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Feb 23, 2010
"The Heart of the Path" by Lama ZopaExerpt from Lama Zopa Rinpoche's book The Heart of the Path, found in the chapter titled The Benefits of Correct Devotion to a Guru. In these paragraphs Lama Zopa describes his own experiences. 
   Some years ago when I was staying at Tushita Retreat Centre in Dharamsala, I offered some beautiful begonias to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Offering the flowers was a little tricky as, although they were incredibly beautiful, they flowered only briefly and would lose all their petals within a day or so. I offered the flowers in painted butter tins, along with a money offering of thirty rupees in an envelope, on which I'd written a short request for the development of my mind. At that time His Holiness was in retreat, so I left the offering at the Private Office.
(Note from Jenny: photographs show The Heart of the Path bookcover, Lama Zopa, and begonia flowers) 
Lama Zopa  I think that His Holiness must have been pleased with the offering of the flowers, because that night I dreamt that His Holiness, seated on a throne in the temple, gave me a little inner offering from the skullcaup on his table, and I drank it.
  The next morning when I woke up, my mind was somehow different. Normally, I'm extremely lazy, but during that time, I think because of the influence of the many lamas there in Dharamsala, who energized me, I had a tiny bit of energy to meditate a little in the mornings. I tried to do a little lam-rim meditation as a motivation for the day and as a result, that next morning my meditation was much more effective than usual. I had a strong wish to be reborn in hell for the sake of others. I wanted to be in the hot hells right that minute. The feeling was unbearable. I couldn't suppress it. This wish was so strong that I cried out loud for half an hour, sobbing like a small child.
  I think His Holiness had prayed for me the previous night; he definitely did something that blessed my mind. My mind was different. The dream and the meditation experience were definite signs of His Holiness's blessing. There might also have been some purification from having offered the flowers. From the three types of kindness of the guru, such an experience is an example of the guru's kindness in blessing the disciple's mind. Of course, the effect completely disappeared after a few hours.
Lama Zopa offered begonias to His Holiness  After that I became very interested in buying flower seeds and planting them. When they grew well, I then offered the flowers to the lamas there in Dharamsala. I discovered that the best offering was a flower offering.
  Also, when we do a Vajrasattva retreat or any other retreat that our guru has advised us to do, we sometimes have strong experiences of impermanence, feeling that our death could happen at any moment, so that we have no other thought except to practice Dharma. Or strong thoughts of loving kindness and compassion arise. All these are signs of the kindness of the guru in having blessed our mind. Even those small, transient experiences prove that if we continue our practice of guru yoga, we will definitely develop realizations. It is proof that realizations can definitely happen and can be increased.
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Posted: Feb 23, 2010 9:29am


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Jenny Dooley
, 3, 2 children
Eastlakes, SW, Australia
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