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Posts tagged ‘Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive (LYWA)’

Lama Yeshe’s thoughts about the Spiritual Teacher

Portrait of Lama Yeshe, 1971From 1971: The First Kopan Meditation Course  by Adele Hulse, Big Love author:

“Q: What is your definition of a guru?

Lama Yeshe: A guru is a person who can really show you the true nature of your mind and who knows the perfect remedies for your psychological problems. Someone who doesn’t know his own mind can never know others’ minds and therefore cannot be a guru. Such a person can never solve other people’s problems. You have to be extremely careful before taking someone on as a guru; there are many impostors around. Westerners are sometimes too trusting. Someone comes along, “I’m a lama, I’m a yogi; I can give you knowledge,” and earnest young Westerners think, “I’m sure he can teach me something. I’m going to follow him.” This can really get you into trouble. I’ve heard of many cases of people being taken in by charlatans. Westerners tend to believe too easily. Eastern people are much more skeptical. Take your time; relax; check up.

Q: Why do we need a teacher?

Lama Yeshe: Why do you need an English teacher? For communication. It’s the same thing with enlightenment. Enlightenment is also communication. Even for mundane activities like shopping we need to learn the language so that we can communicate with the shopkeepers. If we need teachers for that, of course we need someone to guide us along a path that deals with so many unknowns like past and future lives and deep levels of consciousness. These are entirely new experiences; you don’t know where you’re going or what’s happening. You need someone to make sure you’re on the right track and not hallucinating.

Q: How can we recognize the right teacher?

Lama Yeshe: You can recognize your teacher through using your own wisdom and not just following someone blindly. Investigate potential teachers as much as you possibly can. “Is this the right teacher for me or not?” Check deeply before you follow any teacher’s advice. In Tibetan we have an admonition not to take a teacher like a dog seizes a piece of meat. If you give a hungry dog a piece of meat he’ll just gobble it up without hesitation. It is crucial that you examine possible spiritual leaders, teachers, gurus or whatever you call them very, very carefully before accepting their guidance. Remember what I said before about misconceptions and polluted doctrines being more dangerous than drugs? If you follow the misconceptions of a false spiritual guide it can have a disastrous effect on you and cause you to waste not only this life but many others as well. Instead of helping you, it can bring you great harm. Please, be very wise in choosing your spiritual teacher.”

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Welcome to Big Love

From the Introduction by Adele Hulse, Big Love author:

“Welcome to Big Love, the biography of Lama Thubten Yeshe. This is the story of a Buddhist monk who changed our lives forever.  He taught us how to live, raise our children and die. He also taught us how to engage the unlimited potential of our minds in order to be of service to others.

In 1976 Lama Thubten Yeshe told me I was ‘a writer’, and that I should write for him.  I always enjoyed reading and words, but never had the confidence to consider myself ‘a writer’ until then.  At Lama’s request I began editing one of his teachings, and when that was finished wondered what to do next.  The only thing on my mind was to work for Lama Yeshe.

In 1977 I began importing into Australia some of the few books available in English on Tibetan Buddhism, published mostly by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, and Lama Yeshe’s new imprint, Publications for Wisdom Culture.

While running a fashion import business, again for Lama Yeshe’s organization, The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, I made a connection with The Age, Melbourne’s broadsheet daily newspaper.  I began writing occasional feature stories and in 1984 was offered a column.

Suddenly I felt this was my chance to write ‘for Lama’ because you can say anything in a column.  I began trickling Buddhist teachings through my work, which I wrote under a pseudonym.  By 2008 the column had been running for twenty-five years.

In 1992 Peter Kedge offered me the job of writing Lama’s biography, and his financial backing to travel the world and interview hundreds of Lama’s colleagues and students.  Initially, we thought it would take eighteen months, but that turned out to be eighteen years.  Peter has been a constant backstop and support to me throughout this time. As a foundation member of the Board of FPMT Inc and many years as Lama Yeshe’s attendant, his insights are invaluable and his dedication extraordinary.  This book would not exist without Peter.

I am quite sure there are many important stories about Lama that have not been told.  Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive would love to hear them.  Also, there is no doubt that I will have made mistakes in this work. I urgently request those who can identify these to please direct corrections to the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.”

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