BA1_5 The Right Conditions of the Mind


In the previous video, Rinpoche explained the right conditions of the body for generating the bodhicitta. Now, in this sixth video teaching (BA6/BA1_5), Rinpoche gives the explanation of the right conditions of the mind.

“Just as on a dark night black with clouds,
The sudden lightning glares and all is clearly shown,
Likewise rarely, through the Buddhas’ power,
Virtuous thoughts rise, brief and transient, in the world.”

Bodhicharyavatara, Chapter 1 Stanza 5

To view the video, simply click on the image to view all the Chapter 1 videos.

If you prefer listening to the teaching in audio, use the audio player below.

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The audio as well as the audio translations in different languages and the transcript of this teaching are all available on Chapter 1 page.

We are also studying the commentary transcript on Chapter 1, which you can download here and in the Library section. Further recommended reading: the commentary book by Kunzang Pelden (Khenpo Kunpal), The Nectar of Manjushri’s Speech, p. 45-46.

You’re questions are most welcome. Please log in and leave your questions for Rinpoche as a comment below, or send them via email to studyquestions[at] It is helpful if you can use one short paragraph and, if possible, less than 80 words. Any questions longer than that may have to be edited so please be concise. Questions will be collected from here on November 4, 2010, and included in Rinpoche’s answers video. After that date please send any questions relating to this video teaching via email to studyquestions[at]

If you would like to volunteer in making transcripts of Rinpoche’s online teachings, or in making audio translations to your own language, please email us at shedra[at]

12 thoughts on “BA1_5 The Right Conditions of the Mind

  1. Denis

    Thank you very much Rinpoche for the shedra, it is great to be with you during the teachings. My question is if spontaneous positives thoughs happen to be too rare, is it possible to generate good resolutions and try to follow them?

  2. lynda miller

    Rinpoche, thank you for this amazing teaching, revolutionary even! I had thought of bodhicitta as something “other” than what appears in my own ordinary mind, as something very difficult to experience. Have I understood correctly that you are saying that bodhicitta can begin to be generated by paying attention to our own ordinary kind thoughts and impulses so that they can be amplified and do not so easily get lost amongst all the negative stuff? Is this correct?
    thank you,

  3. Lucy

    Rinpoche, first of all, I want to add my thanks for your kindness in bringing these wonderful teachings to us. So much joy, so much inspiration! We are incredibly fortunate !

    My question is, what is the meaning of “through the Buddha’s power” in this stanza? It seems to be referring to an outside power bringing the inspiration for those moments of virtuous attitude, how can that be? Khenpo Kunpel talks of “the light of the Buddha’s bodhicitta and aspirations,” I don’t really understand that either. Could you explain a little, please?
    Thank you _/\_

  4. shenpen thaye

    How great that we can share in these teachings with you, worldwide! Thank you Rinpoche. This is part of a great legacy that you are spreading, something that will be of benefit way beyond which we can possibly imagine.

  5. Nina

    Rinpoche, thank you very much for these teachings. Appreciating others good qualities and thanking them for kindness is so important thing to do (for example with children), thank you for reminding me of this.

  6. jackie

    Rinpoche, Thank you. Spontaneously, a few of us began talking about these teachings. We all seemed quite stunned to understand humility as appreciation. It’s something we can easily do; and then use it inside us to appreciate ourselves because we already know how to appreciate something external. Then appreciate and encourage ourselves experiencing this flash of positive. We all expressed this. This is so powerful for us here. Everyone had one or two points that changed their approach to dharma, clearly rescuing them from making dharma so complicated. Please hear that people are deeply grateful. The dharma words are matching up to real ordinary life and what to do. The appreciation of Shantideva includes easy trust. As if the trust doesn’t have to be manufactured within, or leave one hoping this trust is reliable. Thank you so very very much. All the comments are heartfelt. Good to read. Thank you to all. (from a few in Tulsa)

    1. Jeff Holloway

      I feel the same profound gratitude toward Rinpoche and the Bodhicharya organizers who are making this shedra possible, but I would just like to express a special thanks to Jackie and the Tulsa group. I found Jackie’s post to be especially clear, insightful, and personally helpful. I believe this kind of uncomplicated and direct connection with the teachings is precisely the nature of refuge and the essence of the Path itself. Thanks so much!!

  7. lynda miller

    Rinpoche, another question; what is the source of our positive thoughts and feelings? I know that the 3 poisons are the source of negative impulses but I am not sure where kind and generous feelings come from. Do they maybe arise from our Buddha nature even though we may not be aware of this?
    Thank you,

  8. Frank

    It is just wonderful to discover that we have a treasury at hand, just here within our minds, that only needs to be exploited
    Another thought is that samsara is indeed complete darkness if there is no spark of goodness to light it up
    Wonderful teachings

  9. isabel rodrigues

    Dear Rinpoche,
    It’s important to don’t loose the opportunity to follow with a positive thought. But, when we feel disconfort in a situation, knowing that we can’t be positive and share with ease so many samsaric interactions, is it cowardice to turn the back and protect ourselves? Thanks so much

  10. Zopa Dechen

    Dear Rinpoche,

    I know I very behind in following the Shedra but I want to mention that I am finding your teachings very helpful to lift me out of discouragement with my practice. Sometimes I despair of being able to generate a good bodhichitta (being able to hold it) but your teachings sideline doubt and distrust and focus on the real ‘how to’ process.

    Thank you so much!

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