The Spiritual Teacher

GuruRinpoche3

The following is respectfully quoted from “The Great Perfection: Buddha in the Palm of the Hand” by Gyaltrul Rinpoche

The first root downfall is to disrespect one’s root guru or gurus. If we belittle or disrespect our spiritual teacher, our guru, then not only do we shut the door to liberation, but probably we will have a difficult time getting out of the lower realms.

What makes someone your guru, your spiritual teacher? To begin with, an empowerment. Once you have received an empowerment from a teacher, the teacher becomes the guru, the object that this first vow pertains to. When it comes to inner tantric empowerments this is especially so. If a person has been your teacher from childhood onward, has taught you dharma continuously, or has been an important catalyst for the development of your insight, or has given you teachings on the generation and completion stages, or has openly revealed to you the secret oral instructions on the great perfection atiyoga, this person can be considered your guru. This kind of teacher is said to be one who has been kind to you in three ways: by giving  you empowerment, by giving you teachings on generation and completion stage practice, and by giving you teachings on the great perfection. Whether the teacher has given you only one, two, or all three of these, if you disparage or belittle that teacher in any way the samaya is lost.

Now how is this done? For instance, if you feel that you are more learned than the teacher, and that you could have done it better. In the extreme case you would eliminate your teacher so that you could take his place. Or, with a mind of jealousy, anger, or attachment, any of the poisons, to speak badly about the teacher to others, to tease the teacher, to disrespect teacher from the door of your body (such as ignoring the teacher), to disturb the teacher, upset the teacher’s mind, or cause the teacher to be displeased–of all broken samaya this is the heaviest. Very difficult.

As it has been taught, as an antidote to these problems, and to avoid them, you must always see the spiritual teacher as a living buddha and the embodiment of all buddhas, in all situations.

The Spiritual Mentor: From “A Spacious Path to Freedom”

RagaAsay

The following is respectfully quoted from “A Spacious Path to Freedom” by Karma Chagmed with commentary by Gyaltrul Rinpoche

The Twenty Precepts states:

Accept a spiritual mentor who abides by his precepts,
Who is knowledgeable and capable.

–In Tibet, occasionally people took novice of full monastic precepts without even knowing what they were, and some of them never did learn. Whatever precepts you take, whether lay vows, novice vows, or full ordination, it is important to know what they are, so that you truly arrive at their essence. Similarly, the cultivation of the spirit of aspiring for awakening leads to the spirit of venturing towards awakening. Moreover, tantric practice becomes meaningful only if you learn about the generation and completion stages. Engaging in such practices or taking precepts without understanding makes it difficult to penetrate their real significance–

The Ornament of Sutras states:

A teacher of supreme beings
Is one who is gentle, free of arrogance and depression,
Whose knowledge and understanding are lucid and broad-ranging,
Who goes everywhere without material compensation,
Who is endowed with the Spirit of Awakening and great learning,
Who sees the truth, is skillful in speaking, and is merciful.
Know the greatness of this sublime being,
Who is not despondent.
Expansive, having cast off doubts,
And revealing the two realities, he is worthy to be accepted.
This one is called a superb teacher of Bodhisattvas.
Devote yourself to a spiritual friend who is peaceful, subdued, and utterly calm,
With superior qualities, zeal, and a wealth of scriptural knowledge,
With realization of thatness and with skill in speaking,
a merciful being who has cast off depression.

Message from Gyaltrul Rinpoche to Jetsunma: Pure Offerings

The following is a message from Gyaltrul Rinpoche to Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and her sangha given on November 11, 2011:

VGR to JAL 11.11.11

In November 2011 Venerable Gyaltrul Rinpoche offered the following spontaneous teaching about Jetsunma at a sangha gathering at Tashi Choling in Oregon.

Gyaltrul Rinpoche began by asking Jetsunma’s student who was in attendance at the gathering to stand and to convey this message to Jetsunma.

“You opened your center.  Then you bought a house, and then you invited Holiness Penor Rinpoche. Then you sponsored the whole Rinchen Terzod, and invited so many high lamas.

