Appropriate relationship with Guru

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Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby wangdak » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:44 pm

Hello,

many of us have close relationship with our gurus. There is devotion, respect and faith. But sometimes, I am just wondering if the form of our devotion to our gurus is appropriate. When one has devotion to his or her own guru does it mean that we have to always agree with our guru? Does it mean, that our guru is never wrong? Does it mean that our guru can never lost his or her temper with us? Should we ask our guru about everything (should I do this, should I do that etc.)?

Or am I just wrong and we should just always follow every thought and every word of our own guru (guru=buddha)? Basically no much space for free will.

Any ideas are very welcome! :namaste:
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:49 pm

wangdak wrote:Hello,

many of us have close relationship with our gurus. There is devotion, respect and faith. But sometimes, I am just wondering if the form of our devotion to our gurus is appropriate. When one has devotion to his or her own guru does it mean that we have to always agree with our guru? Does it mean, that our guru is never wrong? Does it mean that our guru can never lost his or her temper with us? Should we ask our guru about everything (should I do this, should I do that etc.)?

Or am I just wrong and we should just always follow every thought and every word of our own guru (guru=buddha)? Basically no much space for free will.

Any ideas are very welcome! :namaste:

Generally no. But it depends on the situation. The thing which is not appropriate is contrivance.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:01 pm

I don't think it means we always have to agree with our guru. In fact, HHDL stated at the Lam Rim teachings that if we think something our guru does is against the dharma we should say something, though in a respectful way.

These days I work as the translator and sometime cook/assistant for a geshe who I consider to be my teacher. Because of the nature of our relationship- not only am I his student but we also work together, we decided that the formal way of doing things would not work. Geshe la always encourages me to speak my mind and we do have debates, I am not afraid to disagree with him by any means! Also, if something that he explains during class is not clear to me, I have to be able to say that very directly, or I wouldn't be able to do my job. This is quite different from how I relate to the older lamas who are my teachers, because my role is only as their student. So I am much more reserved in expressing myself with them than with Geshe la.

Out of respect I do defer to Geshe Sonam for major decisions- after all he is my teacher and my boss as it were, and I recognize that while I might not agree, that does not mean that his education, qualities and knowledge do not far outweigh my own. Of course they do, that is why I took him as my teacher.

I think we have to balance sanity with respect. Over the top guru devotion has never been my cup of tea. But if we only focus on the guru's faults without seeing the qualities, and constantly fight him/her on every decision, we lose out on many of the benefits of the relationship.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby heart » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:27 pm

wangdak wrote:Hello,

many of us have close relationship with our gurus. There is devotion, respect and faith. But sometimes, I am just wondering if the form of our devotion to our gurus is appropriate. When one has devotion to his or her own guru does it mean that we have to always agree with our guru? Does it mean, that our guru is never wrong? Does it mean that our guru can never lost his or her temper with us? Should we ask our guru about everything (should I do this, should I do that etc.)?

Or am I just wrong and we should just always follow every thought and every word of our own guru (guru=buddha)? Basically no much space for free will.

Any ideas are very welcome! :namaste:


You might have some doubts about his/her knowledge of Danish cheeses or politics in Austria but it isn't proper to doubt his/her knowledge and realization of the natural state.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby Malcolm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:29 pm

heart wrote:
You might have some doubts about his/her knowledge of Danish cheeses or politics in Austria but it isn't proper to doubt his/her knowledge and realization of the natural state.

/magnus



Yup, because if you do, that person should not be your guru and you should cease taking teachings from them immediately.
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby waimengwan » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:38 pm

If we have checked our guru there should not be any doubt anymore. And we are not to be slaves to the lama we should check what the lama says and if we cannot follow or think a certain way is not correct we must respectfully let the lama know.
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby wangdak » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:53 pm

heart wrote:
You might have some doubts about his/her knowledge of Danish cheeses or politics in Austria but it isn't proper to doubt his/her knowledge and realization of the natural state.

/magnus


But if him or her has realization of the natural state, it should imply, they are omniscient, so they should know even about Danis cheeses or am I getting it wrong? ;-)
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby heart » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:30 pm

wangdak wrote:
heart wrote:
You might have some doubts about his/her knowledge of Danish cheeses or politics in Austria but it isn't proper to doubt his/her knowledge and realization of the natural state.

/magnus


But if him or her has realization of the natural state, it should imply, they are omniscient, so they should know even about Danis cheeses or am I getting it wrong? ;-)


No, it doesn't actually in the Dzogchen tradition because in that case every Dzogchen practitioner would be omniscient. There is a big difference between recognizing and realizing fully.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby wangdak » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:39 pm

heart wrote:No, it doesn't actually in the Dzogchen tradition because in that case every Dzogchen practitioner would be omniscient. There is a big difference between recognizing and realizing fully.
/magnus


So, what is the difference then? And did our teachers recognized their natural state or did they fully realized their natural state?

