NewBuddhist.pt wrote:Hi, a few months ago i bought the book: "O caminho da grande perfeição" in Portuguese (in English i think it's: The words of my perfect teacher) by Patrul Rinpoche. In there i read that in order to exceed the first level (the ethics and basics) i would need a teacher. Here, where i leave i don't have a qualified teacher (only each year a master comes to speak about many things) to guide me to rest of the book. By that i was wondering if i can proceed further into the book??
i dont think you have to take everything you read literally and as a solid fact that '' this is how it has to be''
you can develop and maintain ethics and basics by yourself. you have buddhanature, you have wisdom inherent in you. and i believe and i have studied basically all the topics that are in the words of my perfect teacher, and it simply is an introduction to tibetan buddhism. covers all the basic subjects. you dont have to take it as a authority figure telling you you cant practice unless you have a teacher. the condition in this world is that most of us western practitioners see our lamas couple times a year. and they still might not have time to give us teachings. thats why there are books. so you can practice and gain the buddhadharmas wisdom and teachings from books also. they are like a teacher. the teacher is in your hands when you read the book. so you have a teacher.
Words of my perfect teacher , the subject it teaches and talks about are basic relative view and knowledge of the buddhadharmas perception on mundane reality and the ordinary perception of samsara and the path. you can practice all that is in the book without having a a person guide you through. Patrul Rinpoche is a great master and he is guiding you while you read it. so dont worry. just read and practice.
and also to the latest comment. i think to gain an understanding of the Dharma you should read books from Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. those two are great teachers of our era and communicate in our language and with understanding of the western modern mind. personally i think you need a teacher to truly penetrate to the meaning of the mahayana sutras. allthough you can gain some knowledge and wisdom from them without a teacher. i would suggest study both.
concerning ethics and basic. if you follow all the 5 precepts and take a vow in front of buddha to keep them. you already exceed many western practitioners.