How Things Exist: Teachings on Emptiness
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
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This book begins with a general talk by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on universal responsibility and compassion that is followed by four chapters detailing the Prasangika Madhyamaka view of emptiness, or ultimate reality, as taught in the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and how to meditate on it, according to the author’s personal experience.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche says:
"Sometimes you might think, 'What's the use of teachings on emptiness? How does this philosophy help me when I have problems in everyday life?' However, if you can think [about emptiness], it's the most powerful meditation to shatter the hallucinations. It's like an atomic bomb. Problems happen in your daily life because you believe the hallucinations to be real. The most powerful, immediate way to stop problems is to remember emptiness. You should especially remember emptiness when you are in situations where there's a danger of giving rise to strong anger or uncontrolled desire and creating heavy negative karma and causing great harm to others."
In this small book Lama Zopa Rinpoche covers an incredible amount of ground. He starts by emphasizing the importance of compassion and universal responsibility and how to make life meaningful, then gives a brief explanation of the nature of the enlightened mind and how we can attain it, and finally offers an amazing and extensive explanation of emptiness, the ultimate nature of reality, analyzing the way various phenomena exist and teaching how to meditate on emptiness. Within these teachings, Rinpoche also touches on several of the other main points of the path to enlightenment, such as bodhicitta, the three scopes and impermanence. But, in the end, this wonderfully practical book is a manifestation of Rinpoche's peerless wisdom realizing emptiness and a testament to the personal experience of this rare and precious teacher.
This title was published by the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, a non-profit organization established to make the Buddhist teachings of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche freely accessible in many ways, including on our website for instant reading, listening or downloading, and as printed and electronic books. Our website offers immediate access to thousands of pages of teachings and hundreds of audio recordings by some of the greatest lamas of our time. Our photo gallery and our ever-popular books are also freely accessible there. You can find out more about becoming a supporter of the Archive and see all we have to offer by visiting the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive website.