by Jay Valentine
Teacher-Student Relationships in Tibetan Buddhism. The importance of a strong relationship with an authentic teacher is absolutely essential. In the esoteric traditions, the lama comes to be the student’s physical and spiritual connection to the lineage of masters
that have passed the teachings down through the generations. If we were to identify one single qualification that a teacher must possess, it would be bodhicitta. If the spiritual friend has bodhicitta, then one can be sure that she or he fully understands the suffering of cyclic existence and that all her or his actions are intended to result in great benefit for her students.
The practices of Tibetan Buddhism suggest to me that one should learn to value bodhicitta over other personality traits. Examine everyone that you encounter in terms of bodhicitta and you will find your spiritual guide. Accept this teacher as an influence in your life and perhaps the habitual patterns that were formed over many lifetimes will be rewired to sustain a more wholesome worldview. Buy the current issue to read the entire article.
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