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The Teacher as a Piece of Jewelry

In the West in particular, when you search for a teacher, you would like the teacher to mass-produce the ingredients of the teaching for you, because you are too lazy to do anything on your own. You want some sudden enlightenment technique from the teacher, which means you are being impatient.

You may also search for a teacher because you feel that you are not exactly in the right kind of glorious state of being. Therefore, you might talk about your teacher and how great and profound a teacher he or she is, and how wonderful, but fundamentally you are not talking seriously at all. Saying, “I am such a great person to have found such a teacher,”is like describing how expensive a particular broach you are wearing is. It is like saying, “This ring I’m ewearhing is very expensive. It is a great masterpiece, an antique. It is very old and valuable.” Praising your teacher like a piece of jewelry, as part of your entertainment, seems to be another example of a wrong attitude toward the teacher.

Naropa, Marpa, and Milarepa manifest true ways of searching for a teacher, based on deep devotion — on true, honest, and inspiring devotion. Such devotion does not need to be continuously fed by seeing the teacher again and again. it could manifest and grow like seeds planted throughout your life, so that life itself becomes the guru. The idea is that life becomes the teacher all the time. This seems to be one of the very important messages of Milarepa’s life.

Chogyam Trungpa
from Milarepa; Lessons from the Life & Songs of Tibet’s Great Yogi

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