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Introduction to Buddhism

How to Choose a Guru
Teacher: His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin Ratna Vajra Rinpoche,
Venue: United States,
Year: 2022

His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, bestowed this teaching on June 11, 2022, anniversary of the mahāparinirvāṇa of Ngawang Lodre Shenphen Nyingpo, at the request of Tsechen Kunchab Ling, U.S.A.

All of us have had formal relationship with teachers in various settings—in school, at work, or maybe to learn a hobby. In Buddhism, the teacher, or guru, holds a place of special significance that goes far beyond what we are familiar with from these other domains.

Why is this the case?   

Briefly put, the reason is that the guru in Buddhism isn’t just someone who conveys information, (although gurus generally teach in this sense, too). In Buddhism, your relationship with the figure of the guru becomes a part of your Dharma practice. As such, the guru plays a profound role in your spiritual transformation. This is why it is imperative that students exercise prudence and diligence when assessing potential teachers, something that is especially the case with Vajrayāna teachers.

In this teaching, His Holiness provides clear and accessible insight into the guru-student relationship and gives practical guidance on choosing spiritual teachers. For those new to Buddhism, this instruction can serve as a compass showing students “true North” in their quest for a suitable teacher. For those further along the Buddhist path, it can serve as a valuable reminder and a strong encouragement to strengthen their pure perception of the guru.   

Source: This teaching was obtained from Tsechen Kunchab Ling Youtube.

A qualified and virtuous teacher serves as a radiant moon, shedding light on our journey, leading us to the path of enlightenment.

How can we make the right choice when seeking an authentic and qualified Buddhist teacher?

Why is the decision to choose a Buddhist teacher so crucial, often surpassing the significance of selecting a life partner?

Should we consider our teacher's teacher as our own teacher too?

This succinct yet deeply insightful guidance offers direction for individuals presently seeking or about to choose a Buddhist teacher. It can also provide fresh insights for those already following the guidance of a teacher to enhance their spiritual practice.