Sep 2017
‘Living in Vows Affects the World’ [Video]

Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Ven. Sangpo Sherpa watch balloons with mantras written on them float up into the sky and spread blessings, Black Mountain, North Carolina, US, August 2017. Photo by Kalleen Mortensen.

“How does taking vows or Mahayana precepts helps end famine and war?” a student asked Lama Zopa Rinpoche during the Light of the Path 2016 retreat. Rinpoche’s reply was captured in the video below.

Rinpoche responds by saying, “those vows have power!” He then talks about the positive impact of taking vows and precepts.Vows, he says, have power because the mind has power, and vows help make the mind positive.

The four harmonious friends. Photo FPMT.

Rinpoche briefly tells the story of the four harmonious friends, who all live in the five precepts. Due to the power of these vows, everything in their area is “auspicious”: rains come and crops flourish. The natural world, the environment, and the economy thrive. This, Rinpoche explains, is due to the power of positive mental states.

Because our experiences arise from the power of mind, the positivity created by vows has an effect, including stopping wars and so on. Thus, Rinpoche declares, “living in vows affects the world through the power of mind.”

Watch Rinpoche talk on YouTube about the power of vows and precepts:

Watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche teach LIVE at the Light of the Path 2017 retreat August 20-September 17: 

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.

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