You got really sick, but still you are upholding that center.  Right now you miss Holiness, but it doesn’t matter.  I heard that you offered your center to two tulkus who are His Holiness’ successors. You are the servant.  You have merit.  In that way you succeeded in growing your center. Now you have the merit to offer it to Holiness’ successors – two tulkus and the whole lineage.  You gave everything to them purely, cleanly, and without attachment. You don’t make claims.  You dedicated that merit to sentient beings to cleanse obscurations.  Thank you so much.  This is the way of dharma, not just the way of “mine.”  The way of “mine” is, “We need to practice.”  Mine is “We need to generate merit and cleanse obscurations.”  That’s mine. You took a big step that is opposite of the American brain.  You didn’t say “mine.”  You said that according to Buddha it belongs to sentient beings.   It is the Buddha’s offering for sentient beings.  You dedicated it. Thank you so much.

Speaking to the student, Gyaltrul Rinpoche continued.  

Students at the center need to maintain it for sentient beings.  Note what your teacher His Holiness did.  At the same time follow what Jetsunma did.  She offered the center and everything back to the lineage for your benefit.  Now you have to maintain it.  Don’t crack.  Don’t damage it.  How do you crack it?  How do you damage it?  By the breaking of samaya.  By fighting.  This is “my” way, your way, this way, that way.  Whose way?  His Holiness’ way.  Your way as a human being is Holiness’ way.  Penor Rinpoche is Holiness.  As non human beings it is Shakyamuni Buddha’s Way, Guru Rinpoche’s Way.

Through the whole Rinchen Terzod you got the whole lineage.  You guys need to maintain that benefit for all the sentient beings that are connected with you.  You have to open up for them, as much as you can for sentient beings.  Not only for him that you like or her that you like or not, but for all sentient beings, even bugs.  Do according to Shakyamuni, according to Guru Rinpoche and according to your root lama, Penor.  We don’t have anything to be ashamed of with the wonderful way of our root lama, the Dalai Lama.  Follow that example.  I pray for you guys.

Right now we have the amazing fortune in this life and next life to offer some benefit for others.  Almost nobody has that kind of merit.  Therefore don’t forget how fortunate, how lucky we are.  This is our luck, all of our fortune.  Therefore don’t throw away your luck.  Don’t throw away your merit.  Continue.  There are lots of obstacles up and down, but try.  Be patient. Be more compassionate for sentient beings.  We have this opportunity only one time – this time.  If we lose this one, we won’t get another.  Recognize this.  Try that.  Tell all the centers that this is my request.  Thank you.  Tashi Deleg.

I’m so happy she [Jetsunma] offered it, you know?  It is amazing that way.  She has freedom.  So you have heard this example.  You guys are working for the sentient beings.  Don’t be proud working for yourself.  Everybody is working hard.

Some of you guys came here today.  Some didn’t come.  One way – snow.  One way -laziness.  One way – excuse.  One way is saving next life’s merit, and cleansing obscurations.  We need to keep that savings.  We don’t want to clear it out.  We don’t want to save the merit too much.  Therefore we need to save space.

Everybody is working so hard but I’m not embarrassed.  I don’t have any regrets about it.  I’m happy.  The reason is not that I am happy using you guys in ten directions.  I’m not satisfied that you guys are tortured.  Look at Philip, how old his body is.  And Ani here is an old lady.  Everyone says these guys torture themselves from working so hard.  The reason is to generate merit – purification.  Anytime you have an opportunity, don’t ignore that opportunity.  We don’t know how short our life is.  You may think, “I’m not like that ugly old man.  I’m quite handsome.”  Anyway one day you are going to be cranky like me, ugly like me, a bozo like me.  You will look like that.  It’s not only me.  I’m not the only one being punished from old age.

