An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called Longing for the Guru
There are three different levels on which you can recognize your Teacher. One is an extremely poor level — a common and ordinary level. One is an intermediate level in which you see that the teacher holds the teachings purely and gives the teachings purely and you really admire and feel a great respect for the Teacher. That is still only an intermediate level of recognition. The deepest and supreme level of recognition is recognizing the Teacher not as a person but rather, as a door to liberation, as your own nature.
This supreme level recognizes the Teacher as one’s mind, as the miraculous intention of the Buddha, appearing in a manifest way in order to benefit beings. It recognizes the Teacher as that original longing that was felt to know that nature, to recognize the Teacher as the answer, to recognize primordial wisdom itself in some incarnate form. In this way your own relationship to the path becomes not an ordinary thing, but a very profound and mystical thing, a thing of truth, a thing able to bring about awakening.
© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo