Author Topic: Recalling the qualities of your spiritual teacher  (Read 13196 times)

Midakpa

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Re: Recalling the qualities of your spiritual teacher
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2012, 02:46:48 AM »
It is interesting to note that different sutras and masters give slightly different descriptions of the qualities of a spiritual friend.

According to Gampopa, there are four categories of spiritual friends: (1) ordinary human beings, (2) bodhisattvas, (3) emanations of buddhas in the nirmanakaya form (eg. Shakyamuni Buddha), (4) emanations of buddhas in the sambhogakaya form.

Usually, the last three categories are out of reach of ordinary beings. So the sutras normally mention the qualities of the first category. In the sutra called "The Bodhisattva's Levels", 8 qualities are mentioned:

1. They must follow the precepts and vows of a Bodhisattva.
2. They must have studied in depth the teachings of the path of the bodhisattva.
3. Their understanding must be deep and not purely intellectual; they must have truly experienced the teachings.
4. They must feel sincere compassion toward all sentient beings.
5. They must feel fearless and show a lot of courage, not only in their own actions but also when they teach others.
6. They must be tolerant and patient with their students and their practice.
7. They must be tenacious and not allow themselves to be carried away by discouragement or disappointment.
8. They must be capable of communicating effectively with students.

In the "Mahayana Sutralankara", four qualities are mentioned:

1. The teacher must be very learned and have vast knowledge.
2. He must have a deep analytical wisdom, which helps him to conquer his students' doubts.
3. His conduct must be perfectly virtuous and honest, so that he truly deserves the respect and confidence of everyone.
4. He must be able to point out problems, disturbing emotions, negative aspects of life, and the means to avoid them.

Shantideva, in his "Bodhicharyavatara", mentions two qualities:

1. The teacher must be well versed in the teachings related to the practices of the bodhisattvas.
2. He must practice them himself and should be ready to give up his life rather than abandon them.
(From Ringu Tulku, "Path to Buddhahood".

Do you find all the above qualities in your guru? I do.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Recalling the qualities of your spiritual teacher
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2012, 03:14:31 AM »
1. He is ' real ' .
He is flesh and blood doing what I and us do . He is human in everyway. If he was superman , he won't be able to teach us how to fly . But if he had super accomplishments that comes from applying effort as a human like us, that is immensely encouraging, inspiring and motivating. The relationship is meaningful and beneficial having  such a Guru. There is less gap to tap into all his good qualities.

2. Consistent
When it comes to virtuous, spiritual qualities and practice , his  body speech and mind never varies. For most of us , our thoughts and practices are characterised by  wishy washyness , doubts etc. We need a solid example of one who has full control and stability of mind to ground us and to increase our faith. If there is one thing I notice about my Guru that makes him the refuge jewel for me  is that when it comes to practising dharma , there is no ifs or buts, there is no  compromise. Irreversibility is sign of an attained master because he had seen the Truth.

3. Skilful means
It has been said that if a master is very attained or knowledgeable but if he lacks skilful means , not many people will be able to benefit.
During this degenerate age, this quality becomes even more important as we are subjected to ever increasing samsaric influences which leads us to develop unwholesome habits intentionally or otherwise. This is a side effect of globalisation , the spread of materialism from all over the world.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Recalling the qualities of your spiritual teacher
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2015, 03:33:22 PM »
Guru Devotion is one of the quickest ways to gain merits and attainments. Yet it is so difficult for us to do that due to our delusions, wrong views and negativities.

I have been in awe since the day I met my Guru of his compassion, care and generosity without agenda. The teachings that we, as his students have received, is so precious that if we are to practise and emulate His qualities our life will be changed.

We will learn the same way to love, care, generous and be compassionate to everyone and every event that occurs around us.

Most of all we will learn peace and happiness which are what every sentient being needs to grow and expand our limitations.

From remembering my Guru's qualities, I can make the space I live in a better place, like He does for everyone everywhere. 

kelly

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Re: Recalling the qualities of your spiritual teacher
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2015, 06:54:19 AM »
Thank you for sharing all the above qualities is very important as a spiritual guide, and I would said all these qualities my guru have it all, to devote to a guru is very critical in our practices because our guru is our yidams, protector so he or she is the one will lead us to our enlightenment ,when we choose a guru make sure we check all his background first because is not very good later on only you realise he or she is not the one you want to learn from you will break guru samaya, so is good to check first then only decide do not jump into it so fast.

Midakpa

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Re: Recalling the qualities of your spiritual teacher
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2015, 02:04:48 PM »
In "Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand", Pabongka Rinpoche described the ten qualities or qualifications of the guru, which are mentioned in Maitreya's "Ornament to the Sutras". Pabongka Rinpoche also said that even if a guru doesn't have all these qualifications, he must definitely have at least five of them. These five are: "a mindstream subdued by each of the three high trainings [ethics, concentration, wisdom], love and compassion, and realisation into suchness". Why are these five qualities so important? Because with these qualities, one can be liberated from samsara or become fully enlightened. Thus, a guru with these qualities will benefit anyone who meets him. Pabongka Rinpoche gave the example of Geshe Potowa's guru. Geshe Potowa's master was Zhangtsuen Yerpa who had not studied much, who had no patience, was not polite in speech and had no speaking skills. But he had these qualities and Geshe Potowa said that "anyone near him benefits".

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Recalling the qualities of your spiritual teacher
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2015, 08:28:52 AM »
Thank you Midakpa for your sharing on the qualities Zhangtsuan Yerpa who though not what are perceived to be the qualities of a normal (???) teacher, he was very beneficial to those around him.

Maybe that was the way it had to be for Zhangtsuan Yerpa who was practising the best skilful means to benefit his students, who were of the category to be so benefitted.

How very skilful and wise all Dharma teachers need to be is truly worthy of our reverence to our Guru.

cookie

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Re: Recalling the qualities of your spiritual teacher
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2015, 09:49:36 AM »
As we go through our spiritual journey we may be distracted by many worldly/mundane matters; obstacles and challenges both spiritual and temporal ones. We may get swayed away from the virtuous path by our own maras. Loads of issues to deal with in samsara with our deluded minds. Hence, for those who have the merits of having a Guru, we must always be super grateful and always count our blessings as such. By recalling the qualities of our Guru, we will always develop that gratitude needed for us to counter our weaknesses. The Guru exists in samsara solely for us. He does not need the attinments. He works tirelessly just for us. The Guru's qualities are the very qualities we should learn and emulate to extend it to benefit other sentient beings !