The nature of samsara is like that.  We trust.  You think samsara is trustable, even more than your boyfriend, more than your husband, more than your wife or girlfriend.  You guys trust so much.  I love you. This is the real reason for our shorter life that we have that idea.  The bottom line is reaching another life. Everybody try.  Help each other practice.  Dedicate.  Nothing is more useful or better.  It all is temporary, but we have a chance, an opportunity.

You need to go.  You guys need to go because there is snow, but try in the future.   You have an opportunity.  You have amazing good fortune.  I’m not saying you are pretty or handsome or smarter.  I’m not saying you’re richer.  Being rich means nothing.  Look at how rich Qadaffi was.  All sentient beings are going to die, even Shakyamuni’s father and mother.  When we read the history of Shakyamuni, do we think of Shakyamuni as a poor guy?  No.  Did he get drunk or crazy?  No.  Read that history carefully.  I’m not asking you guys to become a nun or monk.  Nun means nothing.  Monk means nothing.  If you follow Shakyamuni’s footsteps then yes, but lots of monks are about ritual.  Lots of monks are samsara leaders.  This is more cheating of Shakyamuni.  Actually we are cheating ourselves.

It’s the same thing with Guru Rinpoche.  Guru Rinpoche is not a poor guy.  G. Rinpoche is not a poor guy.  I’m not asking you to give up your position, or money or anything.  But recognize first what is of benefit and what that means.  What is good or bad?  Check everything.  Don’t jump over this.

Look at how many countries are fighting and for what?  Power, money, and that kind of thing.  You guys are smart.  Look carefully.  Don’t think its all Funky Rinpoche.  “He’s dying.  He’s losing his life.”  Yeah.  You are right.  But it’s not only me.  You too.  I don’t have preparation so don’t follow me.  Wake up.  Stand up.  You have an opportunity and you have the blessing of Holiness Dalai Lama, Dudjom Rinpoche, Penor Rinpoche, and the Karmapa.  Sunshine shows your hand or behind or friend or whatever.  You are not in the darkness.  All dharmas – Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana – everything is there blazing on you. At that time don’t go Qadaffi style.  Don’t go down dark tunnels.  Still your “bad” is showing.  Therefore, everybody try.  Don’t be smart.  You want to be smart?  Understand cause and effect.  You need someone smart who can benefit you?  Know who can help or harm you.  That’s smart.  You don’t need the scholar going blah, blah, blah.  A hundred thousand pages you do for one second, but everything is blah blah blah.  You don’t follow that meaning or result, or you don’t care.  It’s just blah blah blah.  Therefore everybody try.

Goodnight.  We have snow, so I’m not going to blah no meaning.  I don’t want to make obstacles for you.”

What is “Refuge?” from a commentary by Venerable Gyaltrul Rinpoche

The following is an excerpt from Great Perfection Buddha in the Palm of the Hand a commentary by Gyaltrul Rinpoche:

The reason for taking refuge is based on the awareness of the precious human rebirth, on the awareness that, having attained the precious human rebirth, to waste it will be just like returning empty-handed from a land of precious jewels. Keeping that in mind, you must recognize that you need some kind of guide, some kind of help, someone or something that will teach you, show you, how to make use of your precious opportunity. This someone or something is the three jewels of refuge.

As I have mentioned, one should not take refuge in or rely upon the external form, the body of the lama or the actual presence of the Buddha. If that were important, then we would all be in trouble because the Buddha is long gone now and the lama will also pass. Even though the Buddha and all the great teachers of the past are no longer in this world, there are still buddhists. Buddhism lives on because refuge isn’t taken in the body, the form, of a teacher; it’s taken in the qualities that are actualized in that particular embodiment.

The enlightened body has specific attributes, indicated by specific physical characteristics. You must learn what those attributes are. There are many different teachings on the subject of the enlightened body.  For example, the fact that a buddha or a deity has one face symbolizes the dharmakaya, the great bindhu that is the one nature of reality, or truth. Two arms symbolize method and wisdom in non-dual union. When you take refuge in the sangha you take refuge in the qualities the sangha represents, not the bodies of the sangha members. When you take refuge in the dharma you aren’t taking refuge in the paper and ink, in the pages that the dharma is written on; you’re taking refuge in what the words express, in the quality and essence of the teaching. Whatever your dharma practice may  be, on whatever level, it is in the meaning of the dharma that you take refuge.

