daily life they offerprotection for you. Everything is there. If onedoesnt put effort into this, then problems arise.Without this, things wont succeed, wont besmooth, people wont support you. If people arehappy, they will support you. We have meetingsin FPMT, but that isnt enough. We have to reallyput it into practice in work, when we go back. AtFPMT meetings all the nice advice is there, butwhen you go back, if you dont practice, all theproblems come. Think of home and office as practice. Its awonderful practice, a great challenge. Beforeyou go to the office think Im going to practiceDharma: the three principles of the path, thesix paramitas. The office is a place for tantricpractice see everyone as the deity. Everythingis in the nature of blissing out! Nothing is boring or upsetting Think how all sentient beings are so kind,all have been our mothers, shown such greatkindness, then respect comes. Think thatBuddha, Dharma, Sangha come from this person,all happiness in life comes from this person,they are so precious. Then respect comes.Think that this person is cherished the most bynumberless buddhas and bodhisattvas, like abeloved child. This person is like their heart.Then you dare not say any bad words, you offerservice, you offer comfort as much as possible,never dare to harm or hurt. We need wisdom to discriminate what needsto be said and not to be said. Whats the righttime. It depends on our analysis. Its not easybecause we dont have clairvoyance. Bodhisattvassay we need clairvoyance in order to benefit sentient beings. Even without omniscient mind,clairvoyance, it is our responsibility to use ourintelligence to do as best as we can. Try ones best. Might not be perfect. We cant succeed every time, but sometimes we can. Colophon: Notes taken and lightly edited by Claire Isitt atShakyamuni Center, Taiwan, June 14, 2005.Think that this person is cherished the most by numberless buddhas and bodhisattvas, like a beloved child. This person is like their heart.Then you dare not say any bad words, you offer service, you offer comfort as much as possible, never dare to harm or hurt. 1 As described by Lama Tsongkhapa the three principles of thepath are renunciation, bodhichitta and widom. 2 The six paramitas are generosity, virtuous conduct, patience, diligence, mental stability and wisdom.With more than 500graduates worldwide thisprecious 2-year course offersguiding tutors, meditation,study and online discussion. Created by Geshe Tashi Tsering, one ofthe wests leading Buddhist minds andresident teacher at Jamyang BuddhistCentre, who is renowned for his abilityto make Buddhism accessible andrelevant to modern day life.Courses start every 4 months in January,May and September. For moreinformation and to apply visit:www.buddhistthought.orgA fully integrated and structuredcorrespondence coursethat brings together themost important teachingsof the BuddhaJamyang Buddhist CentreTel: (+44) 020 7820 8787. email: info@buddhistthought.orgThe Foundation of BuddhistThought Distant Learning CourseThis course is part of the educationprogramme of the Foundation for thePreservation of the Mahayana Traditionwww.fpmt.orgFebruary 2009 MANDALA EZINE 15DHARMA WORKIts not sufficient in our life, our profession,whatever it is business or engineering orwhatever, being a physician, a doctor, aprofessional having studied at university, aprofessional having studied at college how to dothings in life, studied how to be a secretary, orhow to be a director and run a company or howto be an accountant, all these things, how toclean, how to cook, all these things learnt atschool or college or whatever. So what you learn,this profession is only external, how to do thingsexternally. Thats not enough. Thats not suffi-cient. If you really want happiness, if yourereally looking for peace and happiness, innerhappiness, thats not sufficient. You need to beprofessional inside. You need to be professionalmentally, you need inner professionalism. So aperson may have all this education from college,university, how to do this, how to do that, howto be a business person and so forth, but if theyare missing the inner profession then what ismissing is mentally how to live life, how to doeverything. The real profession is missing. Thatis the positive attitude, living life with thispeaceful, happy, healthy mind, non-ignorance,non-anger, non-attachment, and especially withthe thought of