Buddhist Philosophy

~ October 13, 2015 ~

Finding An Authentic Teacher: Importance of Aspiration

Buddhist Philosophy • audio

What defines an authentic spiritual teacher? How can one connect with a genuine teacher? Learn how not to waste time!

In the first portion of this audio, recording Phakchok Rinpoche responds to a student question about the basic qualities of a genuine guru. He advises those who are looking to connect with an authentic spiritual master to assess the teacher by looking for the signs discussed in many texts.

Qualities of a Teacher

  1. Great compassion
  2. Patience
  3. Great knowledge and understanding of Dharma based upon experience
  4. Clear devotion to an authentic lineage of masters
  5. Behavior consistent with his or her teaching
marme 3

Rinpoche notes that the special qualifications of a teacher depend upon the level of teachings being given. These qualities listed above are the basic qualities one should expect from a teacher.

Creating Conditions Through Aspiration

Next, in the second portion of the audio, Rinpoche advises us how we can create the conditions to meet with a genuine teacher. So it is important to know that we have to do some work here. As students we have the responsibility to make spiritual life and finding an authentic teacher a priority. Again, Rinpoche here emphasizes the importance of aspiration, true aspiration from the bottom of one’s heart. If we have not yet found our teacher, we need to make that aspiration again and again.

Accumulating Merit

We are often willing to spend time and money on mundane things, right?   But at the same time we can be very stingy about taking the time and spending money to do practices that accumulate merit. And here we need to engage in some honest self-reflection.

Reflection Questions

Are we being intelligent about how we spend our time? And are we stingy when it comes to accumulating merit? Does that makes sense if we really contemplate the probable outcome?

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