If you intend to study with a spiritual teacher, that teacher should be an embodiment of the qualities of the three jewels of refuge, and you should know what those qualities are. If you take refuge in an ordinary person who lacks a higher level of realization, who, in his ignorance, mixes traditions to create something new — maybe mixing hinduism and buddhism, throwing in a little christianity or taoism, making a little garbage container — then you will find yourself in trouble. It won’t be beneficial to you; it will harm you and everyone else involved. And you shouldn’t become such a teacher, because you won’t be a suitable object of refuge. If you are not a lama, a qualified spiritual teacher, then you are sangha. Since the sangha is one of the three jewels, it is important that you also be clean and pure.

Authorization to Teach: from “Reborn in the West”

The following is respectfully quoted from “Reborn in the West” by Vicki Mackenzie:

Before receiving her bodhisattva vows she had told Penor Rinpoche of her own vow that she was teaching to her students: ‘I dedicate myself to the liberation and salvation of all sentient beings. I offer my body, speech and mind in order to accomplish the purpose of all sentient beings. I will return in whatever form necessary, under extraordinary circumstances, to end suffering. Let me born in times unpredictable, in places unknown, until all sentient beings are liberated from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Taking no thought for my comfort or safety, precious Buddha make me a pure and perfect instrument by which the end of suffering and death in all forms might be realized. Let me achieve perfect enlightenment for the sake of all beings. And then, by my hand and heart alone, may all beings achieve full enlightenment and perfect liberation.’

Penor Rinpoche had rocked to and fro in unbridled mirth, slapping his thigh in amusement. She had replicated, almost exactly the same prayers that Tibetan lamas spoke. It was another proof of her identity.

He handed her another certificate, authorizing her to teach. ‘This is important,’ he said. ‘People will say you haven’t been studying the dharma, that they have never heard of you. They will not understand. With this paper no one will doubt that you are capable of teaching the dharma.’

Penor Rinpoche went on to tell Jetsunma a little about her famous ‘predecessor’. The first Ahkön Lhamo was the direct student of Tertön Migyur Dorje, a famous revealer of secret teachings, he said. She was a great dakini and spent decades in retreat, only coming down from her cave to help her brother with his monastery. Otherwise people would go to her to receive healing and teaching.

I asked Jetsunma if she were curious to find out more about Ahkön Lhamo or had any memories of the yogini who had lived in Tibet in 1665 and had inspired a religious order that had survived to this present day.

‘I discovered she was pretty wild,’ she replied. ‘She stayed up in her cave and looked pretty wretched, with her hair sticking out all over the place,’ she said, picking up her own unruly locks. ‘She was a crazy yogini type. Some things never change! There was no water in her cave, of course, and she never bathed. Her clothes were rotting on her. But people said whenever they went to her cave it would smell like perfume. Penor Rinpoche told me that people would give her turquoise, gold and coral, but she would refuse it. She was probably holding out for gifts she could accept, like hair-driers! She was probably waiting for electricity to be put into her cave and she could have central heating!’ she joked.

‘As for any memories, I don’t like to make any fuss about the inner experience I have. I can tell you I have some awareness of it, but it’s pretty “Swiss cheesy”. I am curious. I want to go back to Tibet, to see the cave where she practiced. Gyaltrul Rinpoche, the reincarnation of Kunzang Sherab who is now in Oregon, said that when he went back to Tibet he remembered a lot. It’s as though the airways are clearer there.’

There is at least one concrete link between this latter-day bodhisattva, the girl from Brooklyn, and the seventeenth century Tibetan yogini who had helped found a Buddhist lineage. Ahkön Lhamo’s skull, or part of it, is still in existence. It bears an unmistakable hallmark of sanctity. On its top is etched the holy sanskrit syllable ‘Ah’.

