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Feb 24, 2010
Exerpt from Lama Zopa's book, The Heart of the Path,
chapter 'Why we should look at the guru as a buddha'.

  We are free to choose. In other words, we have to use our own wisdom to choose whether or not we practice guru devotion.
  If we don't concentrate on guru devotion, we have missed the most important preparation for all our future lives. Our practice of guru devotion is the source of all the progress and all the problems in this life and from life to life. From our practice in this life, we receive all the benefits from life to life, up to enlightenment. This is the source of the greatest loss and the greatest profit. If we don't understand this point well or don't concentrate on it, we experience the greatest loss.
  Each of us has the answer to achieving success in all our future lives. It is not that we don't have freedom; it is not that God created everything and we just have to wait for whatever comes. It's not up to God. We have the solution; we have the freedom to determine whether we are successful in this life and in all our future lives. It is in our hands. We know the root of all our failures from life to life, we know that we have the freedom to stop it, and we know that we can establish the root of all success, up to enlightenment.
"'s a different matter..."
Lama Zopa now examines with negative motivation:

  If we don't want all this profit for ourselves or all this benefit for all sentient beings, it's a different matter. If we have no interest in all this but like to be in samsara and are happy to have a passport to the lower realms, where we have been resident during beginningless lives, it's a different matter.
  In simple terms, if we can't correctly devote ourselves to the virtuous friend as explained by Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and Lama Tsongkhapa, it is our own loss. This loss can mean failing to achieve happiness or success in this and future lives and failing to achieve liberation and enlightenment. The greatest loss is failing to achieve enlightenment and thus being unable to liberate all sentient beings from all their suffering and obscurations and lead them to enlightenment.
  Since our guru is the most powerful holy object, we can create the most merit and perform the greatest purification in relation to him. However, if we make mistakes in our practice, we then create the greatest obstacles to our enlightenment. To prevent this and to achieve all success up to enlightenment and then lead all sentient beings to enlightenment, we need to generate the devotion that sees our guru as a buddha.
  As Padampa Sangye mentions,
     You should regard the guru as more exalted than Buddha.
     If you do that, realization will come in this life,
     people of Tingri.
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Posted: Feb 24, 2010 8:09pm


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Jenny Dooley
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