Lama Zopa Rinpoche on the Meaning of Life

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 2007What is the purpose of our lives? Why do we live? Why do we exert so much effort to survive every day, every hour, every minute, every second? Why do we spend so much money on food, clothing and shelter—on the many things we need to survive and be healthy? All these expenses and activities have meaning only if we have compassion within us. Compassion for others makes everything we do meaningful.

To squander our human existence by following our narrow self-interest makes us no better than the beings of the animal realm who are trapped in ignorance and unable to avoid suffering. The more ego, the more self-cherishing we have, the more problems we face and the more meaningless our life is.

On the other hand, the less ego, the more compassion we have, the more peace and happiness we have and the more we are able to benefit others. This is what brings meaning to our life.

By practicing the good heart, compassion, toward those around us, they no longer receive harm from us and instead receive peace and happiness. We have that responsibility—to not harm others and to help them as much as we are able, our family, our friends, our neighbors, the whole world. Then there is joy in our life; then there is true meaning to our life. We have deep satisfaction, living each day with real purpose from the very moment we wake up.


~Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and meditator who for 30 years has overseen the spiritual activities of the extensive worldwide network of centers, projects and services that form the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) which he founded with Lama Thubten Yeshe.

Copyright © 2015 Excellence Reporter

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