The story goes like this. When the first Ahkön Lhamo passed away, they prepared a pyre to cremate her and duly put the body on it. When the last vestige of flesh was burnt away, the skull rose up in the air in front of hundreds of people and flew about a mile before landing at the Palyul monastery, at the foot of her brother Kunzang Sherab’s throne. This was considered the final ultimate display of Ahkön Lhamo’s power and spiritual accomplishments. The great dakini, who was already known for the many miracles she performed, had revealed her true greatness.

The skull became a most treasured relic and was used as a kapala, and instrument used in ritual ceremonies for holding nectar. It remained intact until in the mid-twentieth century the invading Chinese hacked to pieces everything of spiritual significance, including the precious kapala at the Palyul monastery. A lay person saw a piece of the skull among the rubble and, hiding it in his clothes, took it to safety. It was some years before Penor Rinpoche got word that at least part of the holy relic had survived.

The was a vast gap in time between 1660 and 1949, when the present Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo was born. I asked her the same question I had asked Tenzin Sherab. What lives did she think she had been living in between?

‘I think there were other incarnations, but as Penor Rinpoche told me, they don’t keep track of women. It wasn’t because they were prejudiced against women’s wisdom. In fact, dakinis are the primordial wisdom beings and are held in very high regard. Generally, though, dakinis were not the lineage holders. They spent their lives in solitude, doing spiritual practices. Penor Rinpoche says, and I feel, that there have been many incarnations.

But this present one, as the American woman doing it ‘her way’ as undoubtedly she always had, was the life that was to capture widespread attention. Jetsunma left the United States as a married woman, mother of two and teacher of New Age metaphysics with a bent for worldwide caring, and returned a recognized tulku, a reincarnate lama. For her students this took some adjustment. While they had been happily following the teachings of a woman whom they treated as their equal, they now had to contend not only with a ‘Buddhist’ but also with someone whose rank placed her on an entirely different footing. There was protocol to observe, a new language to learn for the same concepts they had learnt, and the mantle of an old and established ‘religion’ from the East to adopt. Some disciples fell out, but most survived the transition.

Whatever misgivings they might have had about the authenticity of their teacher’s new lofty reincarnate status, however, were completely dispelled when Penor Rinpoche came to see them for the second time in 1988. “He arrived at Poolesville with twelve monks in attendance and conferred the Rinchen Terzod, the revealed teachings of the great Padma Sambhava to all member of KPC. It was the first time he had ever performed the task in his lifetime, and the first time in North America”.

He then conducted an official enthronement of Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo. News of the thirty-nine-year-old woman who had been recognized as the reincarnation of a famous Tibetan yogini reached the media. Newspaper reporters and television crews descended on KPC. ‘Meet Ahkön Norbu Lhamo, Tibetan Saint,’ blazed the front-page headline of the International Herald Tribune. ‘The Unexpected Incarnation’ cried the Washington Post. She appeared in the popular People magazine. Leading Japanese and German magazines ran articles on her. This was when my own journalist’s antennae, primed for good stories, must have picked up the importance of the event and stored it away for later use.

Long Life Prayer for the Ven Gyaltrul Rinpoche

NGE PA DON GYI LUNG TOK TEN PAI SOG

Ngedon Cho Kyi Nyima, you are the life of the teachings of scripture and realizations.

SANG CHEN CHO KYI NYI MAI OD ZER GYI

You are the sun’s radiance of the great secret dharma.

DRO WAI YID KYI MUN PA RAB SEL WA

Clarifier of the darkness in the minds of sentient beings.

NA TSOK RANG DROL ZHAB LA SOL WA DEB

To the feet of Natsog  Rangdrol I pray.

GANG GI NAM PAR TAR PAI JEI ZHUK TE

Fully liberating whosoever follows you,

DRO PEN TRIN LEI DRUB LA NYER TSON PA

Particularly diligent in accomplishing miraculous activities that benefit all beings,

TSUNG MED SHED DRUB TEN PAI GYAL TSEN GYI

Unequalled, you are the victory banner showing explanations for accomplishing the practice.