cherishing others, the ultimategood heart, the thought of cherishing others,unstained by the self-cherishing thought, theselfish mind.Without this inner professionalism,this inner qualification, without this, then whathappens? Even if you succeed in the externalworld, in business or whatever, even though youmay be externally successful your mind is notbecoming happier and happier, it doesntbecome more and more peaceful, more and moresatisfied, more and more fulfilled that doesnthappen. Theres more and more problems, moreand more unhappiness.Excerpted from a talk given at Maitripa Institute, Portland,Oregon, USA, May 6, 2006. Transcribed by Ven. GyaltenMindrol, edited by Claire Isitt, July 2006.This entire teaching,along with other advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche can befound at: Education Services hosts Inner Job Description train-ings based on this advice from LamaZopa Rinpoche. Formoreinformation please visit: you really wanthappiness ... You need tobe professional inside.The Inner ProfessionalBy Lama Zopa Rinpoche16 MANDALA EZINE February 2009DHARMA WORKAbout thirty years ago, when beginning athree-year retreat at Tushita, I received amessage from His Holiness LingRinpoche, who lived down the road, with thesimple advice: Remember that whenever we tryto do a powerful Dharma activity, there will be powerful inner and outer obstacles, so be strongand determined. This advice has helped somuch over the years when billions of problemscome up when we work for our gurus and theFPMT. Its kind of become a sign that the activitymust be very beneficial, since there are all theseobstacles.Ive also seen that once the obstacles areresolved, somehow theres this lightness, andthe Dharma activity suddenly gets accomplishedwith some ease, harmony and even a bit of bliss!Another time, again twenty-five or thirty yearsago, I was experiencing a problem with anotherstudent when we were taking teachings at TibetHouse in Delhi so I explained the problem to thegeshe. His simple but profound reply was: Dontworry, this situation is impermanent. We hearteachings on impermanence, but this was the firsttime I applied it to a personal situation, and feltagain a lightness of being when I realized that Iwouldnt be experiencing this feeling of rejectionuntil the end of time. I think its important forpeople working hard for the Dharma to rememberthat whatever obstacle or problem comes up, itsnot going to last forever. It will change.It is also essential to remember that purifica-tion happens in mysterious ways sometimes.Again, years ago, I had just finished a Tara retreatat Kopan during which I got a high fever as wellas this huge boil on my chin. And it was one ofthe best retreats Ive ever done. Just after, I toldLama Zopa Rinpoche that I got very sick duringthe retreat, subconsciously hoping for a reward orsympathy, but instead Rinpoche loudly clappedhis hands and said, Fantastic! Excellent!Obviously Rinpoche could see that I had purifiedeons of rebirths in the hells that came out as afever and boils. So, if we remember that doingDharma activities is very powerful, and heavynegative karmas are getting purified in the formof sicknesses and so on, we find strength to goon, with even more joy and energy.Whenever we try to do a powerful Dharma activity, there will bepowerful inner and outer obstacles, so be strong and determined.Ven. Thubten WongmoMEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL MAHAYANA INSTITUTE (IMI), THE COMMUNITY OF MONKS AND NUNS OF FPMTDharma Worker, thiry-four yearsMoya MendezLIBERATION PRISON PROJECT TEACHER, NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR FPMT MEXICODharma Worker, three yearsIwork for FPMT so I can be fully involved inthe Dharma without having the dual jobs ofouter and inner work. In this way I can lendmy professional experience of twenty years to asituation where I am benefiting many people.Difficulties arise around change. I am experi-encing this with my move to International Office.Ive left my country, Im learning a new language,Ive never been out of Spain for an extendedperiod, but this is a good lesson in impermanence.I want my work for Lama Zopa Rinpoche to bemy main work, not something I do in my sparetime. Things change all the time, we just try togive the best of ourselves always. A lot of peopleare in the same situation, so we arent alone.Things go on, even the difficulties