Always remaining with your spiritual guide

One of the biggest challenges of my life is I have no regular access to teachings.  When this happens, the danger is slow motion degeneration and losing of your practice.  When we receive teachings, it provides us with fresh prespective and new ideas, we receive powerful oral lineage blessings and it helps us restabilize and improve our motivation to sincerely put the instructions into practice.  The general experience of most people who do not have regular access to teachings, even if by correspondance, is they lose their practice and they gradually become reabsorbed into samsara.  Their life then passes them by and then they die.  At the time of their death, they then realize that they had an unequaled opportunity to advance along the path, but they squandered it and now it is too late.  I do not want this to be me!!!

Practically speaking, though, I also have a karmic responsibility to my family. To not live up to that responsibility would be extreme and actually a non-faith in Dorje Shugden who has provided me with the life I have. So that is out of the question. Therefore, my challenge is to find a way to maintain regular access to teachings while still fully embracing my family and work responsibilities.

Besides the obvious things of ‘do what you can’ to listen to correspondance teachings, go to festivals or special events that you can get to, the real task is to find a way to receive teachings every single day.

We can do this in dependence upon our view. I have talked at great length in the past about how we can and should view our whole life as taking place within Dorje Shugden’s protection circle. In this way, we know that everything that arises is perfect for our practice. This enables us to fully accept our situation as being perfect and this then bestows upon us the wisdom to know how to transform whatever conditions we have into opportunities to practice.

In the same way, we can also view everything that arises as our spiritual guide giving us direct teachings. It is not just an issue of it being perfect for our practice, but everything that happens IS a direct teaching. The ultimate nature of everything is the Dharmakaya, so it is perfectly valid to say that all that arises is by nature guru Tsongkhapa. His function is to be the supreme spiritual guide. If I maintain this view with complete faith, then he will enter into everything that arises and through this faith I will receive direct teachings, oral transmission blessings and inspiration through everything. It is only because we do not impute lama tsongkhapa on everything that it does not function for us in this way. But if we maintain this faith and conviction, everything will for us literally become him providing us teachings, blessings and inspiration. We will always be receiving direct teachings!

I need daily teachings, and through my faith in this view, I can actually receive them directly from JTK through everything that arises in my life. This is probably one of the most important views and attainments one can acquire because with it we will always directly be with our spiritual guide and the risk of gradually losing our path will go away.

6 thoughts on “Always remaining with your spiritual guide

  1. Fresh perspectives and new ideas come from lateral thinking. It is a skill that can be learnt by anyone. Real inspiration comes from our inner spiritual guide. Requesting and having inner faith. Boredom and laziness is a big part of the path. We can sit and listen to GKG and be bored to death or fall asleep or whatever. Most people would never admit to this sort of thing. Yet, this little old man is an ordinary reflection. If we are smart, we learn. If we are smart we employ pure view:

    Pure view is ‘how does this person/circumstance/thing benefit me in a way i can enhance my qualities to attain enlightenment” and “how does this benefit, this learning, allow me to benefit all living beings both now and in the future?”

    Anything can be a teacher. As we do not presently have karma to see emanations we should at least extract maximum benefit with pure view.

    Anyone stupid enough to not put the teachings into practice is in love with the ‘ideas’ of Dharma and not with the joy of the experience. Anyone who has tasted real Dharma and is not continuing with Dharma practice is either deluding themself or still experimenting. I don’t believe people give up after they stop listening to teachings or going to classes or festivals, i know many people like this who are doing extremely well with their practice.

    From a personal level, i am doing better now than i ever did when i was 110% involved at centres, FP and so on for many years. That’s not to say it is better either way. It is where an individual is at at the present time and what karma is ripening. Of course, may people use this as an excuse not to practice, again, stupid.

    There is a culture of ‘if you are not at FP you have no blessings’ this is non-sense. If you are not at the festivals you will lose the blessings etc, again, garbage. If you miss Tsog Pujas you wont attain enlightenment etc etc. These are the ramblings of extreme practitioners justifying their practice is better than other ways of practice.