ZHAB PED TEN ZHING DZED TRIN TAR CHIN SHOG

Planting your lotus feet firmly, please complete your miraculous activity!

Composed by H.E. Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Don’t Wait to be Swept Away

Gyaltrul Rinpoche

An excerpt from the Mindfulness workshop given by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo in 1999

The mistake that we make with almost any spiritual practice is waiting for it to affect us.  We’re waiting for the “feeling” when Dharma is supposed to sweep us away like a Calgon bath or something, and that’s not the way it’s ever going to happen.  You may have wonderful, sweeping experiences, but you’ll do that in your bathtub too.  It’s just normal.

The kinds of practices that we are taught to do on the Vajrayana path, such as prostrations, are quite different and unique for us and for our culture.  At first, a Westerner feels very strange performing prostrations.  We feel goofy and foolish and think, “Wait a minute! I don’t even know if I like her yet.  I mean, just because she’s on the big chair…” But that’s exactly why we do the prostrations, because she’s on the big chair.  The big chair is there because the big chair is the throne of Dharma.  It’s not my throne.  It’s not Alyce Zeoli’s throne.  It’s not Ahkön Lhamo’s throne.  It is the throne of Dharma. When we perform the prostrations that we do, it is actually meant to be a connection between body, speech, and mind.  These three are utilized together.  The physical is doing something, the speech is doing something, and hopefully the mind is doing something.  These three aspects of ourselves performing at the same time makes a sense of connection.  It is a ritual that anchors something that is subtle, very spiritual: you can’t taste it, you can’t own it, you can’t pick it up.  It anchors it into the physical.  When the body performs the prostrations, you literally go into a different space.  That event involving body, speech and mind takes you into a different space, if all three are engaged.

There are many mannerisms associated with Dharma, and as Westerners we think, “Well, I don’t get that whole crouching over thing.  It just looks like a hunchback to me.”  As Westerners, we’re taught to walk straight, almost military-like and prideful.  But, actually, it is the constant mindfulness when you are in the presence of the Lama that creates an exchange of some sort.  It’s not that you have to be unnatural all the time.  If there is an exchange of some sort, simply that subtle tendency of doing that very little bow with mindfulness – and that’s the trick – puts the Lama’s speech in a place where you can hear it more directly.  It actually establishes the connection between you and the teacher, almost like a tube or a direct tunnel going between yourself and the teacher.   If you were in a room full of people and your Root Guru was talking and other people were talking and you were listening to everybody at the same time and to all in the same way, there would be no blessing there.  The reason why there would be no blessing is because the main point of practicing Guru Yoga is to get us past the point of pridefulness and past the point of lack of discrimination that makes us not know whether something is extraordinary or simply ordinary.  Eventually, we will come to see the non-duality of the nature of the Lama and one’s own nature.  At that point one actually takes refuge in that nature, which is one’s own nature every bit as much as it is the Lama’s nature.  Until then, this training is actually mind training, and, once again, Westerners have a hard time with that.  We keep trying to slip it off, because we’re naturally uncomfortable with it.  It doesn’t look like the rest of our culture, and we truly don’t understand.

We try to take our clues from the Lama, and this is where we all go wrong because some Lamas, like Gyaltrul Rinpoche, are funky, humble guys, and other Lamas come in like they’re your best friend.  And then other Lamas come in, and they have a very fine and royal, genteel appearance.  There are so many different Lamas.  The trick is not to take your clue from the Lama, but to take your clue from the Dharma: from the teachings about the nature of the Lama.  Whatever the appearance is, you need to form the habitual tendency and mindfulness of elevating that in preparation for the recognition of and awakening to your own Buddhanature.  The reason why we’re asleep, why we’re not able to awaken, as the Buddha is awake, is primarily because the mind is so thickened through the mixture of non-virtue and virtue.  It’s literally coarsened to where the loudest thing is what we hear, and the loudest thing is our ego.  The loudest voice is our demand, our desire, how we feel, whether our feet hurt or not.  That’s the loudest voice.  The mind is simply not able to distinguish through the obscuration of being constantly involved in clinging to self-nature as inherently real.  So the practice of Guru Yoga is for you, not for the teacher.  Actually, I have found it to be very inconvenient.  To get across the room when people are trying to prostrate is very difficult.  I really do come from Brooklyn, and I really don’t care about that stuff.  The only reason why I teach it the way I do, with such a fervent energy, is because I know how it works, and I know the power of that kind of practice.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