:meditate:
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby heart » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:16 pm

wangdak wrote:
heart wrote:No, it doesn't actually in the Dzogchen tradition because in that case every Dzogchen practitioner would be omniscient. There is a big difference between recognizing and realizing fully.
/magnus


So, what is the difference then? And did our teachers recognized their natural state or did they fully realized their natural state?

:meditate:


Most are somewhere in between I would say, or what do you think?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby wangdak » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:09 pm

heart wrote:Most are somewhere in between I would say, or what do you think?
/magnus


I don't have a clue. That's why I am asking. I know that for example, Tibetans are asking about everything but I am not sure, if it is a part of genuine devotion or if its just a "tibetan faith". And some Westerners do the same like: "should I buy a house, should I have a baby, should I do this job, should I have this relationship etc." Do you know what I mean? In my case, I always ask my teacher about my practice and about some inner hindrances on my path of practice but that's it. I would feel in some way ashamed to ask mundane questions as I mentioned above. I think there is a very tiny line between fascination of teacher's character and genuine devotion which is not linked with teacher's ordinary form or behaviour.

And then, you can read about Naropa's devotion to Tilopa and I am wrong and it all make sense... :rolleye:
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:10 pm

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby heart » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:48 am

wangdak wrote:
heart wrote:Most are somewhere in between I would say, or what do you think?
/magnus


I don't have a clue. That's why I am asking. I know that for example, Tibetans are asking about everything but I am not sure, if it is a part of genuine devotion or if its just a "tibetan faith". And some Westerners do the same like: "should I buy a house, should I have a baby, should I do this job, should I have this relationship etc." Do you know what I mean? In my case, I always ask my teacher about my practice and about some inner hindrances on my path of practice but that's it. I would feel in some way ashamed to ask mundane questions as I mentioned above. I think there is a very tiny line between fascination of teacher's character and genuine devotion which is not linked with teacher's ordinary form or behaviour.

And then, you can read about Naropa's devotion to Tilopa and I am wrong and it all make sense... :rolleye:


I think you are right, it is a tiny thin line. I think you might be a little disturbed what others do but it is not really your business, right? You should ask about the natural state because it is, at least for me, the clue for devotion to develop in a deeper way. I told someone this at a retreat recently and she immediately felt bad because she only ask about work and love and relations. She then went to see our Guru and asked if she asked the wrong questions :smile: , he told her that it is ok to ask anything "Guru is also father and friend, but if you never ask about Dharma you will not understand that much". People are different, better not judge to harshly.

/magnus
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:04 am

When I met my teacher I wasn't really looking forward to it. I was more interested in who else might come to the retreat. Would there be any interesting women there and so on? My teacher wasn't a very high lama in the lineage and so I wasn't really expecting much. Then I started to listen to his teaching and I was blown away and confused at the same time. I asked him questions and received answers that were so sharp and penetrating that I couldn't help but be inspired. That all happened a long time ago but the inspiration stays with me and is here all the time. I don't have to contrive anything - that inspiration flavors all my experiences. I don't need a close relationship with my teacher or to be at his side because I have the inspiration and I have confidence.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby heart » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:57 pm

Andrew108 wrote:When I met my teacher I wasn't really looking forward to it. I was more interested in who else might come to the retreat. Would there be any interesting women there and so on? My teacher wasn't a very high lama in the lineage and so I wasn't really expecting much. Then I started to listen to his teaching and I was blown away and confused at the same time. I asked him questions and received answers that were so sharp and penetrating that I couldn't help but be inspired. That all happened a long time ago but the inspiration stays with me and is here all the time. I don't have to contrive anything - that inspiration flavors all my experiences. I don't need a close relationship with my teacher or to be at his side because I have the inspiration and I have confidence.


What can I say, just congratulations I guess. :smile: Who is/was your teacher?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby MalaBeads » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:03 pm

I've always thought that the omniscience of the guru applied to omniscience of the natural state and had nothng to do with Dansh cheeses or politics.

:shrug: But I could be wrong.
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:13 pm

heart wrote:Who is/was your teacher?

/magnus

Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche is the teacher I am talking about in my last post. I would also consider Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche to be of equal inspiration.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby heart » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:37 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
heart wrote:Who is/was your teacher?

/magnus

Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche is the teacher I am talking about in my last post. I would also consider Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche to be of equal inspiration.


I got some transcripts from his teachings on the "Lam rim yeshe nyinpo" that are quite good, did you receive that teaching from him?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:04 pm

No I haven't received that teaching from him.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Appropriate relationship with Guru

Postby Knotty Veneer » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:54 pm

I have a wonderful memory of the only time I met Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso.

I happened to be in Scotland at the time and we heard that he was giving a course on Holy Isle off Arran in the Firth of Clyde. I and some friends managed to borrow a small rowing boat with an outboard motor when we arrived in Arran. It was close to sunset and a heavy sea mist had come down and although Holy Isle is only c.100 metres from Arran itself it could not be seen from the shore. So we set out in the mist across a very calm sea in the twilight to meet with him. When we got there he talked with us for half an hour or so and sang us one of Milarepa's songs.

It was magical.
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