    JTK promoted faith and imagination as the real gateway to the supreme blessings of the quick path, we can use this everyday. But of course we need teachings from experienced teachers if we wish.

    Practitioners without teachings and centres and so on should consider themselves on retreat.

    We have too many teachings in a day if we perceive things with a pure view.

    There is NEVER a time to resent what appears. This is lack of understanding this precious human life.

    • With the right frame of mind, it is possible to receive teachings from everything; but that doesn’t mean we should not strive to receive conventionally normal teachings if our karmic conditions allow. With the right frame of mind, we can view every being in our life as emanated by Dorje Shugden accomplishing the function of sangha; but that doesn’t mean we should not strive to spend time with conventionally appearing sangha if our karmic conditions allow. Everything is transformable, but there is still great value in maintaining our conventionally normal connections with our tradition if our karmic conditions allow. Many people do go to the extreme of saying if you miss one puja you can’t attain enligthenment and they do this to justify their own mode of practice; and many other people in their deep desires do not wish to spend time with the three jewels and they use the fact that things are transformable as an excuse to not do so. The only reason why we can transform things now is because we have received live teachings before and gained enough experience to have some self-reinforcing effort. But this is a fire that needs constant tending to or there is a real risk of losing it. Many fine lines we walk with this one, but if we rely on Dorje Shugden with all of our being, we can be certain that he will make us aware of when we have veered onto one extreme of another. Whether we listen and make course corrections is of course up to us.

      For me personally, I would find it most unfortunate if my postings on how to transform a life with few karmic conditions to interact directly with the three jewels becomes an excuse for people who do have conditions to intereact directly to not do so. It might almost be better for me to not have this blog at all than for that to happen. We need to be very careful about what we write, because one wrong word can inadvertently adversely alter the trajectory of somebody’s entire precious human life.

  2. This is why one of the most important things in Buddhism is to spot the lies our delusions tell us.

    If people really genuinely, honestly wish for live teachings, then this is not at all difficult to accomplish in this day and age. The reasons why people do or do not is not for us to judge but for them to observe and analyse. If they are smart they will always want to learn.

    Depending upon a person’s karma, their own personal involvement with the Three Jewels will be their choice and will suit their needs. Not anyone else’s. Regardless of how many Buddhists tell them or try convince them, they must know from within that it is right.

    Of course things you say here will affect somebody. But unless you are a higher being you won’t know how people are affected so we can trust Dorje Shugdan will lead things for all in the correct direction 🙂

  3. KR:

    I had seen many friends from my sanga left the tradition….and the teachings…
    and i agreed with you about the danger we have to lose our precious opportunity to learn and to practice pure Dharma…so close to the 3 jewels .if we forget our faith and reliance in DS and our Guru. In my case i feel that i still need teachings and puyas and of course sharing with my sanga friends…i have so much to learn…every time i read a book from Ven GKG it reveals new aspects of the same aspect …so i just read from your perspective and experiences, and how you transform your life with your new conditions…and it is good to know how you do this.
    But also i feel very blessed to have this wonderful opportunity to enjoy being part of this small group of PF students,in this small town,to have a resident teacher,retreats,national celebrations,empowerments,cleaning days,etc.
    i know this conditions won´t last forever so I’m making the most of this opportunity,to create a better karma for my future life.
    I want to say thank you, for your blog and time you spend writing on it,hope you can keep doing it.
    Thanks again,Maria.

    • Venerable Tharchin said that when we have conditions for spiritual practice and we take full advantage of them, we create the causes to have similar conditions in the future. Whereas if we have conditions, but we fail to take full advantage, we burn up the merit creating those conditions and create tendencies to similarly waste opportunities in the future. How much we can actually do in absolute terms may vary from year to year, but in relative terms I try to do my best given the karma that is ripening.

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