The Importance of Following an Accomplished Teacher

His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche
His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche

The lucky one is (s)he who has spiritual discrimination. A clear sign that one has made progress on the path. There’s so much empty jargon.  Many people pass around their learned and personal wisdom, which indeed, is precious and to be respected. It’s progress!  Spiritual discrimination is seeing the difference between that communal sharing and an accomplished and qualified Guru to follow.  The entire spiritual community is strong, and growing, yearning, expressing, sharing, and loving! Hurray! Yet we must find a true Master.

I see the Lamas of Palyul, for instance. Taught and trained, profound and accomplished Lineage Masters, only here to enlighten us. These great Lamas live and die to liberate sentient beings from the sufferings of Samsara, return life after life for that alone.  That is something different from the great ocean of seekers, thinkers, poets, philosophers that we meet online and in life.

In Vajrayana we hear: “Why cross the ocean of suffering in a ship captained by one who has not yet themselves made the journey?”  Or “Why invest in a belief that has not produced even one fully Enlightened Buddha?”  Or “why travel a path not yet even one century old, and one cannot see the result?” If a man creates his own path, should YOU follow?  If we do not know the value of their path, not having seen the result, why go there? Why cross in a ship untested? Maybe it is flawed!  So we are advised to practice method and follow Lineage tested and proven over centuries and traceable lifetimes.

I read a claim by a man that he had changed Yoga to make a way to get enlightened immediately. The man looked middle age. Big ego. It is so much better to share one’s insights freely, love each other, learn from each other, but discriminate on path and guru. Or else we just have a bunch of well meaning sweeties walking around in spiritual circles, blind leading blind. It is kinda silly, especially when there are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas taking rebirth consciously, solely for the sake of all beings. That’s cosmic Love!

Not just talking heads, yada yada. A Guru must provide method to attain, or what good are they? You can’t talk your way to Liberation!  Sweet, loving, syrupy, flattering words are wonderful to see and taste. But are not the food of the Sublime Awakening!

If a “teacher” butters you up with flattery, pretty words, crazy promises, or says their blessing ALONE will Liberate-RUN! They are politicians!  They flatter and cajole for their own egocentric reasons. You will yourself receive no benefit at all. Except for a swollen puffed up ego.

The path of results, of Liberation requires daily effort, practice, mindfulness, and compassion, constantly developing! A living path!  A true path, like Vajrayana requires that you CHANGE. Utterly, completely- as we are awakening to Buddhahood. Old ways are abandoned. That old ego’s gotta go to make real progress! It ain’t for sissies. If one has been spiritual for 20 years and remains the same, there is no benefit.

Are you willing to change? Learn something new? Take a giant step that may -WILL rock your world? That is the student I value most.  We cannot remain the same, in our comfort zone, no new intake, same old spiritual mumblings and hope to attain Buddhahood.

If you were my own sweet babe in my arms, I would not teach you different. There is a lot to buy and sell, but nourishment is RARE!  Your true nature is the fundamental ground, Primordial Luminosity. You are Buddha! Do not throw yourself away! Awaken! AWAKEN to your Nature!  Lord Buddha said as He left this world: “I have given you METHOD! Now work out your own Liberation!” And that is exactly how it is.

Gyaltrul Rinpoche, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and His Holiness Penor Rinpoche
Gyaltrul Rinpoche, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and His Holiness Penor Rinpoche
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