change. Moya Mendez with Lama Zopa Rinpoche and ScrappyIhave a job, two teenagers, a husband, dogsand cats, and sometimes I feel quite over-whelmed with everything and wonderwhether Ive taken on too much. But then Iget a letter from a prisoner and I am soinspired and so humbled by their devotion,their honesty, their joyous effort; then theresreally nothing Id rather be doing than working to share the Dharma with others. Ithink: My regular job pays the bills, puts gasin the car, gets me to the movies once in awhile; but my Dharma work just knowingthat Im working for enlightened beings, I amaccumulating enormous amounts of merit, Iam purifying eons of destructive behaviors well, what a privilege, what a blessing, whatcould I possibly do with my life that is moreimportant and meaningful than this?Jose Carlos AlarconFORMER DIRECTOR OF NAGARJUNA CENTER, MADRID;FORMER PRESIDENT OF FPMT SPAIN; RECENTLYAPPOINTED CFO OF FPMT INTERNATIONAL OFFICE, USADharma Worker, nine yearsFebruary 2009 MANDALA EZINE 1718 MANDALA EZINE February 2009Think every day I am a servant of all sentient beings. I am serving here to serve forall sentient beings and particularly the sentient beings in this community.Lama Zopa Rinpoche, CPMT 2000, excerpted from FPMT Handbook.Fabienne PradelleASSISTANT DIRECTOR, VAJRAPANI INSTITUTE,BOULDER CREEK, CADharma Worker, four yearsOf course its hard. Of course the self-cherishing mind makes a painfulracket. Of course the pure view getsoverwhelmed by the impure. Conventionally,work is tough because human and financialresources are meager and skills are scarce. Andyet, very early on I reached a point of no returnwhere I realized, what else is there to do withmy life? Yes, if I was at the level where I couldtransform every activity for the benefit of allbeings and maintain pure view, it wouldntmatter what I did or where I was. But I see howfast my mind degenerates when Im away fromVajrapani so I know that at this stage of spiri-tual evolution I need a supportive sangha. Idont know much at all. But I do know nothingmatters more than working on ones mind. Andthat doing it for real, not pretend, is damnhard. Lama Zopa Rinpoche works tirelessly togive us all an opportunity to get it, to work onour minds, to warm up our cold stone hearts.Rinpoches kindness seems bottomless.DHARMA WORKVen. Losang MonlamDIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL MAHAYANA INSTITUTE (IMI)Dharma Worker, fourteen yearsIalways feel Lama Zopa Rinpoche pulling me along; often fasterthan I am prepared to go on my own. I sometimes fear I am notready to be pushed that far yet and want to escape. As a director,the challenges, the obstacles, the criticism and the disillusionment allcome and go and come again. After all, it is my deluded mindattached to the appearances of this life.February 2009 MANDALA EZINE 19Even now that my main focus is the MastersProgram at ILTK, I keep doing Dharmawork. Sometimes it is challenging: There isalways much work to do in a Dharma center.But I think that the work I am doing is helpingsustain my studies and becoming a great practice.Dharma work involves working on our mindsfor our precious teachers, for a big goal that isnot only our own benefit (even though thiscomes naturally), but the benefit of all livingbeings. Working for a Dharma center or organi-zation has brought me a lot of wonderful thingsin my life so I encourage everyone to try it andnever get discouraged when things get hard! AsLiberation Prison Project student Paul Deweysays, Never give up!Ven.Tiziana LosaMASTERS PROGRAM STUDENT, ISTITUTO LAMA TZONG KHAPA, ITALYDharma Worker, four yearsWhat I love most about working for aDharma community is that we sharecommon values and we all standbehind the vision of our leader Lama ZopaRinpoches vision. This creates a noble bondthat extends beyond the current project, thecurrent lifetime.Of course there are obstacles, casualties andmisunderstandings. But as long as we all try toremember the workings of ego, karma andimpermanence, we manage to overcome them.In the 16 Guidelines*, Loyalty is described asthe glue that holds family and friendshipstogether. Dharma loyalty helps us stick togetherthrough the rough patches and energizes uswhen projects go gloriously well.[* The 16 Guidelines for a Happy Life are a contempo-rary re-working of ancient wisdom which offers a directand practical tool for anyone who wants to lead a happierand more meaningful life. More information from TheFoundation for Compassion and Wisdom can be foundhere:]Fiona OShaughnessyAMITABHA BUDDHIST CENTRE MEMBER AND FACILITATOR, SINGAPOREDharma Worker, nine yearsAdvice from Lama Zopa RinpocheIf you have many activities, manyresponsibilities, and if you thinkof this as a burden, then stresscomes. Even if you are doing the job,if you look at all this as burden yourmind is not happy. Lung and stresscome and your mind becomes sounhappy. So with all of your activitiesand responsibilities, rather than takingall of this as a burden, if you look atthis as an opportunity to be useful,to see that you are useful for other sentient beings, look at all theseactivities and responsibilities as apositive opportunity and think, I amso fortunate to benefit others, thenthats one technique to stop squeezingthe mind and developing lung(which also can bring high bloodpressure and badly affect yourhealth). So instead, thinking of thebenefit you are able to offer throughall your work generates joy and happiness in your heart. yExcerpted from a talk given at Land ofMedicine Buddha, April 6, 2003. Transcribedby Ven. Munsel and Ven. Angie; lightly editedby Claire Isitt.FOR ALL THOSE WORKING FOR FPMT CENTERS, PROJECTS AND SERVICESDHARMA WORK20 MANDALA EZINE February 2009FPMT Education ServicesProviding Programs and Pract ice Materials For AllA complete home study program, Heart Advice for Death and Dying contains Lama Zopa Rinpoches essential advice MVY[OL[PTLVMKLH[OHUKMVYUKPUN[OLKLLWLZ[M\SSSTLU[PUlife. The accompanying MP3 disc contains an audio course of 11 hours of exquisite teachings and meditations on death and dying by Kathleen McDonald (Ven Sangye Khadro). The supplementary Heart Practices for Death and Dying contains the most essential practices to perform for those who are dying or who have died, including Medicine Buddha practice, the traditional eight prayers for the dead, powerful THU[YHZHUKZ\[YHZ[VILUL[[OLTPUKYLSPL]LWHPUHUKpurify negative karma. Available from the Foundation 2009 MANDALA EZINE 2122 MANDALA EZINE February 2009Featured MediaFEATURED AUDIO:Emptiness of a FlowerBy Lama Zopa RinpocheIn 2005, Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave extra-ordinary teachings on emptiness and how tomeditate on emptiness. Please enjoy one ofthese teachings, Emptiness of a Flower:This entire collection of teachings, The BarcelonaTeachings: How to Meditate on Emptiness, isavailable for purchase at FPMT FoundationStore.MEDIA PAGEFEATURED PICTURE:Lama in Hall of MirrorsReno, NevadaLama Yeshe took this picture himself (notice the camera in his hand)FEATURED VIDEO:Raising Prayer Flag Pole in CrestoneWatch Lama Zopa Rinpoche and friends raise aprayer flag in Crestone, ColoradoFebruary 2009 MANDALA EZINE 23February 2009 MANDALA EZINE 23COMMUNITY FORUMD I S C U S S I O N T O P I CWhen many of us become Buddhists, we fearthat giving up attachment means well becomecold and indifferent to our loved ones. Thisnotion arises because we habitually confuseattachment and love. Attachment is concernedwith me, me, me; my needs, my interests, mycomfort. Alternately, love is a selfless attitudeconcerned completely with the happiness ofothers.Where does this leave us when navigating thechocolate-and-roses culture of the ValentinesDay holiday?HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATEBETWEEN ATTACHMENT AND LOVE?WHERE IN YOUR LIFE ARE THESELINES CLEAR, AND WHERE DO THEYBECOME BLURRED?Wed love to hear from you.Please send your thoughts to michael@fpmt.orgResponses will be printed in the May issue ofMandala eZine.Cupid Gecko drawing by Emma Bramma SmithDrawing by Liberation Prison Project student, StevenNanoo, Everglades Correctional Institution, Florida24 MANDALA EZINE February 2009COMMUNITY FORUMP H O T O B U L L E T I N B O A R DSend us a photo of you (or a friend) with an issue ofMandala and well post it on our bulletin board in the nextissue. This is an excellent opportunity for us to visualize theamazing international community of teachers, students andfriends that make up the FPMT.Send your photos to michael@fpmt.orgPhotos clockwise from top left: Dion Stepanski, FPMT Foundation Store Manager; Ugyen Shola, Office Manager, FPMT InternationalOffice; Alison Harr, Resources Coordinator, Liberation Prison Project; Brett Breitwieser; and Sara Blumenthal,MandalaPublisher andCarina Rumrill, Mandala Managing Editor.